The early part of Alexander's reign (1801-25) was a period of generous ideas and liberal reforms. Under the influence of his Swiss tutor, Frederick Cesar de Laharpe, he Alex- had imbibed many of the democratic ideas of the time, and he aspired to put them in practice, with the assistance at first of three young friends, Novosiltsov, Adam Czartoryski and Strogonov, who were his intimate counsellors and were popularly known as the Triumvirate, and later of Mikhail Speranski.
While retaining for a time the old ministers who had served and overthrown the emperor Paul, one of the first acts of his reign was to appoint a secret committee, called ironically the " Comite du salut public," consisting of young and enthusiastic friends of his own - Victor Gavovich Kochubey, Nikolai Nikolaevich Novosiltsov, Paul Alexandrovich Strogonov and Adam Czartoryski - to draw up a scheme of internal reform.
Czartoryski, Novosiltsev, Prince Volkonsky, Strogonov, and the others, all richly dressed gay young men on splendid, well-groomed, fresh, only slightly heated horses, exchanging remarks and smiling, had stopped behind the Emperor.
Now those vague liberal dreams with which the Emperor Alexander had ascended the throne, and which he had tried to put into effect with the aid of his associates, Czartoryski, Novosiltsev, Kochubey, and Strogonov--whom he himself in jest had called his Comite de salut public--were taking shape and being realized.