Russia and the Caucasus 150 years ago

His officer class had been exposed to Western ideas, occupying Paris after the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Paris in 1814. Among Russia’s elites, there were hopes that the victorious Czar would shepherd a transition from feudal autocracy to constitutional monarchy. Priorities, however, began to change around the same time his nephew was born. Alarmed by news of revolutionary disorder in Naples and Piedmont, Alexander I declared, “Liberty should be confined within just limits. And the limits of liberty are the principles of order.” Reform would have to wait until a subsequent reign.