Author Topic: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?  (Read 15583 times)

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Offline rosieposie

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Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« on: December 23, 2013, 01:04:54 AM »
I tried to go back past threads,  and I have read various other topics on this sub-forum.

After reading how Alexandra insisted to go with Nicholas to "Moscow" when he was requested to go by himself,  do you think with her doing so (included taking Maria with them) caused the fates of the OTMAA and the servants to be sealed.  Because she didn't want to leave Nicholas' side?
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Offline Georgiy

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 03:19:20 AM »
Hard to say. I think their fate eventually would not have been any different, unless the white army were able to quickly get into Tobolsk and then very quickly get them out of Russia. Both of which I think would have been slim chances at best.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2013, 05:20:16 AM »
The critical point here is that they were killed when the Czech Legion was a week from Ekaterinburg. The local Soviet was particularly militant, but clearly the Bolsheviks did not want the family being rescued. How far away were the Whites when Ella and her party were killed?

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Offline TimM

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 11:30:42 AM »
Those Soviet butchers wanted them all dead, no matter what.  It would have made no difference whatsoever.
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Offline edubs31

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 12:08:40 PM »
It's a good question.

Makes me wonder whether Moscow would indeed have been the final destination for Nicholas had he been traveling alone. Did they instead alter plans to take him to Ekaterinburg once they realized his family and retainers would be joining him?

Why would they have taken just Nicholas, alone, to Ekaterinburg? Seems odd that they'd travel hundreds of miles to place the ex-Tsar by himself under house arrest. Even if traveling to Moscow had been deemed too dangerous there were any number of secondary options that didn't include Ekaterinburg. Yurovsky's arrival at the Ipatiev House represents the imperial family's sealed fate but prior to that there seemed to be legitimate discussions about moving some or all of them either to Moscow or eventually exiling abroad.

That the Bolsheviks, bad as they were, initially reported only Nicholas (and Alexei?) had been executed and not the rest of the family shows there was at least some hesitation in killing them all in the first place. They may have wanted them dead, as Tim points out, but that doesn't mean they were comfortable risking public perception and the possible outrage over killing innocents. Sadly that outrage turned out to be pretty minimal.

Or maybe I'm forgetting some key pieces of info and need to brush up on the flow of events.
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Offline Georgiy

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 01:15:33 PM »
Going by House by the Dvina, people were upset when they heard the news and were crying in the churches, but were also scared about the situation.

Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 02:52:10 PM »
Topic answer: maybe.

There's nothing about the presence of Alexandra and Marie with Nicholas that ultimately deterred either  Special Commissar Yakovlev or the Ekaterinburg militants from seizing them and bringing them to Ekaterinburg. That is, that's what they did with Alexandra and Marie. With Nicholas alone the same outcome seems even more likely. Alexandra may have wanted to instill more fortitude in the ex-Emperor through her presence, but that was academic; Yakovlev wasn't impressed nor were the Bolshevik contingent intercepting his train. Why would they be?

We must remember that Yakovlev was very eager to get Nicholas safely away, allowing him to take with him almost anyone he wanted, within the limits of traveling and guard capacity.
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Offline rosieposie

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2013, 05:48:09 AM »
After all these years I forgot about the interception of the train.    Thank you for that Rodney :)
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Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 05:17:27 PM »
The original plan was for the whole family to go to Moscow but Alexei couldn't travel. So after telegraghing Moscow it was decided for Nicholas to go alone but Alexandra decided to go with him along with Maria who was a physically strong young lady and leave the others behind. About the time they left Tobolsk is about when the Urals Soviet took over the house that where they were going to be imprisoned and later murdered in. It seems the local jail wasn't suitable to imprison them. This timeline needs to be checked out along with the local jail which may have had some problems with security and overcrowding.

Offline Kassafrass

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014, 06:31:02 PM »
As much as I would like to believe that things could have ended differently, I'm not convinced that they would have. When one first thinks about the situation, it makes sense that Nicholas would be either imprisoned or executed while the rest of the family would be left in Tobolsk or another place, maybe even sent to another country like Denmark to be with MF. But when you dig further and consider the fact that this was a revolution and they were trying to secure their power, it makes sense that they would do all that they could to get rid of the Romanov family. Should one of the grand duchesses go on to marry and have children, their children could be sought after by loyalists who wanted to re-establish the monarchy. Heck, even today there are people that are still loyal and wish to see Romanov descendants bring the monarchy back to life. It seems to me that the Bolsheviks wanted this dynasty done and over with for good - why else would they go so far to kill Mikhail and other members of the family? Believing that Nicholas and maybe Alexandra had committed treason was one thing, but this shows that it was more than just punishment for their crimes. Had it simply stopped at that, OTMAA I think would have moved on to have sad but full lives.

So, in my own personal opinion, I don't think things would have ultimately been different. Their lives may have been extended, they may not have died together, but I think in the end they all would have been murdered.
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Offline rosieposie

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 04:35:34 AM »
Should one of the grand duchesses go on to marry and have children, their children could be sought after by loyalists who wanted to re-establish the monarchy.

You are forgetting Kassafrass that OTMA would have followed tradition and not be put into power of the throne, even if they bared children I think it would not happen after Catherine the great's son placed a law that no female would occupy the royal throne. 
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Offline KarinK

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 08:15:22 AM »
Should one of the grand duchesses go on to marry and have children, their children could be sought after by loyalists who wanted to re-establish the monarchy.

You are forgetting Kassafrass that OTMA would have followed tradition and not be put into power of the throne, even if they bared children I think it would not happen after Catherine the great's son placed a law that no female would occupy the royal throne. 

With a country in chaos, laws can be unmade. IIRC, it wasn't entirely legal for Nicholas to abdicate in his underage son's name as well as his own, but that was accepted because it suited those who had come to power. Russia had female monarchs before that law, so there was a precedent for female inheritance and rule. If, some 20-30 years in the future, the monarchists stayed united in exile and received diplomatic support while Russia found itself isolated and starving as the communist leadership squabbled (with no dictator to hold the various factions together), and by some twist of fate there was a grandson of the martyred last Tsar who offered a charismatic, competent alternative to the Russian people/army and the various foreign governments that disliked the communists... I don't think it would have necessarily mattered that other male Romanovs had better claims according to the old law. It would have been a new beginning rather than an orderly succession in the style of the 19th century, no matter who became the leading claimant to the throne.

If it had been a different kind of revolution, maybe the rest of the family would have had a chance. But in 1918, individual lives and innocence or guilt mattered so little that the Bolshevik leaders would not have cared to take risks. If Alexandra had stayed with Alexei, I believe that Nicholas would have died alone and his wife and children, like the Alapaevsk victims, would have been killed in some way after their captors received the news about the Tsar. A sudden rescue by monarchist forces (rather unlikely) or transfer to the Crimea or abroad in 1917 (a lost opportunity) would have been their only ways out.

Offline edubs31

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 08:18:10 AM »
I'll wax philosophical for a moment. My apologies in advance :-)

I guess there are any number of ways to look at the fate of the Romanovs and draw your conclusions based on the result of their imprisonment and murder. Some believe the family, and perhaps all of us, had a sort of destiny to fulfill. That our lives and eventual fate are written in the stars. Nicholas & Alexandra certainly seemed to subscribe to this so it seems almost fitting, if tragic, that their end came in such brutal fashion. A self fulfilling prophecy of sorts...

Looking at it from a more human logic standpoint I feel like there are a handful of check points along the way in the family's sad journey towards the Ipatiev basement. A combination of things that funneled them to that date with destiny.

Rosieposie goes WAY back and mentions that Paul I actually having influence on the death of the imperial family in 1918 by altering the laws of succession 120+ years earlier. Certainly his decision created a ripple effect that charted a new course for the Romanovs that otherwise would have been different. Those ripples became waves and the waves splashed ashore once it was revealed that Alexei Nikolaevich had hemophilia and that his parents had failed to produce another healthy son. No Pauline Laws means less pressure on N&A to both have a son after having four daughters, and of going to extreme measures to keep that son alive (ie, allowing Rasputin into their lives). The measures they took having devastating effects.

Of course Paul I is not responsible for inciting revolution. He's also not the reason why Alexei with born with an incurable disease. Or why the boy miraculous survived a series of illnesses caused by said disease, and Paul I likely was not on Alexandra's mind when she chose to accompany her husband on his eventual journey to Ekaterinburg.

Just for the sake of discussion lets say we could pinpoint 100 specific historical factors that led to the family's murder on 7/17/18. Some things like the presence of Rasputin (lets call that factor #2) carry more weight than Paul I's decision to change the laws of successions (call that factor #32) or Nicholas's decision to leave for General Headquarters in February, 1917 (call this factor #84). But never the less all factors funnel their way slowly towards a final destination...which in this case turns out to be the basement of the Ipatiev House.

The question we are then left with then is which factors, and how many can you eliminate from the equation while still reaching the same conclusion? If there were 100 factors leading to the family's death how many were critical to the end result? Combing 'Factor #2' with 'Factor #32' and 'Factor #84' will, among other things, get you to 7/17/18. But what if we simply added Factors' #2 & #32 together, and omitted Paul I's meddling with the house laws 121-years earlier...would the family still have been starring down bullets and bayonets at some point during that time period? Would they have been killed on that night, earlier, later, or not at all?

I personally believe it's too simplistic to look at a single factor like Alexei's hemophilia (or Alexandra's decision to leave with her husband and Marie from Tobolsk) as being the primary catalyst for revolution, abdication, imprisonment and eventual murder of the imperial family. But I also think we have a tendency to over complicate things. It wasn't 100 factors, going back to my previous example, that led the family to their death. But it wasn't just one or a couple of things either.

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Offline edubs31

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 08:21:52 AM »
Quote
If Alexandra had stayed with Alexei, I believe that Nicholas would have died alone and his wife and children, like the Alapaevsk victims, would have been killed in some way after their captors received the news about the Tsar. A sudden rescue by monarchist forces (rather unlikely) or transfer to the Crimea or abroad in 1917 (a lost opportunity) would have been their only ways out.

Good points there Karen. I'd also like to add that such a rescue attempt would seem unlikely once news of Nicholas's was made public. Yes there were a number of loyal monarchist who would have mourned the loss of their former-Tsar and wished to help the other members of his family. But risking a dangerous rescue attempt without being able to save the Tsar is probably a bit far fetched. They never made a serious attempt to rescue the Tsar and his family while he was alive. Why would they then risk a botched attempt after he was killed?
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Offline Kassafrass

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Re: Would events been different if Alexandra just let Nicholas go?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 10:28:18 AM »
You are forgetting Kassafrass that OTMA would have followed tradition and not be put into power of the throne, even if they bared children I think it would not happen after Catherine the great's son placed a law that no female would occupy the royal throne.  

Oh I know this very well, but as Karin stated when you're in a time of desperation rules are changed to accommodate the way things are going. It's happened countless times over history in several different countries where someone with even a shred of a claim to the throne can be put there. Personally, it seems likely that had they lived and gone on to have sons, monarchists would have revered them and possibly thought of them as Tsars in their own right, and the new powers at be, I'm sure, did not like that. But as always this is just speculation. We can never know for sure :-)
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