Author Topic: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?  (Read 163673 times)

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Offline Sergei Witte

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #405 on: March 12, 2010, 01:20:56 AM »
Quote
They withdrew themselves because they were afraid of being assassinated.

Well, I disagree with several things said here, and think it is important to try to throw away our 21st century glasses as much as possible.  The whole issue of NII's character is subject to the 'editing' that happens when one is not on the winning side of history.  Add to this Bolshevik propaganda.  And then N's charming, quiet, non-confrontational temperament gave him the reputation for being weak even in his lifetime.


I have been saying this for years.  Yet, I am often ridiculed for my thoughts on this matter.  I agree completely that "it is important to throw away our 21st century glasses as much as possible".

I also agree. I would also add: throw away our 21th century Western-outlook glasses. Always take into account cultural and sociological aspects of that time and place which may differ from our point of view.

Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #406 on: March 12, 2010, 05:13:46 AM »
 One must also remember that Autocracy was guaranteed to fail anyway because of its very structure.  By the time Alexander III came to the throne it had run its course anyway, and was no longer an acceptable form of goverment for any country entering the 20th century. He passed a doomed system onto his son.
Nicholas had neither the intelligence, foresight or lateral thinking to change anything for the better. His wife was an added ingredient in a recipe for disaster.

Whether he was prepared to rule or not, we all know it was the system that failed. He may have been a good constitutional monarch, had he been given the opportunity.     

Offline Sergei Witte

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #407 on: March 12, 2010, 01:07:51 PM »
One must also remember that Autocracy was guaranteed to fail anyway because of its very structure.

What proof do you have for such a statement?

I am asking that because I am not so convinced of that.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 01:20:07 PM by Sergei Witte »

Offline wox24

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #408 on: March 12, 2010, 03:09:36 PM »
Nicholas had neither the intelligence, foresight or lateral thinking to change anything for the better. His wife was an added ingredient in a recipe for disaster.

Whether he was prepared to rule or not, we all know it was the system that failed. He may have been a good constitutional monarch, had he been given the opportunity.     

I do not absolutely agree.

Russian ekonomic and technologic development was increased. Russian rubel was the third hardest currency in the world (after American and British). Even Sergei Witte said Nikolay did many for it. There were draw up a projects of eletrification of all Russia, BAM (Baykal-Amur Magistrale, it was made in 70th years latest century and only for army reasons.) Reforms of Stolypin imporoved of a situation of farmars. Etc. Simply said, 15-20 years (according West economists) and Russia would be in this situation as the U.S.A. is now.


Offline rosieposie

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #409 on: March 12, 2010, 06:09:36 PM »
I read somewhere that Marie F begged the counsel for Mikhael to be Tsar instead of Nicholas.  Is this true?
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Alixz

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #410 on: March 13, 2010, 12:37:40 PM »
I don't think that the council had any say in the matter.  Nicholas was the heir and the next in line.

I am not sure that Michael would have been a better or different tsar.  His way of life when he was the heir presumptive was not in keeping with someone who actually cared about the position and was ready to take it.

Marie might have thought that Michael would have made a better tsar ( and I have read that she did), but she didn't have any power over anyone to change things.

Constantinople

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #411 on: March 14, 2010, 01:01:02 AM »
The primary reasons that Nicholas was unprepared were that his father didn't think he was talented enough and so did not give him many positions to hone his skills (aside from some tasks like heading the grain commission during one of the famines).  Secondly, Alexander didnt believe in delegating power.  Thirdly, Alexander died prematurely.  Fourthly, as a result to the assassinatiion of Nicholas l, he became increasing more repressive which evaporated creative thinking in the circle of advisors and built up an increasingly more determined violent opposition to the idea of the Tsar.  Lastly, because of this fear of assassination, Nicholas ll travels outside Moscow were rare and only under high security so his contact with Russians was limited and his knowledge base of Russian conditions and problems was minimal.

Alixz

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #412 on: March 14, 2010, 02:39:02 PM »
The assassination of Alexander II.

Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #413 on: March 15, 2010, 07:04:53 AM »
Does anyone really think that Russia would have survived as an autocracy until the 21st century ?
I dont think so, irrespective of how their economy performed.
How many autocracies / dictatorships do we currently have ?
Korea, Zimbabwe etc. And they are all starving to death, tortured and beaten into submission. Autocracy did not work in the 19th century. It was a medieval and archaic system even in Nicholas's time.
So no, I dont agree with you. And I doubt anyone else will.

Offline Sergei Witte

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #414 on: March 15, 2010, 06:06:53 PM »
How many autocracies / dictatorships do we currently have ?


Well, we have White Russia and Russia also has autocratic treats. To mention a few.


 (please look above in this thread. We look too much through our 21st century, Western glasses.)
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 06:16:10 PM by Sergei Witte »

Offline Sergei Witte

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #415 on: March 16, 2010, 01:58:54 AM »
Does anyone really think that Russia would have survived as an autocracy until the 21st century ?
I dont think so, irrespective of how their economy performed.
How many autocracies / dictatorships do we currently have ?
Korea, Zimbabwe etc. And they are all starving to death, tortured and beaten into submission. Autocracy did not work in the 19th century. It was a medieval and archaic system even in Nicholas's time.
So no, I dont agree with you. And I doubt anyone else will.


I think you are right in that the autocracy in its purest form had had his longest time. But earlier you said it was guaranteed to fail. There is a big difference between probably and guaranteed.

The subject here is why Nicholas II was unprepared to rule. I believe that after the assasination of Alexander II the chlidren of Alexander III were brought up very much protected. They lived in their Gatchina palace which looked more like a castle than a palace. And they had no contact outside the family. This may have caused the tendency of Nicholas to look only at his closest relatives for advice and comfort. He didn't trust anybody outside the family sphere.

With another ruler, who could look ahead of his own family and put a little more trust in other people like Witte etc. Russia would have followed a totally different course.

Alixz

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #416 on: March 16, 2010, 02:26:16 AM »
When we look at why Nicholas II was unprepared to rule we actually have to look as far back as Peter the Great.  After Peter's death, the royal family and the line of succession in Russia was never actually secure.

Peter himself died in 1725, and he remains one of the most controversial figures in Russian history. Although he was deeply committed to making Russia a powerful new member of modern Europe, it is questionable whether his reforms resulted in significant improvements to the lives of his subjects. Certainly he modernized Russia's military and its administrative structure, but both of these reforms were financed at the expense of the peasantry, who were increasingly forced into serfdom. After Peter's death Russia went through a great number of rulers in a distressingly short time, none of whom had much of an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Many of Peter's reforms failed to take root in Russia, and it was not until the reign of Catherine the Great that his desire to make Russia into a great European power was in fact achieved.
http://www.geographia.com/RUSSIA/rushis04.htm

But Catherine came to power with the murder of her husband Peter III.  Her son Paul may or may not have been Peter's child.  Paul was in turn murdered by a group which probably included his own son Alexander I.

Alexander I had no children and left his throne to his brother Constantine who didn't want it and so it went to his next brother Nicholas I.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 02:49:46 AM by Alixz »

Alixz

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #417 on: March 16, 2010, 02:39:24 AM »
Nicholas I came to power in spite of the Decembrist Revolt and held the throne with a tight first and the help of his army.  He was wise enough to give his son Alexander II a very good education and see that he was prepared to rule, but he left his son with a population who was ready to over throw the autocracy.

Alexander II also gave his heir the Tsarevich Nicholas (Nixa) a good education, but unfortunately the young man died before he could do anything with the education he received and move into politics with the the legacy of his father who was quite liberal in thought and deed.

Then Alexander II was assassinated and Alexander III, who had not been trained as Nixa was, came to throne after seeing his father killed by an assassin's bomb.  Alexander III had not the formal training that either his father or brother had had to prepare his for the throne and so he himself was not ready or prepared to rule.

Alexander III showed that he had no faith in his heir the Tsarevich Nicholas (Nicky) by not giving him the kind of education that he needed to become a productive tsar.

Alexander probably thought that because he had not had the formal training of his brother or his father that his son didn't need it either.  At least not with so many years ahead of him.  I am sure that he did not expect to die at age 49.

Alixz

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #418 on: March 16, 2010, 02:49:19 AM »
Most likely, Alexander III saw that all that formal training hadn't done his father Alexander II any good (it didn't save his life) and so thought that it was not something he needed and was not going to get for his own son, Nicholas II.

While Marie Dagmar was a perfect choice for Empress and she did her job with skill, she produced children who not physically anywhere near as impressive as did her in laws.  She also spoiled Nicky and, I believe, coddled him.  Perhaps to protect him from his massive father.

Somehow, IMHO, Alexander III thought that becoming Tsar was something that was absorbed by osmosis.  After all, he had not had any special training and he believed he was doing just fine.  And autocracy did seem to work under Alexander III.  He was so repressive and reactionary that he forced the system to work, even if he had to do it from behind closed palace doors.

Autocracy was, after all, divinely bestowed.  Whomever was chosen for the task by birth would just automatically know how to do the job when the time came.

Like almost all families, the Romanovs were quite dysfunctional from the time that Peter II had his son Alexei tortured and killed, though the murders of Peter III and Paul I and then the refusal of Constantine to take the throne because he liked being Governor of Poland and didn't want to give up that freedom.

Alixz

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Re: Nicholas II was Unprepared to Rule. Why?
« Reply #419 on: March 16, 2010, 02:55:41 AM »
As Massie has said, "It was with special care that fate chose Nicholas II"

But it was also with special care that all of the kings who ruled at the beginning of WWI were chosen by fate.  All of them had their own special deficiencies whether it be physical or intellectual.

Kaiser Wilhelm II  -King George V - Tsar Nicholas II - Emperor Franz Joseph.  Dig into the background of any of these monarchs and you will see that not one of them was truly prepared to rule.  Especially during the first major word conflict of the 20th century.