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Russia: Emperor Alexander II

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Alexander II (born April 17, 1818 in Moscow; died March 13, 1881 in St. Petersburg) was the Tsar (Emperor) of Russia from March 2, 1855 until his assassination in 1881. He was also the Grand Duke of Finland.

Born in 1818, he was the eldest son of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and Charlotte of Prussia, daughter of Frederick William III of Prussia and Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. His early life gave little indication of his ultimate potential; until the time of his accession in 1855, few imagined that he would be known to posterity as a great reformer.

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