Author Topic: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty  (Read 8449 times)

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Offline Tsarfan

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Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« on: February 21, 2013, 08:12:01 AM »
February 21st 1613,Michael Romanov ascends the Throne of Russia!

Certainly the Romanovs observed 21 February as the anniversary of the founding of their dynasty.  In point of fact, however, Mikhail was only elected on 21 February 1613.  His whereabouts were unknown, and when he was at last found on 14 March he initially refused to accept the throne.

Since one cannot ascend a throne until one accepts it -- and Mikhail neither knew of nor accepted his election until March -- that should be the earliest date for his ascension.  But perhaps, given the muddiness around the discussions between the boyars, Mikhail's mother, and Mikhail himself on and immediately after 14 March (during which time the boyars at one point resorted to threats to elicit Mikhail's acceptance), the cleaner date to use for the ascension of Mikhail to the throne would be 22 July (11 July O.S.) 1613, the date of his coronation.

Puzzle me this:

If Mikhail really became tsar on 21 February, then he acquired on that date the power to refuse the throne.  Since he did, in fact, refuse the throne as soon as he found out he was supposedly already on it -- and he was therefore already vested with a tsar's authority -- then his refusal to ascend the throne abnegated the election of 21 February, rendering it null and void.  It could not, therefore, be deemed the date for the start of the dynasty.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 08:30:35 AM by Tsarfan »

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 10:28:29 AM »
I thought Tsarfan's post was interesting, and decided it merited its own thread of discussion, so I moved it over here.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 11:14:19 AM »
In thinking about the real start of the Romanov dynasty, I began to wonder when the 100th and the 200th anniversaries had been celebrated and why I had never heard anything about them.  Then something very interesting occurred to me.

Those two anniversaries had come in the middle of major wars that were threatening the very existence of the dynasty.  The first centenary in 1713 was in the middle of the Great Northern war which ran from 1700-1721.  Although Russia was to win that war -- ultimately the outcome of the Battle of Poltava in 1709 -- in 1713 Peter's position was by no means secure.  Jubilant and overly sure of himself after Poltava, Peter had overreached in taking the war into Moldavia and Walachia.  In the Pruth campaign of 1711 Peter found himself in a virtually impossible situation, devoid of supplies and surrounded by the sultan's army.  Due in part to the inspired courage of his wife Catherine, who collected jewels from among the ladies following the army for the move she devised, Peter was able to bribe the corrupt Grand Vizier to let him out of the trap.  But he had come perilously close to losing his throne.

Just a few thin months before the second centenary in 1813, Napoleon and his army had been encamped in Moscow at the apogee of his fortunes in the Napoleonic Wars.  Despite the loss of his army as he retreated out of Russia, by May 1813 Napoleon was again on the victorious offensive, with Russia too prostrate even to join the new coalition against him.  Once again, a centenary had closely coincided with the dynasty's teetering on the edge of a cliff.

Then came the third centenary, with the revolutionary movement that had put limits on autocracy in 1906 again resurgent in 1912 as confidence in the government continued to deteriorate and with Nicholas's image as an effective ruler continuing its slide into the abyss.  In fact, the tercentenary was celebrated with such huge fanfare in an attempt to restore luster to the rusting crown . . . and with the crowds that attended the celebrations disturbingly small and unenthusiastic.  And, of course, the dynasty -- and Russian monarchy with it -- was dead within four years.

Throughout the reigns of the Romanovs, only three wars had the potential, not just for Russian defeat, but for destruction of the dynasty as well.  And all three of those wars coincided almost exactly (at least historically speaking) with the three centenaries of Romanov rule.

As the saying goes, "third time's the charm".  
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 11:17:16 AM by Tsarfan »

Offline edubs31

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 11:19:14 AM »
Interesting thought. I can see where this might be confusing for some who obsess over dates however...

On one hand considering Mikhail Feodorovich's reign to have officially begun on his 22nd of July coronation, while accurate in many ways, creates some inconsistency. All other Tsars began their reigns upon the death of their fathers/previous Tsars and it wasn't until long afterwards that there respective coronations were held. Alexander II had his six months into his reign, Nicholas II held his some nineteen months later, and Alexander III's was a whopping two years and two months after ascending to the throne. When we think of Tsar Nicholas II, for instance, we think of him becoming Tsar in 1894, not 1896.

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Since one cannot ascend a throne until one accepts it -- and Mikhail neither knew of nor accepted his election until March -- that should be the earliest date for his ascension.  But perhaps, given the muddiness around the discussions between the boyars, Mikhail's mother, and Mikhail himself on and immediately after 14 March (during which time the boyars at one point resorted to threats to elicit Mikhail's acceptance), the cleaner date to use for the ascension of Mikhail to the throne would be 22 July (11 July O.S.) 1613, the date of his coronation.

Of course this wouldn't be unprecedented. George Washington officially became the first US President on April 20, 1789. This even though the date of inauguration was later established and followed by every successive President on March 4th (then later January 20th). Washington wound up serving slightly less than eight years.

Not having become aware of his election as Tsar until March 24th provides an interesting wrinkle, but his powers were surely retroactive, for what it's worth, to the 21st of February, correct?

Perhaps the most significant date associated with the first Romanov Tsar of Russia is not February 21st, or July 22nd, but November 4, 1612. That being the Russian "National Day of Unity", and the celebration of events that led to the election of Mikhail Feodorovich as Tsar in the first place.

As a side note it's almost too bad they didn't choose to hold Mikhail Feodorovich's coronation on July 12th instead of the 22nd. Otherwise he would have been born, has his coronation, and then died all on the same date!

Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 11:48:46 AM »
On one hand considering Mikhail Feodorovich's reign to have officially begun on his 22nd of July coronation, while accurate in many ways, creates some inconsistency. All other Tsars began their reigns upon the death of their fathers/previous Tsars and it wasn't until long afterwards that there respective coronations were held. Alexander II had his six months into his reign, Nicholas II held his some nineteen months later, and Alexander III's was a whopping two years and two months after ascending to the throne. When we think of Tsar Nicholas II, for instance, we think of him becoming Tsar in 1894, not 1896.

Not all subsequent reigns began upon the deaths of previous tsars.  Ivan VI was alive when Elizabeth became empress through a coup.  Peter III was alive when Catherine II became empress through a coup against her husband, followed by usurpation of the crown from her son who should have succeeded as heir.  Nicholas I became tsar while the heir apparent Constantine was still alive, and there was actually confusion about Nicholas' right to ascend until Constantine intervened to make his wishes clear to the public.

In any case, all these events occurred within a dynasty whose rule itself was recognized independently of the ascension of the individual tsar.  Mikhail's election did not, in and of itself, create a dynasty.  It elected an individual to an office to meet a pressing need.  The Romanovs only became a dynasty by subsequent decisions of Mikhail regarding how he was to be succeeded.  Remember that the conferring of the throne was a choice of the tsar until Paul promulgated the succession laws almost two centuries later.  And the choice was not always within the bloodline.  In fact, although there is some debate, Peter I (who quite possibly caused the death of his heir) made the choice to confer the crown on his second wife, who was of neither Romanov blood nor even Russian birth.

There there is the possibility (not likely in my view, but not outrageous, either) that Paul was Catherine's son by Saltykov, meaning the dynasty after Peter III's demise was no longer a bloodline but a political construct.


Not having become aware of his election as Tsar until March 24th provides an interesting wrinkle, but his powers were surely retroactive, for what it's worth, to the 21st of February, correct?

Well, there's the rub.  If Mikhail did, in fact, become tsar with his election, the first (and last) act of his reign as tsar was to repudiate the election, thereby rendering it null and void.  He therefore became tsar by some other means -- and therefore at some other time -- which was either the threats by the boyars that brought him and his mother around, or by his coronation.


Of course, all of this is meaningless in any practical sense these days.  However, we would get a taste of how technical and arcane these arguments can get should there be any serious attempt to restore the Romanovs, because the conflicting claims among the pretenders based on varying interpretations of House Law would make this seem like a cake walk of a puzzle.  If you don't believe me, take a tour on one of the restoration threads.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 11:57:45 AM by Tsarfan »

Offline TimM

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 04:25:01 PM »
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Nicholas I became tsar while the heir apparent Constantine was still alive, and there was actually confusion about Nicholas' right to ascend until Constantine intervened to make his wishes clear to the public.

And if the stories are true, Alexander I was still alive, but had faked his death because he wanted to retire.  So Nicholas became Tsar while the real Tsar was still alive.
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 04:30:30 PM »
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Nicholas I became tsar while the heir apparent Constantine was still alive, and there was actually confusion about Nicholas' right to ascend until Constantine intervened to make his wishes clear to the public.

And if the stories are true, Alexander I was still alive, but had faked his death because he wanted to retire.  So Nicholas became Tsar while the real Tsar was still alive.

As generally dismissive as I am of survivor stories of royals, that of Feodor Kuzmich is the only that I believe might actually be true.  It has an internal logic that none of the rest of them do.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 06:37:02 PM »
Your post, TimM, got me to thinking again about Alexander I and the Kuzmich tale.

For my money, everything about Alexander I makes for a far more romantic tale than anything about Nicholas II and his sheltered, disconnected family.  By the time of Nicholas, and in part because of him, tsarism had run its course, and it was time to clear the stage for the next act (albeit not the Bolsheviks).

But consider Alexander I.  His reign began under the shadow of his father's murder, something his mother laid at his feet and which came to haunt Alexander more and more as time passed.  His reign saw the Napoleonic Wars and the greatest upheavals at all levels of European society between the Thirty Years War and World War I.  His reign saw the extraordinary tale of Moscow being occupied by a foreign army that then evaporated from the mere act of crossing the soil of Russia.  He actually applied his considerable intellect to questions of government form and structure instead of ruling on autopilot.  He had an interesting marriage through which love flowed, ebbed, and flowed again.  He buried all three of his children (including one by a mistress and upon whose death he was sincerely consoled by his wife).  He disappeared from the scene unexpectedly in odd circumstances.  And he just might have finished his life in voluntary exile as a holy man, having turned his back on the pinnacles of wealth, power, and luxury that he once occupied.

Now tell me how that is not a more romantic story than Nicholas, his overbearing wife, and five teenagers getting massacred at the end of a disastrous reign.  Sad?  Perhaps.  Romantic?  Not really.

Offline LadyHezter

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 08:23:21 PM »
Interesting thoughts, TimM and Tsarfan.

Has there ever been any scientific  examination of the remains in St.Peter and St.Pauls Cathedral in St.P ?   I mean, now when there are DNA-tests available, it would be possible
to compare the suppposed remains of Alexander I, with his brother Nicholas I,  to see if there is a match, like they-the scientists- did with Nicholas II and his brother GD Georgij A.

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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 09:28:42 PM »
Has there ever been any scientific  examination of the remains in St.Peter and St.Pauls Cathedral in St.P ?   I mean, now when there are DNA-tests available, it would be possible
to compare the suppposed remains of Alexander I, with his brother Nicholas I,  to see if there is a match, like they-the scientists- did with Nicholas II and his brother GD Georgij A.

The body was so badly decomposed when it arrived in St. Petersburg for burial that the features were not recognizable.  (The burial occurred three and a half months after the death, during which time the empress died.)  And, despite numerous doctors in attendance on the emperor and his ill wife, there was no autopsy in Taganrog for 33 hours, by which time decomposition had already begun.  Also, Nicholas I had many of the records of the matter destroyed.

I suppose the DNA tests you suggest could be done from a scientific standpoint.  But I'm not sure from a legal standpoint.  The exhumation required to test George's DNA was done under the banner of a criminal investigation of murders.  I'm not sure by what authority Alexander I and Nicholas I could be exhumed.

Offline edubs31

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 10:01:29 PM »
I don't disagree. A movie could be made on the life of Alexander I and his rather extraordinary reign. Couple of comments I do take issue with however...

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For my money, everything about Alexander I makes for a far more romantic tale than anything about Nicholas II and his sheltered, disconnected family.

It's not romanticism but drama that draws most of us to the last of the Romanovs. Unless by "romanticism" you are referring to our affection and admiration for them. In many cases those feelings stop short of the Tsar and Empress anyway. But far as disconnection is concerned...I'd much rather have a sheltered OTMA than some decadent and narcissistic St. Petersburg Court tools. The Vladimirovich's were pretty interesting too. They were also the poster children for everything that was wrong with latter day royalty and nobility.

I guess Nicholas II could have been more of a romantic had he been (arguably) complicit in the death of his own father, and then fathered an illegitimate child with his mistress. Sorry if I don't find that terribly romantic. It is dramatic though...but for my money not nearly as interesting as Rasputin, Yusupov, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, World War I, the toppling of the Romanov, Hohenzollern and Habsburg dynasties almost simultaneously, and followed by a Soviet dominated eastern Europe for the next seven decades.

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He actually applied his considerable intellect to questions of government form and structure instead of ruling on autopilot.

Arguably the last great Tsar of Russia and clearly a better one than Nicholas II. But while few lengthy reigns are absent of drama Alexander I wasn't handed a fixed deck and then have sputnik dropped on his head like Nicholas II. By comparison to the radical liberalism that Nicky dealt with (and did so poorly) AI had the luxury to toy around with his limited liberalism. I wonder what Alexander I would have thought about the practicality of his liberal reforms had his grandmother, Catherine II, been assassinated by the same liberals she sought to help? And as it turns out Alexander I wound up modifying his own liberal views once confronted with the realities of governing...

As I've argued in the past...if you elevate the rim from ten to a hundred feet, which metaphorically is what happened to Nicholas, it doesn't really matter if it's me or Michael Jordan with the basketball. Neither of us are going to be able to put the ball in the hole. So why should history have wasted a Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Ivan the Terrible, or Alexander I on the hopeless mission that was to govern Russia circa 1894-1917/18?

Ask yourself this question...

Who would have fared better...
1) Catherine II, Peter I, Ivan IV, or Alexander I as Tsar during NII's reign?
2) Nicholas II as Tsar during Catherine II, Peter I, Ivan IV, or Alexander I reign?
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 06:30:48 AM »
Unless by "romanticism" you are referring to our affection and admiration for them.

I meant romantic more in the sense of medieval romance literature, where heroes are faced with tasks or challenges and rise to meet them in unusual or dramatic ways.  A henpecked husband with a semi-hysteric wife who missed a chance to get his family away from danger in the first days of revolution and then went peaceably with them to their deaths does not suggest romance in that sense to me.  I do agree, though, that Nicholas' story was dramatic.


I'd much rather have a sheltered OTMA than some decadent and narcissistic St. Petersburg Court tools.

Not me.  Too boring.  You mentioned the Vladimirovichii.  Read the stories of the last generations of that family, where you will find highly interesting people who ranged from a true rake to an accomplished poet and a couple of men imbued with extraordinary senses of public service.

I am not particularly interested in decadent and narcissistic St. Petersburg Court "tools" . . . unless by that you mean people such as Gregory Potemkin, Michael Speransky, Constantine Pobedonostsev -- people who showed one or both of those traits in abundance but affected the flow of Russian history in ways both admirable and disturbing.


As I've argued in the past...if you elevate the rim from ten to a hundred feet, which metaphorically is what happened to Nicholas, it doesn't really matter if it's me or Michael Jordan with the basketball. Neither of us are going to be able to put the ball in the hole.

You and Jordan might be able to sink the basket with a ladder.  Liberalization of Russia, giving more people a stake in outcomes, and bringing more people into the tent of government and thereby diffusing stress and blame on one individual was a ladder that Nicholas sought every excuse not to bring up to the basket, beginning with his "senseless dreams" speech, running through his strategy post-1906, and his failure to support his two finest prime ministers adequately.  Yes, the basket was very high for Nicholas.  But it was his choice to tackle it without a ladder.  He did not have the vision to rethink the rules.


Ask yourself this question...

Who would have fared better...
1) Catherine II, Peter I, Ivan IV, or Alexander I as Tsar during NII's reign?
2) Nicholas II as Tsar during Catherine II, Peter I, Ivan IV, or Alexander I reign?

I have asked myself these questions and posted about them in earlier discussions here.

Answers to Question 1:

Peter I and Catherine II would have had a fighting chance in Nicholas' era.  They had the determination of purpose combined with the flexibility of viewpoint and method to adjust to new conditions and to navigate personal dangers.  Peter, who barely made it through the murderous childhood coup against his mother's family, later survived by his own cleverness and ruthlessness in dealing with the revolt of the Streltsy, his half-sister Sophia's grab for power, and his entrapment at Pruth to turn Russia westward against every strain of Russian society, from the nobility downward.  Catherine, on the brink of being set aside or even dispatched by her husband, adroitly built a coalition of Church, nobility, and army that not only got her husband out of the way but stuck with her as she bypassed her son's right to rule.  Traits such as these are not situation specific.  They come into play in any circumstances an individual with them confronts.

Ivan IV and Alexander I would have been on very thin ice if confronted with Nicholas' challenges.

But there is another ruler you left off the list and who, I think, would have had the best chance of all:  Ivan III, the only other Russian ruler to be named "the Great".

Answers to Question 2:

Nicholas would not have been able to elevate himself to the throne as Catherine did.  He did not have the political talent to assemble the coalition required and to keep it under control once he was in the saddle.

Had Nicholas ruled at the time Peter ascended the throne -- and had there been no minority regency and Sophia in the mix -- Nicholas might well have passed as a credible, even a likeable, tsar.  But Russia would have continued on its east-facing isolationist path and not emerged as a global power.  But with Sophia in the mix, Nicholas would have been overthrown and dispatched in some irreversible way.

Had Nicholas ruled in Ivan IV's time, again he might have ruled credibly and been popular by the standards of the day.  However, Ivan IV expanded Russian lands at the most rapid rate of any ruler in Russian history.  Russia was positioned for the more westward and southward expansions that came with Peter and Catherine because of the expansions and consolidations under Ivan.  I don't see Nicholas as being able to set up that opportunity for them.  He would have spent too much time at home or in church.

Had Nicholas ruled in Alexander I's time, he might have done well enough.  Liberalism was taking a hold in small pockets of Russian society, but it was decades away from becoming a deadly force capable of unsettling government.  And Nicholas would have been perfectly suited for the non-strategy of letting Napoleon get to Moscow and then relying on Providence to take care of things.  (While not a big fan of some of Tolstoy's views of history, I do agree with him that the loss of Napoleon's army came about not by a brilliant, unconventional military strategy on the Russian side, but by the serendipitous absence of a strategy.)

The more interesting question to me is whether Nicholas would have survived the Decembrist revolt at the outset of Nicholas I's reign.  I think of Nicholas I's personal courage in riding out onto Senate Square to meet a group of armed military rebels and contrast it with Nicholas II's hiding out in Tsarskoye Selo to avoid the unarmed civilian marchers on Bloody Sunday (against his mother's and sister Olga's advice), and I do not see a man of the mettle to deal with personal danger.

In short, to me Nicholas was the kind of tsar who would have made it through some relatively stable passes in Russia history, or even through dangerous times when passivity happened to be the answer (as it was with Napoleon).

But there would have been no seizure of the opportunities of which Ivan III, Ivan IV, Peter I, and Catherine II availed themselves to make Russia first a regional and then a world power.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 07:04:27 AM by Tsarfan »

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 08:13:54 AM »
Tsarfan

I agree entirely on your analysis of Nicholas in the place of Peter I, Catherine II, Ivan III or Ivan IV. I certainly don't see Nicholas standing up to Sophia - she would have sent him to the nearest monastery and he would have gone meekly enough.

'You mentioned the Vladimirovichii.  Read the stories of the last generations of that family, where you will find highly interesting people who ranged from a true rake to an accomplished poet and a couple of men imbued with extraordinary senses of public service.'

This does, however, puzzle me. The true rake is certainly Boris, but the other Vladimirovichi men number only Kirill, Andrei and Vladimir Kirillovichi, plus Georgi Mikhailovichi. I'm not aware of any of them as being a poet, and their senses of public service may be extraordinary, but rather in the sense of being odd. Interesting people, certainly, but not necessarily admirable.

Ann


Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 09:29:49 AM »

'You mentioned the Vladimirovichii . . . ."

This does, however, puzzle me. The true rake is certainly Boris, but the other Vladimirovichi men number only Kirill, Andrei and Vladimir Kirillovichi, plus Georgi Mikhailovichi. I'm not aware of any of them as being a poet, and their senses of public service may be extraordinary, but rather in the sense of being odd. Interesting people, certainly, but not necessarily admirable.

You are entirely correct.  For some inexplicable reason I slipped a cog and started talking about the Konstantinovichii when it was the Vladimirovichii that eddus31 had brought up.

My bad.

And you're both right.  There's not so much to admire in the Vladimir clan. 

Offline edubs31

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Re: Date of Founding of Romanov Dynasty
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 09:42:35 AM »
Quote
I meant romantic more in the sense of medieval romance literature, where heroes are faced with tasks or challenges and rise to meet them in unusual or dramatic ways.  A henpecked husband with a semi-hysteric wife who missed a chance to get his family away from danger in the first days of revolution and then went peaceably with them to their deaths does not suggest romance in that sense to me.  I do agree, though, that Nicholas' story was dramatic.

And I agree with you.

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Not me. Too boring.

Well sure, as historical characters. But What I meant was preferring them over a bunch of rogues. Hitler and Stalin are more interesting too, but I'd prefer to hang out with you Tsarfan :-) Unless of course by hanging with the aforementioned gave me the opportunity for one-two combo to the jaw!

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You and Jordan might be able to sink the basket with a ladder.

Interesting twist on my rather obscure metaphor. Maybe a better example from me would be to raise the rim from ten to twelve feet and then asking Nicholas (AKA Allen Iverson) to dunk and then Peter, Catherine, Alexander or the Ivan's (AKA Manute Bo) to do so. It's doesn't mean the smaller player is worse (although we know Nicholas is in this case), only that he's being asked to do something that is beyond his physical capabilities

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This does, however, puzzle me. The true rake is certainly Boris, but the other Vladimirovichi men number only Kirill, Andrei and Vladimir Kirillovichi, plus Georgi Mikhailovichi. I'm not aware of any of them as being a poet, and their senses of public service may be extraordinary, but rather in the sense of being odd. Interesting people, certainly, but not necessarily admirable.

I agree Ann. Admittedly I'm not an expert on the Vladimirovichii but I know them well enough, and to me they best represent the fractionate Romanov family who selfishly concerned themselves more with their personal positions in government rather than to assist their new Tsar cousin/nephew (not mentioned the young new Empress who arrived in Russia only days earlier and spoke little of the language). Much unlike her mother-in-law, the almost 34-year old Marie Feodorovna who had been part of Russian life for nearly fifteen years before ascending the throne.

Certainly Nicholas was not assertive enough a young man, and was destined to have problems ruling in what was an increasingly complex Russian society and world. But he also had the deck stacked against him by timing, fate, and his family. Now of course other Tsars in the past have had similar hurdles to face and prevailed, yet by 1918 Nicholas and imperial Russia had good company in terms of crumbling European dynasties. The same conversation we always have about "what Nicholas could have done", "should have done", "if he had lived in another time", or "if other Tsars had lived in his time" is worth being discussed with regards to the Hohenzollern and Habsburg dynasties yes? How much of the world was full of crappy rulers in the early-20th century? Or how much of it was simply a case of those rulers on an unavoidable collision course with history?

Back to Tsarfan. Your analysis was pretty brilliant there. I'm going to read back over now and see if there is anything for me question you on. Will be a tough chore...well played :-)
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...