Author Topic: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?  (Read 296416 times)

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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2005, 07:15:07 PM »
Nicholas had his own view of who created the turmoil that brought him down:

"In the days of the great struggle against the foreign enemies, who for nearly three years have tried to enslave our fatherland, the Lord God has been pleased to send down on Russia a new heavy trial."

Nicholas II, Abdication Proclamation, 2 March 1917

Offline RichC

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2005, 08:35:46 PM »
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Actually, I referred to the March Revolution, which was more a political coup than a full-blown social revolution such as occurred in October.


Actually the March revolution was more of a true social revolution than the October revolution, which was really a coup d' etat.  The Bolsheviks triumph in October had nothing to do with popular support but rather to superior organization and sheer ruthlessness.

And Nicholas was betrayed, as he himself observed:

"All around me is treachery, cowardice and deceit!"

As Pipes wrote:

"The animosity towards the crown in late 1916 brought into being an unprecedented alliance of the left and the right (liberals, who hated the crown on principle, and conservative nationalists, dismayed over the alleged betrayal of Russia to the German enemy)."

Nicholas was no match for this coalition.  


Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2005, 09:18:08 PM »
My tongue was firmly in cheek in quoting Nicholas' abdication document.  

Nicholas was certainly no match for that coalition.  But he certainly had a causative role in the forming of such an unholy alliance.  Conservative nationalists abandoning their tsar to join with the left?  Such a prospect would have taxed anyone's imagination at the outset of his reign.

However, I disagree that the real social revolution occurred in March.  While there was an array of revolutionaries in and out of the Duma with varying aims from the moderate to the extreme, the blow actually delivered was initially aimed at deposing Nicholas and replacing him with a monarch more amenable to a constitutional structure.  It did not have as its immediate aim an overturning of the social class structure of Russia, a massive redistribution of property, or the destruction of capitalism as an economic organizing principle.

The October Revolution, while accomplished through a tightly-managed coup-d'etat, aimed at a far more comprehensive recasting of the entire social and economic structure of Russia.

Had the Provisional government managed to convene a successful constituent assembly, I think Russians would have seen significant reforms in fairly short order, some successful and some collossally misfiring.  But their country would have remained recognizably Russian.  I do not think they would have seen the uprooting of the Russian way of life ushered in by the Soviets.  That was the real revolution in my book.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Belochka

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2005, 09:31:24 PM »
Quote

He isolated himself with his family at Tsarskoye Selo, at one point going more than a year without a single public appearance.


Hi Tsarfan,

I am puzzled with this comment. Which particular year are you suggesting?

Thanks


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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2005, 09:50:57 PM »
I'll try to track it down.  I cannot remember where I read it, but I think it was around 1910.

Offline RichC

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2005, 10:01:40 PM »
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Had the Provisional government managed to convene a successful constituent assembly, I think Russians would have seen significant reforms in fairly short order, some successful and some collossally misfiring.  But their country would have remained recognizably Russian.  I do not think they would have seen the uprooting of the Russian way of life ushered in by the Soviets.  That was the real revolution in my book.


Yes, but that was "revolution from above", as many scholars have pointed out, not a social revolution of and by the people.  Many believe the "revolution" you are referring to actually lasted until Stalin's death in 1953.

I do agree with you, however, that the legacy of that revolution was little more than millions of dead, and the partial destruction of the Russian nation.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2005, 10:42:30 PM »
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I'll try to track it down.  I cannot remember where I read it, but I think it was around 1910.


Thanks!


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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2005, 06:19:38 AM »
This may take a while, Belochka.  I didn't realize how many books on the Romanovs I had until I began flipping through them last night (and a good part of my library is at my house in Florida).  Unfortunately, this type of item does not get picked up by a book index.

I seem to remember, though, that I've encountered the point at least a couple of times . . . so maybe some other posters can help with the year(s)?

In the meantime, take it as a point put forward but not substantiated.  The argument I was making does not rest exclusively on it.

Thanks for your patience.

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2005, 08:57:51 AM »
I can tell you that Spiridovitch accounts for every year between 1906 and 1914, and there were many public appearances EVERY year in that period. So, it certainly was not "around 1910". I am less certain about 1914-17 for specifics, but am certain there were many public appearances for War relief efforts then as well.

I think Tsarfan is referring to the fact that there were no "official ceremonial" balls or events in St. Petersburg itself in 1912. The aristocracy used to gripe that the Emperor was "holed up in TS and never held any of the expected official balls but that should NOT be construed to say he "made no public appearances".

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2005, 09:09:04 AM »
I'm really getting interested in tracking the reference down, since I cannot make any sense of it, either, now that I really think about it.

For instance, I'm not aware that the tsar ever missed the annual blessing of the waters on the Neva, so that alone would make a blanket claim questionable.

Although I don't remember the reference limiting the observation to just official balls, maybe there was some limiting definition of a "public appearance" that I no longer recall, or maybe I'm remembering "official appearance" as "public appearance".
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Belochka

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2005, 09:05:25 PM »
Perhaps these two examples will help:

In 1910 the Imperial Family visited Darmstardt between the months of August to October.

[Ref: Nikolai II, Bokhanov, p 128]

There is a Bulla photograph of Nikolai II perched on his horse reviewing the Uhlan Regiment in Peterhof on May 11.

[see http://www.romanovrussia.com/NIImilPH.html]

Just by these two examples alone, it would be erroneous to suggest that the Emperor did not appear in public in 1910.  ;)


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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2005, 05:58:46 AM »
Yep . . . obviously not 1910.  I was guessing when I said around 1910, because I was assuming it must have been after Alexei was diagnosed with hoemophilia and before WWI.

This is really gnawing at me.  I know I read it somewhere, but I've read so much on the Romanovs that I don't even know where to begin to find the reference again.  For some reason, I associate the point with a photo of the tsar walking outdoors with tennis gear and with the empress and some of the children following him from a little distance.  So I've been scanning the books I have with me to see if I can locate the reference via such a picture.  No luck so far.  (Haven't even found the picture.)

I still don't think this changes the general point that the imperial family lived in an unusual degree of isolation . . . but I really would like to find that reference, because a full year without an official appearance would clearly indicate an extreme withdrawal from the responsibilities of office.

Oh, well . . . I'll keep looking.  But until I find the reference (if I ever do), I think it's prudent to assume I made the point in error.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2005, 07:16:17 PM »
According to my family historians,  the ONLY period of time Russians were ever free of monarchs and dictators was between March 1917 and Red Oct/ Nov., which was the counter revolution by the Bolsheviks and the RED TERROR.  

The subject of Nicholas II being absent from social activities may have been when he fell ill and almost died.  Typoid, I think it was...  What year was this, I've forgotten?  Otherwise,  I'm pretty sure Nicholas II never failed in his offical duties and appeared for military and religious events during his reign.  Of course, once WWI started, most events were affected.

I'm not sure when the offical balls were eliminated but I do recall this upset a lot of people, including the Dowager Empress Maria.  

While on the subject of the Dowager Empress Maria, did she ever reveal any signs that Nicholas II was a failure and thought GD Michael or one of the other Romanovs should replace Nicholas II?

AGRBear




 
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2005, 08:53:43 PM »
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While on the subject of the Dowager Empress Maria, did she ever reveal any signs that Nicholas II was a failure and thought GD Michael or one of the other Romanovs should replace Nicholas II?


Interesting question!

I've read a lot of oblique references suggesting that Empress Marie was a participant in discussions about ways to halt the final plunge into the abyss.  However, my rusty recollections are that she was more focused on the need to get Alexandra out of the picture, perhaps by putting her in a convent.

I doubt if Marie would have seen Michael as a viable alternative to Nicholas.  According to Michael and Natasha, the recent biography of Michael by the Crawfords, Marie was furious at Michael's affair with a married woman and his morganatic marriage.  She took lineage seriously and viewed his succumbing to passion over dynastic duty as a fatal lapse in discipline.

And Michael's passion for Natasha, a strong woman who dominated him easily, had some disturbing parallels with the bond between Nicholas and Alexandra.  I doubt if Marie would have viewed Michael as a promising alternative to Nicholas.

With her other son dead and females barred from the succession, the only viable alternative to Nicholas was outside the progeny of Alexander III and Marie . . . and that would have been a huge pill for the likes of Marie to swallow.  The poor woman must have wanted to scream long and loud.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Belochka

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2005, 09:35:56 PM »
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The subject of Nicholas II being absent from social activities may have been when he fell ill and almost died.  Typoid, I think it was...  What year was this, I've forgotten?  
AGRBear


Nikolai had typhoid in 1900, between October and November, soon after he arrived to Livadia.


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