Historical and Commemorative
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
VISIT OF CZAR ALEXANDER II TO LONDON
WIENER, Charles: Russia, 1874, Bronze, 76 mm
Alexander II, 1818-81, czar of Russia (1855-81), son and successor of Nicholas I ascended the throne during the Crimean War (1853-56). Influenced by Russia's defeat in the war and by peasant unrest, Alexander embarked upon a modernization and reform program. The most important reform was the emancipation of the serfs (1861). This failed, however, to meet the land needs of the newly freed group and created many new problems. In 1881, after several unsuccessful attempts, a member of the People's Will, a terrorist offshoot of the populist movement, assassinated Alexander with a hand-thrown bomb. He was succeeded by his son Alexander III.