Author Topic: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?  (Read 20030 times)

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LondonGirl

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2011, 08:18:36 PM »
Yes - that is a very typically to-the-point and accurate assessment - and fair. Nicholas has been vilified in numerous accounts, and was subject to unqualified and biased socialist propaganda. But who subsequently managed to improve on his record??? No-one.

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2011, 08:45:43 AM »
....But who subsequently managed to improve on his record??? No-one.
good point! 

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Offline Selencia

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2011, 06:03:48 PM »
It seems the assessment focuses too much on WWI. Nicholas' mistakes began a long time before that. The Russo-Japanese War, his treatment of the Duma, succumbing to the isolation of himself and his family and the list goes on and on. For a ruler to be of average and mediocre ability; Nicholas had too much power and wielded it as someone who had a genius ability in regards to ruling. He also never recognized how mediocre he was at his job and perhaps think "maybe I should listen to those who have more understanding of these things". Compounded on top of all of this is his refusal to allow change to occur or accept that it was going to occur. Russia as a whole seemed to operate with a 16th century government in a 20th century world; a government that believed in the idea that the monarch was ordained by God, knew all and saw all, should be obeyed no matter what, and his word was law. But the idea of the Renaissance, Enlightenment etc. had been able to either bleed into the country or at times were welcomed into the country under certain liberal Tsars. Nicholas did not have the recognition to realize that you could not turn back the clock, nor the ability and personality to beat into a pulp those who encouraged liberal ideas. The man essentially lived in his own little world, and either refused or never thought to take a glimpse into the reality of the situation.

Offline Naslednik

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2011, 09:36:29 PM »
My, Selencia, that was an easy little wrap-up!  I disagree with your general perspective which looks too much from a modern standpoint.  His decisions were grounded in his deep faith, which many of us can barely fathom.  But Nicholas was not the only man in Russia who believed in a connection between Tsar and God.

The Renaissance? Read his diary -- he loved music in particular, also literature, history, languages, technology -- he was an enlightened man.  Yet you would say that if a man doubts the capacity for Russia to withstand rapid change he therefore didn't recognize the Renaissance?  Even knowing that that man, as a boy, had seen his liberal grandfather hunted down?

Yes, Japan was a mistake (but well provoked). Yes, the structure of the imperial gov't needed reform.

No, I agree more with the man who did the catastrophe of Gallipoli than I do with you.  Churchill knew how hard it was to be a leader, how easy to make mistakes, how hard to see clearly in a chaotic world.

And who has proven to be the leader Russia wants -- even through change after change?

Offline Selencia

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2011, 05:34:42 PM »
LMAO that the war in Japan was "provoked". Perhaps provoked by ignorance and a belief in the greatness of Russia over the yellow peril. There were a few men, Sergei Witte comes to mind, who saw the various dangers that were looming because of Nicholas' policies. His problem was not that "it's hard to rule" his problem was that he didn't want to listen to anybody or look pass his palace walls to see what was really going on. He was not as egotistical as Wilhelm, but they do share qualities especially in thinking that they are always right no matter what. It may be hard to rule, but Nicholas made it harder by his actions.

Offline Naslednik

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2011, 10:18:01 PM »
Oh, I'm not arguing that the war was wise.  But Japan had a war in China 1894-5 with lots of casualities, and this was destabilizing.  Then there was the surprise attack on Port Arthur....The US did consider Pearl Harbor provokative.  Anyway, way off topic, sorry!

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2011, 05:41:46 PM »
What WSC wrote about Nicholas II is a fitting eptah (sic) for the man. However, he does have some critical but true comments about him in "The World Crises" section that deals with the Russian Revolution including refering to Nicholas II as "The fond ,  obstinate husband and father, the absolute monarch obviously devoid of all the qualities of a national rular in times of crisis,". As for Alexandra WSC writes "Behind him (N) the Empress, a still more hated figure,". Churchillalso writes "All sorts of Russians made the Revolution. No sort of Russian reaped its profit." On the Great War Fourm section on the Eastern front they have a posting on the Russian casualty estimates during the WW I, 1914-17 2million + dead all causes,  3-4 million wounded, 3million+ POWs seam like reasonable estimates. Add to this an estimated 1,440,000 civilian dead. Sadly for Russia things get worst reather than better after this the civil War, the Revolutionary terror, famines, the purges, WW II.
 It should be pointed out in the 1920s and 30s alot of what we would call today "Politicaly Correct" types routinely refered to the USSR as a workers paradise ect. Nicholas II ect was demonized as WSC pointed out as a "purblind, corrput, incompetant tyranny. Nicholas II and Alexandra both wanted Germany to be defeated and the Allies to win unlike Lenin who was an ally of the Germans and expected them to win. It should be remembered that 16 July 1918 their last full day on earth is the same day Lundendorf called off the the last German offensive in the West.

Alixz

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2011, 11:26:03 AM »
He was not as egotistical as Wilhelm, but they do share qualities especially in thinking that they are always right no matter what. It may be hard to rule, but Nicholas made it harder by his actions.

There is the definition of the "divine right of kings".

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2011, 06:35:36 PM »
In WSCs day refering to someone as a "Great captain" was one way to call him a great military leader ect. Also calling someone a "Great Prince" was one way to call someone a great national leader ect. These were not terms of disrespect. Just thought you all would like to know.

Offline Naslednik

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Re: Do you agree with Winston Churchill's summary of Nicholas?
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2011, 12:55:28 AM »
James, interesting quotes from the rest of Churchill's books.  The one about "all sorts of Russians made the revolution" touches upon 1 reason I defend Nicholas: if people stay addicted to the idea that Nicholas' incompetence, weakness, stupidity, etc. caused the Revolution, then we will never see all the forces that brought it about, in balance.  Balance is the key word.  For to replace a 'tyrant' with a democratic leader and expect democracy is foolish.  Democracy is a structure built over time.  And being a citizen of a democracy is a learned responsibility.  I fear that Russia will be doomed to repeat the failed experiment over and over until some of these elements are accepted. (Although I admit that progress is so difficult in the current oligarchy).