V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > B. The French Revolution and Europe, 1789–1914 > 8. Eastern Europe and the Balkans, 1762–1914 > a. Russia > 1811
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
Ministry of the Police was created; it was abolished in 1819.  1
INVASION OF RUSSIA by Napoleon (See 1812, June 26). The formation of the Grand Alliance and the campaigns in Germany and France led Alexander to devote himself almost entirely to foreign affairs. He participated in the Congress of Vienna (See Sept. 15–1815, June 9) and the formation of the Holy Alliance (See Sept. 26).  2
In domestic affairs, Alexander continued to discuss constitutional projects, but in practice he became more and more reactionary, demonstrated by his selection of Gen. Alexis Arakcheiev as chief adviser and Prince Alexander Golitsyn, who, as minister of education, oversaw the purges of several universities. This new departure led to the growth of opposition, particularly among the younger army officers who had imbibed liberalism in the West. Before becoming disillusioned, liberal Russians had hoped to work with Alexander by founding various philanthropic and educational societies, but such associations became more political and secret as time passed. They finally took the shape of the Northern Society at St. Petersburg (favoring constitutional monarchy and abolition of serfdom) and a Southern Society at Kiev (republican and advocating division of land among the peasants) under the leadership of Paul Pestel.  3
Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837) became the first poet to criticize the social order with the publication of Ruslin i Lyudmila. His other works included Boris Godunov (1825), Kapitanskaya Dochka (1832), and Yevgeni Onegin (1832).  4
Alexander Griboyedov (1795–1829) published the most noted play of the time, Gare ot uma (Woe from Wit), a comedy.  5
Dec. 26
The DECEMBRIST RISING, a military revolt, was started by the Northern Society. This arose out of the confusion following Alexander's death (Dec. 13) and the question of succession. The whole affair was ill planned and halfhearted. Nicholas, Alexander's successor, suppressed it on the same day—his first day as tsar. Several of the leaders were executed, and the rest were sent into exile. An attempted uprising in the south was also frustrated.  6
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.