Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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1800 - 1899
 
 
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1824 Part III NEXT-1825 Part II    
 
 
     
1820 - 1829
YEAR BY YEAR:
1820-1829
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1820 Part I
Ferdinand VII
Trienio Liberal
Caroline of Brunswick
Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry
Henri, Count of Chambord
Cato Street Conspiracy
"Missouri Compromise"
Congress of Troppau
Liberal Revolution in Portugal
Ecuadorian War of Independence
Sucre Antonio Jose
Engels Friedrich
Erskine Thomas
Gorres Joseph
Spencer Herbert
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1820 Part II
Keats: "Ode to a Nightingale"
Pushkin: "Ruslan and Ludmila"
Fet Afanasy
Scott: "Ivanhoe"
Shelley: "Prometheus Unbound"
William Blake: The Book of Job
Tenniel John
Discovery of the Venus de Milo
Fromentin Eugene
Vieuxtemps Henri
Henri Vieuxtemps - Elegy for Viola and Piano Op.30
Henri Vieuxtemps
Moffat Robert
Florence Nightingale
Anthony Susan Brownell
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1821 Part I
Congress of Laibach
Victor Emmanuel I
Felix Charle
Battle of Novara
Greek War of Independence
Greek Revolution Timeline
Battle of Alamana
Battle of Carabobo
Missouri
Independence of Brazil
Ecole Nationale des Chartes
Concordats with individual states of Germany
Baker Eddy Mary
Grote George
Hegel: "Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts"
Mill James
Champollion Jean-François
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1821 Part II
Baudelaire Charles
Charles Baudelaire
"The Flowers of Evil"
Fenimore Cooper: "The Spy"
Dostoevsky Fyodor
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
"The Idiot"
Flaubert Gustave
Gustave Flaubert
"
Madame Bovary
Goethe: "Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre"
William Hazlitt: "Table-Talk"
Quincey Thomas
Thomas de Quincey: "Confessions of an English Opium Eater"
Thomas De Quincey 
"Confessions of an English Opium-Eater"
Shelley: "Adonais"
Nekrasov Nekolay
Brown Ford Madox
Ford Madox Brown
Weber: "Der Freischutz"
Helmholtz Hermann
Seebeck Thomas Johann
Virchow Rudolf
Wheatstone Charles
"The Guardian"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1822 Part I
Chios Massacre
Battle of Dervenakia
Grant Ulysses
Iturbide Augustin
Congress of Verona
Colebrooke Henry Thomas
Fourier Joseph
Poncelet Jean-Victor
Goncourt Edmond
Nodier Charles
Vigny Alfred-Victor
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1822 Part II
Delacroix: "Dante and Virgil Crossing the Styx"
Martin John
John Martin
Franck Cesar
Cesar Franck - Prelude, Chorale and Fugue
Cesar Franck
Royal Academy of Music, London
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 ("The Unfinished")
Mendel Gregor
Pasteur Louis
Schliemann Heinrich
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1823 Part I
Federal Republic of Central America
Monroe Doctrine
Leo XII
Renan Ernest
Ernest Renan
"The Life of Jesus"
Fenimore Cooper: "The Pioneers"
Ostrovski Alexander
Petofi Sandor
Yonge Charlotte Mary
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1823 Part II
Ferdinand Waldmuller: "Portrait of Beethoven"
Beethoven: "Missa Solemnis"
Bishop Henry Rowley
Bishop "Home! Sweet Home!"
Schubert: "Rosamunde"
Weber: "Euryanthe"
Babbage Charles
Macintosh Charles
Navigation of the Niger
Oudney Walter
Denham Dixon
Clapperton Bain Hugh
"The Lancet"
Royal Thames Yacht Club
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1824 Part I
First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826)
Russo-American Treaty of 1824
First Siege of Missolonghi
Constitution of Mexico
Battle of Ayacucho
Bockh August
Botta Carlo Giuseppe Guglielmo
Dumas Alexandre, fils
Landor Walter Savage
Walter Scott: "Redgauntlet"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1824 Part II
Delacroix: "The Massacre at Chios"
John Flaxman: "Pastoral Apollo"
Ingres: "Vow of Louis XIII"
Israels Joseph
Joseph Israels
Overbeck: "Christ's entry into Jerusalem"
Gerome Jean-Leon
Jean-Leon Gerome
Boulanger Gustave
Gustave Boulanger
Girodet Anne-Louis
Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1824 Part III
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Bruckner Anton
Anton Bruckner - Locus Iste
Anton Bruckner
Smetana Bedrich
Smetana - Die Moldau
Bedrich Smetana
Aspdin Joseph
Carnot Sadi
Thomson William
The Hume and Hovell expedition
Hume Hamilton
Hovell William Hilton
Athenaeum Club, London
"Le Globe"
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1825 Part I
Ferdinand IV of Naples
Francis I of the Two Sicilies
Third Siege of Missolonghi
Treaty of Saint Petersburg of 1825
Uruguay became independent of Brazil (1825)
Kruger Paul
Maximilian I
Ludwig I of Bavaria
Nicholas I
Decembrist revolt in Russia
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1825 Part II
Lasalle Ferdinand
William Hazlitt: "The Spirit of the Age"
Manzoni: "The Betrothed"
Meyer Conrad Ferdinand
Pepys Samuel: "The Diaries of Samuel Pepys"
Pushkin: "Boris Godunov"
Tegner Esaias
Esaias Tegner: "Frithjofs Saga"
Constable: "Leaping Horse"
Collinson James
James Collinson
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1825 Part III
Boieldieu: "La Dame blanche"
Strauss II Johann , the "Waltz King"
Johan Strauss - Blue Danube Waltz
Johann Strauss II, the "Waltz King"
Charcot Jean Martin
Gurney Goldsworthy
Stockton and Darlington Railway
The Desert
Caillie Rene-Auguste
Laing Alexander Gordon
John Franklin Canadian and Arctic expedition
Horse-bus
Trade Union
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1826 Part I
The Sortie of Missolonghi
Ottoman–Egyptian Invasion of Mani
Treaty of Yandabo
Pedro I
Maria II, Queen of Portugal
Akkerman Convention
Congress of Panama
Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828
Zollverein
Khan Dost Mohammad
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1826 Part II
Liebknecht Wilhelm
Ruan Yuan
Fenimore Cooper: "The Last of the Mohicans"
Benjamin Disraeli: "Vivian Grey"
Scheffel Josef Viktor
Scott: "Woodstock"
Moreau Gustave
Gustave Moreau
Weber: "Oberon"
Nobili Leopoldo
Unverdorben Otto
Raffles Stamford
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1827 Part I
Battle of Phaleron
Kapodistrias Ioannis Antonios
Siege of the Acropolis (1826–27)
Treaty of London
Battle of Navarino
Mahmud II
Russo-Persian War - Campaign of 1827
Coster Charles
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1827 Part II
Bocklin Arnold
Arnold Bocklin
Constable: "The Cornfield"
Hunt William Holman
William Holman Hunt
Audubon John James
Audubon: "Birds of North America"
Baer Karl Ernst
Bright Richard
Lister Joseph
Niepce Nicephore
Ohm Georg Simon
Ressel Joseph
Simpson James
Wohler Friedrich
Timbuktu
Baedeker Karl
"London Evening Standard"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1828 Part I
Ypsilantis Alexander
Michael
Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829
"Tariff of Abominations"
Treaty of Montevideo
Guerrero Vicente
Lange Friedrich Albert
Muller Karl Otfried
Taine Hippolyte Adolphe
Noah Webster "American Dictionary of the English Language"
About Edmond
Alexandre Dumas pere: "Les Trois Mousquetaires"
Ibsen Henrik
Meredith George
George Meredith 
"The Egoist"
Oliphant Margaret
Tolstoy Leo
Leo Tolstoy
"The Kreutzer Sonata"
Verne Jules
Jules Verne
"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."
"The Children of Captain Grant"
"The Mysterious Island"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1828 Part II
Bonington Richard Parkes
Richard Parkes Bonington
Rossetti Dante Gabriel
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Stevens Alfred
Alfred Stevens
Stuart Gilbert
Gilbert Stuart
Auber: "La Muette de Portici"
Marschner: "Der Vampire"
Abel Niels Henrik
Burdon-Sanderson John
Cohn Ferdinand
De Vinne Theodore
Stewart Balfour
Swan Joseph
Dunant Henri
Hauser Kaspar
Working Men's Party
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1829 Part I
Schurz Carl
Biddle Nicholas
Metropolitan Police Act 1829
First Hellenic Republic
Treaty of Adrianople
Attwood Thomas
Bustamante Anastasio
O’Connell Daniel
Gran Colombia–Peru War (1828-1829)
Benson Edward White
Roman Catholic Emancipation Act
Gardiner Samuel Rawson
Pius VIII
Balzac: "Les Chouans"
Goethe: "Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre"
Jefferson Joseph  
Edgar Allan Poe: "Al Araaf"
Salvini Tommaso
Scott: "Anne of Geierstein"
Timrod Henry
Warner Charles Dudley
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1829 Part II
Feuerbach Anselm
Anselm Feuerbach
Millais John Everett
John Everett Millais
Gottschalk Louis
Louis Moreau Gottschalk - Grande Tarantelle
Louis Gottschalk
Rossini: "William Tell"
Rubinstein Anton
Rubinstein - Piano Concerto No. 1
Anton Rubinstein
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1829 Part III
Cantor Moritz Benedikt
Dobereiner Johann Wolfgang
Dreyse Nikolaus
Henry Joseph
Priessnitz Vincenz
Hydropathy, Hydrotherapy
Kekule August
Mitchell Silas Weir
Smithson James
Booth William
Salvation Army
Shillibeer George
Flong
Suttee
 
 
 

Decembrists at the Senate Square, 1825
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1825 Part I
 
 
 
1825
 
 
Ferdinand IV of Naples d., succeeded by Francis I
 
 
Ferdinand IV of Naples
 

Ferdinand I, (born Jan. 2/12, 1751, Naples—died Jan. 4, 1825, Naples), king of the Two Sicilies (1816–25) who earlier (1759–1806), as Ferdinand IV of Naples, led his kingdom in its fight against the French Revolution and its liberal ideas. A relatively weak and somewhat inept ruler, he was greatly influenced by his wife, Maria Carolina of Austria, who furthered the policy of her favourite adviser, the Englishman Sir John Acton.

 

Ferdinand I
  Ferdinand became king of Naples as a boy when his father ascended the Spanish throne (1759) as Charles III. A regency ruled during Ferdinand’s minority and continued the liberal reforms of the previous king. In 1767 Ferdinand reached his majority, and his marriage in 1768 to Maria Carolina signalled a reversal of this policy. The birth of a male heir gave Maria Carolina the right, according to the marriage contract, to enter the council of state (1777). She brought about the downfall of the former regent Bernardo Tanucci and engaged Naples in the Austro-English coalition against the French Revolution in 1793.

Ferdinand, encouraged by the arrival of the British fleet of Admiral Horatio Nelson, attacked the French-supported Roman republic in 1798. On December 21 of that year, however, the French invaded Naples, declaring it the Parthenopean Republic, and Ferdinand fled to Sicily. The Republic was overthrown in June 1799, and Ferdinand returned to Naples, where he put to death the Republic’s supporters, violating the terms of their surrender.

In 1806 Napoleon’s army captured Naples, forcing Ferdinand’s flight to Sicily, where, yielding to British pressure to mitigate his absolutist rule, he removed Maria Carolina from the court, appointed his son Francis as regent, and granted the Sicilians a constitution.

 
 
With the fall of Napoleon, he returned to Naples as Ferdinand I of the united kingdom of the Two Sicilies (December 1816). His renewal of absolute rule led to the constitutionalist uprising of 1820, which forced Ferdinand to grant a constitution. Having ceded power again to his son Francis, Ferdinand, under the pretext of protecting the new constitution, obtained his parliament’s permission to attend the Congress of Laibach early in 1821. Once there, he won the aid of Austria, which overthrew Naples’ constitutional government in March. The subsequent reprisals against the constitutionalists were his last important official acts before his sudden death.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
Francis I of the Two Sicilies
 

Francis I of the Two Sicilies (Italian: Francesco Gennaro Giuseppe; 19 August 1777 – 8 November 1830) was King of the Two Sicilies from 1825 to 1830.

 

Francis I of the Two Sicilies
  Francis I, (born Aug. 14, 1777, Naples—died Nov. 8, 1830, Naples), king of the Two Sicilies from 1825.

The son of Ferdinand I and Maria Carolina, Francis at first inclined toward liberalism.

After the introduction of the constitution of 1812, which provided for a bicameral government along British lines, he was appointed vicario, or regent, of Naples.

Francis sympathized with the Carbonari uprising of 1820; he opposed the decision of the Congress of Laibach (1821) to send Austrian troops to restore the absolutist monarchy in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

After witnessing the success of the reactionary forces in Naples, however, his outlook changed.

After succeeding to the throne upon his father’s death (Jan. 4, 1825), he disavowed his previous liberalism, becoming even more reactionary than his father.

He disbanded the National Guard, requested an extension of Austrian garrisoning in the kingdom until 1827, and savagely repressed, with the aid of Guglielmo del Carretto, a revolutionary outbreak in Cilento (1828).

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
1825
 
 
Greek Revolution Timeline
 
Greek War of Independence (1821–1829)

1821, February 21: Revolt of Greek War of Independence declared by Alexandros Ypsilantis in Wallachia (Iaşi).
1821, March 25: According to tradition, Metropolitan Germanos of Patras blesses a big Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnesia and proclaims to people assembled the beginning of a Greek Revolution. Greece declares its independence. Beginning of the Greek War of Independence.
1821, 10 April, Easter Monday: Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople Alyssa central outside portal of the Patriarchate by the Turks. The door has remained shut and out of use ever since
1821, 17 April: Former Ecumenical Patriarch Cyril VI is hanged in the gate of the Adrianople's cathedral
1821, 4 April: Constantine Mourousis, Dimitrios Paparigopoulos and Antonios Tsouras are decapitated by the Ottomans in Constantinople
1821, 5 April: The Phanariotes Petros Tsigris, Dimitrios Skanavis and Manuel Hotzeris are decapitated by the Turks, while Georgios Mavrocordatos is hanged by the Sultan forces in Constantinople
1821, 23–24 April: Battle of Alamana. After the Greek defeat, Athanasios Diakos is impaled on a spit.
1821, 4 May: Metropolitans Gregorios of Derkon, Dorotheos of Adrianople, Ioannikios of Tyrnavos, Joseph of Thessaloniki, and the Phanariote Georgios Callimachi and Nikolaos Mourousis are decapitated on Sultan's orders in Constantinople
1821, May: The Turkish governor Yusuf Bey orders his men to kill every Greek in Thessaloniki that they find. The killings last for days, with the metropolitan and major notables among the victims
1821, 2 June: Destruction of Kydonies in Asia Minor by the Ottoman army. Tens of thousands of Greek inhabitants become refugees
1821, 24 June: The massacre of Heraklion or 'the great ravage' occurs against the Greek community in Crete. Among the victims are the metropolitan of Crete and bishops
1821, 9 July: The chief of the Cypriot Orthodox Church Archbishop Kyprianos, along with 486 prominent Greek Cypriots, amongst them the Metropolitans Chrysanthos of Paphos, Meletios of Kition and Lavrentios of Kyrenia, are executed by beheading or hanging by the Turks in Nicosia
1821, July: Küçük Mehmet carries out several days of massacres of Greek Cypriots in Cyprus since July 9 and continues on for forty days, despite the Vizier's command to end the plundering since 20 July 1821
1821, 11 September: Tripolitsa captured by the Greeks, who proceed to eliminate the Turkish garrison, officials and civilians. A total of about 30,000 people perish.
1821, 15 October: Turkish Cypriot mobs hang most of the Greek Cypriots in Larnaca and other towns, among them an archbishop, five bishops, thirty six ecclesiastics

1822, 9 April: After a month's resistance, the city of Naousa is captured by Abdul Abud, devastating the city and massacring its Greek population. Ending of the Greek revolution in Macedonia.
1822: The Chios massacre occurs. A total of about 100,000 people perish, mostly Greeks.
1822, 26 July, Battle at Dervenakia. A decisive victory of the Greeks which saved the revolution.

1823, 18 January: Nafplio becomes the site of the Revolutionary Government.
1823, March: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, represented by George Canning, recognizes the Greeks as a nation at war, thus recognizing de facto the Greek Independence.

1824, 7–8 June: The civilization of the island of Kasos is completely destroyed by the Turkish-Egyptian forces of Hussein Rushdi Pasha. About 7,000 people perish.
1824, 21 June: More than 15,000 Greeks of Psara are slaughtered by the forces of Husrev Pasha.
1824: The First Siege of Missolonghi occurs.

1825, 22 May: Laskarina Bouboulina is assassinated in Spetses.
1825, 5 June: Odysseas Androutsos is assassinated in Athens.
1825, 22 June: Ibrahim Pasha retakes Tripoli, kills the Greek population and destroys the city and its walls.
1825, 6 November: Beginning of the Third Siege of Missolonghi.

1826, 10–11 April: The Sortie of Missolonghi occurs. Approximately 8,000 Greek soldiers and civilians perish.
1826, 24 June: Battle of Vergas.
1826, 11 November: Prime Minister Andreas Zaimis transfers the site of the government to Aegina.

1827, 22–24 April: Battle of Phaleron. Georgios Karaiskakis is killed in action.
1827, July 6: Signing of the Treaty of London.
1827, 20 October: Battle of Navarino.

1828, 24 January: John Capodistria is elected Governor of Greece.
1828, 31 January: Alexander Ypsilantis dies in Vienna.

1829. First Hellenic Republic (1829–1832)
The First Hellenic Republi is a historiographic term used for a series of councils and "Provisional Governments" during the Greek War of Independence. During the first stages of the rebellion, various areas elected their own regional governing councils. These were replaced by united administration at the First National Assembly of Epidaurus during early 1822, which also adopted the first Greek Constitution. A series of National Assemblies ensued, while Greece was threatened with collapse due to civil war and the victories of Ibrahim Pasha. During 1827, the Third National Assembly at Troezen selected Count Ioannis Capodistrias as Governor of Greece for seven years. He arrived during 1828 and established the Hellenic State, commanding with quasi-dictatorial powers. He was assassinated by political rivals during 1831 and was succeeded by his brother, Augustinos Kapodistrias until the Great Powers declared Greece a Kingdom and selected the Bavarian Prince Otto to be its king.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
1825
 
 
Third Siege of Missolonghi
 

The Third Siege of Missolonghi (Greek: Τρίτη Πολιορκία του Μεσσολογίου, often erroneously referred to as the Second Siege) was fought in the Greek War of Independence, between the Ottoman Empire and the Greek rebels, from 15 April 1825 to 10 April 1826. The Ottomans had already tried and failed to capture the city in 1822 and 1823, but returned in 1825 with a stronger force of infantry and a stronger navy supporting the infantry. The Greeks held out for almost a year before they attempted a mass breakout, which however resulted in a disaster, with the larger part of the Greeks slain.

 
Prelude
Missolonghi was first besieged by the Ottomans in 1822, then in 1823. In April 1824, Lord Byron died of an illness, adding to the fame of the city.

Siege
In spring 1825, the Ottomans came to besiege the Greeks again. The commander of the Ottomans, Reşid Mehmed Pasha was joined early 1826 by Ibrahim Pasha who crossed the Gulf of Corinth. During the early part of 1826, Ibrahim had more artillery and supply brought in. However, his men were unable to storm the walls. The High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, Sir Frederick Adam, tried to make both forces sign a treaty, but his efforts were unsuccessful.

The Greek Admiral Andreas Miaoulis kept breaking through the Ottoman naval blockade and bringing in supplies. However, when the Ottomans captured the fortress island of Anatolikon, Miaoulis was not able to bring in supplies.

Sortie
The situation soon became desperate for the defenders. After around a year of holding out the leaders of the Greeks, Notis Botsaris, Kitsos Tzavelas and Makris made a plan to escape the city. When all food supplies had run out and there was no hope of relief, the besieged Greeks decided that some of the menfolk of fighting age should burst out of the gates and attempt to lead the women and children to safety, while the rest would remain to defend the town to the death. Georgios Karaiskakis would attack the Turks from the rear and create a diversion while the besieged Greeks would escape the city. Of the 9,000 inhabitants only 7,000 were strong enough to take part.

 
Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi by Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix
 
 
The Turks had been made aware of the escape plan. When the refugees charged out of the city gates they were fired upon by Turks and Egyptians from defensive positions. Many of the Greeks panicked and fled inside the walls. Of the 7,000 people that tried to escape only 1,000 made it to safety. The next morning Palm Sunday the Turks entered the city. Many of the Greeks killed themselves by blowing themselves up with gunpowder rather than surrender. The rest were slaughtered or sold into slavery. The Turks displayed 3,000 severed heads off the walls.
 
 
Aftermath
Though a military disaster, the siege and its aftermath proved a victory for the Greek cause, and the Ottomans paid dearly for their harsh treatment of Missolonghi.

After this incident, many people from Western Europe felt increased sympathy for the Greek cause, as manifested for example in the famous Delacroix painting Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi (1827).

The siege of Missolonghi also inspired Gioacchino Rossini's opera Le siège de Corinthe.

This public sympathy for the Greeks had a significant influence on the eventual decision of Britain, France and Russia to intervene militarily in the Battle of Navarino and secure Greece's independence - with the result that, among other things, within four years Missolonghi fell into Greek hands again.

The unfinished poem The Free Besieged by Dionysios Solomos is dedicated to the siege.

Victor Hugo’s poem ‘’Les Têtes du sérail’’ from his ‘’Les Orientales’’ (1829) celebrates the Greek heroes of the siege. The siege is referenced in the ALPHA 60 song Ruins of Missolonghi.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
The sortie of Messologhi by Theodoros Vryzakis.
 
 
 
1825
 
 
Treaty of Saint Petersburg of 1825
 

The Treaty of Saint Petersburg of 1825 or the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1825, officially the Convention Concerning the Limits of Their Respective Possessions on the Northwest Coast of America and the Navigation of the Pacific Ocean, defined the boundaries between Russian America and British claims and possessions in the Pacific Northwest of North America at 54 degrees 40 minutes north latitude, which had the year before been established as the limit of overlapping American claims in the parallel Russo-American Treaty of 1824.

 
The Russian sphere in the region was later sold to the United States, becoming Alaska, while to the south of the division point was the British claim, the remnant of which today is coast of the Canadian province of British Columbia. and associated rights and obligations concerning waters and ports in the region. The treaty, in establishing a vague division of coastal Russian interests and inland British interests northward from 56 degrees north, led to conflicting interpretations of the meaning of the treaty's wording which later manifested in the Alaska Boundary Dispute between the United States on the one hand, and Canada and the British Empire on the other. Other terms of the treaty, including the right to navigation by British vessels to both commerce in the region affected, and also access to rivers crossing the designated boundary, were exercised by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1834 but were met with opposition by then Russian-American Company Governor Wrangel in the form of warships and a blockade. This conflict, known as the Dryad affair, led to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1839, in which the RAC agreed to lease the mainland portion of the region south of Cape Spencer at the entrance to Cross Sound and the HBC promised to supply Russian America with foodstuffs and manufactured goods. In addition the HBC waived its demand for payments for damages incurred during the Dryad affair. The same clauses enabled British access to the Stikine River goldfields in 1862 but were not assumed by the Americans upon their purchase of Russian interests in 1867, resulting in further conflict over British rights of access to the inland regions. The treaty's terms also played a part in the terms of the Bering Sea Arbitration and likewise in terms of other decisions in Alaska and US courts over marine and offshore interests.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
In this 1860 map, Russian America (Alaska) was to the west of British America (Canada).

Excerpt from the "Map of North America. Showing its Political Divisions, and Recent Discoveries in the Polar Regions" in Mitchell's New General Atlas, Containing Maps Of The Various Countries Of The World, Plans Of Cities, Etc. Published By S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. No. 31 South Sixth Street. 1860.
 
 
 
1825
 
 
Adams John Quincy inaugurated as sixth President of the U.S.
 
 

John Quincy Adams
 
 
 
1825
 
 
French law compensates the aristocrats for losses in Revolution
 
 
 
1825
 
 
Bolivia becomes independent of Peru, Uruguay of Brazil
 
 
see also: Bolivian war of independence
 
 
     
 



World Countries



Bolivia
     
 
 
Uruguay became independent of Brazil (1825)
 
In 1811, José Gervasio Artigas, who would become Uruguay's national hero, launched a successful revolution against the Spanish authorities who ruled a combined Uruguay and Argentina.

Ten years later, the eastern province of Uruguay was annexed by Brazil, which was still under Portuguese rule.

Brazil became independent from Portugal the following year, and in 1825, Uruguay declared independence from Brazil.
 
 
     
 



World Countries



Uruguay
     
 
 
 
1825
 
 
Portugal recognizes Brazilian independence
 
 
see also: Independence of Brazil
 
 
     
 



World Countries



Brazil
     
 
 
 
1825
 
 
Kruger Paul
 

Paul Kruger, original name Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, byname Oom (“Uncle”) Paul (born Oct. 10, 1825, Cradock district, Cape Colony—died July 14, 1904, Clarens, Switz.), farmer, soldier, and statesman, noted in South African history as the builder of the Afrikaner nation. He was president of the Transvaal, or South African Republic, from 1883 until his flight to Europe in 1900, after the outbreak of the South African (Boer) War.

 
Youth and early career.
Kruger’s parents were respectable farmers of Dutch descent on the northern outskirts of the British Cape Colony. He had little formal education but was able to express himself clearly in writing. Of more importance was the religious instruction he received from his parents according to the strict tenets of Dutch Calvinism. When he was 10, his family took part in the general emigration of frontier farmers who sought to found an independent political existence in the northern interior. As a young boy, he was strongly influenced by the stirring events of the period when the emigrants had to struggle against the warlike tribes surrounding them and to establish an orderly government of their own.

While still in his teens, Kruger played a part in public life as a local field-cornet, a post in which civil and military duties were combined. In January 1852 he was present when the Transvaal leader, Andries Pretorius, concluded the Sand River Convention with representatives of Great Britain, by which the independence of the Afrikaners (Boers) north of the Vaal River was recognized. He took part in 1855–56 as member of a commission that drew up the constitution of the new republic. During the civil disturbances of 1861–64, he played a prominent part as commandant general in unifying and pacifying the country in support of constitutional authority.

 
 

State President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic at his fourth inaguration in 1898
  Leader of the Boers.
Upon the British annexation of the Transvaal in 1877, Kruger became the recognized champion of his people in the struggle to regain independence. With that purpose in mind, he visited England in 1877 and 1878, and, when he failed to persuade the government of Benjamin Disraeli to undo the annexation, he helped organize a movement of passive resistance to British administration in the Transvaal. In 1880 he pinned his hopes to the promises of William Gladstone, the Liberal leader. Disappointed when the new Liberal government failed to live up to his expectations, Kruger succeeded in gaining the sympathy and political support of the Cape Colony against the British attempt to force South Africa, including the Transvaal, into a general federation. In December he led his people into active opposition, and, after a series of military victories that culminated in the Battle of Majuba Hill (Feb. 27, 1881), with great diplomatic skill he succeeded in negotiating peace based on a limited independence. In 1883 he was elected president of the restored republic, and he held that office until 1902, when the Boers at last submitted to British authority.

Meanwhile, in 1883 Kruger again visited England and, after protracted negotiations, concluded a new convention in London on Feb. 27, 1884, which rectified the western border and removed any reference to British suzerainty over the Transvaal. On his return he found his republic embroiled with the Cape colonial authorities over control of the area along the western border, which was considered by Cecil Rhodes, the Cape statesman, to be the “Suez Canal” to the territory north of the Limpopo River.

 
 
In 1885 Kruger was forced to accede to British demands to withdraw from the area in question and to agree to a British protectorate over Bechuanaland. At the same time, the way was opened for the future expansion of the Cape Colony to the north.
 
 

Paul Kruger, photograph from 1879
  Gold rush in the Transvaal.
Kruger’s greatest problem began in 1886 with the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand area, where a new metropolis, Johannesburg, arose, some 40 miles (64 km) south of the tiny republican capital, Pretoria. Large numbers of “outlanders” flocked to the Transvaal and established a cosmopolitan, mainly English community in the midst of a rural Boer society. Kruger saw this as a threat to the separate national identity of his people, “God’s people,” as he called them, and in 1890 he severely restricted the franchise to men resident at least 14 years. At the same time, he called into being a separate Volksraad (legislative body), in order to represent mining interests, but this did not satisfy the demands of the outlanders. The mining magnates of Johannesburg criticized Kruger’s economic and railway policy, which was aimed at promoting the independence of the Transvaal but which resulted at the same time in raising the cost of production of gold. They complained of high railway tariffs, which Kruger’s concessionaires, The Netherlands South Africa Railway Company, imposed in order to protect their railroad linking Johannesburg with Delagoa Bay. For political reasons, Kruger had to support this railway against the cutthroat competition of the Cape railways, which he was unable to exploit to his country’s advantage.

Rhodes, the Cape premier, who had extensive gold interests and much political influence, hoped to achieve a united British South Africa.

 
 
He supported the Rand capitalists and the outlander movement against Kruger’s regime. When he failed to persuade Kruger to join a South African customs union, he decided to bring matters to a head. Kruger, after all, was the one obstacle that prevented Rhodes from realizing his dream of empire. By 1895 Kruger was aware that trouble was brewing in Johannesburg and that, behind the scenes of the internal conflict within the Transvaal, a larger issue was at stake, that of British supremacy as against republican independence. He felt that the matter of extension of the franchise to the newcomers was merely being used as a cat’s-paw to further the schemes of Rhodes.
 
 


Paul Kruger, 1892

  The South African (Boer) War.
Ever since 1890 he also had had to contend with growing opposition from some of his own people; but when Rhodes, with the full knowledge of Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary, sponsored the ill-fated Jameson Raid against the republic at the end of 1895, Kruger handled the affair so successfully that his prestige soared again. In the presidential election in May 1898, he received almost unanimous support. While Rhodes was forced into the background, British imperial interests now came to the front. The colonial secretary took up the cudgels on behalf of the outlanders and, in 1897, sent Sir Alfred Milner to South Africa as governor of the Cape Colony and high commissioner. Supported by Chamberlain, Milner began to force the issue and demanded that the residential qualification for voters in the Transvaal should be lowered to five years. In May 1899 a conference took place in Bloemfontein, the Free State capital, between Kruger and Milner. Although no agreement was reached, Kruger decided on a seven-year residential qualification. Milner refused the offer, tension increased, and Britain prepared an ultimatum.
 
 
Both sides prepared for war, which was precipitated by Kruger when, on Oct. 9, 1899, he presented his own ultimatum, demanding the withdrawal of British troops from the border.
War broke out two days later, and, notwithstanding initial Boer successes, British invading armies occupied the two Boer capitals. Kruger was forced to retreat with the last Boer army along the Delagoa Bay railway. Being too old to keep up with the ensuing guerrilla struggle, he was delegated to Europe, where he lived in Holland to the end of the war in May 1902. He died in Switzerland in July 1904, and his body found a temporary resting place at The Hague. He was finally buried at Pretoria on Dec. 16, 1904.

Daniel Wilhelmus Kruger

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1825
 
 
Maximilian I, King of Bavaria, d.; succeeded by his son Louis I (—1848)
 
 
Maximilian I
 

Maximilian I, also called (as elector of Bavaria) Maximilian IV Joseph (born May 27, 1756, Mannheim, Palatinate [Germany]—died Oct. 13, 1825, Munich), first Wittelsbach elector of Bavaria (1799–1806) and first king of Bavaria (1806–25), whose alliance with Napoleon gained him a monarch’s crown and enabled him to turn the scattered, poorly administered Bavarian holdings into a consolidated, modern state.

 

Maximilian I, King of Bavaria
  Maximilian Joseph, the second son of Prince Frederick Michael of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, served in the French regiment of Alsace from 1777 to the outbreak of the French Revolution, developing the affinity for France that he was to retain for the rest of his life. In 1795, when he succeeded his older brother as duke of Zweibrücken, France was already in possession of the duchy; but on the death of the elector Charles Theodore of Bavaria and the Palatinate in 1799, he inherited all of the Wittelsbach territories as Maximilian IV Joseph. Widely scattered and ill-administered, most of them were occupied by Austria. With his able minister Maximilian, Graf von Montgelas, the new elector was to make Bavaria into an efficient, liberal state.
Forced by Austrian pressure to enter the war against France (1799), Maximilian IV Joseph signed a separate peace in 1801, which, though formalizing the loss of his lands west of the Rhine, guaranteed compensation elsewhere. Distrustful of Austria, which tried repeatedly to annex Bavarian territories, the elector remained faithful to his French alliance for more than a decade. In 1803 he received Würzburg, Bamberg, Freising, Augsburg, and other lands. In 1805 Ansbach was added, and on Jan. 1, 1806, the elector crowned himself king of Bavaria as Maximilian I. Bavaria’s membership in the Confederation of the Rhine—the league of German princes sponsored by Napoleon—and contributions to the French war effort against Austria (1805), Prussia and Russia (1806–07), and, again, Austria (1809), led to the acquisition of most of Western Austria. Thirty thousand men of the Bavarian contingent fought with Napoleon in Russia, but after the French defeat there Maximilian entered into an alliance with Austria in return for a guarantee of the integrity of his kingdom.
 
 
After returning sections of Western Austria in 1814 and 1816, Bavaria received sizable territories on the west bank of the Rhine.

With the restoration of peace (1815), Maximilian reorganized his administration. He dismissed Montgelas (1817) largely on the insistence of his son, the future Louis I; and the kingdom, which already had received a liberal constitution in 1808, was granted a new charter in 1818, providing for a bicameral parliament. These measures made Bavaria one of Germany’s most liberal states during the last years of Maximilian’s reign.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 
Ludwig I of Bavaria
 

Ludwig I (also rendered in English as Louis I; 25 August 1786 – 29 February 1868) was king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states.

 

Crown Prince Ludwig, 1807 by Angelica Kauffman
  Crown prince
Born in Strasbourg, he was the son of Count Palatine Maximilian Joseph of Zweibrücken (later Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria) by his first wife Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt. At the time of his birth, his father was an officer in the French army stationed at Strasbourg. He was the godson and namesake of Louis XVI of France.
On 1 April 1795 his father succeeded Ludwig's uncle, Charles II, as duke of Zweibrücken, and on 16 February 1799 became Elector of Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine, the Arch-Steward of the Empire, and Duke of Berg on the extinction of the Sulzbach line with the death of the elector Charles Theodore. His father assumed the title of King of Bavaria on 1 January 1806.

Starting in 1803 Ludwig studied in Landshut where he was taught by Johann Michael Sailer and in Göttingen.

In October 1810, he married Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (1792–1854), the daughter of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The wedding was the occasion of the first ever Oktoberfest.

Ludwig strongly rejected the alliance of his father with Napoleon I of France but in spite of his anti-French politics the crown prince had to join the emperor's wars with allied Bavarian troops in 1806. As commander of the 1st Bavarian Division in VII Corps, he served under Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre in 1809. He led his division in action at the Battle of Abensberg on 20 April. With the Treaty of Ried of 8 October 1813 Bavaria left the Confederation of the Rhine and agreed to join the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon in exchange for a guarantee of her continued sovereign and independent status.

 
 
On 14 October, Bavaria made a formal declaration of war against Napoleonic France. The treaty was passionately backed by Crown Prince Ludwig and by Marshal von Wrede.

Already at the 1815 Congress of Vienna, Ludwig advocated a German national policy. Between 1816 and 1825, he spent his years in Würzburg. He also made numerous trips to Italy and bought the Villa Malta in Rome. Ludwig supported generously as a Philhellene the Greek War of Independence, in which he in the war of 1821 provided a loan of 1.5 million florins from his private funds.

In 1817 Ludwig was also involved in the fall of Prime Minister Count Max Josef von Montgelas. He succeeded his father on the throne in 1825.

 
 
Therese Charlotte Luise of Saxony-Hildburghausen (Therese of Bavaria; 8 July 1792 – 26 October 1854) was a queen consort of Bavaria. She was a daughter of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, and Duchess Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, eldest daughter of Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

In 1809, she was on the list of possible brides for Napoleon, but in 1810 married the Bavarian crown prince Ludwig. Their wedding was the occasion of the first ever Oktoberfest. She became queen in 1825. During the numerous love affairs of her husband, Therese suffered but tolerated the situation. She did not refrain, however, from demonstrating her disapproval in discreet ways; in 1831, she left town during one of his affairs, and she strictly rejected associating with the mistresses.

Therese often assisted with the administration of the kingdom of Bavaria, especially when Ludwig was absent from Munich during his numerous journeys, and she did have some political influence and participated in political issues. She was very popular and was considered to embody an ideal image of queen, wife and mother. She was involved in a great number of charitable organizations for widows, orphans and the poor.

She was the object of great sympathy during her husband's infidelity with Lola Montez, which caused him to abdicate in 1848.
 
Therese of Bavaria
 
 
Reign
Ludwig's rule was strongly affected by his enthusiasm for the arts and women and by his overreaching royal assertiveness.

An enthusiast for the German Middle Ages, Ludwig ordered the re-erection of several monasteries in Bavaria which had been closed during the German Mediatisation. He reorganized the administrative regions of Bavaria in 1837 and re-introduced the old names Upper Bavaria, Lower Bavaria, Franconia, Swabia, Upper Palatinate and Palatinate. He changed his royal titles to Ludwig, King of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia, Duke in Swabia and Count Palatine of the Rhine. His successors kept these titles.

Ludwig's plan to reunite the eastern part of the Palatinate with Bavaria could not be realized. The Electoral Palatinate, a former dominion of the Wittelsbach, had been split up in 1815, the eastern bank of the Rhine with Mannheim and Heidelberg was given to Baden, only the western bank was granted to Bavaria. Here Ludwig founded the city of Ludwigshafen as a Bavarian rival to Mannheim.

Ludwig moved the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität from Landshut to Munich in 1826. The king also encouraged Bavaria's industrialization. He initiated the Ludwig Canal between the rivers Main and the Danube. In 1835 the first German railway was constructed in his domain, between the cities of Fürth and Nuremberg. Bavaria joined the Zollverein in 1834.

As Ludwig had supported the Greek fight of independence his second son Otto was elected king of Greece in 1832. Otto's government was initially run by a three-man regency council made up of Bavarian court officials.

After the July Revolution in France 1830, Ludwig's previous liberal policy became more and more repressive. The Hambacher Fest in 1832 showed the discontent of the population with high taxes and censorship. In connection with the unrest of May 1832 142 political processes were initiated. The seven death sentences were converted by the king in long terms of imprisonment. In his reign, there were about 1,000 political processes. Also Ludwig's stricter censorship—which he even had before abolished in 1825—provoked the opposition of the population.

 
 

Ludwig I
  In 1837, the Roman Catholic supported clerical movement, the Ultramontanes, came to power in the Bavarian parliament and began a campaign of change to the constitution, which removed civil rights that had earlier been granted to Protestants, as well as enforcing censorship and forbidding the free discussion of internal politics. On 14 August 1838 the King dictated against considerable odds with the "squat adopting" the military back a squat in front of the Blessed Sacrament at Corpus Christi processions and church services. This squat had been the practice until 1803 in what was still almost purely Catholic Bavaria, but was then removed with the inclusion of large Protestant areas. The Catholic harassments during the funeral of the Protestant Queen Caroline of Baden in 1841 caused a scandal. This treatment of his beloved stepmother permanently softened the attitude of Caroline's stepson Ludwig I, who up until that time had been a strong opponent of Protestantism in spite of his marriage to the Protestant princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The Ultramontanes regime only ended due to their demands against the naturalization of Ludwig I's Irish-born mistress Eliza Gilbert (better known by her stage name Lola Montez). Ludwig resented this move and the Ultramontanes under Karl von Abel were pushed out.

Already in 1844 Ludwig was confronted with the Beer riots in Bavaria. During the revolutions of 1848 the king faced increasing protests and demonstrations by the students and the middle classes. The King had ordered to close the university in February and on 4 March a large crowd assaulted the Armory to storm the Munich Residenz.

 
 
Ludwig's brother Prince Karl managed to appease the protesters, but now the royal family and the Cabinet turned against Ludwig. He had to sign the so-called "March Proclamation" with substantial concessions. On 16 March 1848 it was followed by renewed unrest because Lola Montez had returned to Munich after a short exile. Ludwig had to let her be searched by the police on 17 March, which was the worst humiliation for him. Not willing to rule as a constitutional monarch, Ludwig abdicated on 20 March 1848 in favour of his eldest son, Maximilian.

Ludwig lived for another twenty years as abdicated monarch and was still influential, especially as he continued several of his cultural projects. He died at Nice in 1868, and was buried in St. Boniface's Abbey, Munich he had ordered to be built.

 
 
Cultural legacy
As admirer of ancient Greece and the Italian renaissance Ludwig patronized the arts as principal of many neoclassical buildings, especially in Munich, and as fanatic collector. Among others he had built were the Walhalla temple, the Befreiungshalle, the Villa Ludwigshöhe, the Pompejanum, the Ludwigstrasse, the Bavaria statue, the Ruhmeshalle, the Glyptothek, the Old and the New Pinakothek.
His architects Leo von Klenze and Friedrich von Gärtner also strongly influenced the cityscape of modern Athens.

Already as crown prince Ludwig collected especially Early German and Early Dutch paintings, masterpieces of the Italian renaissance, and contemporary art for his museums and galleries.

He also placed special emphasis on collecting Greek and Roman sculpture. Through his agents, he managed to acquire such pieces as the Medusa Rondanini, the Barberini Faun, and, in 1813, the figures from the Temple of Aphaea on Aegina.

  One of his most famous conceptions is the celebrated "Schönheitengalerie" (Gallery of Beauties), in the south pavilion of his Nymphenburg Palace in Munich. A collection of 36 portraits of the beautiful women painted between 1827 and 1850 mostly by Joseph Karl Stieler.

Also after his abdication, Ludwig remained an important and lavish sponsor for the arts. This caused several conflicts with his son and successor Maximilian. Finally Ludwig financed his projects from his own resources.

Because of King Ludwig's philhellenism, the German name for Bavaria today is spelled "Bayern" instead of "Baiern," while the language spoken there has retained its original spelling "Bairisch"—note the I versus the Greek derived Y.

Ludwig was an eccentric and notoriously bad poet. He would write about anything, no matter how trivial, with strings of rhyming couplets. For this the king was teased by Heinrich Heine who wrote several mockery poems in Ludwig's style. Ironically Ludwig's Walhalla temple added Heine's bust to its collection in 2009.

 
 
Private life and issue
In private life Ludwig was, in spite of his royal assertiveness, modest and companionable and was even known for his often shabby attire. Ludwig was hard of hearing and had a birthmark on his forehead which was often concealed in portraits.

Ludwig had several extramarital affairs and was one of the lovers of Lady Jane Digby, an aristocratic English adventuress. Another affair was the Italian noblewoman Marianna Marquesa Florenzi. Ludwig also became tainted with scandals associated with Lola Montez, another of his mistresses. It seems likely that his relationship with her contributed greatly to the fall from grace of the previously popular king.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 

 
Jane Elizabeth Digby, Lady Ellenborough (3 April 1807 – 11 August 1881) was an English aristocrat who lived a scandalous life of romantic adventure, spanning decades and two continents. She had four husbands and many lovers, including King Ludwig I of Bavaria, his son King Otto of Greece, statesman Felix Schwarzenberg, and a Greek brigand general (Christodoulos Hatzipetros).
She died in Damascus, Syria as the wife of Arab Sheikh Medjuel el Mezrab, who was 20 years her junior.
  Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, Countess of Landsfeld (17 February 1821 – 17 January 1861), better known by the stage name Lola Montez, was an Irish dancer and actress who became famous as a "Spanish dancer", courtesan, mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who made her Countess of Landsfeld. She used her influence to institute liberal reforms. At the start of the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, she was forced to flee. She proceeded to the United States via Switzerland, France and London, returning to her work as an entertainer and lecturer.
 
 
 
1825
 
 
Czar Alexander I of Russia d.; succeeded by Nicholas I
 
 

Death of Alexander.
Alexander I  Palace in Taganrog, December 1 [O.S. November 19] 1825.
 
 
 
Nicholas I
 

Nicholas I, Russian in full Nikolay Pavlovich (born July 6 [June 25, Old Style], 1796, Tsarskoye Selo [now Pushkin], near St. Petersburg, Russia—died March 2 [Feb. 18, O.S.], 1855, St. Petersburg), Russian emperor (1825–55), often considered the personification of classic autocracy; for his reactionary policies, he has been called the emperor who froze Russia for 30 years.

 
Early life
Nicholas was the son of Grand Duke Paul and Grand Duchess Maria. Some three and a half months after his birth, following the death of Catherine II the Great, Nicholas’ father became Emperor Paul I of Russia. Nicholas had three brothers, two of whom, the future emperor Alexander I and Constantine, were 19 and 17 years older than he. It was the third, Michael, his junior by two years, and a sister, Anne, who became his childhood companions and intimate lifelong friends.

Paul was extremely neurotic, overbearing, and despotic. Yet it is believed that he showed kindness and consideration to his younger children and that, in fact, he loved and cherished them tenderly. He was killed in a palace revolution of 1801, which made Alexander emperor when Nicholas was not quite five years old. Maria, on the contrary, remained formal and cold in her relationship to the children, very much in keeping with her general character. She belonged, apparently, among those human beings who combine numerous conventional virtues with a certain rigidity and lack of warmth. In the words of a competent observer: “The only failing of this extraordinary woman was her being excessively, one may say, exacting of her children and of the people dependent on her.”

 
 

Emperor Nicholas I. Portrait by Franz Krüger
  Education
The future emperor’s first guardian and instructor was a Scottish nurse, Jane Lyon, who was appointed by Catherine II to care for the infant and who stayed with Nicholas constantly during the first seven years of his life. From Lyon the young grand duke learned even such things as the Russian alphabet, his first Russian prayers, and his hatred of the Poles (at least he liked later to trace the origin of his bitter antipathy toward that people to the stories told by his nurse about her painful experience in Warsaw in the turbulent year of 1794).

In 1802–03 men replaced women in Nicholas’ entourage, and his regular education began. As directed by Gen. Matthew Lamsdorff, it emphasized severe discipline and formalism. The growing grand duke studied French and German as well as Russian, world history, and general geography in French, together with the history and geography of Russia. Religion, drawing, arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and physics were added to the curriculum. Nicholas received instruction also in dancing, music, singing, and horseback riding and was introduced at an early age to the theatre, costume balls, and other court entertainment.

A more advanced curriculum went into effect in 1809, with courses ranging from political economy, logic, moral philosophy, and natural law to strategy. English, Latin, and Greek were added to the language program.

 
 
Though, on the whole, a belief that Nicholas had not been trained for his role of Russian sovereign is wrong, he did profit little from the instruction, which he found rigid and tedious. He loved only military science, becoming a fine army engineer and expert in several other areas of military knowledge. Moreover, he always remained in his heart a dedicated junior officer.
 
 
Circumstances also favoured militarism. Nicholas’ education, as well as that of his younger brother, was interrupted and largely terminated by the great struggles against Napoleon in 1812–15. The grand dukes were allowed to join the army in 1814, and, although they saw no actual fighting, they lived through the heady emotions of those momentous years and also enjoyed the opportunities to stay in Paris and other places in western and central Europe. On Nov. 4, 1815, at a state dinner in Berlin, Alexander I and King Frederick William III rose to announce the engagement of Nicholas and Princess Charlotte of Prussia (Alexandra, after she became Orthodox).

The solemn wedding followed some 20 months later, on July 13, 1817. The match represented a dynastic and political arrangement sought by both reigning houses, which had stood together in the decisive years against Napoleon and after that at the Congress of Vienna—the peace settlement following the Napoleonic Wars—and it proved singularly successful. Not only was Nicholas in love with his wife, but he became very closely attached to his father-in-law as well as to his royal brothers, one of whom was later to be his fellow ruler as King Frederick William IV. Beyond that, Nicholas was powerfully attracted by the Prussian court and even more so by the Prussian Army. He felt remarkably happy and at home in his adopted family and country, which for many years he tried to visit as often as he could.
  To complete his training, Grand Duke Nicholas was sent on two educational voyages—an extensive tour of Russia that lasted from May to September in 1816 and a journey to England, where the future emperor spent four months late that same year and early in 1817.

The Russian trip covered much ground at great speed and was quite superficial, but it has interest for the historian because of the notes that Nicholas, following the instructions of his mother, took on everything seen and heard. The grand duke’s observations deal, typically, with appearances rather than with causes and reflect a number of his prejudices, including his bitter dislike of Poles and Jews. Such quick inspection tours later became almost an obsession of the Emperor.

In England, Nicholas stayed mostly in London, although he travelled to a score of other places. While he did attend the opening of the houses of Parliament and in general obtained some knowledge of English politics, his only recorded comments on that score were unfavourable. The future emperor found it much more congenial to examine military and naval centres. His favourite English companion was the Duke of Wellington.

Less than a year after his return to Russia and a few months after his marriage, Nicholas was appointed inspector general of the army corps of engineers. In subsequent years he held several other military positions but of secondary significance.

 
 

Nicholas I
  Ascension to the throne
Alexander I’s unexpected death in southern Russia on Dec. 1, 1825, led to a dynastic crisis. Because Alexander I had no direct male successor, Constantine was next in line for the throne. But the heir presumptive had married a Polish woman not of royal blood in 1820 and renounced his rights to the crown. Nicholas was thus to become the next ruler of Russia, the entire matter being stated, in 1822, in a manifesto confirmed with Alexander I’s signature. But the manifesto remained unpublished, and Nicholas questioned the legal handling of the whole issue and the reaction in the country, which expected Constantine to succeed Alexander.

In any case, Constantine and the Polish kingdom of which he was commander in chief swore allegiance to Nicholas, but Nicholas, the Russian capital, and the Russian Army swore allegiance to Constantine.

It was only after Constantine’s unyielding reaffirmation of his position and the resulting lapse of time that Nicholas decided to publish Alexander’s manifesto and become emperor of Russia. On Dec. 26, 1825 (Dec. 14, O.S.), when the guard regiments in St. Petersburg were to swear allegiance for the second time in rapid succession, this time to Nicholas, liberal conspirators staged what came to be known as the Decembrist Rebellion.

Utilizing their influence in the army, in which many of them were officers, they started a mutiny in several units, which they entreated to defend the rightful interests of Constantine against his usurping brother.

 
 
Altogether some 3,000 misled rebels marched in military formation to the Senate Square—now the Decembrist Square—in the heart of the capital. Although the rebellion had failed by nightfall, it meant that Nicholas I ascended the throne over the bodies of some of his subjects and in actual combat with the dreaded revolution.
 
 

Decembrist, Russian Dekabrist, any of the Russian revolutionaries who led an unsuccessful uprising on Dec. 14 (Dec. 26, New Style), 1825, and through their martyrdom provided a source of inspiration to succeeding generations of Russian dissidents. The Decembrists were primarily members of the upper classes who had military backgrounds; some had participated in the Russian occupation of France after the Napoleonic Wars or served elsewhere in western Europe; a few had been Freemasons, and some were members of the secret patriotic (and, later, revolutionary) societies in Russia—the Union of Salvation (1816), the Union of Welfare (1818), the Northern Society (1821), and the Southern Society (1821).

The Northern Society, taking advantage of the brief but confusing interregnum following the death of Tsar Alexander I, staged an uprising, convincing some of the troops in St. Petersburg to refuse to take a loyalty oath to Nicholas I and to demand instead the accession of his brother Constantine. The rebellion, however, was poorly organized and easily suppressed; Colonel Prince Sergey Trubetskoy, who was to be the provisional dictator, fled immediately.

Another insurrection by the Chernigov regiment in the south was also quickly defeated. An extensive investigation in which Nicholas personally participated ensued; it resulted in the trial of 289 Decembrists, the execution of 5 of them (Pavel Pestel, Sergey Muravyov-Apostol, Pyotr Kakhovsky, Mikhail Bestuzhev-Ryumin, and Kondraty Ryleyev), the imprisonment of 31, and the banishment of the rest to Siberia.

 
 
Personality
Nicholas I has come down in history as the classic autocrat, in appearance and manner as much as in behaviour and policy. To quote Andrew Dickson White, a United States diplomat:

With his height of more than six feet, his head always held high, a slightly aquiline nose, a firm and well-formed mouth under a light moustache, a square chin, an imposing, domineering, set face, noble rather than tender, monumental rather than human, he had something of Apollo and of Jupiter . . . Nicholas was unquestionably the most handsome man in Europe.

Or to refer to Adolphe, marquis de Custine, whose lasting literary fame rests on his denunciation of the Russia of Nicholas I: “Virgil’s Neptune . . . one could not be more emperor than he.” In short, Nicholas I came to represent autocracy personified: infinitely majestic, determined and powerful, hard as stone, and relentless as fate. Yet, on closer acquaintance, the other side of the Emperor emerged. The detachment and the superior calm of an autocrat, which Nicholas I tried so often and so hard to display, were essentially a false front. The sovereign’s insistence on firmness and stern action was based on fear, not on confidence; his determination concealed a state approaching panic, and his courage fed on something akin to despair. Nicholas’ violent hatred could concentrate apparently with equal ease on an individual, such as the French king Louis-Philippe; a group, such as the Decembrists; a people, such as the Poles; or a concept, such as revolution. His impulse was always to strike and keep striking until the object of his wrath was destroyed.

Aggressiveness, however, was not the Emperor’s only method of coping with the problems of life. He also used regimentation, orderliness, neatness, and precision, an enormous effort to have everything at all times in its proper place. Nicholas I was by nature a drill master and an inspector general; the army remained his love, almost an obsession, from childhood to the end of his life.
But, in every other sphere of activity and existence too, the Emperor insisted on minute and precise regulation, with nothing to be left to chance. Position, circumstances, and his own character placed an almost intolerable burden on his shoulders. Still, he managed to carry it for three decades, sustained by his overwhelming sense of duty and devotion to hard work, by his sincere religious convictions, and by his family. His outlook, however, became ever more pessimistic and fatalistic, until in the disaster of the Crimean War the autocrat declared simply: “I shall carry my cross until all my strength is gone.” “Thy will be done.”

  Ideology
Nicholas’ views fitted his personality to perfection. In contrast to Alexander I, he had been brought up at the time of wars against Napoleon and of reaction, which he accepted wholeheartedly as his own cause. Eventually the Russian wing of European reaction, represented by Nicholas I and his government, found its ideological expression in the doctrine of so-called Official Nationality.

Formally proclaimed in 1833 by Count Sergey Uvarov, the Emperor’s minister of education, Official Nationality rested on three principles: Orthodoxy, autocracy, and nationality. Autocracy meant the affirmation and maintenance of the absolute power of the sovereign, which was considered the indispensable foundation of the Russian state; in foreign relations it was transformed into legitimism and a defense of the Vienna settlement. Orthodoxy referred to the official church and its important role in Russia and also to the ultimate source of ethics and ideals that gave meaning to human life and society. Nationality (narodnost) described the particular nature of the Russian people, considered as a mighty and dedicated supporter of its dynasty and government. Whereas Alexander I had never quite abandoned dreams of change, Nicholas I was determined to defend the existing order in his motherland, especially autocracy.

Reign
Nicholas I’s rule reflected in a striking manner both his character and his principles. The new regime became preeminently one of militarism and bureaucracy. The Emperor surrounded himself with military men, to the extent that late in his reign there were almost no civilians among his immediate assistants. Also, he relied heavily on special emissaries, most of them generals of his suite, who were sent all over Russia on particular assignments to execute immediately the will of the sovereign. Operating outside the regular administrative system, they represented an extension, so to speak, of the monarch’s own person. In fact, the entire machinery of government came to be permeated by the military spirit of direct orders, absolute obedience, and precision, at least as far as official reports and appearances were concerned. Corruption and confusion, however, lay immediately behind this facade of discipline and smooth functioning.

In his conduct of state affairs, Nicholas I often bypassed regular channels and generally resented formal deliberation, consultation, or other procedural delay. The importance of the Committee of Ministers, the State Council, and the Senate decreased in the course of his reign. Instead of making full use of them, the Emperor depended more and more on special bureaucratic devices meant to carry out his intentions promptly while remaining under his immediate and complete control.

 
 

Chernecov G._Parad na Car Lug
 
 
As one favourite method, Nicholas I made extensive use of ad hoc committees that stood outside the usual state machinery. The committees were typically composed of a handful of the most trusted assistants of the Emperor; because these were few in number, the same men in different combinations formed these committees throughout Nicholas’ reign. As a rule, the committees carried on their work in secret, adding further complication and confusion to the already cumbersome administration of the empire. The failure of one committee to perform its task merely led to the formation of another. For example, some nine committees tried to deal with the issue of serfdom during Nicholas’ reign.

The propensities of the autocrat found expression also in the development and the new role of His Majesty’s Own Chancery. Organized originally as a bureau to deal with matters that demanded the sovereign’s personal participation and to supervise the execution of the Emperor’s orders, it acquired five new departments: in 1826 the Second and the Third, to deal with the codification of law and the newly created corps of gendarmes, respectively; in 1828 the Fourth, to manage the charitable and educational institutions under the jurisdiction of the empress dowager Maria; in 1836 the Fifth, to reform the condition of the state peasants (soon replaced by the new Ministry of State Domains); in 1843 the Sixth, to draw an administrative plan for Transcaucasia.
 
 

Nicholas I 1843
  The departments of the Chancery served Nicholas I as a major means of conducting a personal policy that bypassed the regular state channels. Its Third Department, the political police, acted as the autocrat’s main weapon against subversion and revolution and as his principal agency for controlling the behaviour of his subjects and for distributing punishments and rewards among them. Its assigned fields of activity ranged from “all orders and all reports in every case belonging to the higher police” to “reports about all occurrences without exception!” The two successive heads of the Third Department—Count Aleksandr Benckendorff and Prince Aleksey Orlov—probably spent more time with Nicholas than did any of his other assistants; they accompanied him, for instance, on his repeated trips of inspection throughout Russia. During his entire reign the Emperor strove to follow the principle of autocracy—to be a true father of his people concerned with their daily lives, hopes, and fears. Yet Nicholas I could do little for them beyond the minutiae. Determined to preserve autocracy, afraid to abolish serfdom, and suspicious of all independent initiative and popular participation, the Emperor and his government could not introduce in their country the much-needed basic reforms. In practice as well as in theory they looked backward. Important developments took place only in a few areas in which change would not threaten the fundamental structure of the Russian Empire. Thus Count Mikhail Speransky codified law, and Count Pavel Kiselev changed and improved the lot of the state peasants; but even limited reforms became impossible after 1848.
     
 
Final years
Frightened by European revolutions, Nicholas I became completely reactionary. During the last years of the reign the Emperor’s once successful foreign policy collapsed, leading to isolation and to the tragedy of the Crimean War. A dauntless champion of legitimism and a virtual hegemony of eastern and central Europe following the revolutions of 1848–49, Nicholas—in part because of his own miscalculations, rigidity, and bluntness—found himself alone fighting the Crescent (the Ottoman Empire), supported by such countries of the Cross as France, Great Britain, and Sardinia.

Although it is unlikely that Nicholas committed suicide, as several historians have claimed, death did come as liberation to the weary and harassed Russian emperor. An ordinary cold picked up in late February 1855 turned into pneumonia, which the once mighty, but now apparently exhausted, organism refused to fight. To the end the autocrat retained lucidity and dignity. His last words to his heir and his family were: “Now I shall ascend to pray for Russia and for you. After Russia, I loved you above everything else in the world. Serve Russia.” Nicholas I was survived by his wife, Empress Alexandra, and their six children: Emperor Alexander II, the grand dukes Constantine, Nicholas, and Michael, and the grand duchesses Maria and Olga. Another daughter, Grand Duchess Alexandra, had died in 1844.

Nicholas V. Riasanovsky

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1825
 
 
Decembrist revolt in Russia
 

The Decembrist revolt or the Decembrist uprising (Russian: Восстание декабристов, translit: Vosstanie dekabristov) took place in Imperial Russia on 26 December [O.S. 14 December] 1825. Russian army officers led about 3,000 soldiers in a protest against Nicholas I's assumption of the throne after his elder brother Constantine removed himself from the line of succession. Because these events occurred in December, the rebels were called the Decembrists (Dekabristy, Russian: Декабристы). This uprising, which was suppressed by Nicholas I, took place in the Senate Square in Saint Petersburg. In 1925, to mark the centenary of the event, the square was renamed as Decembrist Square, but in 2008 it reverted to its original name.

 
The Union of Salvation
In 1816, several officers of the Imperial Russian Guard founded a society known as the Union of Salvation, or of the Faithful and True Sons of the Motherland. The society acquired a more Liberal cast after it was joined by the idealistic Pavel Pestel. After a mutiny in the Semenovsky Regiment in 1820, the society decided to suspend activity in 1821. Two groups, however, continued to function secretly: a Southern Society, based at Tulchin, a small garrison town in Ukraine, in which Pestel was the outstanding figure, and a Northern Society, based at St Petersburg, led by Guard officers Nikita Muraviev, Prince S. P. Trubetskoy and Prince Eugene Obolensky. The political aims of the more moderate Northern Society were a British style constitutional monarchy with a limited franchise, the abolition of serfdom and equality before the law. The Southern Society, under Pestel's influence, was more radical and wanted to abolish the monarchy, establish a republic and redistribute land: taking half into state ownership and dividing the rest among the peasants.

At first, many officers were encouraged by Tsar Alexander's early liberal reformation of Russian society and politics. In 1819 Speransky was appointed as the Governor of Siberia, with the task of reforming local government. Equally, in 1818 the Tsar asked Novosiltsev to draw up a constitution. However, internal and external unrest, which the Tsar believed stemmed from political liberalisation, led to a series of repressions and a return to a former government of restriction and conservatism.

Meanwhile, spurred by their experiences of the Napoleonic Wars, and realising many of the harsh indignities through which the peasant soldiers were forced, Decembrist officers and sympathisers displayed their contempt for the ancien régime by rejecting court lifestyle, wearing their cavalry swords at balls (indicating their unwillingness to dance), and committing themselves to academic study. This new lifestyle captured the spirit of the times, as a willingness to embrace both the peasant (i.e., the 'Russian way of life') and ongoing reformative movements abroad.

The motivations for the reformist movement are outlined, in part, by Pavel Pestel:

“ The desirability of granting freedom to the serfs was considered from the very beginning; for that purpose a majority of the nobility was to be invited in order to petition the Emperor about it. This was later thought of on many occasions, but we soon came to realize that the nobility could not be persuaded. And as time went on we became even more convinced, when the Ukrainian nobility absolutely rejected a similar project of their military governor.”

  At the Senate Square
When Tsar Alexander I died on 1 December [O.S. 19 November] 1825, the royal guards swore allegiance to the presumed heir, Alexander's brother Constantine. When Constantine made his renunciation public, and Nicholas stepped forward to assume the throne, the Northern Society acted. With the capital in temporary confusion, and one oath to Constantine having already been sworn, the society scrambled in secret meetings to convince regimental leaders not to swear allegiance to Nicholas. These efforts would culminate in the Decembrist Revolt. The leaders of the society (many of whom belonged to the high aristocracy) elected Prince Sergei Trubetskoy as interim dictator.

On the morning of 26 December [O.S. 14 December], a group of officers commanding about 3,000 men assembled in Senate Square, where they refused to swear allegiance to the new tsar, Nicholas I, proclaiming instead their loyalty to Constantine and the Constitution. They expected to be joined by the rest of the troops stationed in Saint Petersburg, but they were disappointed. The revolt was further hampered when it was deserted by its supposed leader Prince Trubetskoy, who had a last minute change of heart, and failed to turn up at the Square. His second in command, Colonel Bulatov also vanished from the scene. After a hurried consultation the rebels appointed Prince Eugene Obolensky as a replacement leader.

For long hours there was a stand-off between the 3,000 rebels and the 9,000 loyal troops stationed outside the Senate building, with some desultory shooting from the rebel side. A vast crowd of civilian on-lookers began fraternizing with the rebels, but did not join the action. Eventually Nicholas, the new Tsar, appeared in person, at the square, and sent Count Mikhail Miloradovich, a military hero who was greatly respected by ordinary soldiers, to parley with the rebels. Miloradovich was fatally shot by Pyotr Kakhovsky while delivering a public address to defuse the situation. At the same time, a rebelling grenadier squad, led by lieutenant Nikolay Panov, entered the Winter Palace but failed to seize it and retreated.

After spending most of the day in fruitless attempts to parley with the rebel force, Nicholas ordered a cavalry charge which, however, slipped on the icy cobbles and retired in disorder. Eventually, at the end of the day, Nicholas ordered three artillery pieces to open fire, with devastating effect. To avoid the slaughter the rebels broke and ran. Some attempted to regroup on the frozen surface of the river Neva, to the north. However, here, also, they were targeted by the artillery and suffered many casualties.
As the ice was broken by the cannon fire, many of the dead and dying were cast into the river. After a nighttime mopping-up operation by loyal army and police units, the revolt in the north came to an end.

 
 

Decembrists at the Senate Square
 
 
Arrests and trial
While the Northern Society scrambled in the days leading up to the revolt, the Southern Society (based in Tulchin) took a serious blow. The day before (25 December [O.S. 13 December]), acting on reports of treason, the police arrested Pavel Pestel. It took two weeks for the Southern Society to learn of the events in the capital. Meanwhile, other members of the leadership were arrested.

The Southern Society, and a nationalistic group called the United Slavs discussed revolt. When learning of the location of some of the arrested men, the United Slavs freed them by force. One of the freed men, Sergey Muravyov-Apostol, assumed leadership of the revolt. After converting the soldiers of Vasilkov to the cause, Muraviev-Apostol easily captured the city. The rebelling army was soon confronted by superior forces armed with artillery loaded with grapeshot, and with orders to destroy the rebels.

On 15 January [O.S. 3 January] 1826, the rebels met defeat and the surviving leaders were sent to Saint Petersburg to stand trial with the northern leaders. The Decembrists were taken to the Winter Palace to be interrogated, tried, and convicted. The shooter Kakhovsky was executed by hanging, together with four other leading Decembrists: Pavel Pestel; the poet Kondraty Ryleyev; Sergey Muravyov-Apostol; and Mikhail Bestuzhev-Ryumin. Other Decembrists were exiled to Siberia, Kazakhstan, and the Far East.

When the five Decembrists were hanged something unusual happened. The ropes that were being used to hang them parted before any of them actually died. This caused a sigh of relief in the crowd because, according to a centuries-old tradition, any condemned prisoner who survived a botched execution would be set free. Nevertheless, rather than free these prisoners, Nicholas ordered new ropes and the prisoners were hanged again. This was the last public execution in Russian imperial history.

Suspicion also fell on several eminent persons who were on friendly terms with the Decembrist leaders and could have been aware of their clandestine organizations, notably Alexander Pushkin, Aleksander Griboyedov, and Aleksey Yermolov. Wives of many Decembrists followed their husbands into exile. The expression Decembrist wife is a Russian symbol of the devotion of a wife to her husband. Maria Volkonsky, the wife of the Decembrist leader Sergei Volkonsky, notably followed her husband to his exile in Irkutsk.

Despite the spartan conditions of this banishment, Sergei Volkonsky and his wife, Maria, took opportunities to celebrate the liberalising mode of their exile. Sergei took to wearing an untrimmed beard (rejecting Peter the Great's reforms and salon fashion), wearing peasant dress and socialising with many of his peasant associates with whom he worked the land at his farm in Urik. Maria, equally, established schools, a foundling hospital and a theater for the local population. Sergei returned after thirty years of his exile had elapsed, though his titles and land remained under royal possession.

Other exiles preferred to remain in Siberia after their sentences were served, preferring its relative freedom to the stifling intrigues of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and after years of exile there was not much for them to return to. Many Decembrists throve in exile, in time becoming landowners and farmers.
In later years, they would become idols of the populist movement of the 1860s and the 1870s, as the Decembrists' advocacy of reform (including the abolition of serfdom) won them many admirers, the writer Leo Tolstoy among them.

  Decembrists in Siberia
On 25 July [O.S. 13 July] 1826, the first party of Decembrist convicts began its exodus to Siberia. Among this group, were Prince Trubetskoi, Prince Obolensky, Peter and Andrei Borisov, Prince Volkonsky, and Artamon Muraviev, all of them bound for the mines at Nerchinsk. The journey eastward was fraught with hardship, yet for many, it offered refreshing changes in scenery and peoples, following imprisonment. Decembrist Nikolay Vasil’yevich Basargin was unwell when he set out from St. Petersburg, but he recovered his strength on the move; his memoirs depict the journey to Siberia in a cheerful light, full of praise for the “common people” and commanding landscapes.

Not all Decembrists could identify with Basargin’s positive experience. Because of their lower social standing, “soldier-Decembrists” experienced the Emperor’s vengeance in full. Sentenced by court martial, many of these “commoners” received thousands of lashes. Those that survived journeyed to Siberia on foot, chained alongside common criminals.

Fifteen out of 124 Decembrists were convicted of “state-crimes” by the Supreme Criminal Court, and sentenced to “exile-to-settlement.” These men were sent directly to isolated locales, such as Berezov, Narym, Surgut, Pelym, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, and Viliuisk, among others. Few Russians inhabited these places: the populations consisted mainly of Siberian aborigines, Tunguses, Yakuts, Tartars, Ostiaks, Mongols, and Buriats.

Of all those exiled, the largest group of prisoners was sent to Chita, to be transferred three years later to Petrovsky Zavod, near Nerchinsk. This group, sentenced to hard labor, included principal leaders of the Decembrist movement, as well as Polish revolutionaries. Siberian Governor-General Lavinsky argued that it would be easiest to control a large, concentrated group of convicts, and Emperor Nicholas I pursued this policy in order to maximize surveillance and to limit revolutionaries’ contact with local populations. Concentration facilitated the guarding of prisoners, but it also allowed the Decembrists to continue to exist as a community. This was especially true at Chita. The move to Petrovsky Zavod, however, forced Decembrists to divide into smaller groups; the new location was compartmentalized, with an oppressive sense of order. Convicts could no longer congregate casually. Although nothing could destroy the Decembrists’ conception of fraternity, Petrovsky Zavod forced them to live more private lives. Due to a number of imperial sentence reductions, exiles started to complete their labor terms years ahead of schedule. The labor itself was of minimal travail; Stanislav Leparsky, commandant of Petrovsky Zavod, failed to enforce Decembrists’ original labor sentences, and criminal convicts carried out much of the work in place of the revolutionaries. Most Decembrists left Petrovsky Zavod between 1835 and 1837, settling in or near Irkutsk, Minusinsk, Kurgan, Tobol’sk, Turinsk, and Yalutorovsk. Those Decembrists who had already lived in or visited Siberia, such as Dimitri Zavalishin, prospered upon leaving Petrovsky Zavod’s confines, but most found it physically arduous and more psychologically enervating than prison life.

The Siberian population met the Decembrists with great hospitality. Natives played central roles in keeping lines of communication open among Decembrists, friends, and relatives. Most merchants and state employees were also sympathetic. To the masses, the Decembrist exiles were “generals who had refused to take the oath to Nicholas I.” They were great figures that had suffered political persecution for their loyalty to the people. On the whole, indigenous Siberian populations greatly respected the Decembrists, and were extremely hospitable in their reception of them.

 
 
Upon arrival at places of settlement, exiles had to comply with extensive regulations under a strict governmental regime. Local police watched, regulated, and notated every move that Decembrists attempted to make. Dimitri Zavalishin was thrown into prison for failing to remove his hat before a lieutenant. Not only were political and social activities carefully monitored and prevented, there was also interference regarding religious convictions. Local clergy accused Prince Shakhovskoi of “heresy”, due to his interest in natural sciences. Authorities investigated and restrained other Decembrists for not attending church. The regime thoroughly censored all correspondences, especially communication with relatives. Messages were scrupulously reviewed by both officials in Siberia and the Third Division of the political intelligence service at St. Petersburg. This screening process necessitated dry, careful wording on the part of Decembrists. In the words of Bestuzhev, correspondence bore a “lifeless…imprint of officiality.” Under the settlement regime, allowances were extremely meager. Certain Decembrists, including the Volkonskys, the Murav’yovs, and the Trubetskoys, were rich, but the majority of exiles had no money, and were forced to live off a mere fifteen desyatins of land, the allotment granted to each settler. Decembrists, with little to no knowledge of the land, attempted to eke out a living on wretched soil with next to no equipment. Financial aid from relatives and wealthier comrades saved many; others perished.

Despite extensive restrictions, limitations, and hardships, Decembrists believed that they could improve their situation through personal initiative. A constant stream of petitions came out of Petrovsky Zavod addressed to General Leparskii and Emperor Nicholas I.
 
 
Most of the petitions were written by Decembrists’ wives who had nobly cast aside social privileges and comfort to follow their husbands into exile. These wives joined under the leadership of Princess Mariia Volkonskaia, and by 1832, through relentless petitions, managed to secure for their men formal cancellation of labor requirements, and several privileges, including the right of husbands to live with their wives in privacy. Decembrists managed to gain transfers and allowances through persuasive petitions as well as through the intervention of family members. This process of petitioning, and the resultant concessions made by the tsar and officials, was and would continue to be a standard practice of political exiles in Siberia. The chain of bureaucratic procedures and orders linking St. Petersburg to Siberian administration was often circumvented or ignored. These breaks in bureaucracy afforded exiles a small capacity for betterment and activism.

During their time in exile, the Decembrists fundamentally influenced Siberian life. Their presence was most definitely felt culturally and economically, political activity being so far removed from the “pulse of national life” so as to be negligible. While in Petrovsky Zavod, Decembrists taught each other foreign languages, arts and crafts, and musical instruments. They established “academies” made up of libraries, schools, and symposia. In their settlements, Decembrists were fierce advocates of education, and founded many schools for natives, the first of which opened at Nerchinsk. Schools were also founded for women, and soon exceeded capacity. Decembrists contributed greatly to the field of agriculture, introducing previously unknown crops such as vegetables, tobacco, rye, buckwheat, and barley, and advanced agricultural methods such as hothouse cultivation. Trained doctors among the political exiles promoted and organized medical aid. The homes of prominent exiles like Prince Sergei Volkonsky and Prince Sergei Trubetskoi became social centers of their locales. All throughout Siberia, the Decembrists sparked an intellectual awakening: literary writings, propaganda, newspapers, and books from European Russia began to circulate the eastern provinces, the local population developing a capacity for critical political observation. The Decembrists even held a certain influence within Siberian administration; Dimitry Zavalishin played a critical role in developing and advocating Russian Far East policy. .

 
Inscription on the monument to the Decembrists at the execution site in Saint Petersburg.

The text reads: На этом месте, 13/25 Июля 1826, года были казнены Декабристы П. Пестель, К. Рылеев, П. Каховский, С. Муравьев-Апостол, М. Bестужев-Рюмин.

(English: "At this place, 13/25 July 1826, were executed the Decembrists P. Pestel, K. Ryleyev, P. Kakhovsky, S. Muravyov-Apostol and M. Bestuzhev-Ryumin")
 
 
Although the Decembrists lived in isolation, their scholarly activities encompassed Siberia at large, including its culture, economy, administration, population, geography, botany, and ecology. Despite restricted circumstances, the Decembrists accomplished an extraordinary amount, and their work was deeply appreciated by Siberians.

On August 26, 1856, with the ascent of Alexander II to the throne, the Decembrists received amnesty, their rights, privileges, and titles restored. Not all chose to return to the West, however. Some were financially inhibited, others had no family to return to, and many were weak with old age. To many, Siberia had become home. Those that did return to European Russia did so with enthusiasm for the enforcement of the Emancipation Reforms of 1861.

The exile of the Decembrists led to the permanent implantation of an intelligentsia in Siberia. For the first time, a cultural, intellectual, and political elite came to Siberian society as permanent residents; they integrated with the country and participated alongside natives in its development. The customary practices of elites in Siberia were oppression and extortion. The Decembrists were a phenomenon in that they earned the trust and respect of local peoples through their sympathy and good deeds. They were entirely approachable. Through constant, open communication with natives, they saw Siberia in its true light. The Decembrists’ presence left definite traces that would prove positive in a material sense, as well as a cultural and moral one. They overcame extreme want, administrative tyranny, and hardship, and educated not just themselves, but an entire generation. In exile, the Decembrists remained a positive force of progress

 
 

Decembrist Revolt, a painting by Vasily Timm
 
 
Assessment
With the failure of the Decembrists, Russia’s autocracy would continue for almost a century, although serfdom would be officially abolished in 1861. Though defeated, the Decembrists did effect some change on the regime. Their dissatisfaction forced Nicholas to turn his attention inward to address the issues of the empire. In 1826, a rehabilitated Speransky began the task of codifying Russian law, a task that continued throughout Nicholas's reign. Anecdotally, after being defeated in the Crimean War, Nicholas is said to have lamented that his own entourage had treated him worse than the Decembrists ever had.
Although the revolt was a proscribed topic during Nicholas’ reign, Alexander Herzen placed the profiles of executed Decembrists on the cover of his radical periodical Polar Star.
Alexander Pushkin addressed poems to his Decembrist friends, Nikolai Nekrasov wrote a long poem about the Decembrist wives, and Leo Tolstoy started writing a novel on that liberal movement, which would later evolve into War and Peace.
  In the Soviet era Yuri Shaporin produced an opera entitled Dekabristi (The Decembrists), about the revolt, with the libretto written by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy. It premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre on 23 June 1953.

To some extent, the Decembrists were in the tradition of a long line of palace revolutionaries who wanted to place their candidate on the throne, but because the Decembrists also wanted to implement classical liberalism, their revolt has been considered the beginning of a revolutionary movement.

The uprising was the first open breach between the government and reformist elements of the Russian nobility, which would subsequently widen.

The Decembrists were the first in a long line of revolutionary martyrs for Russia. They, among other factors, served as one of the inspirations for the February and October 1917 Revolutions in Russia.

 
 

Alexander Pushkin's manuscript depicting the hanged Decembrists.
 
 
"Constantine and Constitution" anecdote
There's a historical anecdote that soldiers in Saint Petersburg were said to chant "Constantine and Constitution", but when questioned, many of them professed to believe that "Constitution" (Russian konstitutsiya) was Constantine's wife.

Pyotr Kakhovsky in a letter to General Levashev, mentioned the anecdote and denied it:

"The story told to Your Excellency that, in the uprising of 14 December the rebels were shouting 'Long live the Constitution!' and that the people were asking 'What is Constitution, the wife of His Highness the Grand Duke?' is not true. It is an amusing invention."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 

 
 
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