With regard to the Russian peasants, Nicholas chose the path of least resistance.
Though Nicholas himself regarded serfdom as evil,
the nobility was the only possible means of governing Russia's vast spaces, and serf labor propped up the nobility.
Rightly suspecting that Poles had joined the opposition societies under Alexander the First,
Nicholas the First refused to call himself King of Poland.
He withdrew the rights Alexander had given the Poles until they revolted in 1830.
Within a year, Poland had been reconquered and reabsorbed into the Russian empire.
For the rest of his reign, Nicholas tried to turn the Poles into Russians or "Russify" them.
He also continued Catherine's war against the Ottoman Empire,
trying to achieve her goal of returning Istanbul or Constantinople to Orthodoxy and gaining Russia an outlet on the Mediterranean Sea.
His greatest successes were in the Caucasus where he continued his brothers often brutal policies against nationalities such as the Chechans.
Besides expanding the boundaries of the Russian Empire, Nicholas again wanted to maintain order and monarchy all throughout Europe!
This could be termed an example of Pax Russica.