Saturday, March 5, 2011

Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln together in Moscow

These two men together in a handshake at the entrance of the Russian State Archive were never found in reality. But the Tsar Alexander II and the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, had much in common. An exhibition pays tribute in Moscow this month and remember that 150 years ago, on March 3, 1861 (February 19, in the pre-revolutionary calendar), the Russian emperor signed the liberation of the serfs.

Lincoln proclaimed the emancipation of slaves in the territories of the Confederation on January 1863. So forever changed society in their countries. The action taken in the Russian Empire affected 23 million people. Lincoln's decision in the midst of the Civil War, only four million. But the figures, despite being half a world apart, the important thing was the spirit.

"This is about two men who shared a dream about a dream shared by two countries," he said at the opening of the exhibition Burgánov Alexander, the artist who designed the white sculpture that welcomes visitors. The exhibition "Tsar and President. Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln. Liberator and Emancipator," which is organized under the umbrella of the Russian-US Bilateral Commission Medvedev, Obama, is an example of the efforts to restart the good relations between the two Cold War enemies.

Many of the more than 200 exhibits indicate that Russia and the United States half a century and maintained excellent relations. Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln also exchanged dreams, letters, recommendations, ambassadors and envoys. On September 24, 1863 several ships of the Russian fleet arrived in New York.

Days later, another squad docks in San Francisco. The tour lasted seven months. Years later, even after the assassination of Lincoln, on August 26, 1867, a delegation of American citizens, among whom was the writer Mark Twain, is interviewed in Livadiya (Crimea) to the Emperor Alexander II.

"America has many ties to Russia: it is indebted for many reasons, firstly by the strength of their friendship for years to try so hard," says the message of thanks from the American Embassy. In 1871 the Czar sent his youngest son, Grand Duke Alexei, as goodwill ambassador to the United States and Japan.

As is known and is told in the exhibition, the trip was motivated by the romance of Prince with Alexandra Zhukóvskaya, eight years his senior and the daughter of one of the tutors of Alexander II. Strenuously objected to the relationship. Among the exhibits are the pens with which liberator and emancipator signed their decrees, personal items such as clothes and bayonets, and nineteenth century paintings.

Also refers to the personality of the two characters. Despite their different social status, since Lincoln was born in a peasant from a father who could not read or write, the education they received was driving to the reforms that now I remember. "The life of Abraham Lincoln is the embodiment of the American dream, according to which poverty and living in a rural setting with men develop character, quality and hard work is key to success in life," he said historian John Selleres.

Facing the self-made man, the lawyer hit by a slave auction he witnessed in 1828 in New Orleans, is the emperor cult, educated in liberalism that will instill the romantic poet and historian Nikolai Karamzin, Pushkin's friend, and also a poet Vasily Zhukovsky, "one of the most intelligent men of the nineteenth century," says Andrei Yanovski, historian of the State Historical Museum.

In addition to speaking four languages readily, Alexander II had been formed in many areas, as evidenced by the notes presented in his student days. But mostly I was influenced by the liberal mainstream of the time. It impels him to start and allow a wave of reforms that will find discontent among those who opposed and those who wanted more and saw the emperor himself an obstacle.

The following quote from James Billington, director of the Library of Congress hanging in the sample, rejoins the fate of the tsar with the U.S. president: "After the liberation of the peasants, Alexander II was faced with unexpected results : instead of receiving the thanks of the people had to face various forms of civil war, something like the Lincoln suffered in America.

For the first time in its modern history, Russia was faced with political terrorism as a form of war. " On April 14, 1865 an actor and Southern sympathizer shot dead against Lincoln at Ford's Theater in Washington. Tsar Alexander II suffered five attacks and only the last achieved his goal.

The first attempt occurred on April 16, 1866. "A freed servant saved him from the bullet that hit a nihilist," reads the statement. The Czar died on March 13, 1881, victim of a bomb attack against the royal carriage.

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