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Vorontsov, Alexander Romanovich

VORONTSOV, ALEXANDER ROMANOVICH (1741-1805), Russian imperial chancellor, nephew of the preceding and son of Count Roman Vorontsov, began his career at the age of fifteen in the Izmailovsky regiment of the Guards. In 1759, his kinsman, the grand chancellor Mikhail Illarionovich, sent him to Strassburg, Paris and Madrid to train him in diplomacy. Under Peter III. he represented Russia for a short time at the court of St James's. Catherine II. created him a senator and president of the Board of Trade; but she never liked him, and ultimately (1791) compelled him to retire from public life. In 1802 Alexander I. summoned him back to office and appointed him imperial chancellor. This was the period of the triumph of the Vorontsovs, who had always insisted on the necessity of a close union with Austria and Great Britain, in opposition to Panin and his followers, who had leaned on France or Prussia till the outbreak of the Revolution made friendship with France impossible. Vorontsov was also an implacable opponent of Napoleon, whose " topsy-turvyness " he was never weary of denouncing. The rupture with Napoleon in 1803 is mainly attributable to him. He also took a leading part in the internal administration and was in favour of a thorough reform of the senate and the ministries. He retired in 1804. He possessed an extraordinary memory and a firm and wide grasp of history.

His " Memoirs of my Own times " (Rus.) is printed in vol. vii. of the Vorontsov Archives.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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