Author Topic: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?  (Read 204649 times)

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Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #195 on: October 01, 2010, 10:17:52 AM »
Yes, but Russia had been having problems with radicals for decades before.  You think that revolution might have crossed someones mind.
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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #196 on: October 01, 2010, 11:35:19 AM »
I think the prevailing thinking was with a 1,000,000 man army, the war was going to be short and victorious and so most people wanted to be seeto be contributing to that victory.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #197 on: October 02, 2010, 09:31:48 AM »
Throughout Europe there was a rush to contribute to national war efforts. In Britain, 300,000 men joined up by September 1914, a million by the end of the year. My maternal grandfather worked his passage from Canada to join up. The ship docked in Cardiff, and he wasted no time in finding a recruiting office, so found himself in the Welch Regiment, despite having no Welsh connections whatever! In Germany young men not subject to call-up were also rushing to join up, including, of course, a certain Adolf Hitler.

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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #198 on: October 02, 2010, 11:17:33 AM »
I seriously doubt that in 1914 anyone could anticipate the duration or intensity of the war that was to come or the subsequent revolution.  Almost noone had heard of Lenin, let alone Stalin, so repatriating assets to support Russia's war needs was not seen as a stupid move, moreover, patriotism at the most basic level.

Actually as far back as 1898 the Russian Jewish financier Ivan Bliokh predicted the appalling carnage of the next great European war with a barrage of statistics in his six-volume work on the subject. It made a deep impression in Russia, especially it seems on the young tsar Nicholas II, who granted a personal audience to the author. According to Robert K. Massie, Bliokh's magnum opus was one of the reasons why Nicholas II made the proposal for an international conference to discuss the arms race. This proposal ultimately led to the Hague Conference in 1899, which failed on the issue of disarmament but nevertheless "[agreed] on rules of warfare and established a permanent court of arbitration" (Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra, 65).

I certainly wasn't arguing that patriotic Russians in 1914 were "stupid," only that they were foolhardy. They could have repatriated some of their assets in support of the war effort, without sacrificing all of them. Revolution was definitely in the air, after all, after the Lena Goldfields massacre of 1912 and many other incidents of workers' protests and civil disorder in the years leading up to World War I. Lenin certainly predicted that Nicholas II would be toppled from the throne in the event of a major continental war when he wrote during his years of exile, "If only Nikolasha would give us a war."

It's all a moot point now, of course, since Russians today, including Putin himself, are busy making foreign investments, because the threat of another significant political crisis is always looming on the horizon in twenty-first century Russia.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 11:30:55 AM by Elisabeth »
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Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #199 on: October 02, 2010, 11:48:04 AM »
Yeah, you have to give Putin and Co. credit for thinking ahead.  Mind you, communications are much more easy now than they were 100 years ago.
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #200 on: October 02, 2010, 12:06:26 PM »
Yeah, you have to give Putin and Co. credit for thinking ahead.  Mind you, communications are much more easy now than they were 100 years ago.

I think Putin and his cohorts (or should I say co-whores?) in the political leadership are just cynical. They know they've only succeeded in building a house of cards. And the unfortunate Russian people, and especially the new middle class, who have suffered one blow after another, from repeated bank failures in the 1990s to the current economic recession (maybe it's more properly termed an actual depression) have no recourse but to put their savings in more secure investments abroad. Obviously many, perhaps even the majority of Russians, are not so willing to give up on their native country. Unlike their political leaders, they are probably still patriotic, but given the bitter experiences of the Soviet and post-Soviet past, they have to look after their own best interests, more importantly, the best interests of their children. This is a real conflict; I remember Russian friends back in the early 1990s who spent many anxious hours debating where their real loyalties lay, to their country or to their children, before eventually deciding on the latter, and emigrating with their families to the West.
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Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #201 on: October 02, 2010, 06:03:59 PM »
I wonder if things would have gone better for Russia had Lenin and his band of criminals not taken power, but rather had Kerensky's government prevailed.  All the damage the Communists did would never happen.  Russia has never really recovered from the wounds Communism inflicted upon in.
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #202 on: October 02, 2010, 07:28:54 PM »
I wonder if things would have gone better for Russia had Lenin and his band of criminals not taken power, but rather had Kerensky's government prevailed.  All the damage the Communists did would never happen.  Russia has never really recovered from the wounds Communism inflicted upon in.

I agree that Russia has never recovered from the damage of the Soviet period, which lasted almost a century after all.

But I disagree that the provisional government could have prevailed. They were committed to fighting Germany, which went against the wishes of most of the Russian people, and for that very reason, they were ultimately incapable of sustaining the struggle. If they had truly wanted to continue this war, and still secure the home front from radical extremism, they would have needed to place the government in charge of a new Napoleon. Unfortunately most of the new "Napoleons" of this period in Russian history happened to be Bolsheviks, i.e., radical extremists.

I know, it's disgusting to compare the great Napoleon to perpetrators of crimes against humanity like Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin... but there you go. History cares very little for such niceties.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 07:32:04 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #203 on: October 02, 2010, 11:42:25 PM »
It's a shame that Lenin and Stalin can never be brought to trial for their crimes.  They have a LOT to answer for. 
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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #204 on: October 03, 2010, 12:48:38 AM »
Actually Napoleon is an apt analogy as he emerged from the French Revolution.

Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #205 on: October 03, 2010, 06:01:48 PM »
Yeah, he did.    Mind you, he wasn't a butcher like Hitler and Stalin were.  I remember reading a quote from Winston Churchill who said something like "I won't compare Hitler to Napoleon.  I have no wish to insult the dead."
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #206 on: October 03, 2010, 07:29:00 PM »
Well, Napoleon certainly did leave fields of tens of thousands of dead and wounded after virtually every major battle he fought throughout the length and breadth of Europe. How many were the total dead and wounded at the Battle of Borodino? Wikipedia says approximately 70,000. In the twenty-first century we find numbers like this unimaginable. But even in the American Civil War a single battle like Gettysburg cost the Union some 23,000 soldiers (and that's not even taking into account the Confederate dead and wounded). Wars in the modern Western world have been fought on an entirely different scale than in previous centuries, up until quite recently.

Nevertheless Napoleon left behind him, in virtually if not all (I think actually all) countries he conquered civil rights for everybody (even or especially minorities like the Jews), in many places a modern legal code, and in many other places (such as Slovenia) a newly established national language (which is why today there is a statue of Napoleon in a major square of the Slovenian capital city - because he was the ruler who instituted Slovenian as the national language of the Slovenian government and bureaucracy). Napoleon was the actual liberator and bearer of the ideals of the French Revolution (liberté, égalité, fraternité) throughout much of Europe in the late 18th and early 19th century.

Napoleon's legacy is the complete opposite of that of Hitler and nazism, which sought to exterminate its so-called racial enemies in the interest of racial purity and "lebensraum." Where he could, Napoleon left in his wake civil rights, as well as constructive governmental and legal policies and procedures, whereas Hitler left behind only misery, deprivation, and destruction. Napoleon sought to build up Europe -- both western and eastern -- whereas Hitler sought only to tear Europe down.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 07:35:33 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #207 on: October 03, 2010, 11:41:27 PM »
That is why, in France, Napoleon is one of their greatest heroes.  There are tributes to him all over the place (the Arc De Triumph, I know I spelled that wrong, has all his campaigns on it).  And he is buried in a tomb in Paris (which Hitler visited when Germany occupied France in 1940).

In Germany, you'd be hard pressed to find any reminders of Hitler (although some neo-Nazi groups probably have shrines to him).

To get a bit back towards the main topic, it's good to see Russia giving Nicky and his family the honour they deserve.  Since it's impossible to get them justice (because those that murdered them are all long dead) at least we can remember them with honour.
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Constantinople

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #208 on: October 04, 2010, 03:38:17 AM »
Well Hitler and Napoleon is inaccurate. I will have to ask Sir Martin Gilbert whether Churchill ever said that. Napoleon was not racist and did not operate concentration camps and if you think Napoleon was not bloody,then you need to read up on the Peninsular wars in Sapin and Portugal.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #209 on: October 04, 2010, 04:14:05 AM »
The Arc de Triomphe is not a monument to Napoleon. He orered it built to commemorate  French victories from 1792 to 1815./  Defeat were not recorded.  Actually, it was not finished until  Louis Phillipe, I think, when the Napoleonic designs for the capital's   new design  were restarted, It is now  the place for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, from WWI.
 BTW, it is illegal to commemorate Hitler in Germany. I do not think there were any whilst he ruled either. Lots of swastikas, but no Hitlers that I know of.
 Russia is a different case again, but I will not go into it.
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