Talk:Alexander II of Russia

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1880 and mistresses?[edit]

Following his wife's death in 1880, Alexander formed a morganatic marriage with his mistress Princess Catherine Dolgoruki. Together they had two sons and two daughters How did they manage to produce 4 children if he died the next year!?!?!-- 20:10, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Their four children were born before the marriage and were thus illegitimate. Their rooms were directly about the rooms of poor Empress Maria Alexandrovna, who, as she lay in her bedroom dying, could hear the playing of her husband's three illegitimate offspring directly above her head. After Maria's death, Alexander was then free to marry his mistress. Morhange 03:59, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Some what boring, but good information. I didn't even know all of his illegitimate children. why would u do an EDIT then stupid kids can go ruin it and put different information/....and those stupid kids would put new info where the old info was an like..change history...and we ppls need to do research

-> "Alexander had many mistresses during his marriage and fathered 7 known illegitimate children. These included: ... Charlotte Henriette Sophie Jansen( 15 November 1844 July 1915) with mistress Sophie Charlotte Dorothea Von Behse (1828-1886)". What is the source for this information? I have never heard of this although I know the history of Sophie von Behse! Can I find information about the mistresses in a book somewhere? I have read Edvard Radzinskys book "Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar", but there is not any information about this.

Moved from article page to here[edit]

In the "Assassination" section, it says "On the very day on which this decree was to be signed—March 13, 1881—he fell victim to a Nihilist plot." An anonymous user asked "(What decree? Someone should be more specific. If memory serves, it was to institute a purliment)" I moved the comment here. Quadell (talk) (help)[[]] 16:40, Nov 28, 2004 (UTC)

BBC programme[edit]

This evening BBC radio 4's In Our Time programme talked at length about Alexander, the emancipation, and his death. I think it would make a worthy exlink from this article. Unfortunately they've not yet added it to their "history archive" page at (it's still the "current" programme). Once they do have a permalink for it, I'll add it as an exlink. -- John Fader 22:27, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Lightening of censorship[edit]

In the other reforms section, it should be noted that Alexander lightened the censorship policies that were in place under his predecessor, Nicholas I. This created a forum for public opinion, but with no way of directly affecting national policy, in part led to the formation of the secret groups and revolutionary agitation mentioned. Whitejay251 05:07, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Article Vandalism[edit]

Someone intentionally vandalized this article, moderation is needed to restore the article. Request Staff intervention. --Lord Spade 05:42, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

EDIT: I manually restored the article prior to it's vandalism. Someone kindly look into the offensive action...--Lord Spade 05:45, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

March 2 or 3 ? One of these dates is wrong[edit]

On Alexander II of Russia#Emancipation of the serfs, the last sentence says On 1861 March 3, the sixth anniversary of his accession, the emancipation law was signed and published. But then the sixth anniversary of his accession should be on March 2, right ? One of these dates is wrong. -- PFHLai 20:32, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Assassin's philosophy[edit]

I replaced "Nihilist" with "assassination". There is no evidence that Ignacy Hryniewiecki was a nihilist. Did Ignacy argue that all actions are essentially worthless or that "God is Dead" or something similar while throwing the bomb? Likely he was a suicide bomber raging against the repressive regime that was trying to extinguish his ethnicity. Arguing that he was a nihilist sounds unduly pro-royalist. Naerhu 05:39, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

I fully understand your confusion but in the 19th century Russian context, 'Nihilist' usually means a 'Freethinker' associated with the Narodnik movement. For more information about this philosophical stance/ youth subculture see Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, as well as relevant chapters in Kropotkin's Memoirs of a Revolutionist. Please note that this usage was current long before Freddy N made the famous pronouncement that you mentioned. (talk) 11:31, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

New box for decendants[edit]

Ok, I can see listing all the decendants, even if it is a rather long list, but that box was incredibly huge and disruptive to the article. The picture at the top was blown up to fit the area, but that caused it to be quite a bit out of focus. Also, if this is something that's going to be used for the Romanov house, it would seem to make a lot more sense as a template. If you don't agree, feel free to put it back, but please, at least, please fix the picture and consider how its affecting the article. Thanks. .:.Jareth.:. babelfish 01:10, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Please don't delete it. It took me a long time and it makes it much easier to see who all the descendants and family of the tsars are. Take a look at the articles for the British royals. James5555 02:18, 1 April 2006 (UTC)James
Actually, it would be nice to have a box like that, however, please note that the box used in articles on the British Royal Family is smaller, the picture is not blurry or pixelated and it is a template -- which were exactly the concerns I had with the box that you created. Its a great idea, but needs to be tweaked a bit :) Did you know that you can create a sub-page in your userspace so that you can play with things until you get them the way you like? Might help in this case to tweak the image size and things like that. .:.Jareth.:. babelfish 02:58, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Page Protected, RfC added.[edit]

This page has been protected due to a content dispute on a "box". A Request for comment has been made and a judgment will arrive shortly. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by NightDragon (talkcontribs).

It should be there - if you look at all the articles featuring other royal figures in Europe (British, German, French, Italian etc) they will be there. Why not Russian? James5555 07:32, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Uhm, actually, if you read my comments, I said I thought the box was a good idea, just needed some work to fix it first and then specifically listed the problems I had with it and even pointed out that these were problems that aren't in the British, German etc versions. I've nothing against having a progeny box, but I do have a problem with its current format/style. Would you like to discuss the comments I've been making about the box itself? So far, noone has actually disputed that the box is a good idea ;) .:.Jareth.:. babelfish 08:03, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

External comment on the box[edit]

I think the issue is not so much as to the pertinence of the box as to its aspect. There are *many* similar boxes already on Wikipedia. However, I must admit that this one, as I see it in this diff is improperly inserted (it should be a template), formatted (see Template:House of Oldenburg (Glucksburg-Greece) and Template:House of Vasa for random examples) and used (It should be on all family member pages anyway). To make matter worse, thetable is full of coding mistakes. I say to you James, the table is a viable addition, IF it is made a template and IF it is made consistent with similar temple (also, it is full of coding mistakes that need fixing anyway)Circeus 02:01, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Date of birth[edit]

He was born on April 29, and not on April 17. April 17 is the date in Julian calendar. --Jovanvb 07:21, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Change of layout[edit]

I tried my best to improve the layout of this article, I hop everyone thinks it looks a little better - most of the photos that were in the article prior to my edit were all clumped together, although they were placed accordingly.

I moved the photo of Alexander and his wife and son, which was in the section marriages and children, because it was throwing off the box.

I added a new photo of Alexander for the info box at the start - I felt if an actual photo exists it should be used.

I added a painting of the coronation.

I saw that every photo save for one that was in the article prior to my edit was of a monument. I kept two in the article and put the other two in a gallery, along with the two "new" photos.

I replaced the photo of the cathedral with a better one from the article on the Cathedral of the Saviour on Spilt Blood (mind you, I wouldnt have replaced it if the photo was only in this article).

--Mrlopez2681 09:25, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Date of Coronation[edit]

Why March 2, 1855? Russian sources name this date as date of death of Nicholas I (February 18 OS). Alexander's reign officially started on the next day - March 3 (February 19 OS). Coronation procedure occurred on September 7, 1856 (August 26 OS). And nobody answered PFHLai's question. RamBow 16:19, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, if no one objects I'll try to fix it. As well as other dates in this article - IMO this inaccuracy is really shameful for the article which pretends to be 'historical'. I wonder where the date in the name of Mihàly Ziky's painting was taken - The Hermitage Museum point it unambiguously. RamBow 07:24, 3 May 2007 (UTC)


Either cite it or lose it. (talk) 15:21, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Gypsy Rose Lee???[edit]

The mention of Gypsy Rose Lee in connection to the assassination plot seems extraordinarily unlikely, not least because Lee was born in 1911 and Alexander II was assassinated 30 years prior. I am removing that portion of the article. If it is accurate (or simply poorly phrased, leading to a misunderstanding) then I would suggest reversion of the article, rephrasing of the section, and citation(s). Shoveling Ferret (talk) 11:57, 2 July 2008 (UTC)


I have reverted a good-faith edit[1] of User:Aecharri that had added a fairly long passage regarding Bobrinskys to the article. This passage read as follows:"Main developers for the railway industry, coal mining near Tula, and the sugar beet industry in their ukrainian fields was for instance the grand son of Catherine II and Gregory Orlov the son of Aleksey Grigorievich Bobrinsky, (April 11, 1762 - June 20, 1813 in his estate of Bogoroditsk, near Tula), Count Aleksey Alekseievich Bobrinsky. This grand son of Catherine II love affairs with Count Grigory Orlov before her husband Tsar Peter III was assassinated in July 1762, after trying a brief and uneventful career at the royal court, retired from service and settled in Bogoroditsk, establishing one of the first Russian sugar refineries there. Later, he moved his operations to the Ukraine, making various agricultural activities the chief source of his family income. Thus, Russia stopped importing sugar from abroad. He also published a treatise on economic theory and set up a society for development of railways, which financed the construction of the first railway in Russia. Bobrinsky's contributions to the national economics were commemorated by a bronze statue in Kiev. Unsurprisingly, Aleksey Alekseyevich's second son Count Vladimir Alekseyevich Bobrinsky, (1824-98), served as Minister of Transportation in 1868-71, succeeded in this post by his cousin, Count Aleksey Pavlovich Bobrinsky, (1826-1894). They did not bother much then with the 1861 laws on exemption of serfdom."

The above passage had been added by User:Aecharri to the Emancipation of the serfs section, but it has little to do with either emancipation of the serfs or with the subject of the article, tsar Alexander II of Russia. I believe that the addition of this extended info about Bobrinskys to this article is inappropriate per WP:UNDUE. Nsk92 (talk) 23:07, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

List of offspring[edit]

I just changed the list of his issue to something readable, but since I'm fairly new to this I couldn't do anything fancy. I also edited the information on his fifth child, who was never married according to his page Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia, and thus only had illegitimate offspring himself. Thoughts and/or suggestions?--Heburnslikethesun (talk) 20:56, 10 November 2008 (UTC)


Undid overnight changes by User:Aecharri, which contained the following section under "further reading": "* The Shadow Of The Winter Palace, Publ. Apr 6, (2000), Paperback, ISBN: 9780306809408 , ISBN-10: 0306809400

Published by Da Capo Press.

Edward Crankshaw (Essex County, England, 1909- 30th November 1984, aged 75), started as a journalist for a few months at the famous journal The Times. In the 1930´s he lived at Vienna,Austria, teaching English and learning German witnessing the Austrian - German Union by Hitler in 1938, "Anschluss", predicting the Second world War while living there. In 1940 was contacted by the Secret Intelligence Service because of his knowledge of the German language, moving to the Military Mission in Moscow thereafter and taking lessons on the Russian language. There, he collaborated for some 21 years, (1947 - 1968), with the leftist British Journal The Observer, quite tolerant with former reputed philo - communist and polemic journalist, a correspondent during the Cold War in Moscow of The Manchester Guardian, who became later a rector of Edinburgh University, Thomas Malcolm Muggeridge, ( March 1903–14 November 1990).

Crankshaw, considered a British expert in Soviet Affairs, wrote over 20 books on Austrian, (Vienna, the Image of a Culture In Decline, Fall of the House of Habsburg, Gestapo. Instrument of Tiranny, Maria Theresa....) and Russian subjects, (Britain and Russia,Russia without Stalin, The Shadow of the Winter Palace on XIX Century Tsarist Russia, Khruschev remembers, Spanish edition of 624 pages in 1970, The New Cold War, Moscow against Beiging"

Since this is not appropriate in this article, I wonder if User:Aecharri is not vandalising this article, this being the second time in three days that his entries have been deemed inappropriate.

--Heburnslikethesun (talk) 18:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


The article contains this paragraph:

He was probably unaware of the potential dangers of European exiled thinkers of the 1848 up risings such as French Revolutionary François-Noël Babeuf, known as Gracchus Babeuf, (1760 - executed May 27, 1797, aged 37), German exiled in England Karl Marx,(1818 - 1883), Wilhelm Liebknecht, (1826–1900), German businessman in Manchester, Friedrich Engels, (1820 - 1895), the Frenchman Louis Auguste Blanqui (1805–1881), the London refugee Prince Peter Kropotkin (Russian: Пётр Алексе́евич Кропо́ткин) (1842 - 1921), or the well known English architect, furniture and textile designer, William Morris (1834 - 1896).
Gracchus Babeuf, executed in 1797(!), is included as if had been active in 1848 and had still been alive during Alexander II's reign. Moreover, the inclusion of William Morris as a potential danger is odd. He was not an anarchist. Norvo (talk) 00:40, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Alexander's Dog Milord[edit]

I just don't understand why there is a whole section on some dog named Milord. I don't really think that section provides any real value to the page. I think I am going to remove it. Let me know if anyone disagrees. --Schwindtd (talk) 20:47, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

It's interesting, but completely unsourced. If the dog was as important to him as this text implies, it should be pretty easy to improve with properly referenced sources.LarryJeff (talk) 19:10, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
per WP:UNDUE I think that this section needs to be cut down and cites added. I still need some convincing that this section needs to be here. I just don't think it satisfies WP:NOTABILITY. --Schwindtd (talk) 00:46, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Wrong Predecessor[edit]

It does not have Alexander I as the predecessor, but has Nicholas I. Simply look at the dates on the links. (I don't know how to change that sorry). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Isn't it correct as it is? According to respectively articles Alexander I of Russia reigned 24 March 1801 – 1 December 1825; Nicholas I of Russia reigned 1 December 1825 – 2 March 1855 and Alexander II of Russia reigned 2 March 1855 – 13 March 1881. jonkerz 18:24, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Encouraging Finnish nationalism[edit]

Headline: "Encouraging Finnish nationalism within Russia". I have removed " within Russia". Finland was NOT part of Russia, Finland was a Grand Duchy in UNION with Russia, with the Tsar as Grand Duke, with its own laws, diet, customs border with Russia etcetera. (talk) 15:31, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Wrong picture on the coin[edit]

The person pictured on the coin shown in the "Reign" section is actually Nicholas I. The coin was issued in 1859 during the reign of Alexander II to commemorate Nicholas I, Alexander's father and predecessor. The circular text on the side of the coin with emperor's face says "Nicholas I Emperor and Autocrat of All Russias". I think this coin picture should be moved to the entry of Nicholas I of Russia, with description e.g. "Nicholas I of Russia on an 1859 commemorative coin". IvanRz (talk) 05:32, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Diplomacy -- missing info[edit]

I've looked at this article several times, but i don't know where this information should go -- foreign policy? navy? I also don't see anyhing about it in the Abraham Lincoln article or the Cassius Marcellus Clay article. I did find a mention of the Atlantic Fleet's visit to NYC in the article "Russian frigate Alexander Nevsky," but no mention of the Pacific Fleet's visit to San Francisco. There is no "Russia and the American Civil War" article.

The following is snipped from C-Span:

In 2013, historian Webster Griffin Tarpley said Imperial Russian government had issued an ultimatum to Britain and France specifying that if those powers should intervene on the side of the Confederate States of America they would immediately find themselves at war with the Russian Empire, and he marked the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Russian Baltic Fleet in New York City on September 24, 1863, and of the Russian Pacific Squadron in San Francisco on October 12, 1863. He argued that it was the presence of those fleets that provided the final deterrence. Russia was the only country to extend direct military support to the Lincoln government.

The following is snipped from a 17 June 2008 U.S. State Dept page:

In 1863, at a time when the outcome of the Civil War was in question, Czar Alexander II ordered his entire Atlantic and Pacific fleets to New York and San Francisco. Russia was the first foreign nation to support the Union. Most historians agree the move was self-serving -- Alexander needed to protect the fleet from England and France, which had threatened intervention on behalf of the Poles engaged at that time in an anti-Russian uprising of national independence. The Russian fleet was antiquated and no match in size or quality to the British and French navies. But Lincoln welcomed the Russian fleet because it sent a message to France and England to stay out of the conflict.... The implicit message was that the United States would stay out of Russian affairs in Europe.... In 1809, John Quincy Adams, later to become the sixth president of the United States, arrived in Moscow as the first U.S. minister to the country. By 1832, the United States and Russia had signed a commercial treaty and by the mid-1850s, U.S. shipbuilders in New York were constructing warships for the Russian navy.

The article in Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 3, 1863 is on page 635 and the illustration of 'The Russian Frigate "Osliaba," Now In The Harbor Of New York' is on page 637. Filé gumbo (talk) 18:52, 14 January 2016 (UTC)


I'm beginning to go through the section on Emancipation and already several lines seem to be directly lifted from The new volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica Yojimbo1941 (talk) 19:22, 18 March 2016 (UTC)


I have found several sources with some interesting information. The page currently only implicates three assassins.

This page saying that Ivan was one of four assassins, while naming the other three.

Another source saying there were four assassins.

An interesting coincidence; Ivan [Y]Emelyanov was the design engineer of the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

Mr. Spink talkcontribs 14:53, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Aftermath Edits[edit]

Have made some edits to the "Aftermath" section of the page. As currently not logged in, felt the need to explain them.

The points removed:

1) That Alexander was putting in place a Duma. This suggests to the reader that this Duma was akin to a representative parliament. It was in fact entirely advisory, to quote Loris-Melikov who proposed the reforms "it would be unthinkable for Russia to have any form of popular representation based upon Western models."[1] Therefore have removed reference to Duma for now, if someone sees a way to include it that specifies its limitations, there is no reason it should not be mentioned.

2) "Had he lived, Russia might have followed a path to constitutional monarchy instead of the long road of oppression that defined his successor's reign." is counterfactual and in my opinion should not be included.

3) "The first action Alexander III took after his father's death was to tear up those plans." - Not actually that helpful, Alexander III initially seemed to accept the reforms but was persuaded otherwise by his adviser Pobedonostsev (see Heilbronner article).

I apologise for any sloppiness in the writing of the edit, and welcome any changes. I believe the factual changes I have made though are well sourced and should not be changed till refuted. JC — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:36, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Heilbronner p. 385 *see article for full ref