Author Topic: Alexander III  (Read 94667 times)

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Offline Belochka

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2004, 01:07:13 AM »
Alexander III was diagnosed as having nephritis only months before he died. He had one of the classic symptoms: swelling around his feet. Due to lack of a more definitive analysis, we can only summize that he may have developed this condition sometime earlier in its acute form. Due to lack of any specific treatment in those days, the acute phase went on to develop the more rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis.

In about one-fourth of patients with chronic glomerulonephritis there is no prior history of kidney disease.

Even today, the precise cause of most patients presenting with glomerulonephritis is unknown, however it may be associated with hypertension, which may have been the underlying factor, in Alexander's case, considering that he was a large man who did enjoy a drink which he refered to as Necessity.

It would be extremely doubtful that his condition was due to the trauma of the accident he experienced at Borki, where he apparently only sustained injury to one of his legs.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline Martyn

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2004, 09:03:25 AM »
Considering the ties of family and friendship that bound the Romanovs with the Battenbergs during the reign of Alexander II, I find it a little difficult to understand why this seemed to change when Alexander III came to the throne.
Alexander II and Maria Alexandrovna seemed to have spent many happy summers with the Battenbergs at Heiligenberg with their family, yet the evidence of a change seems to be evident when Alexander III and Marie Feodorovna register their dissatisfaction (along with the Hohenzollern court) with the betrothal of Louis of Battenberg and Victoria of Hesse, regarding the union as unequal (which it may have been).
Someone elsewhere on the site suggested that Alix herself considered the Battenbergs to be parvenus.  Any thoughts?
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Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2004, 12:43:08 PM »
I do not know how "parvenu" Alix may have considered her own sister's husband, who was a well-liked and respected member of the English naval forces.

Alexander II's children did spend glorious summers at Heiligenberg, a marvelous place to visit even today, although it has almost zero traces of having ever had such distinguished guests.  I took one of my tours there not long ago and everyone just loved walking along the terraces and gardens.

I think that Alexander III's issue may not have bene a personal dislike of the Battenbergs, but a geopolitical confrontation with the ruler of a principality that was supposed to respect and follow Russia and its mandates, however destructive these were to the future of the principality.  Alexander Battenberg, above all, wanted to better the political and economic situation of Bulgaria, and being in Russia's shadow placed restraints on his efforts.  He dared stand up to Alexander III, his own first cousin, and for that gained the Tsar's ire.  I think that besides Alexander III's treatment of jews, Bulgaria is the other eye sore in his reign.

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Offline Martyn

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2004, 01:04:21 PM »
Well that is my point exactly Arturo, why would Alix not have anything but positive feelings about Louis of Battenberg?  I did ask that question in the other thread.
The Sandro issue is naturally more complicated and I think that it is clear how he came into conflict with Alexander III on issues that affected Bulgaria.
I do quite understand why Alexander III and Marie Feodorovna should raise objections about the match between Louis and Victoria in as far as there is an inequality of status; I would have thought that personal regard for the principals might have neutralised this issue.
I have read elsewhere that disunity in the If started to creep in during the reign of Alexander III; although he continued the family dinners etc, he made it quite clear that there were certain members of the family that he did not trust.  Perhaps negative feelings about the Battenbergs may have been a part of this?
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Offline Ilana

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2004, 04:16:18 PM »
As petty as this sounds, I have read intimations that Sasha was jealous of his cousins.  He was oddly upset that they were such handsome princes... perhaps he felt extremely unattractive next to them.

Alix, I believe, had only positive feelings towards the Battenbergs and never thought they were parvenues.  Her mother thought highly of Prince Alexander of Hesse, and Queen Victoria, in her unsnobbish way, thought very highly of Princess Julie.
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Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2004, 06:35:16 PM »
Hi Ilana...two more weeks!

Queen Victoria in fact welcomed her family's association with the Battenbergs since they added much needed untainted, newer perhaps, blood.

Maybe that is also the reason why she welcomed the Tecks into the fold as well, all the while other royal families around Europe frowned upon these two families.

I have always thought the Romanovs quite funny about their sneekering towards morganauts, like the Tecks and Battenbergs, while CONSIDERABLY older royal families (England and certainly Spain) had no trouble marrying them.

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Offline Joanna

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2004, 11:36:45 PM »
There is a dearth of information in English on Alexander III to understand his motives in various circumstances. For some who understand Russian they are more able to give an insight from the diaries and letters that have recently been published from the archives. My thoughts of Alexander III have taken a reversal since reading the posts of his drinking and Marie's fleeing with her children those episodes. He had appeared to be a man of short temperment but sensitive of his lack of self confidence.

His visits to Darmstadt were of his youth and after his marriage he naturally would spend with Marie in Denmark. For a tsarevich as a tsar, there was a limited yearly period for him to be outside the boundaries of the Russian empire. Although he loved his mother, his loyalties and considerations were now attuned to his wife. Victoria's and Ella's engagement was of the same time frame and I am wondering if Alexander and Marie were more concerned not with the lack of Louis' 'quarters' but with the inuendos that would circulate among St. Petersburg's society of Ella.

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Offline Belochka

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2004, 11:49:44 PM »
Quote
"Greg_King date=02/16/04 at 08:31:10]
As to the cause of his death: there are a number of various reports available now that both confirm and contradict the official version.  I don't know enough to contradict the official verdict of nephritis, but there is also a fair amount of information now that he was suffering from liver failure due to alcohol poisoning and years of drinking.    So given this I wouldn't be terribly surprised if his cause of death really was something related to what I've seen described as "chronic alcoholism," but don't know more than this."

Greg King



Greg,

Liver disease (Alcoholic Cirrhosis) brought on by excessive indulgence of alcohol contributes to acute renal failure. The condition may be accompanied by underlying hypertension and heart failure. However the acute form of this condition takes hours, days or just weeks to develop.

Documentation states that Alexander was diagnosed with a renal failure several months before his death. From this information we can safely discount that Alexander suffered from the acute form.

However it appears that Alexander may have had liver disease as well. It is known that heavy drinking will affect the liver tissue after a period of 10 years. Yet, it must be understood that there is weight gain and associated abdominal distension with Alcoholic Liver Disease (Cirrhosis), because the liver increases in size. The condition is also associated with jaundice. No evidence exists that Alexander was jaundiced, but we know that there was weight loss.

The most probable scenario was that Alexander III suffered from Glomerulonephritis with underlying Liver Disease.

Finally, once established, renal failure is both progressive and fatal.
 
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline Joanna

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2004, 12:12:49 AM »
Hi Elisa & Harald,

There is an amazing photograph of the Borki Church in Larissa Yermilova's "The Last Tsar" on pages 92 & 93. There is another photo on page 93 with a caption of Nicholas and Alexandra "...visiting the church in Borky. 1890's..." Although on this site there are two photographs of this same visit but c1910:

http://www.romanovrussia.com/2NAphoto.html

Joanna

Offline Martyn

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2004, 08:23:55 AM »
Richard Hough, who was the first biographer to have complete access to the archives at Broadlands, not to mention extensive interviews with family members, has the following to say  in his book "Louis and Victoria, the family history of the Mountbattens".
"Victoria's family weremuch less pleased at the way things were going.  As the eldest daughter and so soon after the death of her mother, they considered that her first duty was to her father and to her younger brother and sisters.  At nineteen she was, they considered, too young and inexperienced for marriage.
This disapproval extended outside the family, and especially to the Imperial Families in Berlin and St Petersburg.  Uncle Fritz and his eldest boy Willy (still smarting form the rebuff at Ella's hands) and the new Tsar Alexander III andthe Tsarina Marie Feodorovna, and a whole multitude of Grnad Dukes and Grand Duchesses, Princes and Princesses, and other minor royals, all thought it quite unsuitable that anyone as grand as Victoria should marry into this morganatic sub-branch of the Hessian family.
Louis's adopted nationality was against him, too, for England was popular neither with Prussia nor Russia...."
He also has this to say on p127
"Victoria said nothing in her letter to the Queen (Victoria) about the series of events that detracted form the glories of the Royal Wedding (Ella's).  These she would recount to her personally later because the security of the Russian mails was not be trusted.  These events, noticed by all but especially affecting her family, related to matters of precedence - a subject of the greatest delicacy and importance among thosethat lived by it.  In England it was comparatively relaxed in Germany as stiff as anywhere,in Russia scarcely less stiff.
The Russian Court had determined to put Louis inhis place and demonstrate, as only the manipulation of precedence could, their disapproval of him and his marriage."
"Louis enteerd the banqueting hall with Victoria and her family fromthe Malachite Room in the Palace.  Along with the other guests, they were then led in turn to their seats.  To his astonishment, Louis found himself taken far down the table to the section reserved for the Osborne's officers, where he was placed below the captain.  Mortified but helpless, Louis took his seat, and no doubt covered up his indignation by talking to his fellow Naval officers in the most natural manner."
"It was all the same a great insult, and the Grand Duke later took up the matter with the Tsar who agreed that it had indeed been unfortunate but after 'what he had heard form Belin he could not place him with the family'"
Later he goes on to write on p133 that in 1885
"Their (Louis and Victoria's) relations with the Russians were not good, and this was a great sadness for Victoria who deeply missed her sister Ella."
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Offline Martyn

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2004, 08:41:00 AM »
On the subject of Sandro, Richard Hough has this to say
"At least he (Sandro) had the support of the Tsar, his uncle Alexander II, for his first two years in the job.  When the Tsar was assassinated and succeeded by his son, that brooding, mean-minded tyrant, Alexander III, things became much worse.  The Russian officials, and army officers in Bulgaria, who disliked Sandro's stiff formal regime as much as his reforming policies which - among other things - marginally reduced the bribery, had been busily poisoning Sandro's reputation for some time.  Sandro's uncle Tsar Alexander II had not listened; Sandro's first cousin Tsar Alexander III did.
About Sandro's proposed union with Pcss Victoria (Moretta) of Prussia he has this to say:
"But the Tsar was furious about the proposed match when he heard.  He had brooded long and bitterly about Sandro and that dreadful family in Potsdam, and had worked himself into a state of implacable hatred as a consequence.  He made it clear to the German Emperor, and to Bismarck, that he would not allow such a marriage to take place.  To give offence to Russia was no part of Bismarck's policy, so he forbade it too."
About Sandro's victory over the Serbs at Slivnitza he writes:
"Tsar Alexander III's reaction was ferocious, and he now bent all his power and wealth to the destruction of Sandro's rule.  Throughout the early months of 1886 he used millions of roubles to bribe and corrupt the liberal and pro-Sandro elements in Bulgaria, and especially the army officers.  Every device was used to discredit Sandro throughout Europe - he was filthy in his ways, he was a homosexual, kept a harem in Sofia, was destroying the country...Some of it stuck, especially in germany and Austria."
Now even allowing that Richard Hough may have been a bit partial, this is still fairly interesting stuff.............
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'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Angie_H

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2004, 05:56:07 PM »
I know if I looked long enough, I would find these. Here are 2 more pics of the wreck




And one of Borki Church that was built on the site

Angie

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2004, 06:23:43 PM »
The information available on this website is amazing. We have now learned that while Alexander III did have his strengths--both figuratively and literally--he also had problems controlling his alcohol consumption, to the point that his wife had a plan in place, allowing for evacuation whenever her husband became especially  frightening.

Many years after the fact I learned that a very congenial friend of ours--a seemingly perfect family man--could become so violent at times that his wife and daughters called the police on at least one occasion when he started beating up on his son. Why did he do this? Well, his behavior was always well-modulated in the courtroom--he was a very successful lawyer--but apparently all the tensions eventually would build up, with the "last straw" being one too many drinks from his in-home bar . . . Eventually all this took a toll and, a few years after heart surgery and the insertion of a pacemaker,  he died while still in his forties.

So, with regards to family members who abuse alcohol, no wonder, then, that Nicholas tended to abstain from alcohol; he'd seen how it could make his own father crazy!

On another note, the photos of the train wreck are absolutely amazing. And what a loss that the fabulous Borki Church was destroyed.



Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2004, 09:05:36 PM »
Quote
Many years after the fact I learned that a very congenial friend of ours--a seemingly perfect family man--could become so violent at times that his wife and daughters called the police on at least one occasion when he started beating up on his son. Why did he do this? Well, his behavior was always well-modulated in the courtroom--he was a very successful lawyer--but apparently all the tensions eventually would build up, with the "last straw" being one too many drinks from his in-home bar . . . Eventually all this took a toll and, a few years after heart surgery and the insertion of a pacemaker,  he died while still in his forties. So, with regards to family members who abuse alcohol, no wonder, then, that Nicholas tended to abstain from alcohol; he'd seen how it could make his own father crazy!


Yes, it's called a 'high-functioning alcoholic'. (I have more experience with this than I'd like but no violence). People tend to picture alcoholics as being like the bum on the street swilling from a bottle in a bag but the majority actually do hold down jobs and seem 'normal' to many of those around them.  I don't doubt for a minute AIII could do this--function as a Tsar (and a pretty capable one for all his faults) and still drink WAY too much and that it would make NII not like alcohol. I don't drink much myself. I wonder how much culture played into it? AIII identified with much of the traditional Russian rather than European culture and (unless this is just a stereotype) vodka and other liquors seem to play a large part. As for his strength, I always loved the story about him bending the spoons to show the snarky Austrian official what he'd do with the Austrian Army.  :D  (Or was it German? Either way it was funny).
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Offline Michelle

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Re: Alexander III
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2004, 08:15:58 PM »
Oh no!!  What an absolute SHAME that gorgeous church was destroyed!!! :'( :( >:(

Yes, Janet W, this is most definitely a very informative site! :)  I never knew that Alexander III would get violent often from drinking too much.  That seems to make them even more human.  Do you guys suppose that's why he  was so large?  

However, the camera DOES put on ten pounds, especially back then LOL.............. 8)