IT'S A GIRL-EMPRESS ALEXANDRINA
An epic story if the wife of Alexander III gave birth to a girl instead of a boy who in 1894 became Empress Alexandrina Romanov and would become more liberal then her male counterpart in original history. She would enact serious reforms and would never get into the War with Japan and would not fight Germany in World War I.
In this story, the baby born to Maria, wife of the future Alexander III, is not a boy, but is a girl, named Alexandrina Romanov in honor of her father and becomes second in line (after her father) to become empress of Russia. Her father reigns from 1881 to 1894, and the young Alexandrina becomes Empress. This will explore what she would do to save the Russian Empire from immient doom......
Note: This is my first story, so please only give me a constructive critque on Feedback.
Princess Maria of Denmark, wife of Alexander, heir to the throne and Grand Duke of all Russia, was on the bed screaming in agony. She was giving birth to their first child and was being helped by several ladies-in-waiting. Alexander held his wife's hand, praying she would survive, and also praying the baby would be a boy, a boy he wanted to name Nicholas, after his late uncle, the Emperor Nicholas. However, a surprise was awaiting.
As Maria screamed, the baby's head appeared out of her vagina, Maria's bottom was wet and reddish and being wrapped under by towels. The ladies said "Push, Your Highness, he is almost out!". Marie did so, and with all of her might, the baby came out. Marie's head hit the pillow, her sweat coming off her long, silky hair.
A lady then looked to see what gender the baby was, and did not see a penis, but a girl's genitalia, so yelled and went to Alexander, saying "Your Grace, the baby is not a boy: it's a girl!".
Alexander gasped. He had wanted a boy! Then, after several seconds, he then said "May I see her?".
The lady nodded and brought forth the baby to him. Alexander tickled her hands, looking at the newborn baby girl, and said "I name you Alexandrina, the female equivalent of my name, of your father". Alexander imagined the baby smiled and he smiled back. He knew that if there were no further children she was to become the Empress, the first Empress since Catherine the Great in 1796, and hoped that she would be a strong ruler with a iron will.
Then he presented the baby to her mother, and they smiled.
The baby Alexandrina bore many of Catherine the Great's traits: she had black hair and brown eyes, just like Catherine. Her parents felt that her look showed she had a strong heart and a powerful will. Alexandrina was related to many monarchs: from Queen Victoria of England to King Willhelm I of Prussia (after 1871, Emperor Willhelm I of Germany); from the rulers of Sweden and Norway to the Greek kings and to the Belgian and Dutch kings.
Alexander wanted to have Alexandrina to get a good education, and a sense of physical endurance. Alex received her studies from French tutors and a British governess. While the princess was very young her father naturally controlled her education but later she came to realize that what she was learning was biased and one sided. Intelligently she found ways to study the ideals of the French Revolution, the writings of Voltaire and Diderot, whom her great-grandmother Catherine had cultivated, and also the accomplishments of Napoleon, the emperor of France during the Napoleonic Wars.
Unusual for a girl, she studied science independently. Apart from chemistry and physics, her lessons included astronomy, mathematics, French, Russian, English, German, Latin, history, music, geography, commerce, agriculture and constitutional law, dipping in on many books. She learned Orthodoxy in a more liberalised course.
Alexander wanted Alexandrina to become physically active. So she learned how to ride a horse, how to fish and how to hunt, how to stuff animals, how to swim, how to run, and how to dance. This was very unusual. Usually Alexandrina would ride on a horse at a speed very unsafe for her protectors assigned to her by her father (by now he had become emperor).
Alexandrina also dressed differently. Unlike other Russian ladies at the court who dressed in stifling large dresses and blouses, Alexandrina preferred what was called "a bloomer", worn by some women in America. Alexandrina also challenged the supremacy of men in the court. Her father tolerated it but got torn by it.
Alex at this time got into an argument with her parents. According to Russian custom, the daughters and sons of the ruling monarchs would marry whom their parents had arranged for, a "marriage for the state and not of the couple". Alex did not want to marry a German Prince, and instead wanted to marry a Russian Prince, Count James Orlov, a descendant of the Orlov brothers, the lovers of Catherine the Great during her early reign, and also a man whom she was deeply in love with, and he loved her. She told her parents without fear that to marry for love was greater then to marry for the state, or even the parents.
For months, they argued as her parents chided her for being unpatriotic and insisted the alliance between Russia and Germany would benefit both countries. But gradually her father came to hope she would become like Catherine (by then it was clear there would be no further children) and came to believe the destiny of the princess was to love as Catherine had. Finally Alexander had to give in to his daughter, possessed of a strong and iron will that was his. With that, she proposed to Orlov and he accepted, and their marriage was to take place in 1895 (it was 1894).
But a bit of news was coming that would change her life for a long time to come.......
One day, Alexandrina was reading a book (the first volume of her great-grandmother's memoirs), when somebody, a lady-in-waiting, knocked on the door. Alexandrina said "Come in, please,".
The lady then opened the door and bowed, saying "Your Highness, I have some horrible news. Your father Tsar Alexander is sick from a liver problem,".
Alexandrina soon closed her book and jumped up. She then headed out the door, going towards her father's sickroom. She then opened the doors to the sickroom and saw her father with an unnatural jaundiced look, moaning in pain on his sickbed. She then rushed over and said "How are you, Father?".
"My daughter, I am not well. I may not recover from this pain.....In that case, you will become the Empress of all Russia..."
"Oh, Father, don't say that, you will recover." Alexandrina replied, in a sad tone.
"My child. My time is done. But promise me something.....something that you will be linked to in God's eyes.."
She said "Yes Father? What is it?".
"That you will become a strong Empress, let no one boss you around, but you will preserve Russia and her value, her beliefs...", Alexander said in a dying tone.
"I will, Father, I will...", the daughter promised.
Father called a trusted servant to fetch a Russian Orthodox Bishop and prepare him for death. Alexandrina who had read the works of Voltaire  was skeptical if this had any value but would not and could not deny the dying Emperor his wish.
Much later her father started to drift out of consciousness but by then the whole family were by his bedside.
The doctors worked hard to save her father. Her mother, Empress Maria, was crying and weeping uncontrollably. The other members of the family had an angry and mean look, in despair and pain. Alexandrina was upset, but her will and look did not show it. She was staring in a solemn matter at her father's dying body.
Finally, after hours in a coma, the doctors came out with news:
"Your Highnesses, Members of the Russian Family, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Alexander, Ruler of all the Russias, died at 6:00 PM, and thus, his daughter, Alexandrina, is now Empress of All the Russias."
The new Empress then rose, and suddenly, all around her bowed to her and said "Your Majesty". She then walked over to the window, with shock and with full dismay. Alexandrina then asked for the Governing Senate to be summoned. The messengers said "Yes, Majesty" and went out.
In twelve minutes, the members of the Governing Senate came in and bowed to her. "Our Majesty" they said. The Empress then motioned them to sit down at the Senate meeting table, and they did so.
Alexandrina then was to speak up....
"My Lords, the Honorable Members of the Governing Senate. As you all know, my father, the Emperor, has died. And now I am the Empress, the first female on the Russian throne in almost a century, from Catherine the Great, my ancestor. And I intend to reign in a course that will help and nuture Russia, and bring greatness...."
The members of the Senate all gasped, not wanting Russia to become liberalized. But Alexandrina had made up her mind, and she announced she was going to reform the government heavily. She stated her intentions in a educated manner of style. They were shocked: a educated and iron-willed woman was ruling them. As they left, they mumbled of what they thought would be a problem. But one day, Alexandrina would become crticially the best ruler Russia ever had, alongside Peter and Catherine the Great. Her reign would save Russia and transform it into the most powerful country Asia has ever had. Her reign would also liberalize the government and please the long suffering peasants and people.
Alexandrina was going to reform the country. But first she had her wedding. On her insistence, she married James on 26 November 1894, a year ahead of schedule, in the Cathderal of Kazan. In the wedding, she wore a Romanov wedding dress, and her husband-to-be a tuxedo. Their marriage would be a loving and happy one, a long one. Empress Alexandrina would give birth to five children: Grand Duchess Olga in 1895, Duchess Tataina in 1897, Princess Maria in 1899, Princess Anastasia in 1901, and her eventual heir, Prince Alexei, in 1904.
On 14 May 1896 Alexandrina crowned herself empress, as Russian tradition dictated, and held a gracious coronation ball. About 2,000 were present at the cermonies. Each guest was served food and drink, each guest, poor and rich, recieving beer, a kaiser roll, a piece of sausage, gingerbread, and a mug. Unlike her male historical counterpart's disasterous cermony, her's was a success and helped give a boost in her popularity, which would remain considerably high throughout her reign.
And now, her reign will kick into full motion....
The Empress inherited an empire that was in danger: Russia was a vast country of some 176 million people. Although Alexander II's judicial and serf reforms had helped carry Russia to the 1890's, her father Alexander III had reduced many of them and issued laws that mistreated Jews, tied down peasants, and even came close to destroying the state. Alexandrina knew that in order to make Russia a modernized military and political power, she had to reverse the works of Alexander III and enact reforms of her own. She had studied about Catherine the Great's reforms and embarked on doing them again, but on a larger and more efficient scale.
The Empress began her reforms. When she was still the Princess, she had visited the United Kingdom, witnessing the House of Commons in debate and fully impressed on the workings of constitutional monarchy. She declared that "my people will be protected by the means of their monarch, and not by the means of blood and iron,"
Now she was going to organize the local and central government. In 1896, Empress Alexandrina issued the Statue for the Administration of the Governorates of the Russian Empire. The Statue organized Russia into "Governorates": the Governorate of Main Russia (roughly the size of real-history modern Russia), the Governorate of Russian Kazakhstan (all of the Central Asian States of real-history Russian Empire), the Governorate of Transcaucasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia), the Governorate of Crimea (Crimea Island), the Governorate of Ukraine (most of Ukraine except Austrian Galicia), the Governorate of Belarus (Belarus), the Kingdom of Poland (Russian part of Poland), the Governorate of Lithuania (Lithuania), the Governorate of Latvia (Latvia), the Governorate of Estonia (Estonia), the Governorate of Saint Petersburg (Saint Petersburg and surrounding small towns), and the Grand Duchy of Finland (all of Finland). Each Governorate would be headed by a Governor, appointed by the Empress or by one of her regional representatives in her name. The governor would have an executive council of thirteen secretaries and five advisors, all appointed and dismissed by him. There would be two Deputies alongside him to maintain legislative order and chair the meetings. Each Governorate was to have a Local Assembly consisting of two houses, the Local Senate, members of which appointed by the governor, and the Representatives, elected by all voters over the age of twenty-five through a democratic universal voting system. The Senate would be an advisory legislative body while the Representatives would wield full law-proposing and voting power.
The Kingdom of Poland would be headed by the Empress as the Polish Queen, who would reign as a constitutional monarch. In Poland there would be a Council of Ministers, appointed and dismissed by the Queen (Empress) at will that would run the Kingdom day to day and execute her orders. It would also be able to issue executive decrees in her name and prepare the local budgets in Poland. There would be a Polish Parliament, the upper house, the Assembly of Senators, would be appointed by the Queen through the Ministers, and the lower house, the Governing Sejm, of which would be elected by the people through a democratic private ballot. The Assembly of Senators would work with the Ministers and approve the laws of the Sejm, which could hold the Ministers accountable and approve the budget prepared by the Queen's ministers. The Queen would be able to call and dismiss the parliament at will, and also able to call for elections and make appointments.
The Grand Duchy of Finland would be headed by the Empress as Grand Duchess, a constitutional monarch. The Duchess would be advised by the Finnish Council of Advisors, who would run the Duchy day to day, execute her orders, issue laws in her name, and prepare the Finnish budgets. There would remain the Finnish Senate, but this time with two houses, the House of Councillors as the Upper House, and the Assembly of Congressmen in the Lower House. The Councillors would approve the budget while the Congressmen would approve and change the laws.
This law is still in effect, with many amendments, today.
Then the Empress tackled the central government. In 1897, Alexandrina issued the Constitution of the Russian Empire. In it, the ideals of absolute monarchy were upheld, but given a liberal and progressive tone. Under it, the Emperor (Empress in cases as the document also recognized) would be Head of State and Government, the Commander of the Military and Autocrat of Russia. There would be a Council of Ministers that would advise the Monarch and execute its orders at will, running the Empire day to day and issuing decrees in the Monarch's name. The Monarch would appoint and dismiss the ministers at will, lay out agenda, call and dissolve their meetings, determine their discussions, and also where, when, and if they are to meet.
Then, perhaps she made a very liberal move: there would be a Parliament of the Russian Empire. The upper house would be the Imperial Senate, half of its members appointed and dismissed by the Monarch at will, the other half appointed by the colleges, the companies, and the Governors. The Governing Senate would be dissolved and become part of this larger Senate, representing the nobility and the intellectuals. The lower house would be the Russian Duma. The entire Duma would be elected by all voters over the age of twenty five, through a universal secret ballot and direct counting system. In this Parliament, the Monarch (Empress) would lead the Council, prepare its agenda, declare when and where it meets, and also to maintain order. All laws would be proposed, debated, and passed in the name of the Monarch. The Duma would be headed by a president and three deputies, elected by the representatives from among the assembly. They would have proper rules of procedure and discipline.
The monarch could call, dismiss, or dissolve the parliament at will, order for elections, and remake Upper House appointments. The monarch would assent to all laws and seal them before they could pass. However the Monarch could issue their own proclamations, decrees, laws, orders, reports, and charters. The monarch could also change or repeal parliamentary laws, procedure, or their own laws only at their will.
The Parliament would propose and pass laws, help to organize and approve the budget, fund, discipline, and organize the military, oversee the government bureaucracy and administration, oversee the actions of the Imperial Ministers, and also advise the Monarch on legislative and domestic affairs.
The Holy Synod would remain, but under her new Constitution would drop its Orthodoxy-Supermacy policies, support freedom of the religion, and have a more efficient organization with fewer members but with greater intellect and ablity.
The Court organization of Alexander II would also remain, but the Court of the Senate would become the Russian State Court with a organization and procedure based on that of the American Supreme Court.
Alexandrina's Constitution is still the Supreme Law of Russia today, albeit with many amendments, and is the greatest law Russia has ever developed.
The Empress then decided to repeal the sucession laws of Paul I. Paul, the rude son of Catherine the Great, reigned from 1796-1801, had enacted the Imperial Law of Sucession 1798. The Law said that only sons of the Monarch would become rulers. This insured that rulers would always be men. Alexandrina was greatful for her father naming her his heir over the Law. But the Law of Sucession was still in place, and her son, Alexei, the youngest of her children, would overide all four other daugthers and become the Emperor after her. Alexandrina then decided to remove this unfair Sucession Law.
On June 1, 1904, about a century after Paul signed his Sucession Act into Law, the Empress issued the Imperial Laws of Sucession, 1904, which decreed that the first born child of the monarch or of the heir, either a girl or boy, would become the next in line for the throne. Thus Alexei was passed over as direct heir (as Paul's Law would have decreed) and placed fifth in line for the throne. The Law remains, with some amendments on the line of sucession, in effect today. According to the Law, first Olga, and if she had children, or the other siblings in order of their birth, ending with Alexei, would be in line to become the ruler. Thus Olga would become Empress after Alexandrina, followed by the other sisters in order of their birth and then finally, Alexei, the youngest child.
Then the Empress engaged in reforming the state of the Russian peasants. She issued and implemented several laws to head towards this goal. In 1896 the Empress had issued the Cancellation of the Debts, cancelling the debts the peasants owed to the state as decreed by Alexander II in 1861. Then she issued the Decree for Finanical and Property Compensation for the Peasants in 1898. This law awarded every peasant in Russia a payment of $1,650 a month every year until 1912, plus a granting of 40 acres of land, crops, and animals to each peasant. The mir estates as Alexander II had established were abolished and replaced with the peasantry aids, organizations charged with aiding and helping peasants to develop their land and increase their self-made wealth. Community boards for the peasants were established and charitable help given.
Alexandrina also improved the condition of agriculture by developing food safety standards, granting money to nuture rural communites, insuring proper procedures of packaging and food-shipping, increasing modern methods of animal-breeding and caring, anaylzing the soil, and helping to develop better crops. Under her, Russia exported timber, hemp, flax, raw leather, furs, linen, cloth, and iron, and imported cottons, silks, tobacco, silver and tea. This, remember, is in the agricultural areas.
Empress Alexandrina then began Russia's social welfare and health insurance system. She wanted to have a welfare state like Germany's, but more liberalized and heavily progressive.
In 1896, the Children's Charter was enacted by the Empress, providing children with free meals in school, reforming educational standards, and imposing punishments for neglecting children. It became illegal to sell children tobacco, alcohol and fireworks or to send children begging. Juvenile courts and borstals were created instead for young offenders so they did not have to stand in adult courts and go to adult prisons for most offenses. Free medical inspections and treatment was also provided for children.
In 1898, the Empress introduced pensions for all elderly over the age of sixty five. Two-thirds of the cost would be paid by the medical services, one-third by the government. Each elderly person would recieve free medical treatment, $1,800 a month in pensions, free state housing, and protection from mistreatment.
In 1900, the Empress issued the Workers Act, opening labor exchanges in order to help unemployed people find work, by providing centres where a large number of employers and the unemployed could post jobs and apply for them respectively. The Act also provided sick pay of $1,600 a month for hurt and sick workers. Free medical treatment and health insurance was granted to the workers. Unemployment payments and accident benefits are also insured.
The Empress then embarked on industralization and development of Russia's vast resources. Geologists accessed ores from Russia's barren lands. Alexandrina established many more Mining Schools, established more mines, and developed Russia's vast natural gas reserves. She arranged for gold and silver mining and properly organized the refinement of minerals. She also improved conditions for miners and offically recognized the labor unions. Under her, the limits for working hours and also wages were guranteed for workers.
Factories were also nutured and supported. She encouraged the building of factories, however, those factories would be in fair condition, their workers provided reasonable wages, decent houses, health, sickness, and accident benefits, plus free education for their children and monetary support if unemployed. Russia was heavily industralized but in a liberalised and socially progressive course. Unlike Britain or America, or to an extent, Germany, Russia had the world's most socially progressive industrial and welfare state. By 1904, Russia had the world's fourth largest economy, after Britain, America, and Germany. She would almost equal Germany's in 1913. She also had the fastest growing GDP at the time. The number of factories had tripled from 69,500 to over 240,000. Russian industrial and mining conditions were three times better then that of America and would overtake Germany's by 1914.
Also the Great Siberian Railway, whose construction was started by her father, was completed by 1902. It was/is the world's longest railway, streching from Saint Petersburg, the capital, all the way to Vladvistok, on the eastern seaboard of Russia. Under her father, the workers were not paid and forced to work long hours. Under her, each worker recieved $4,000 in compensation, a rent on 50 acres of land each, and also recognition by the Imperial Senate for their work in getting the Railway done.
Empress Alexandrina then worked on education. Under her, free meals for the children were provided, new schools opened, existing schools supported, and basic education guaranteed to most children. Every person who was illiterate, including peasant adults, was to receive vocational training and also reading, writing, and basic math skills. All children would be required to go to school, and they would be provided free schoolbooks and materials. The Empress expanded Russia's existing universities and also opened up grants of studying in Germany, France, and England. By 1905, the literacy rate had risen from just slightly under 43% to an astounding 95% and the rate of education among peasants rose from 21% to 78%.
The Empress then heavily reformed the finanical state. Her Finance Minister Sergei Witte had proposed that Russia go back on the gold standard, but Alexandrina rejected this, saying that using gold to back the value of the ruble would in the end be disasterous. She was right, and despite Witte's protests, Alexandrina issued a proclamation stating that hard currency would back the ruble, and that gold would be exchanged into hard money. This policy saved Russia from finanical issues concerning gold that plagued other countries (Britain, America, Germany). She also reorganized the banking system and improved the banking insurance programs.
Under Alexandrina, the armed forces were reorganized. 390 army regiments and 150 divisions were created and proper commands placed over them. Russia's peace-time army was increased from 20,000 to 1.5 million soldiers, and her war-time army increased from 900,000 to over 4 million. The reserves were set at five million. Russia's army training was improved by eliminating inefficent training methods and also by setting higher standards of organization, honor, and discpline. By 1914, Russia had the world's second most professional and organized army, after Germany's, and also the world's largest standing army in both war and peace. Alexandrina also increased and reformed military funding.
The Navy also was reformed. New warships were commissioned, submarines began to be constructed, and the navy procedures of discpline and battle were reformed and upgraded to the highest standards possible. By 1914, Russia had the world's third most powerful navy, after Britain and Germany, and also the world's largest standing navy, with more then 50,000 warships, 2,000 submarines, and 5,000 battleships.
And finally, she had to face the most difficult of all her issues: foreign affairs. The Empress wanted Russia to progress as a great power while maintaining the peace. So, the Empress announced Russia would be "the broker of peace, and would remain neutral as far as possible in any and all wars". Although France did not support this position, Britain and Germany did so. Under the workings of the Empress, Russia held the Hague Conventions of 1907, which laid out proper rules of war and foreign relations conduct, while all the while defining the extent of peace. Although World War I was still incoming, the Conventions helped to define international law that would fully develop after the end of both World Wars.
Russia also solved problems with Japan. Both Japan and Russia had ambitions in Central Asia and China. However, Japan's armed forces were expanding at a faster rate than Russia's, and her society was becoming more modernized. But Alexandrina desperately wanted to keep the peace, so she proposed to Meji, the Emperor of Japan, that a convention between Japanese and Russian delegates be called in Tokyo to work out a settlement. Meji agreed, and he appointed his delegates, while Alexandrina appointed hers. Under orders from the two monarchs, the delegates met in Tokyo and over three months worked and argued over a settlement. Finally, on 4 September 1903, the Treaty of Tokyo, 1903 was signed. Under it, Russia respected Japan's ambitions in Korea and China, while Japan respected Russian ambitions in Siberia and Mongolia. A peace was also agreed to, and the two powers promised never to go to war over any Asian quarrel, and to solve ones peacefully by means of a commission that was to meet in Tokyo if necessary. With that, Japan and Russia became effective allies.
With these taken care of, and the birth of her final child, the Prince Alexei, in 1904, Alexandrina could just sit down and relax. The Empress continued to manage affairs of state, meeting with her ministers, calling the Duma as usual, but most of these duties she assigned to her progressive liberal Prime Minister Vladimir Lenin (In this version of the story, he is a honored Imperial minister). Prime Minister Lenin did well: he chaired the Ministers in her name, meet with the parliament, and ran the government with great efficiency and flexibility. Now she could relax.
We are going to get into a telling of her daily life, a regular day during this time:
Every day, Alexandrina, in her night gown, would get up at six, an early time. She would get a servant to pour her morning tea, look over her snoozing husband, and then head to her office. While sipping on the tea, at a steady rate, but calmly and smoothly, she would look over papers, for a monarch always has work to do. It might be a report from her Prime Minister, or just a law from the Duma needing her signature. However, she always looked over them, and was pleased she could work for the benefit of her country. After that, she might read for half an hour, a work of Voltaire, Diderot, or the famed Monstesqeu, the man who had written about the separation of the branches of government. She might also read Julius Caesar’s Galic Wars, for she always loved reading about the ancient Romans and their adventures. Then, the maid would bring in her breakfast, and she would eat it, slowly, while reading on Caesar in the French Rivera or such.
After completing her breakfast, she might continue to read in on the Gallic Wars, her hand against her long brown hair, just reading on in interest and full longing of what is to happen, when a servant might knock on the door. She would say "Come in" and they would, saying the same thing "Your Majesty, time for affairs of state".
She would then put in a blue ribonned bookmark, close the book, and get up. Then she would meet with her ministers, who would be discussing the daily matters of the country....maybe a petition from the workers, a law being debated by the Duma, or just some preparations on a Government Statement. She would listen intently and then speak. Usually she would just command on what to do, ask questions, or just debate. But she knew she had to. For the sake of the Monarchy, and for the sake of the People, and especially, of the Country she had to.
Then, she would have the lunch with the Imperial family. It would be usually salad, eggs, ham, and some noodles, with wine for her and James and coke for the royal children. They would usually talk about family matters, like a sports game, or maybe a ballot dance.
Then, she would continue to work hard until finally coming to bed. Before she went, though, she curled her hair, clipped her nails, and put on a fresh gown. Then she went down to sleep.
By 1905, the Empress was the most popular monarch in Russia ever. The Revolutionaries and Socialists had all become friendly to her and became members in the Duma and Government, helping to improve the welfare of the people and insuring civil reform. The Empress worked with them heavily to carry this out, and her efforts succeeded. In 1905, instead of OTL'S Russian Revolution, there was the Great Russian Celebrations. All across the country, millions of peasants, conservatives, socialists, revolutionaries, everyone, even criminals, celebrated about the first eleven years of Alexandrina's reign. A high surge of patriotism and confidence came among the people. Hundreds of parties, social balls, and parades occured in cities, including St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Yeketarinburg, Kiev, Vilnus, Warshaw, Lodz, and Minsk. The Empress herself attended the Social Balls in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and also oversaw a parade in Kiev. The Empress also attended a social ball in the Duma, where she meet with the Duma president and several Duma repersenatives, ranging from liberals to conservatives to libertarians.
After the Celebrations, the Empress began her great tour of Europe, starting 1 December 1905-5 June 1906. She visited a lot of countries. In Germany, she saw a German Army parade with Kaiser Willhelm II and she wore a German military suit, showing being a female did not limit her. She then went to Vienna, Austria, and had a lunch with the Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph II. Then she went to France, meeting the French president, who bowed to her as a sign of respect, to which she replied "I should be bowing to you" and did so. She then went to the Netherlands, meeting with Queen Willhemina, who said "At last, two monarchs who are women meet", to which Alexandrina replied "Yes indeed, much better the the males". She then went to England, meeting with King Edward and watching a Royal Navy Review.
Alexandrina was getting warry of Germany and Austria, but believed war was not the answer. Russia had a alliance with France, but the Empress did not want to get dragged into a war because of France's actions. Also, Russia supported Serbia, and after 1908, Greece, Romania, and Monteregro. But the Empress did not want to anger Austria. So in order to solve these problems, she called a conference with Germany and Austria.
On May 11, 1913, the Agreements of Saint Petersburg were signed and apporved, by repersenatives of the Germans, Austrians, and Russians. They made several compromises:
- If a war between France and Germany occured, or a war between Austria or a Balkans country supported by Russia occured, Russia would remain netural and would not enter.
- Russia would stop the flow of funds to Serbia, while Germany/Austria would stop their flow of funds to Bulgaria.
- The Russians promised to stop interfering in Austrian/Serbian affairs. The Austrians would promise to stop interfering in Romanian/Russian affairs.
After assuring the peace with the Central Powers, the Empress then guaranteed to Turkey of no interferences in their sphere of influence. France became very angry, but Russia persisted.
So when World War I broke out in August 1914, the neutrality of Russia allowed the Germans to channel all four million of their troops into France, while Austria could focus completely on Serbia and after 1915, Italy. However, the United States entered the war in June 1916, energizing the Allies, and they still won by 1918.
Alexandrina's decision not to honor the alliance with France saved the Russian Empire, which was still developing further at the point. France however got angry at Russia. The French president issued a decree suspending the alliance with Russia on 8 May 1918.
Russia did not participate in the Treaty of Versailles. As a result, Gallicia and German Poland became independent nations, Austria was broken up, and Britain and France were given militarized control of the Dardanelles. The Empress recognized the Treaty.
By 1918, Alexandrina was 50 years old. She was still beautiful and youthful, but she knew she was aging. However, she was not done with her work on Russia. She had reigned for twenty four years, and history books were, both in Russia and aboard, were already labeling her Alexandrina the Great. Although she believed she was just doing her duty, journalists and even Prime Minister Lenin were praising her as the Mother of all Russias.
The Empress now knew she would lead Russia into the 20s. By now, all the revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the monarchy, including the group that had murdered the Empress' grandfather three decades prior, were now pacified and supportive of the Empress.
Alexandrina had already reformed the educational, military, health care, and industrial systems. Now she was concerned about finance. The Empress witnessed how other nations (including Britain, America, and France) were recklessly spending money and lavishing themselves. America especially she was concerned about. She knew the American system of finance, in which bankers had no way of insuring deposits of their customers, in which they loaned carelessly to investors who used credit to buy stocks more worth then they could pay for. The American stock market, she wrote, was "like a chicken released from the coop; it was reckless and had no regulation, or little of it, whatsoever. I will not allow the same to happen in Russia."
In May 1922, the Imperial Parliament passed the Russian Banking Act, which had been proposed by Prime Minister Lenin and supported by Empress Alexandrina. The Act:
- Established the Russian Insurance Corporation (RIC), with it's board of directors and chairman to be appointed by the Empress, to insure deposits of up to $300,000 Rubles. The Corporation would hand out the money in such deposits up to the amount stated when a deposit's holding bank fails.
- All banks that fail are to be closed, reorganized, their money supplies restored, and reopened on government funds.
- The Finance Minister would be given the power to supervise and direct banks in times of emergency, and to control the flow of emergency aid to failing or closed banks.
- Banks that failed to insure the deposits of their customers, or only provided money not in the total amount of the deposit, would be fined $4.5 million and taken by the government. Victims of the banks' actions would be compensated financially.
- A series of regulations would be placed on banks, to be executed by the Finance Minister.
The Empress then issued the Decree on Stocks. This decree placed the first regulations on the stock market, establishing the Secruities Commission to execute these regulations and issue new ones.