Author Topic: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"  (Read 92761 times)

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #75 on: August 11, 2005, 09:11:01 AM »
Alex,
I have read the memoirs of several noble family members who wrote after the Revolution different versions of the same thought:
"If we had really known what would have happened (the Revolution) we would have stood behind the Tsar...but we had no idea." Is it totally fair to place all the blame on Nicholas and Alexandra? All Russians swore their oath to Nicholas, did some not betray the oath they swore?
I am not necessarily defending N&A, nor attacking anyones view. I am just curious to see your thoughts on this.


Offline rosebud

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #76 on: August 11, 2005, 09:45:26 AM »
Alex wrote: When one is Emperor or when one is President, one respond to a higher level of goals and higher level of needs than others.  An Emperor has a greater sense of duties and a much higher threshold of what is required.  He was given a choice between his wife and the Empire and he sacrified the Empire, and eventually this caused the death of 75 million souls of his former Empire.

I believe there has never been a ruler who really represented the abstract ideas we do connect to a perfect ruler. They have all been men and had their weaknesses. Maybe even more so when the power was inherited and wasnt about will or ability at all.

Maybe the best choice N could have done would have been renouncing the throne in 1894 because he then really understood how incompetent he was. But that was a thought not even considered, a pure impossibility.
And I still have trouble to believe it all was so much about Alexandra. Or Alexandra versus empire -situation (which was an aggravation?) Nicholas was henpecked and wasnt the first man (or ruler) to be so. The turn of the century wasnt anything like the middle ages, I would hope that there was different ways to deal with dreadful women than "off with their heads"-tactic. But it seems to be that there wasnt. Would things have get any better after she would have been locked up? How? Nicholas would have been depressed or full of self contempt. And it was then he would have done better choices? There was so many things wrong and unfare in Russia and had been a long time; it was his cross to bear to answer for the consequences his more perfect predecessors had created. I think the knot situation would have been too much for most of men to solve (without death and hatred anyway). And of course bad things do cumulate.

Tsarfan, your explanation for the hiding of Alexeis disease was interesting. I have always wondered why in the earth they did it, they would have even get sympathy from the people if publicized it. And does anyone have any clue from where Victoria got the disease to the family? (maybe there is a thread about it, havent noticed yet)

R


Offline Ortino

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #77 on: August 11, 2005, 10:54:22 AM »
Quote

Tsarfan, your explanation for the hiding of Alexeis disease was interesting. I have always wondered why in the earth they did it, they would have even get sympathy from the people if publicized it. And does anyone have any clue from where Victoria got the disease to the family? (maybe there is a thread about it, havent noticed yet)

R



  How exactly Victoria acquired the gene for hemophilia is not known, but there are two possible explanations:

1. She got it from her parents. Which parent it would have come from is not entirely known, but the duchess of Kent could have gotten it from her Coburg ancestors. However, there was not a single case of hemophilia in her Leiningen children or their descendents. It is possible that she had a mutation in her genetic makeup, but the chances of this are very small. Her presumed father, the duke of Kent, came from one of the most well documented families and since the disease is relatively obvious in its victims, any case of hemophilia would have been noticed. I have read though that the duke of Kent may not have been Victoria's real father and that is where the strain of hemophilia may have come in.

2. Victoria herself. Since the disease can surface from genetic mutations, it is possible that this occurred with Victoria. However, genetic mutations are rare and about 80% percent of all hemophiliacs have an identifiable family source for the disease.

The best answer to this is I think is that it simply came from one of her family members.

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #78 on: August 14, 2005, 10:04:20 AM »
Quote
Alex,
I have read the memoirs of several noble family members who wrote after the Revolution different versions of the same thought:
"If we had really known what would have happened (the Revolution) we would have stood behind the Tsar...but we had no idea." Is it totally fair to place all the blame on Nicholas and Alexandra? All Russians swore their oath to Nicholas, did some not betray the oath they swore?
I am not necessarily defending N&A, nor attacking anyones view. I am just curious to see your thoughts on this.



Dear Rob,

I apologize for the delay in answering your post.  I needed time to reflect on this.

I am not so much interested in blame, as to why it happened and what were the events or persons that caused it to happen.

1.  I postulate that Alexander III delivered an economically-advancing nation to his son Nicholas II but a nation that was more economically-advanced than it could truly mentally handle;

2.  Alexander III gave his son a particularly flawed education (with all of the Pobedenostovs, etc., etc.) that produced not a great reasoner, nor even a moderately-abled reasoner, but an extremely  perfectly-charming if not highly-perfidious 17th Century English gentleman;

3.  For whatever reason, in the early years of the Monarchy, Nicholas leaned too heavily upon all of the Grand Dukes, particularly the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovitch,  for policies which caused more far more ruin to the monarchy than relative good;

4.  Subsequently Nicholas II, for whatever reason, employed and then destroyed some brilliant Prime Ministers -- von Witte and Stolpyin come to mind -- whose policies would and could have saved the Empire and who policies would and could have saved his throne.

5.  Psychologically speaking, in the gravest of all errors a monarch or future monarch can make (a la Charles Prince of Wales) the Emperor placed personal satisfaction, gratification and pleasure above his duties as Supreme Autocrat of All the Russias.  In this, he lost the Russian people.  He had no true concept of the Nation, only a true concept of Self.  It was pure Louis XIV -- "l'Etat --c'est moi."

6.  Psychologically speaking, Nicholas possessed no great character traits which would have allowed him to bridge and transcend the extreme gaps before him and to remedy the extreme and rapidly accelerating perils that he faced.  His policies were negative and regressive to an incisive extreme in a rapidly changing world which he did not and which he could not grasp.

7.  Additionally, Alexandra Feodorovna was exceptionally ill prepared for the role which she assumed.  Remember -- this role was not thrust at her -- she assumed it.  She possessed no great education to speak of, and her values at best were those of a petit-bourgeois German hausfraus with English overtones in a country that was turning towards its Slavic origins once again and which rightly or wrongly inherently despised all things German -- perhaps because of the presence of the Baltic Camarilla at Court.  Wrong place, wrong time, woefully wrong person.  

8.  Psychologically speaking, Alexandra Feodorovna would have been classified today, I am sorry to write this, perhaps as mentally unstable or disturbed .  She carried with her the indelible stain of having produced a sick-and-dieing child which surely tortured her and caused her untold mental anguish and she then simply fled from reality into a world of religion, occultism and the like.  She had no idea at all what the Russian people were and she failed to grasp the concept of "reign but not rule".  She imposed her petit-bourgeois Germanic values on the ministers and on the Court in the Emperor's absence and the Court and even the ministers seethed and began to revolt.  She stuffed the Church with pedophiles and complete religious incompetents and secretly lost the support of the still-remaining righteous Church hierarchs.  It was Marie-Antoinette all over again, with "l'affaire du collier".

9.  Nicholas should have had before his very eyes the events of the French Revolution and yet he did not.  Two Germanic Queens, two loathed and hated Germanic queens, one of exceptionally dubious morals, one of rather impeccable morals but of dubious tastes in friend, both out of touch with and loathed by their respective populaces.  He should have recognized himself as the modern Louis XVI who could not take a firm decision and who did not understand his people nor even know them and yet did not.  He became mired in the petty details.  He saw the tree and missed the forest.

10.  Nicholas failed to understand that the people, the peasants and the nobilityof the Empire profoundly demanded change, albeit passively, and he should have instituted the necessary reforms to protect his Dynasty and to save the Empire.  The very famous saying from Marzarin comes to mind "pour avancer il faut reculer".

11.  But he should have realized that from about 1914 on, when the Empress was held forth as the summatum of all things evil in Russia, in all elements of society and in all corners of the Empire, and that rude pornographic sketches of her purportedly entertaining Rasputin sexually were being flounted all over the land in spite of the Okrhana and the censors, that he needed to "bite the bullet" and somehow divest himself of her or divest himself of the monarchy.  In this he remained supremely egotistical.  He sacrified a nation and a monarchy and 75 million persons for his own personal good.

12.  And all of this together caused Revolution that killed nearly 75 million persons over 80 years and wasted all of the power of Russia's economic prowess. Had he considered what things might really be like, and given his limited mental ability he was not able to do so, the fundamental changes then demanded in Russia would have been far less costly -- and far less bloody -- than that which ensued.  In his lack of ability to share anything, he lost everything, including first and foremost his life.  Tolstoy spoke and wrote but Nicholas did not listen.  Ostrovsky spoke and wrote and Nicholas did not listen.

How could the two of them not see this all and not see it coming?

13.  What did your President Harry S. Truman used to say? "The buck stops here".

With kind regards from Shanghai,


A.A.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AlexP »

Offline Ortino

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #79 on: August 14, 2005, 01:30:25 PM »
Quote


3.  For whatever reason, in the early years of the Monarchy, Nicholas leaned too heavily upon all of the Grand Dukes, particularly the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovitch,  for policies which caused more far more ruin to the monarchy than relative good;

4.  Subsequently Nicholas II, for whatever reason, employed and then destroyed some brilliant Prime Ministers -- von Witte and Stolpyin come to mind -- whose policies would and could have saved the Empire and who policies would and could have saved his throne.

5.  Psychologically speaking, in the gravest of all errors a monarch or future monarch can make (a la Charles Prince of Wales) the Emperor placed personal satisfaction, gratification and pleasure above his duties as Supreme Autocrat of All the Russias.  In this, he lost the Russian people.  He had no true concept of the Nation, only a true concept of Self.  It was pure Louis XIV -- "l'Etat --c'est moi."

6.  Psychologically speaking, Nicholas possessed no great character traits which would have allowed him to bridge and transcend the extreme gaps before him and to remedy the extreme and rapidly accelerating perils that he faced.  His policies were negative and regressive to an incisive extreme in a rapidly changing world which he did not and which he could not grasp.

7.  Additionally, Alexandra Feodorovna was exceptionally ill prepared for the role which she assumed.  Remember -- this role was not thrust at her -- she assumed it.  She possessed no great education to speak of, and her values at best were those of a petit-bourgeois German hausfraus with English overtones in a country that was turning towards its Slavic origins once again and which rightly or wrongly inherently despised all things German -- perhaps because of the presence of the Baltic Camarilla at Court.  Wrong place, wrong time, woefully wrong person.  

8.  Psychologically speaking, Alexandra Feodorovna would have been classified today, I am sorry to write this, perhaps as mentally unstable or disturbed .  She carried with her the indelible stain of having produced a sick-and-dieing child which surely tortured her and caused her untold mental anguish and she then simply fled from reality into a world of religion, occultism and the like.  She had no idea at all what the Russian people were and she failed to grasp the concept of "reign but not rule".  She imposed her petit-bourgeois Germanic values on the ministers and on the Court in the Emperor's absence and the Court and even the ministers seethed and began to revolt.  She stuffed the Church with pedophiles and complete religious incompetents and secretly lost the support of the still-remaining righteous Church hierarchs.  It was Marie-Antoinette all over again, with "l'affaire du collier".

9.  Nicholas should have had before his very eyes the events of the French Revolution and yet he did not.  Two Germanic Queens, two loathed and hated Germanic queens, one of exceptionally dubious morals, one of rather impeccable morals but of dubious tastes in friend, both out of touch with and loathed by their respective populaces.  He should have recognized himself as the modern Louis XVI who could not take a firm decision and who did not understand his people nor even know them and yet did not.  He became mired in the petty details.  He saw the tree and missed the forest.

10.  Nicholas failed to understand that the people, the peasants and the nobilityof the Empire profoundly demanded change, albeit passively, and he should have instituted the necessary reforms to protect his Dynasty and to save the Empire.  The very famous saying from Marzarin comes to mind "pour avancer il faut reculer".

11.  But he should have realized that from about 1914 on, when the Empress was held forth as the summatum of all things evil in Russia, in all elements of society and in all corners of the Empire, and that rude pornographic sketches of her purportedly entertaining Rasputin sexually were being flounted all over the land in spite of the Okrhana and the censors, that he needed to "bite the bullet" and somehow divest himself of her or divest himself of the monarchy.  In this he remained supremely egotistical.  He sacrified a nation and a monarchy and 75 million persons for his own personal good.

12.  And all of this together caused Revolution that killed nearly 75 million persons over 80 years and wasted all of the power of Russia's economic prowess. Had he considered what things might really be like, and given his limited mental ability he was not able to do so, the fundamental changes then demanded in Russia would have been far less costly -- and far less bloody -- than that which ensued.  In his lack of ability to share anything, he lost everything, including first and foremost his life.  Tolstoy spoke and wrote but Nicholas did not listen.  Ostrovsky spoke and wrote and Nicholas did not listen.

How could the two of them not see this all and not see it coming?

13.  What did your President Harry S. Truman used to say? "The buck stops here".

With kind regards from Shanghai,


A.A.



I agree with most of what you said, but just a few questions and comments:

3. I was under the impression that Nicholas' uncles intimidated and berated him so terribly that he generally shied away from them and their advice. So how exactly did he lean on them too heavily?

4. Yes, he shouldn't of dismissed Witte, but how exactly was Stolypin's assassination his fault? Such a thing was beyond his control. Yes, Stolypin probably could have saved the Empire, but I wouldn't blame Nicholas for that.

5. Yes, Nicholas was interested in his own pleasure and satisfaction, but I don't think he necessarily put these entirely above his responsibilities. He used pleasure (the Crimea, tennis, family time etc.) as an escape from the continous pressures he faced as Emperor, which as you pointed out, he was unprepared for.

6. Too true, but as much as Nicholas' bad policies demonstrated that he couldn't handle the job, Alexander III gave him no real preparation to speak of. He was trained as a soldier, not a diplomat. He had no true knowledge of how to handle diplomacy, ministers, or how to run the internal affairs of the country. I'm not excusing him, for he is far from innocent in the destruction of his family and his Empire, but it wasn't entirely his fault.

9. The French Revolution was over a hundred years earlier, so how exactly was Nicholas supposed to examine its causes? I wouldn't be surprised if he considered it a misfortune on their part, but nothing that could affect his countr. Russia had a very different social structure than the French at the time of the French Revolution. Besides, I'm sure he was comforted by the fact that his Empire had been held together for 300 years with equally terrible rulers as him. Why would Nicholas presume that it would suddenly fall apart and even more so under his rule?

10. Yes, Nicholas should have understood better the people's desires for reforms and what should have been done, but governmentally speaking, introducing reforms to cut down his power over the people would have destroyed 300 years of tradition. Nicholas believed what every Russian ruler before him did; he was entitled to his power and that it was given to him by G-d. Nicholas was also not like his father in that he did not have that connection with the people. Alexander III connected with the average peasant and understood their needs, but Nicholas probably never had any real exposure to or understanding of the true amount of poverty in his country. While he grew up in a simplistic setting, he never exactly went touring slums. He didn't have a Marie beside him either, who would have drawn the nobility closer to him.

11. Like I said before, yes, Nicholas should have realized what was going on around him, but why should he have presumed that he would one day have to give up his throne? It would have been the proper thing to do, but few rulers in history have been willing to sacrifice their status without a struggle. Nicholas believed in the power and holiness of his position and he held onto it for this reason. With 300 years worth of Tsars, I find it hard to believe that he would have realized the necessity of abdicating.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Ortino »

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #80 on: August 14, 2005, 01:45:22 PM »
Every major event in history is a combination of circumstances within a given context.  In general, all classes of society bear responsibility for an event in which the entire foundations of society are overturned.

In this case, we have all spent endless hours, as have numerous scholars, evaluating and analyzing the personalities of Nicholas and Alexandra and the upswell of hostility towards the monarchy and autocracy by the lower classes.  

But there are middle groups, and they are less the focus of any examination and criticism, which, in my opinion, is preventing anyone from gaining a well-rounded perspective on the events leading to the Revolution.

It is not enough to say that the "nobility" (and it, like any other social class, was comprised of a mix of people of varying political and social persuasions) did what it could, burning bridges, etc.  Obviously, the general approach taken did not work.  In fact, it served to push Nicholas more towards Alexandra and away from his responsibilities as a monarch.

Therefore, we may appropriately ask:  What could the nobility have done differently?  How could they have approached the problem in a manner designed to facilitate a rapprochement?  What insights did they seek to gain into the personality of Alexandra and the best methods to gain access to her and persuade her differently?  Did the nobility's almost immediate negative reaction to Alexandra cause them to be unable to explore new avenues in a relationship to her?  Was it all lost from the beginning?

We see so many of the nobility after the Revolution blaming everyone else, from N and A to Rasputin to Bolshevism and the rage of the "small people".  Rarely, if ever, is the microscope turned inwards.  

Blame is not really the issue.  Accountability is, as is the understanding that in the dance that led to riots and slaughter was made up of many, many dancers.

Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #81 on: August 14, 2005, 02:23:31 PM »
Alex - Your analysis is excellent - probably the best summary I've seen in a single place ever.

Ortino - I'm going to answer some of your questions based on my reading.  Others no doubt will have additional information.

My responses are in {}'s.  I *hate* all caps!

best,
dca

Quote

 I agree with most of what you said, but just a few questions and comments:

3. I was under the impression that Nicholas' uncles intimidated and berated him so terribly that he generally shied away from them and their advice. So how exactly did he lean on them too heavily?

{DCA:Ortino - you are right - his uncles did intimiate him.  I'm not clear about the berated piece but lets not argue of symantics.  As you know, Nicholas couldn't have been more unprepared for the throne - so he naturally turned to his Uncles, the son's of Alexander II.  In the early part of his reign he followed their instructions almost to the letter and ultimatley that set the tone for the entire reign.  I would argue that *one* of the reasons he was so reactionary was because he followed his Uncles direction for the first several years of his reign.}

4. Yes, he shouldn't of dismissed Witte, but how exactly was Stolypin's assassination his fault? Such a thing was beyond his control. Yes, Stolypin probably could have saved the Empire, but I wouldn't blame Nicholas for that.

{DCA:Stolypin had already been 'cut loose' in Nicholas's mind by the time he was assinated.  Stolypin no longer enjoyed N II's confidence and knew he was on his way out.  Why?  Because Stolypin was overshadowing N II and he had made an enemy of Rasputin.  There is a relatively new book on Stolypin you may want to read.}

5. Yes, Nicholas was interested in his own pleasure and satisfaction, but I don't think he necessarily put these entirely above his responsibilities. He used pleasure (the Crimea, tennis, family time etc.) as an escape from the continous pressures he faced as Emperor, which as you pointed out, he was unprepared for.

{DCA:Hard to tell.  This, in my mind, ties back into his desire to be a 'country gentlemen' and not a Tsar.  Think of the work schedule of Peter the Great, Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II and especially Alexander III.  They too had families, but I've never, ever read that any of them put their family life or desire for pleasure ahead of their duties.  Don't get me wrong, this is a reasonable thing to expect - but not when you demand to be the autocratic leader of the worlds largest country *and* you are willing to go to war to expand its boundries (i.e. the 1905 war with Japan)

6. Too true, but as much as Nicholas' bad policies demonstrated that he couldn't handle the job, Alexander III gave him no real preparation to speak of. He was trained as a soldier, not a diplomat. He had no true knowledge of how to handle diplomacy, ministers, or how to run the internal affairs of the country. I'm not excusing him, for he is far from innocent in the destruction of his family and his Empire, but it wasn't entirely his fault.

{DCA:Again, your absolutley correct - no one expected Alexander III to die so young.  Frankly, I put more of the blame for this on Alexander III & Marie than on Nicholas.  Although if I am going to someday become Tsar it seems like I might spend abit less time chasing ballerinas' around and more time being highly useful in the Committee's I have been assigned to (Witte once said that N II was not effective as the leader of the Trans Siberian Railroad committee which A III had appointed him to}.  But, I do agree that A III woefully underprepared N II for the job he had to face.}

9. The French Revolution was over a hundred years earlier, so how exactly was Nicholas supposed to examine its causes? I wouldn't be surprised if he considered it a misfortune on their part, but nothing that could affect his countr. Russia had a very different social structure than the French at the time of the French Revolution. Besides, I'm sure he was comforted by the fact that his Empire had been held together for 300 years with equally terrible rulers as him. Why would Nicholas presume that it would suddenly fall apart and even more so under his rule?

{DCA:I'm alittle out of my league here because I don't know alot about the French revolution - but I guess my question to you would be how could he not know his country was falling apart?  One way he didn't know was to "hide" in the Alexander Palace.  Have you ever read about the good will generated by N II and his family as a result of the Romanov 300 year celebrations?  Not only did it let him be seen in his country - it got him out from under the same stale couriers who told him what he wanted to hear on a daily basis.  Finally, Nicholas was a student of history.  France was a major Russian allie, he spoke french and understood french culture.  This is, in my opinion, yet another example of him doing the ostridge (sticking his head in the ground) instead of being out and about being seen and seeing for himself how his people lived.}

10. Yes, Nicholas should have understood better the people's desires for reforms and what should have been done, but governmentally speaking, introducing reforms to cut down his power over the people would have destroyed 300 years of tradition. Nicholas believed what every Russian ruler before him did; he was entitled to his power and that it was given to him by G-d. Nicholas was also not like his father in that he did not have that connection with the people. Alexander III connected with the average peasant and understood their needs, but Nicholas probably never had any real exposure to or understanding of the true amount of poverty in his country. While he grew up in a simplistic setting, he never exactly went touring slums. He didn't have a Marie beside him either, who would have drawn the nobility closer to him.

{DCA:Excellent point - but again I think you see N as more of a victim of circumstances than someone who should have been atleast partially in control of his destiny}

11. Like I said before, yes, Nicholas should have realized what was going on around him, but why should he have presumed that he would one day have to give up his throne? It would have been the proper thing to do, but few rulers in history have been willing to sacrifice their status without a struggle. Nicholas believed in the power and holiness of his position and he held onto it for this reason. With 300 years worth of Tsars, I find it hard to believe that he would have realized the necessity of abdicating.

{DCA:See comment above - No he shouldn't have thought at the beginning of his reign (or in the middle) that he might have to abdicate (what about in 1905??).  But by the time he was forced to abdicate he should have had a sense of what was happening around him, to his people, his army et. al.  In fairness, N II, in 1917 was a broken man and because of that (and because of his belief in God taking care of everything & he being born under the sign of St. Job) he felt he had no control over his destiny.  Remember, there was some question about him having a heart attack in church at Moltovi (Headquarters), about his use of cocaine (remember back then cocaine was a regularly used, legal drug - I'm not implying he was a drug addict).  He was exausted, completely burnt out, isolated, out of touch and broken.  I would argue a mere shell of his original (weak) self.  It is frankly a miracle that he lasted as long as he did.}


DCA: Ortino, Please don't perceive me as anti-Nicholas.  N II is a easy target and there are those who have a never ending list of criticisms to level at him.  I wish people would give him more credit for the circumstances of the times and the things he didn't have control over.  He *was*, to a certain extent, a victim of circumstances, he had an enormous work ethic but he didn't work smart, He was a personable & happy young man who became isolated, sullen and parnoid (in large part because of Alexandra).  He deeply believed he had the best interests of Russia at heart.  He was a patroit second to none and without hesitating put his country's honor ahead of his own and the dynastys during WWI.

Great discussion - thanks for allowing me to chime in.  I do wish this darn thing had a spell checker!

best,
dca
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Dominic_Albanese »

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #82 on: August 14, 2005, 02:35:51 PM »
As I recall, he would be confronted by one uncle and make a decision.

The next day, another uncle would confront him and he would change his decision.

There was something about the railway and who would have authority over it that led to him changing his mind 17 times in 17 days after incessant badgering by the uncles and diplomats who had differing ideas........

This says less about the uncles than it does about Nicholas, I think!

Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #83 on: August 14, 2005, 02:48:47 PM »
Quote
As I recall, he would be confronted by one uncle and make a decision.

The next day, another uncle would confront him and he would change his decision.

There was something about the railway and who would have authority over it that led to him changing his mind 17 times in 17 days after incessant badgering by the uncles and diplomats who had differing ideas........

This says less about the uncles than it does about Nicholas, I think!


It sure does - it also speaks to a cronic and consistent complaint by all his ministers, family and the Court.  I think you'll find that Alix was pretty vocal about this behavior as well (and I don't mean in a positive way) ;D!!

best,
dca
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Dominic_Albanese »

AlexP

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #84 on: August 14, 2005, 04:23:36 PM »
Quote
Alex - Your analysis is excellent - probably the best summary I've seen in a single place ever.

best,
dca


Carissimo Domenico,

Thank you for your kind words.  I will come back to comments about the Emperor and Stolypin later today.  They deserve more attention.

With all of the best,


A.A.

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #85 on: August 14, 2005, 08:47:38 PM »
It sure does - it also speaks to a cronic and consistent complaint by all his ministers, family and the Court.

And yet knowing this, there isn't much evidence that they attempted to devise new strategies for handling it and influencing Nicholas to make better decisions.  

It just seems to me that there was nobody, or only a few people who were far-sighted enough to realize that instead of reacting to N's indecisiveness and inability to rule well, and Alexandra's emotional instability and fundamental misunderstanding of the autocracy they should be proactive in developing ways to solve the problems collectively.

Was it the inherent snobbery of the court, or were they, in a sense, also following a self-destructive path out of passivity?

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #86 on: August 14, 2005, 11:00:17 PM »
I think it is entirely appropriate to analyze the role of all parties in the Revolution and the downfall of the monarchy.

We have certainly all agreed that the revolutionaries themselves ("godless ones", "bloodthirsty ones") were out of control and that their vision failed in the extreme.  We have certainly psychoanalyzed Alexandra.  The same for Nicholas.

Fear of exploring the role of the nobility with regard to the destruction of Imperial Russia should not limit our attempts to understand what happened.  

It takes two to tango.  It takes a lot more than that to create a revolution that destroys millions of lives, an autocracy that has lasted for generations, and five innocent imperial children.

If the question is whether Nicholas led them all himself, then consideration of the roles of others is not only appropriate, but mandatory.  

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #87 on: August 15, 2005, 12:41:11 PM »
utzu etza ve tufar.  Dabru davar ve lo yakum ki imanu el.

Back to the topic, I hardly think that it was fair of Radzinsky to place the blame for the downfall of Imperial Russia solely upon the shoulders of Nicholas.  We know that Alexandra was a loose canon.  We know that the Imperial family was not unified in its position on the various decisions over which Nicholas waffled.  And we know that the father of Nicholas was lamentably lax in his preparation of his son to rule such a huge and great nation.  As always, it is a combination of elements that leads to the greatest of horrors.

AlexP

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #88 on: August 15, 2005, 06:23:05 PM »
Quote
Thank you Alex.
He might have gone into his shell after this kind of world crashing suggestions (who wouldnt). And then it is all lost...
R


Dear Rosebud,

I meant to address this earlier but yesterday was a day of digression. So this morning I will address this message.

The Emperor had two of the best Russian Prime Ministers of the entire Imperial Regime -- von Witte and P.A. Stolypin.  They were oratorical genuiuses as well as brilliant statesman and gift academics.  Remember, it was von Witte, I believe, who insisted to the Sovereign that the Russo-Japanese War come to end before it destroyed the Nation (a war that Nicholas had helped instigate).  It was Stolypin and von Witte, together but severally, over an approximately ten year period of time who helped to stabilize the economy and to calm the uproared masses.  And Nicholas would have none of it in the end (with Alexandra in the background).

Everyone quotes Stolypin's famous saying which he gave to a speech in the Imperial Duma ("im nuzhna velikaya potreceniya, a nam nuzhna velikaya Rocciya") without realize that this is the very same message that he had been giving the Sovereign in private for year.  Again, the Empress was SO rancourous towards this gift and brilliant statesman that she was BARELY civil to him.  And worse, recent studies into the assassination of Stolypin have lead to the very door of the Emperor himself, the very, very door.  It is terrible.

So yes, the Emperor received much adviced, none of which he heeded and some of it from the best statesman Imperial Russia produced.

But then again Louis XVI had Necker, who so brilliant and who would have Royal France, but Marie Antoinette also hated him vociferously.

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #89 on: August 18, 2005, 02:46:10 AM »
Well, I do not think it was hard to be a better Tsar than Nicky, and I am not being malicious here, we all know perfectly well what he was like. Apparently Michael must have been more charismatic and decisive than his brother. As for the abdication, then yes, the pressure on Nicholas renouncing the throne was really great. He did not have a choice.