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Alexander III,1845–94, czar of Russia (1881–94), son and successor of Alexander IIAlexander II,
1818–81, czar of Russia (1855–81), son and successor of Nicholas I. He ascended the throne during the Crimean War (1853–56) and immediately set about negotiating a peace (see Paris, Congress of).
..... Click the link for more information. . Factors that contributed to Alexander's reactionary policies included his father's assassination, his limited intelligence and education, his military background, and the influence of such advisers as Konstantin P. PobyedonostzevPobyedonostzev, Konstantin Petrovich
, 1827–1907, Russian public official and jurist. He was professor of civil law at Moscow when he attracted the attention of Czar Alexander II and was appointed (1865) tutor to the future Alexander III.
..... Click the link for more information. and Mikhail N. Katkov. On his accession he discarded the modest proposals for reform made by Count Loris-MelikovLoris-Melikov, Mikhail Tarielovich
, 1826–88, Russian general and statesman, of Armenian descent. He was created count for his services in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 and in 1880 was made minister of the interior by Alexander II.
..... Click the link for more information. . Alexander increased the repressive powers of the police and tightened censorship and control of education. He limited the power of the zemstvos [local assemblies] and the judiciary, increased controls over the peasantry, subjected the national minorities to forcible Russification, and persecuted all religious minorities, especially the Jews. Perhaps the only enlightened policy of Alexander's reign was pursued by his energetic minister of finance, Count WitteWitte, Count Sergei Yulyevich
, 1849–1915, Russian premier. A railway administrator, he became minister of communications (1892) and minister of finance (1892–1903).
..... Click the link for more information. , who used governmental pressure and investments to stimulate industrial development and to begin construction of the Trans-Siberian RRTrans-Siberian Railroad,
rail line, linking European Russia with the Pacific coast. Its construction began in 1891, on the initiative of Count S. Y. Witte, and was completed in 1905.
..... Click the link for more information. . The czar and his foreign minister, Nikolai K. GiersGiers, Nikolai Karlovich
, 1820–95, Russian statesman. Appointed deputy foreign minister in 1875, he increasingly took over the duties of the elderly foreign minister Aleksandr Gorchakov, whom he succeeded in 1882.
..... Click the link for more information. , worked for peace in Europe, although Russian expansion in Central Asia almost led to conflict with Great Britain. In the Balkans, Russia's attempts to make Bulgaria a satellite proved unsuccessful and led to a final break with Austria–Hungary, which also had interests there. The Three Emperors' League of Russia, Austria–Hungary, and Germany was replaced (1887) with a Russo-German alliance. This was not renewed in 1890, and a Franco-Russian entente grew after 1891 (see Triple Alliance and Triple EntenteTriple Alliance and Triple Entente
, two international combinations of states that dominated the diplomatic history of Western Europe from 1882 until they came into armed conflict in World War I.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Alexander was succeeded by his son Nicholas IINicholas II,
1868–1918, last czar of Russia (1894–1917), son of Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna. Road to Revolution
Nicholas was educated by private tutors and the reactionary Pobyedonostzev.
..... Click the link for more information. .
See studies by C. Lowe (1972) and H. W. Whelan (1982).
Alexander III,king of Macedon: see Alexander the GreatAlexander the Great
or Alexander III,
356–323 B.C., king of Macedon, conqueror of much of Asia. Youth and Kingship
The son of Philip II of Macedon and Olympias, he had Aristotle as his tutor and was given a classical education.
..... Click the link for more information. .
Alexander III,1241–86, king of Scotland (1249–86), son and successor of Alexander IIAlexander II,
1198–1249, king of Scotland (1214–49), son and successor of William the Lion. He joined the English barons in their revolt against King John of England in 1215.
..... Click the link for more information. . He married a daughter of Henry IIIHenry III,
1207–72, king of England (1216–72), son and successor of King John. Reign
Henry became king under a regency; William Marshal, 1st earl of Pembroke, and later Pandulf acted as chief of government, while Peter des Roches
..... Click the link for more information. of England and quarreled with Henry, and later Henry's son Edward IEdward I,
1239–1307, king of England (1272–1307), son of and successor to Henry III. Early Life
By his marriage (1254) to Eleanor of Castile Edward gained new claims in France and strengthened the English rights to Gascony.
..... Click the link for more information. , over the old English claims to overlordship in Scotland. The great achievement of Alexander was his final acquisition for Scotland of the Hebrides and of the Isle of Man, which his father had already claimed from Norway. King Haakon IV of Norway attempted to drive the Scots from the islands, but a storm battered his ships, and he was defeated in the battle of Largs in the Clyde river. In 1266, Alexander signed a treaty with Magnus VI, assigning the islands to Scotland. Alexander survived his children, and when he died his only near relative was his little granddaughter Margaret Maid of NorwayMargaret Maid of Norway,
1283–90, queen of Scotland (1286–90), daughter of Eric II of Norway and granddaughter of Alexander III of Scotland. In 1284 the nobles of Scotland recognized the infant Norwegian princess as heiress presumptive to the Scottish throne, and on
..... Click the link for more information. .
Alexander III,d. 1181, pope (1159–81), a Sienese named Rolandus [Bandinelli?], successor of Adrian IV. He was a canonist who had studied law under Gratian and had taught at Bologna. He came to Rome under Eugene III, was made a cardinal, and became a trusted adviser of Adrian IV. Alexander's election to the papacy was opposed by a few cardinals, who elected an antipope, Victor IV. Although the antipope was supported only by Germany and some Lombards, the schism thus begun continued until 1178 with antipopes Paschal III and Calixtus III. Alexander was forced (1162) by Emperor Frederick IFrederick I
or Frederick Barbarossa
[Ital.,=red beard], c.1125–90, Holy Roman emperor (1155–90) and German king (1152–90), son of Frederick of Hohenstaufen, duke of Swabia, nephew and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III.
..... Click the link for more information. into exile in France. In the long struggle with the emperor, the pope was aided by the Lombard LeagueLombard League,
an alliance formed in 1167 among the communes of Lombardy to resist Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I when he attempted to assert his imperial authority in Lombardy. Previously the communes had been divided, some favoring the emperor and others favoring the pope.
..... Click the link for more information. , which named the town of Alessandria for him. After the battle of Legnano (1176), the emperor was forced to submit. Alexander had already (1174) received the penance of Henry II of England for the murder of St. Thomas Becket, whom Alexander had canonized in 1173. He convened and presided at the Third Lateran CouncilLateran Council, Third,
1179, 11th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church. It was convened at the Lateran Palace, Rome, by Pope Alexander III after the Peace of Venice (1178) had reconciled him with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I.
..... Click the link for more information. . One of the great medieval popes, he issued many decretals, established the procedure for canonizing saints, inaugurated the two-thirds rule for papal elections, protected the universities, and was one of the most distinguished champions of ecclesiastical independence in the Middle Ages. He was succeeded by Lucius III.
See biography by Cardinal Boso (tr. 1973) and R. Somerville and K. Pennington, Law, Church, and Society, (1977).
Born Feb. 26 (Mar. 10), 1845; died Oct. 20 (Nov. 1), 1894. From Mar. 1, 1881, emperor of Russia. Second son of Alexander II. After the death of his older brother Nicholas (1865), heir to the throne. Married in 1866 to the daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark, Louise Sofia Frederika Dagmar, who took the name of Maria Fedorovna (Nov. 14 , 1847–Oct. 13, 1928).
Narrow-minded, crude, and ignorant, Alexander III had political views that were extremely reactionary and chauvinistic. In domestic policy he represented the interest of the most conservative circles of the nobility. In economic policy, however, he was obliged to acknowledge the growth of capitalist elements in the country. His closest mentor and counselor in the early years of his reign was K. P. Pobedonostsev, an advocate of unlimited autocracy and an enemy of Western European forms of social life.
Ascending the throne after his father was killed by the People’s Will, Alexander III feared new assassination attempts and took refuge mainly at the Gatchina Palace (for which he was known as the Prisoner of Gatchina). In the first months of his reign, his policy was one of vacillation between liberalism and reaction, setting up an intragovern-mental struggle with M. T. Loris-Melikov, A. A. Abaza, and D. A. Miliutin on one side and Pobedonostsev on the other. On Apr. 29, 1881, after the weakness of the revolutionary forces had become apparent, Alexander III issued a manifesto affirming the principle of autocracy. This marked the transition to a reactionary course in domestic politics. However, economic developments and political circumstances in the first half of the 1880’s obliged his government to introduce a series of reforms—such as the abolition of the poll tax, compulsory redemption, and the lowering of redemption payments. With the dismissal of Minister of the Interior N. P. Ignat’ev (1882) and his replacement by D. A. Tolstoi, a period of undisguised reaction began. At the end of the 1880’s and the beginning of the 1890’s, the so-called counterreforms were carried out—including the introduction of the institution of land captains and the revision of the zemstvo (district assembly) and municipal statutes. During his reign Alexander III significantly increased administrative arbitrariness. In the 1880’s there was a gradual worsening of Russian-German relations and a rapprochement with France, culminating in the conclusion of the French-Russian Alliance (1891–93).
REFERENCESDnevnik gosudarstvennogo sekretaria A. A. Polovtsova, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1966.
Zaionchkovskii, P. A. “Aleksandr III i ego blizhaishee ok-ruzhenie.” Vopr. istorii, 1966, no. 8.
P. A. ZAIONCHKOVSKII