Portrait of Alexander Pavlovich (1777-1825), Grand Duke and Heir to the throne of Russia (1796-1801), Emperor of Russia (Alexander I) from 1801 to 1825; Grand Duke of Finland (1809-1825), King of Poland (1815-1825)
Alexander I (Russian: Александр I Павлович; 23 December 1777 – 1 December 1825), reigned as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825. He was the son of Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. Alexander was the first Russian King of partitioned Poland, reigning from 1815 to 1825, as well as the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland. He was born in Saint Petersburg to Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, later Emperor Paul I, and succeeded to the throne after his father was murdered. Alexander and his younger brother Constantine were raised by their grandmother, Catherine the Great. Some sources allege that she planned to remove her son (Alexander's father) Paul I from the succession altogether. On 9 October 1793, when Alexander was still 15 years old, he married 14-year-old Louise of Baden, who took the name Elizabeth Alexeievna. The death of Catherine in November 1796, before she could appoint Alexander as her successor, brought his father, Paul I, to the throne. Paul's unpopular policies led to a successful conspiracy to assassinate him in 1801. Alexander, then 23-year-old, was actually in the palace at the moment of the assassination. Historians still debate Alexander's role in his father's murder. The most common opinion is that he was let into the conspirators' secret and was willing to take the throne but insisted that his father should not be killed. Becoming Tsar through a crime that cost his father's life would give Alexander a strong sense of remorse and shame. Alexander I succeeded to the throne on 24 March 1801 and was crowned in the Kremlin on 15 September of that year.
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