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Russian IdentitiesA Historical Survey$
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Nicholas V. Riasanovsky

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156508

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195156508.001.0001

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The Reign of Alexander I, 1801–1825

The Reign of Alexander I, 1801–1825

(p.111) 6 The Reign of Alexander I, 1801–1825
Russian Identities

Nicholas V. Riasanovsky (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Alexander I's reign as one that manifested the culmination of the Age of Reason, of the Enlightenment in Russia, inaugurated by Peter the Great and developed for a century. It adds that Alexander I seemed to represent the best of the Enlightenment: twenty-three years old, handsome, and brought up on the rhetoric of his grandmother Catherine the Great and the instructions of the prominent Swiss general, statesman, and philosophe Frederic-Cesar de LaHarpe. It discusses that the best results of this reform period were achieved in the field of education and culture. It adds that if the early years of Alexander I's reign indicated cultural promise, its ending saw the emergence of Pushkin and the commencement of what is generally known as the Golden Age of Russian literature. It also tells of the emperor's most remarkable assistant/prime minister, Michael Speransky's greatness.

Keywords:   Alexander I, Age of Reason, Enlightenment, Frederic-Cesar de LaHarpe, Michael Speransky, Russian literature, Unofficial Committee

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