Author Topic: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2  (Read 103061 times)

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Offline AGRBear

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2005, 06:21:04 PM »

Everything the  Tsar did touched people [good, bad and the ugly] in some way.

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« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 10:41:44 AM by Alixz »
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Offline RichC

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2005, 08:41:32 PM »

What about the royal underwear?  Was that only worn once?  My Great Aunt Kitty, who was born in the 1890's was a laundress at Buckingham Palace during the reign of King George V.  She used to launder the royal undies.  I'm not making this up.  When Queen Elizabeth visited New Haven, Connecticut in 1976 (I think) my auntie was chosen to present the Queen with flowers based on her earlier connection to the Queen's grandfather.  
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 10:42:57 AM by Alixz »

Offline Donielle

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2005, 10:46:45 PM »
A sincere thank you Bear,I've read and enjoyed your posts for some time now.I've never stated how much your knowledge and reason has enlightened me.As on this subject before us now, once again you present a side based on true fact and  circumstance.Nicholas was a man  in essence,that loved to walk in the forest,garden,collect wild mushrooms,accompanied by his beloved children and pet dogs.The simple Nicholas is the one I choose to remember.I will never hold him solely responsible for the revolution.He was swept away by forces beyond his control.This could happen in any country today,if law enforcement and military turn against government in revolution.As for negative attributes,nothing evokes a more negative reaction than what happened to this family at Impatiev house.IMO.-D

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2005, 11:02:49 PM »
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I certainly agree that Nicholas' changing his socks would have spawned most of the silliness you describe, AGRBear.  And I am sympathetic to his sticking with the old socks as a result.  

However, I don't think it's an accurate analogy to the remediation of horrific industrial working conditions.  If Nicholas could not distinguish between the concerns of a few fashion snobs and those of millions of industrial workers enmeshed in lives of despair, then he well deserved the revolution he got.

Yes, the age and decrepitude of the administrative system was a contributing factor to the paralysis of government.  But even under Nicholas, there were those who were willing and able to drive change -- Witte and Stolypin, for instance.  The problem is not only that Nicholas would not drive change himself.  He was averse to any real change in the status quo.  It was a failure of understanding and a failure of imagination.  And a lot more than the sock suppliers paid the price.


This comment more than any flowerly apologies about how much Nicholas loved his family/walks in the forest/taking photos/gathering mushrooms is the key.  

Nicholas was able to "offer only failure in a world that demanded success"...(to quote from The Producers) and that is the unsentimental truth.

rskkiya

Offline pinklady

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2005, 12:27:16 AM »
Well, the socks issue just reinforces everything we have been saying, that if it took that much effort to change socks then imagine changing a law? What would be the point? May as well keep letting most of the population live in misery and depression like he did. It clearly demonstrates that Russia and Nicholas were backward compared to the demands of the 20th century, I mean poor old Nicky was living in the wrong century, really wasnt he?
That antiquatd backward old system had no business or future in the modern world.
The socks demonstrate that.
No whitewashing can ever remove the facts.
And also he may have loved his family but so did and do a lot of ordinary men who were not the Tsar, and as a Tsar he failed.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by pinklady »

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2005, 08:56:59 AM »
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Nicholas was a man  in essence,that loved to walk in the forest,garden,collect wild mushrooms,accompanied by his beloved children and pet dogs.  As for negative attributes,nothing evokes a more negative reaction than what happened to this family at Impatiev house.IMO.-D


True, what happened in the Ipatiev house was sad.  But so was the gunning down of several hundred innocent protesters in front of the Winter Palace in 1905 while Nicholas was at Tsarkoye Selo picking mushrooms.

Can one even imagine the police or military forces of England, Germany, or Austria thinking it acceptable to fire on a crowd when there was no conceivable threat to the monarch's person?  People generally have a sense of what their bosses expect of them.  In fact, there are numerous reports of Nicholas' extending accolades to commanders who exacted harsh retribution on strikers and protesters throughout the empire, as well as reports of his chastising commanders who managed to break up such events without resorting to violence.

Nicholas' attitude seems to have been that his subjects' primary duty was to leave him in peace to attend church, to review military parades,  to scribble vacuous or bigoted comments into the margins of reports, to enjoy his car collection, to report meals and the weather in his diary, and to allow him quiet walks outside his palaces with his children.  Those noxious souls who dared to protest inhumane conditions were to be whipped back into silence by whatever means required.

I am sorry for the deaths of innumerable people in Russia throughout the period,  Nicholas' and his family's included.  But Nicholas loaded the guns that took him and his family out in that cellar.

I'm no revolutionary.  In fact, I style myself "Tsarfan" because I have an irrational love for the institution of monarchy and wish it had continued in Russia to this day.  But that could only have happened with monarchs who had a least a modicum of understanding of what was happening around them.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Donielle

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2005, 09:11:10 AM »
"this comment more than any flowery apologies"I offered no flowery apologies concerning Nicholas,I just brought up some POSITIVE qualities that needed to be mentioned. As for him being a"' failure in a world that demanded success".Do you ,Rsskiya ,see your self as a failure or a success?Or a mixture of both? We are human beings capable of  success and failure,harsh judgement or forgiveness.This family was assassinated without trial.This in itself conveys the state of anarchy present.How ironic that despite his murder,the present government still has not alieviated the suffering of the low income population of Russia to date.To place the burden of failure on the shoulders of one man is ludicrous.-D

Offline Donielle

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2005, 09:29:01 AM »
Tsarfan,I agree with you on the murder of innocent workers and religious clergy that simply wanted audience with the Tsar.No one is saying that Tsar N was a successful ruler.The country was in shambles.However many major decisions in regard to  military strategy and government were made by  the tsar after being counseled by his Uncles,whom he regarded as being informed and capable.The point is that he was not solely responsible for the revolution.Tsarfan,I see the validity of your points made.The bloodshed was inexcusable.The conditions of the average family appalling.However even today,The upper class are far removed from the day to day struggles of the poor and downtrodden.They have never experienced their plight.Just as we have never been privy to the plight of The Tsar and his family.-D

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2005, 10:23:31 AM »
Quote
I offered no flowery apologies concerning Nicholas,I just brought up some POSITIVE qualities that needed to be mentioned. As for him being a"' failure in a world that demanded success". ...We are human beings capable of  success and failure,harsh judgement or forgiveness.This family was assassinated without trial.This in itself conveys the state of anarchy present.How ironic that despite his murder,the present government still has not alieviated the suffering of the low income population of Russia to date.To place the burden of failure on the shoulders of one man is ludicrous.-D


I agree with you entirely, Donielle, in all you have written here. Nicholas was not cruel or evil or totally responsible for the evils that befell his country - the evil of poverty cannot ever be seen as the sole responsibility of one person. If that were the case, whose fault is it now that millions of people in the world are starving to this day.



Offline Donielle

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2005, 11:03:46 AM »
Thank you  Blue,My point exactly.-D

Offline RichC

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2005, 11:31:21 AM »
Quote

True, what happened in the Ipatiev house was sad.  But so was the gunning down of several hundred innocent protesters in front of the Winter Palace in 1905 while Nicholas was at Tsarkoye Selo picking mushrooms.

Can one even imagine the police or military forces of England, Germany, or Austria thinking it acceptable to fire on a crowd when there was no conceivable threat to the monarch's person?


Unfortunately, there are countless examples where military forces fired on unarmed civilians in other countries, so Tsarist Russia was no different in that department.  Amritsar comes to mind immediately.  400 dead, 1200 wounded.





Quote
I am sorry for the deaths of innumerable people in Russia throughout the period,  Nicholas' and his family's included.  But Nicholas loaded the guns that took him and his family out in that cellar.

I'm no revolutionary.  In fact, I style myself "Tsarfan" because I have an irrational love for the institution of monarchy and wish it had continued in Russia to this day.  But that could only have happened with monarchs who had a least a modicum of understanding of what was happening around them.


Well put, Tsarfan.  Here's what Izvolsky says about Nicholas' leadership:

In order to give an idea of the Emperor's credulity and his tendency to listen to the wildest propositions, I will mention these two cases:  while I was Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Council of Ministers took up a project - with no intention of endorsing it, of course - that had been presented to the Emperor by a foreign contractor, and which contemplated the joining of Siberia to North America by a bridge to be built across the Behring Straits.  The plan provided for a concession to the contractor of vast stretches of territory on both sides of a railroad that was to terminate at the bridge.  Another time it was an American who succeeded in persuading the Emperor that he had discovered a way to defend the frontiers of a country, even as vast as Russia, by the use of electric currents of such force that no enemy could possibly cross the line.  This discovery was to do away with the maintenance of an army.  He demanded, naturally, certain pecuniary considerations in advance before revealing his secret, and it was only with a good deal of trouble that the Emperor was dissuaded from going further.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by RichC »

rskkiya

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2005, 12:33:30 PM »
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"this comment more than any flowery apologies"I offered no flowery apologies concerning Nicholas,I just brought up some POSITIVE qualities that needed to be mentioned. As for him being a"' failure in a world that demanded success".Do you ,Rsskiya ,see your self as a failure or a success?Or a mixture of both? We are human beings capable of  success and failure,harsh judgement or forgiveness.This family was assassinated without trial.This in itself conveys the state of anarchy present.How ironic that despite his murder,the present government still has not alieviated the suffering of the low income population of Russia to date.To place the burden of failure on the shoulders of one man is ludicrous.-D


    No Donielle - you made no flowery excuses -- but many other posters have attempted to excuse him on the basis that he was a "nice guy" As an autocrat - that is not enough.
    Nicholas was an Autocrat  - I am not (lucky me)   - and whether we are all failures, all successes, or mixes of both, this discussion is about the "Negative aspects of Nicholas II as a Tsar". He was an incompetant Tsar but a nice fellow I suppose....

rskkiya

Any list of negative aspects of rskkiya as a human being would be legion! ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by rskkiya »

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2005, 12:53:16 PM »
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Unfortunately, there are countless examples where military forces fired on unarmed civilians in other countries, so Tsarist Russia was no different in that department.  Amritsar comes to mind immediately.  400 dead, 1200 wounded.
[/i]


Right you are, RichC, and I should have been clearer in making my point.  Certainly, the colonial powers have had a lot to answer for in their conduct with respect to their non-native populations.  However, I still find it inconceivable that one of the major western powers would have fired on a peaceful crowd in the center of its capital city.

In fact, your point brings out a comparison that hadn't occurred to me.  In the West, people tended to draw a line between their countrymen on one side and foreigners or colonial subjects on the other.  Behavior that was taboo against one's own countrymen was acceptable when applied to those on the other side of the line.  But in Russia, the line was drawn between social classes within the empire's native population(s).  In essence, it's as if the peasant and working classes were viewed as not part of the body politic.

I was about to say this was an indicator of how politically primitive Russia was compared to the western powers.  But then a couple of U.S. examples sprang to mind.  The first was the Pullman riots in the late 19th century, were private police were deployed for the vicious suppression of a labor strike.  The second was the U.S. civil rights movement.  I grew up in the deep south and experienced attitudes and police actions that have disturbing parallels to Russia in 1905.  There was one heartening difference, though, in both cases -- the central government in the U.S. tried to redress the grievances of the oppressed with the enactment of new labor laws in the first instance and civil rights legislation in the second.

And that was the difference that matters.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline RichC

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2005, 05:33:13 PM »
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In fact, your point brings out a comparison that hadn't occurred to me.  In the West, people tended to draw a line between their countrymen on one side and foreigners or colonial subjects on the other.  Behavior that was taboo against one's own countrymen was acceptable when applied to those on the other side of the line.  


Well, I still think that what the Tsarist Government did on Bloody Sunday (gunning down recalcitrant workers, students, etc.) was nothing new, either then or today, western nation or non-western nation. Look at the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado in 1914 -- National Guardsman gunned down 66 striking coal miners and their families.  Nobody was ever prosecuted.  True, the killings didn't take place on the steps of the US Capitol, but nevertheless, the government was treating these workers as enemies, right?   They weren't foreigners or colonial subjects.

Quote

However, I still find it inconceivable that one of the major western powers would have fired on a peaceful crowd in the center of its capital city.


Look at the Paris Commune.  The French Army slaughtered between 17,000 and 30,000 people in one week.  They weren't foreigners or colonial subjects; they were fellow Frenchmen and women and children -- they were the citizens of Paris who had had it with a bad government that foolishly got them mixed up in a war with Germany.  And this happened a mere 34 years before Bloody Sunday.

Here's another example; On October 2, 1968 Mexican troops mowed down 300 to 500 unarmed students in Mexico City's Plaza de las Tres Culturas.

And, of course there's Tiananmen Square which isn't in a western country, however.    

What happened on Bloody Sunday was a sick, vile act against innocent people.  But I think Bloody Sunday could happen in any country.  

I do agree with you completely, Tsarfan, that it was massacres like Bloody Sunday which led to the massacre in the Ipatiev House.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by RichC »

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2005, 05:55:02 PM »
When people talk about Bloody Sunday, I often wonder about the person who was in charge of the Tsar's troops that day.  Just as I wonder what orders he had given.  Had he told the troops to remain claim and just be there as a barrier or did he just flat out say,  "Hey guys, these marchers are proving to be pest so let's make sure they never think about marching again."

I, also, wonder if Nicholas II had ever given the person in charge of the troops a personal command that day ....  No, I guess he couldn't have on that day because he wasn't there.

Funny thing is, Gapon, the man who lead the marchers knew Nicholas II wasn't in the palace that day.  

And, how many of you knew that on the 19th Jan during the ceremony of the Blessing of the Waters that someone had loaded a cannon with real shot and had aimed it at the Neva where Nicholas II would be standing and when the cannons were fired as part of the ceremony the shot just missed Nicholas II?

The 19th was just three days before the 22nd of Jan. 1905.

I suspect this caused a stir among the officers around the palace.

The marchers marched.

No one knows who fired the first shot. There are so many version of this scene.  Some say the troopers came charging.   Some say a volly of shots were aimed directly at the crowd.  The Bolsheviks wrote many stories but not the troopers who were involved.  The first shot could have come from a trooper's gun, it could have been some revolutionary's gun in the crowd.... No one knows how many died that afternoon.  The Tsar's army count was different than the Bolshvik historians.  There were all kinds of other events happening...  People were  looting the shops then they went  into the well-to-do homes to steal and destroy.... All kinds of blood was being spilled in those homes and side streets....  The local gangs took advantage of what was happening and went after guns and booze...  

Nicholas II should have realized this was a warning of what was to come, but he did not and so this Bloody Day  started the downfall of the monarchy of Russia.

AGRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

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