Author Topic: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end  (Read 59965 times)

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Janet Luise

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Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« on: March 12, 2004, 05:26:07 PM »
 ??? "The only man in Russia who is important is the man I'm talking to..... and he's only important as long as I'm talking to him!"
I vaguely remember a college history professor attributing this to Czar Paul. While searching the internet for clarification I found this fantastic website.  Congratulations.

If anyone knows who said that, I'd appreciate finding out.
Thanks JAN

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2004, 12:31:52 PM »
Janet - this does not sound like Paul. While a troubled man, he was not particularly egotistical. It sounds to me more like a quote by Louis XIV, but I've heard the quote (not referring to Russia) before, just not sure of who said it.

Offline kmerov

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2005, 12:43:37 PM »
Does anyone know why Emperor Paul made it be, that a Dowager Empress took precedense over an Empress?
And did his wife Maria Feodorovna use that right, just like the later MF, Dagmar?

Offline kmerov

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2005, 05:49:18 PM »
Is there anyone who knows this :).
Is it because he didnt like his daughter in-law, or is it some eastern tradition?

Offline Macedonsky

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2005, 12:09:11 PM »
Sovereigns are ranked on their accession dates. The same system for Russian Empresses. After Nicholas I's accession his mother took precedense over widow of his brother who  took precedense over Empress Consort.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2005, 04:18:11 PM »
That's very interesting.  I had always heard that rank had to do with the extent of relationship to an emperor (as with grand ducal titles being conferred only on the children and grandchildren of an emperor).  For instance, a dowager empress took precedence because she was both the wife and the mother of an emperor, whereas a reigning empress was only the wife of an emperor.  By this rule, Nicholas I's sister-in-law would also have taken precedence over his wife, because she was both a wife and a sister-in-law to an emperor.

I must admit that the rule you cited seems more straightforward.

Offline Charles

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2005, 07:56:08 AM »
Alexander I's wife, Elizaveta Alekseevna, died in early 1826, shortly after Alexander died.  So, that rule that you cite Tsarfan, would have never applied to her.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2005, 09:45:39 PM »
I have never seen the House Laws.  Is there a good English-language publication of them or a good synopsis?

Thanks, all.

Offline Macedonsky

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2005, 07:01:40 AM »
Quote
I have never seen the House Laws.  Is there a good English-language publication of them or a good synopsis?

Try to search links of my site.

Offline Paul

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2005, 04:51:12 AM »
I'd read somewhere that Paul did this out of gratitude to his wife for standing by him during his mother's reign. He wanted to insure his wife's standing as first lady of the land, whatever his own fate might be.

For all of the bad press that Paul has received, he must've had some redeeming qualities. Both of his wives were amazing loyal to him.
The only real possession you'll ever have is your character.
Tom Wolfe
US author & journalist (1931 - )

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2005, 07:14:53 PM »
Quote
I'd read somewhere that Paul did this out of gratitude to his wife for standing by him during his mother's reign. He wanted to insure his wife's standing as first lady of the land, whatever his own fate might be.

For all of the bad press that Paul has received, he must've had some redeeming qualities. Both of his wives were amazing loyal to him.


Paul was able to observe and to learn first hand the impact of the unstable succession laws had on the dynasty and Russia. I don't know that any of the Law was put together with anything personal in mind - and it was a system of succession in use in other countries.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2005, 09:52:59 PM »
I want to start a thread on Paul I's assasination because it remains an interesting subject with many unanswered questions. I visited the Michael Castle in St Petersburg last month and saw the room where the assasination took place, while the guide demonstated how it all must have happened. But no one really knows anything for sure, other than the fact that Paul ended dead that night...

Offline Prince_Christopher

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2005, 10:41:12 PM »
Who was behind his assassination?
Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing.
--Cicero

Offline kenmore3233

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2005, 11:00:11 PM »
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Who was behind his assassination?


Paul was assasinated by a large group of prominent Russians, including Bennigsen, the famed military commander, Pahlen, a scion of one of Russia's leading noble families and a leading government minister, and many other notable persons of the time.

This group of assasins made their plans well in advance. That the group formed in the first place was due to the growing sense that Paul was mentally unstable and that his whims were leading Russia to political and economic ruin.

Paul was definitely mentally unstable. An obsessive-compulsive who was prone to fits of paranoia and rage, his mental condition became worse under the stress of governing.

During Paul's last months, he ended Russia's war with France and proposed an alliance with Napoleon. Further, he went to war with England, even going so far as to dispatch 20,000 Cossacks on the bizzare and impossible mission of conquering India via an overland Asiatic route.

Paul's reversal of Russia's traditional alliance with England was regarded as an act of insanity. When Napoleon heard about it from Russian diplomats, he was so amazed that he had the diplomats arrested, thinking that they must have deliberately misrepresented Paul's directives.

The Russian aristocracy in particular was negatively affected by Paul's alienation of England, as these aristocrats made their living by selling their agricultural products in British markets.

The ranks of Paul's assasins were swelled by others who were motivated by anger and a desire for revenge. In the five years of Paul's reign (1796-1801),  many prominent citizens of St. Petersburg were jailed, publically humiliated, exiled or ruined socially and professionally as a result of Paul's paranoid and vindictive cruelty.

By 1801, obviously many people had good reasons for wanting Paul dead.

The object of the assasins at first was to let Paul live but to force him, by threatening his life in his bedchamber, to sign an abdication in favor of his son, Alexander. Alexander, just 24 at the time, was informed of this plan in advance and reluctantly gave his approval, as he knew as well as anyone else that his father was nearly insane and in need of removal.

The assasins, however, were thoroughly drunk the night they made their way via a supposedly secret staircase to Paul's bedchamber, and they beat him to death in the ensuing melee.

I believe there were approximately two dozen assasins in Paul's bedchamber that night.

Paul is a very fascinating figure to study...at least from a psychological perspective. He was actually rather intelligent and he had a grandiose element to his personality. If not for his mental illness, Paul might have proven to be an unusually capable tsar.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by kenmore3233 »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2005, 06:48:15 AM »
Paul was well aware that he was in danger of being assasinated. Therefore he decided to live in a place where he would be protected from intruders. He chose the Michael (Mikhailovsky) Castle, which more resembled a medieval structure than a contemporary palace. This castle was surrounded by water on all sides (a contemporary version of a protective moat) and the bridges would go up at night, cutting off access from the city.


Michael Castle


But the danger came from inside rather than the outside. Paul only lived in his fortress for 40 days, and was assasinated in his bedroom by courtiers close to him, who had free access to his chamber. Paul could have saved himself by escaping into his wife's chambers, connected to his by a small hallway, but by at that time he was convinced that he could not trust his wife either and the doorway to her chamber was blocked to prevent assasins from coming in through there. Thus, Paul became the victim of his own mistrust...


Secret staircase the assasins used to get to Paul's chamber on the night of the murder


After Paul's death, the Castle became Engineer's House, since no one in the imperial family felt comfortable living there.


Paul I