Why is the IA group called the group of alkali metals, and the IIA group (except for Be and Mg) – the group of alkaline earth metals?

The group of alkali metals is formed by metals whose oxides are readily soluble in water and give strong hydrates called caustic alkalis. The group of alkaline earth metals is formed by metals, the oxides of which, although slightly soluble in water (previously they were called earths for their powdery appearance), form more or less strong hydrates that have an alkaline reaction.

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