Aleksandr Ulyanov

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Aleksandr Ulyanov
Aleksandr Ulyanov.jpg
Born12 April 1866
Died20 May 1887(1887-05-20) (aged 21)
OccupationRevolutionary Socialist, Political Activist, Student
The Ulyanov family, 1879 (Aleksandr standing in the middle, Vladimir sitting to the right).

Aleksandr Ilyich Ulyanov (April 12, 1866 – May 20, 1887)[1] was a Russian revolutionary and political activist. He was the elder brother of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union.

Early life[edit]

Ulyanov was born in Nizhny Novgorod, the second child and eldest son of schoolteachers Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov and Maria Alexandrovna Ulyanova. He was often referred to as Sasha, a common diminutive form of the name Aleksandr.[2] He graduated with honors from the College of Simbirsk in 1883 and later attended Petersburg University, where he majored in Natural Sciences and earned a degree in zoology. While at university, he participated in illegal meetings and demonstrations, often handing out pamphlets and making speeches to students and workers.

Revolutionary[edit]

In 1886 he became a member of the "terrorist faction", which was part of the Narodnaya Volya (People's Will) party. He was one of the authors of the party's Marxism-influenced program. Acknowledging the working class as the "nucleus of the Socialist Party", the program affirmed the revolutionary's initiative of fighting autocracy through terrorism.

Attempted assassination of Alexander III[edit]

Ulyanov and his comrades conspired to assassinate Alexander III of Russia. On March 1, 1887, (Julian calendar) the day of the sixth anniversary of Alexander II's murder, three party members were arrested in the Nevsky Prospekt. Police suspected that when Alexander III visited church on the anniversary of his father's assassination, the plotters would throw bombs into the Emperor's carriage. The attempt is known[citation needed] as "The Second First of March".

Ulyanov, who served as both the main ideologist of the group as well as the bomb-maker, was later arrested. In court Ulyanov gave a political speech. The conspirators were initially sentenced to death; all but five were then pardoned by Alexander III. Ulyanov was not among those pardoned. On May 8, he and his four comrades — Pakhomy Andreyushkin, Vasily Generalov, Vasili Osipanov, and Petr Shevyrev — were hanged at Shlisselburg.[3]

Aleksandr's execution drove his younger brother Vladimir Illich Ulyanov (Vladimir Lenin) to pursue the Russian revolutionary struggle ever more fervently. Upon hearing of Aleksandr's death, Vladimir allegedly said,[citation needed] "I'll make them pay for this! I swear it." Vladimir was already active in politics prior to his older brother's arrest. Vladimir admired his older brother; however, he was quite dismissive of his older brother's political attitude. He once remarked,[4] "Aleksandr will never be a revolutionist. On his last summer visit home he spent his time preparing a dissertation on Annelida and worked constantly with his microscope. A revolutionist cannot possibly devote so much time to the study of Annelida."

Legacy[edit]

A minor planet, 2112 Ulyanov, was discovered in 1972 by Soviet astronomer Tamara Mikhailovna Smirnova and named after him.[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clark, Ronald (1988). Lenin. New York U.a. p. 15.
  2. ^ "Lenin's Brother: An Interview with Philip Pomper".
  3. ^ Philip Pomper (2010). Lenin's Brother: The Origins of the October Revolution. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-07079-8.
  4. ^ Nadezhda Krupskaya (1933). "St. Petersburg, 1893–1898". Reminiscences of Lenin. 1. Translated by Bernard Isaacs. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  5. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 171. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.
  6. ^ "Lenin". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 2018-08-01.