Alexander Romanov, the second son of Tsar Alexander II, was born in St. Petersburg on 26th February, 1845. As a young man he was openly critical of his father's attempts to reform the political system.
In 1866 Alexander married Princess Marie Dagmar, the daughter of King Kristian IX of Denmark and sister of Queen Alexandra of Britain.
Alexander became Tsar of Russia on the assassination of Alexander II in 1881. He immediately cancelled his father's plans to introduce a representative assembly and announced he had no intention of limiting his autocratic power.
During his reign Alexander followed a repressive policy against those seeking political reform and persecuted Jews and others who were not members of the Russian Orthodox Church. Alexander also pursued a policy of Russification of national minorities. This included imposing the Russian language and Russian schools on the German, Polish and Finnish peoples living in the Russian Empire.
Despite several assassination attempts Alexander died a natural death on 20th October, 1894. He was succeeded by his son Nicholas II.
© John Simkin, May 2013