Author Topic: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man  (Read 98026 times)

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Offline investigator

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Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« on: January 28, 2004, 02:52:49 AM »
Why did Tsar Nicholas II bow down to the wishes of Empress Alexandra?  Why did he not get rid of Rasputin when he knew that he was a threat to the monarchy and his image?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 11:34:23 AM by Alixz »
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Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2004, 10:07:24 AM »
An interesting question, which has been discussed for years. After a lot of research into the subject, we have come to this conclusion:

Regardless of everything else, Rasputin had a healing effect on Alexei when the best doctors available had prepared the Family for his death, at Spala. The Court had gone so far as to prepare an Imperial Bulletin, not released, to this effect. Rasputin sent a telegram, and quite miraculously, Alexei recovered.  This healing effect was repeated several more times, so the Family believed it to be real and sent to them by God.

Nicholas and Alexandra had received three official reports about Rasputin, the last one from Stolypin himself.  Unfortunately,  they mostly contained more false information than true.  People in the Imperial administration were trying to make Rasputin look even worse than he was, or were repeating the worst of the rumors without confirmation of them, in order to enrage the Tsar, but the strategy backfired when it was confirmed to Nicholas that most of the stories were just made up.

Without going into too much detail, due to space limitations here, the end result was that after the Tsar had the charges against Rasputin investigated three times, and found them to be mostly made up, he ordered that he never again be presented with these "stories" because he had become convinced that people were just making them up out of jealousy for Rasputin's closeness to the Court.

The other part of the equation is simply this: Rasputin had less actual influence over the Tsar than is generally believed. He only appeared at Court seven times, and the longest audience was 20 minutes. While he had tea with them, he never even dined with the Family, and was never once alone with The Empress.  

To sum it up, Nicholas simply felt that while Rasputin had some definite character flaws, they weren't really worse than most of the men around him, who also drank and fooled around with women, Nicholas believed Rasputin was also a truly holy man of God, and that the rest of what he heard was just "sour grapes " from people jealous of his position, and Nicholas really did not feel that Rasputin had ANY impact on his decision making, so he ignored it all.

Offline Sushismom

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2004, 12:52:27 PM »
From everything I've read about Nicholas II, he seems to have been a fairly mild-mannered man when it came to Alexandra and their family. She was a strong-willed, domineering woman and he simply found it easier to go along with her wants than to fight against her.

Offline investigator

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2004, 08:50:19 PM »
There is no doubt that Nicholas II was not a man of strong will.  Alexandra on the other hand was a woman of strong ideals and she did boss him around.  But all this did backfire.  I think that Nicholas II was so much in love with her that he just did not stop her and she felt the same way only that she felt insecure.  She felt insecure because of Alexei and also she was an ambitious woman.  The general public was not aware of the sickness of Tsarvich Alexei, this was another point of tension for the empress.  She knew in her heart that her son will not become a Tsar.  People mostly misunderstood her.  She was a very vulnerable woman.  In my opinion she would have made a better monarch than Nicholas.  Everyone in government was aware of Alexandra's influence over the Tsar and this did not in any way favour Nicholas.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
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Offline Sushismom

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2004, 01:33:49 PM »
Perhaps a more strong-willed monarch but certainly not better. We see the results of her attempts at power during the latter part of Nicholas's reign. The result of her attempts was the Russian Revolution.

Sunny

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2004, 06:27:52 PM »
Three of the most striking things about Nicholas (imo)
were the depth of kindness in his eyes, his practice of Russian Orthodoxy, and his complete love for his family
and country. Most of the material available is still tainted by decades of misinformation and bolshevik slant. Nicholas did not bow down to his wife. He shared a painful secret with her, the stress of which is unimaginable. Much of what has been written about Rasputin has been disproved. For whatever reason his presence soothed Alexei, and facilitated relief from pain.
There was so much treachery around this family. To lay the blame for the Russian Revolution on Alexandra ...  :'(

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2004, 08:58:51 PM »
Alexandra was completely uninvolved in politics until the last two years of the dynasty during the war.  If things had gone differently and these last two bad years had not occured posterity would thing differently of her.  One shouldn't forget that people at the time generally belived that she was a German spy and Rasputin's mistress.  Anything Alexander did was wrong in the eyes of the public, who were fed wild and ridiculous stories about her (and even her daughters).

Until 1915 Alexander had completely focused on her family and supporting Nicholas as a wife and the mother of their children.

Until the war and the German spy rumours started Alexandra was generally considered to be an ideal example of a good mother and royal wife.  This is especially true with the American and British press.

She had very little influence over her husband - unless her views and his were in harmony to begin with.  One should never forget that Nicholas was very bguarded in his own opinions on political affairs. he discussed them with few people.

If you read Nicholas and Alexandra's letters you will see that he seldom takes her advice or acknowledges it.  He might welsome her opinions - but in the end the decision was his.

There's my two cents for tonight.

JamesHogland

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2004, 01:56:39 PM »
Anna Anderson's claim to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia has been proved to be false by DNA testing, although some still question this testing. However, during her many years of being a "claimant" she gave information on the personal life of the Imperial family and the court that was uncannily accurate. One of her claims was that the Tsar, her father as she claimed, had tatooes on his arms. Some members of the court that survived and escaped the Revolution scoffed at this, while others supported her statements. In the few pictures from the family archives that show Nicholas II with sleeves rolled up and arms bare it appears that he did indeed have a tattoo or more on his right arm in particular, although it is hard to dertermine with the quality of the photos. Do any readers have any further information as to wheter Nicholas II did indeed have tattoos or not? We do know that his cousin George V and his uncle Frederick of Denmark had tattoos, both gotten when they served in their navies.

Offline Sushismom

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2004, 05:10:49 PM »
I absolutely believe Alexandra was partially responsible. Entirely her fault? No. I also believe that she was politically minded for most of her marriage to Nicholas. As I mentioned elsewhere, Alexandra herself wrote to Nicholas stating that she "longs to stick her nose into everything."

Offline Silja

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2004, 05:04:41 PM »
I also agree that Alexandra had much less influence on Nicholas' political decisions than popularly imagined. See for instance Fuhrman's edition of the letters. However, Nicholas did occasionally bow down to her opinion when they didn't agree.

It's absurd to think Alexandra was responsible for the fall of the Russian monarchy. Many reasons played a part in this, but as Bob Atchison has pointed out, Nicholas generally relied on his own judgement. Besides, even with a "stronger" tsar the Russian Revolution might not have been avoided. See Lieven's excellent analysis of the political situation and tsarist system at the time. The "Western" analysis that all the trouble could have been avoided if only Nicholas had transformed the system into a constitutional monarchy is very simplistic.

Offline investigator

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2004, 06:45:19 AM »
Did Nicky have a good relationship between his siblings?
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2004, 11:34:48 AM »
Just responding "off the top of my head"--without my library nearby to refer to--it appears that Nicholas being the congenial, equitable individual that he was, he had very good relationships with his siblings. From all that little sister Olga told Ian Vorres, she was very fond of her oldest brother, and he of her.  Nicholas and Michael also had a very good relationship, though certainly the former was often exasperated with the latter's romantic entanglements, which drove a wedge between them as the years went on.  Nicholas was very amused by his brother "Georgey," whose antics he whole-heartedly enjoyed.  And even before  Xenia married Grand Duke Alexander, and Nicky married Alix, the two couples seemed to get together frequently, and had all the more in common when Xenia and Alix each gave birth to daughters within a year or so of their respective marriages.  

Nicholas did have his priorities, though, and placed his wife first, before any of his siblings.  This is the accepted standard, both now and then, but in the case of Russia it may have added just one more nail to the coffin, since the tsar's sisters and surviving brother all seem to have had a somewhat better grasp on many of his problems (i.e., Alexandra's patronage of Rasputin) than did Nicholas.  

Of course, it is always easier to say "You're going about this all wrong" and "I told you so" when you're not the one having to balance situations and attempting to keep everyone happy!

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2004, 12:32:40 PM »
Do we know if Ksenia was as right-wing as her husband?  Perhaps she was not political.  We know very few members of the family were 'liberal' - it's hard to know what Olga's politics were.  Michael seems to have changed over time.

I assume the family was always pushing Nicholas to go right rather then left.

Bob

Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2004, 01:38:05 PM »
Quote
Do we know if Ksenia was as right-wing as her husband?  Perhaps she was not political.  We know very few members of the family were 'liberal' - it's hard to know what Olga's politics were.  Michael seems to have changed over time.

I assume the family was always pushing Nicholas to go right rather then left.

Bob



Bob
   Xenia made a number of comments about the Duma being "stuffed full of Jews" and how unfortunate it was that some deputies couldn't be found who weren't Jewish. Both she and Sandro though seem to have been in favour of granting the Duma to begin with - I think I'd characterise this as self-preservation rather than liberal principle.

I don't see much evidence that any of the Vladimirovichi were liberally inclined in any way at all until that moment in March 1917 when Kiril apruptly discovered his hidden leanings to constitutional monarchy. Andrei may have taken a more pragmatic view of the need for reform before then, but I don't think the others did.

But I don't think many family members were actively trying to push Nicholas right-wards either...

Janet

Offline ptitchka

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Re: Nicholas II - Head of the Romanovs and Family Man
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2004, 07:45:58 PM »
Whatever his misfortunes and apparent failings as a head-of-state may have been, this Tsar-Martyr was a truly good man.  
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 08:35:21 PM by Alixz »