Alexander III ascended to the throne in 1883 after his father, Alexander II, died in a terrorist attack, acquiring the right to the crown as the oldest son after the sudden death of his older brother Prince Nikolay. Until the age of twenty, Alexander III wasn’t the successor to the throne and wasn’t raised as the future emperor.
Alexander III was born on February 26th (March 10th), 1845 in St. Petersburg. His mother was the Grand Duchess Maria Aleksandrovna, his spouse Maria Fedorovna (Dagmara Danish).
After the sudden death of his brother, they quickly employed teachers for Alexander striving to give him in a very short time the same amount of knowledge that they had taught Nikolay over more than 20 years. According to reminiscences of the contemporaries, Alexander would rise every morning at 7 am, wash with cold water, make himself a cup of coffee, and sit down at a desk. Quite often, his working day would end late at night.
The crowning ceremony took place on May 15th (27), 1883, and he ruled until his death from nephritis on October 20th (November 1st), 1894. The last Russian emperor Nikolay II became his successor.
Main events during the rule of Alexander III (1881-1894):
- 1883 – the beginning of “counter-reforms”
- 1883 – the law on the national flag: the black-yellow-white cloth was replaced with the white-blue-red one (current flag of the Russian Federation)
- 1887 – the Decree on the opening of the University in Tomsk (the first one in Siberia)
- 1891 – the Decree on the building of the Great Siberian Way (Trans-Siberian Railroad)
- 1891-1894 – the signing of the Russian-French Treaty.
The Constitution for Bulgaria in St. Petersburg: according to it, the country became a constitutional monarchy. The power of the monarch was limited. In addition to that, according to the Berlin Treaty of 1878, the applicant for the Bulgarian throne was subject to approval by the Russian tsar. In May 1881, the prince of Bulgaria Alexander Batenberg attempted a coup-d’etat and abolished the Constitution. However, Alexander III forced the prince to restore the Constitution.
The murder of his father by the terrorists made Alexander III hate the Constitution, and the draft “Constitution of Loris-Melikov” was rejected. Thus, instead of the draft almost finalized by Alexander II, the country was thrown in the grips of tough autocracy and absolute monarchy.