Get a summary of the six Russian dictators from 1855 to 1991 in this structured mind map.

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1. Alexander II

1.1. Born Moscow on 17th April, 1818

1.2. Alexander became Tsar of Russia on the death of his father in 1855

1.2.1. Russia was involved in the Crimean War and in 1856 signed the Treaty of Paris that brought the conflict to an end

1.2.2. Alexander II became the sixteenth Romanov tsar in 1855

1.3. Wife

1.3.1. Marie Alexandrovna, the daughter of the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt

1.4. In 1861 Alexander issued his Emancipation Manifesto that proposed 17 legislative acts that would free the serfs in Russia

1.4.1. A period of repression after 1866 led to a resurgence of revolutionary terrorism and to Alexander’s own assassination.

1.5. Alexander improved municipal government (1870) and universal military training (1874)

1.6. He was the Emperor of Russia from 2 March 1855 until his assassination on 13 March 1881.

1.6.1. Legacy In Alexander’s reign, Russia built the base needed for emergence into capitalism and industrialization later in the century. After the Crimean War, the modernization of Russia had indeed become imperative if Russia was to retain its position as a major European power. But even within the context of a wider movement, the role of Alexander II, through his position as autocratic ruler, was a highly important one. Alexander II did much to frustrate his own reforming policies and to set Russia finally on the road to revolution.

1.7. He was also the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Finland

2. Tsar Alexander III

2.1. The second son of Tsar Alexander II, was born in St. Petersburg on 26th February, 1845

2.2. Emperor of Russia from 1881 to 1894

2.3. He was openly critical of his father's attempts to reform the political system.

2.4. Wife

2.4.1. 1866 Alexander married Princess Marie Dagmar, the daughter of King Kristian IX of Denmark and sister of Queen Alexandra of Britain

2.5. Alexander became Tsar of Russia on the assassination of Alexander II in 1881

2.5.1. He cancelled his father's plans to introduce a representative assembly and announced he had no intention of limiting his autocratic power.

2.6. 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

2.6.1. He 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.

2.7. Legacy

2.7.1. Alexander’s reign cannot be regarded as one of the eventful periods of Russian history; but it is arguable that under his hard, unsympathetic rule the country made some progress.

2.8. He died a natural death in 1894.

2.8.1. He was succeeded by his son Nicholas II.

3. Tsar Nicholas II

3.1. Born at Krasnoye Selo in May 1868

3.1.1. Russian in full Nikolay Aleksandrovich

3.2. Died July 17, 1917, Yekaterinburg

3.2.1. The last Russian emperor (1894–1917), who, with his wife, Alexandra, and their children, was killed by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution.

3.3. Wife

3.3.1. Nicholas proposed to Alexandra in April 1894, but she rejected him on the grounds of her refusal to convert to the Russian Orthodox faith. After pressure from Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany she changed her mind and accepted the offer. Her grandmother, Queen Victoria, also approved of the marriage and lived with her until the wedding could take place. The marriage of Nicholas II and Alexandra took place in the Grand Church of the Winter Palace of St Petersburg on 26th November 1894.

3.4. His reign saw the fall of the Russian Empire from one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse

3.4.1. He was given the nickname Nicholas the Bloody or Vile Nicholas Due to the Khodynka Tragedy, anti-Semitic pogroms, Bloody Sunday, the violent suppression of the 1905 Russian Revolution, the execution of political opponents, and his perceived responsibility for the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905)

3.4.2. Soviet historians portrayed Nicholas as a weak and incompetent leader whose decisions led to military defeats and the deaths of millions of his subjects.

4. Lenin

4.1. Vladimir Illich Ulyanov was born in Simbirsk, Russia, on 10th April, 1870

4.2. He served as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924.

4.2.1. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party Ideologically a communist, he developed a variant of Marxism known as Leninism.

4.3. His father, Ilya Ulyanov, a former science teacher

4.3.1. His father was a monarchist and was a supporter of Tsar Alexander II and his Emancipation Manifesto that proposed 17 legislative acts that would free the serfs in Russia

4.4. His mother, Maria Blank Ulyanov, had a German grandmother, and according to Maria Ulyanov

4.5. After passing his law exams in 1891, Lenin started practising law in Samara. He studied the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

4.6. He was the founder of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)

4.6.1. And the founder of the Soviet Union

4.6.2. Inspirer and leader of the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) Architect, builder, and first head (1917–24) of the Soviet state

4.7. He was the founder of the organization known as Comintern (Communist International) and the posthumous source of “Leninism”

4.7.1. The doctrine codified and conjoined with Karl Marx’s works by Lenin’s successors to form Marxism-Leninism, which became the Communist worldview.

4.8. In increasingly poor health, Lenin died at his dacha in Gorki, with Joseph Stalin succeeding him as the pre-eminent figure in the Soviet government.

4.8.1. On 21 January 1924, Lenin fell into a coma and died later that day

5. Joseph Stalin

5.1. Joseph Djugashvilli (Stalin), was born in Gori, Georgia on 21st December, 1879

5.2. Secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–53)

5.3. Premier of the Soviet state (1941–53)

5.3.1. During the quarter of a century preceding his death, the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin probably exercised greater political power than any other figure in history.

5.3.2. Stalin industrialized the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

5.3.3. Chief architect of Soviet totalitarianism and a skilled but phenomenally ruthless organizer He destroyed the remnants of individual freedom and failed to promote individual prosperity He created a mighty military–industrial complex and led the Soviet Union into the nuclear age

5.4. Stalin was hailed as a universal genius, as a “shining sun,” or “the staff of life,” and also as a “great teacher and friend"

5.4.1. Achieving wide visual promotion through busts, statues, and icons of himself, the dictator became the object of a fanatical cult that, in private, he probably regarded with cynicism.

5.5. Role In World War II

5.5.1. Stalin emerged as the most successful of the supreme leaders thrown up by the belligerent nations In August 1939 he concluded a pact with Hitler, which encouraged the German dictator to attack Poland and begin World War II. In May 1941 Stalin recognized the growing danger of German attack on the Soviet Union by appointing himself chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars (head of the government)

5.5.2. Stalin participated in high-level Allied meetings, including those of the “Big Three” with Churchill and Roosevelt at Tehrān (1943), Yalta (1945), and Potsdam (1945)

5.6. Stalin was the first to recognize the potential of bureaucratic power.

5.6.1. While the other Bolshevik leaders still feared their revolution being betrayed by a military man Stalin’s political ability went beyond tactics He was able to channel massive social forces both to meet his economic goals and to expand his personal power.

5.7. Died March 5, 1953, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.)

6. Mikhail Gorbachev

6.1. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, (born March 2, 1931, Privolye, Stavropol kray, Russia, U.S.S.R.)

6.2. Son of an agricultural mechanic on a collective farm

6.3. He was political influenced by his grandfather Pantelei Yefimovich Gopkalo

6.3.1. His grandfather remained a committed communist and introduced his grandson to the works of Karl Marx, Frederick Engels and Lenin

6.4. Soviet official, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from 1985 to 1991 and president of the Soviet Union in 1990–91

6.5. His efforts to democratize his country’s political system and decentralize its economy led to the downfall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

6.5.1. In part because he ended the Soviet Union’s postwar domination of eastern Europe, Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1990.

6.6. In 1996 Gorbachev ran for president of Russia but garnered less than 1 percent of the vote.

6.6.1. He nevertheless remained active in public life, as a speaker and as a member of various global and Russian think tanks.

6.7. Although Gorbachev was at times critical of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, he supported the country’s annexation (2014) of Crimea during the Ukraine crisis.