Author Topic: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?  (Read 78702 times)

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Offline Belochka

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2007, 01:03:53 AM »
Wait wait wait...

I wonder why some people criticise the Tsar for being too rich, when today's governments are in the same position than he was?

It's true that the Tsar was very rich (one, if not the first, of the richiest men of his time), but, although it's true the Russians didn't have much in comparison, it is not true to say that they had nothing to eat. In fact, in the last years of his reign (just before WW1), industry was going well, harvests were bountiful, and the country was on its way back to prosperity (so much that the Bolsheviks were in despair, thinking they had no chance of seizing power).

What killed it is 1- Stolypin's assassination (architect of the reforms, and putting Russia back on the tracks), 2- The Great War and the state of unpreparedness of the Reservists, as well as the archaïc structure of the High Command, 3- The Tsar's decision to command his armies, and 4- When the food supplies didn't reach Petrograd in time, leading to riots and Revolution.

Perhaps the only real prejudice Nikolaï II did to the Russian people was refusing to acknowledge that the autocracy was impossible to maintain, and that it was time to change the absolute monarchy to a constitutional one (perhaps with more power left to the Tsar than, say, the Queen of England today).

Could you imagine how Russia would've fared if the Tsar had done so? I like to think it would be in a much better state than today...

Hi mr_harrison75.

Your statements are excellent. It is very refreshing to read an honest appraisal.

Thank you.

Margarita
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Offline Belochka

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2007, 01:14:20 AM »
I'm not saying the Tsar is guilty for being rich. I'm saying that to the people who were starving in his country after WWI, it probably didn't sit to well that he had so much money when they didn't have anything to eat.

The aftermath of WWI was in the hands of the bolsheviks.
Whoops. big mistake on my part. I mean "during world war I" when they were starving. ;D

It was the bolsheviks who excelled in creating famines causing millions to die.

Yes, I agree the Bolsheviks were much worse. But were many people not also starving during Nicholas's reign?

No. In the rural regions the majority all had their own kitchen gardens.

Where is your evidence to suggest otherwise?


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Bob_the_builder

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2007, 01:19:10 AM »
I'm not saying the Tsar is guilty for being rich. I'm saying that to the people who were starving in his country after WWI, it probably didn't sit to well that he had so much money when they didn't have anything to eat.

The aftermath of WWI was in the hands of the bolsheviks.
Whoops. big mistake on my part. I mean "during world war I" when they were starving. ;D

It was the bolsheviks who excelled in creating famines causing millions to die.

Yes, I agree the Bolsheviks were much worse. But were many people not also starving during Nicholas's reign?

No. In the rural regions the majority all had their own kitchen gardens.

Where is your evidence to suggest otherwise?

I'm not claiming to be correct, I'm just going by what they said on all the documentaries I watched.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2007, 01:55:25 AM »
I'm not saying the Tsar is guilty for being rich. I'm saying that to the people who were starving in his country after WWI, it probably didn't sit to well that he had so much money when they didn't have anything to eat.

The aftermath of WWI was in the hands of the bolsheviks.
Whoops. big mistake on my part. I mean "during world war I" when they were starving. ;D

It was the bolsheviks who excelled in creating famines causing millions to die.

Yes, I agree the Bolsheviks were much worse. But were many people not also starving during Nicholas's reign?

No. In the rural regions the majority all had their own kitchen gardens.

Where is your evidence to suggest otherwise?

I'm not claiming to be correct, I'm just going by what they said on all the documentaries I watched.

May I suggest that you place reliance on credible published sources that have been tested in the public domain rather than refer to an un- identified "documentary" if indeed it exists at all.


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Bob_the_builder

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2007, 02:39:58 AM »
I'm not saying the Tsar is guilty for being rich. I'm saying that to the people who were starving in his country after WWI, it probably didn't sit to well that he had so much money when they didn't have anything to eat.

The aftermath of WWI was in the hands of the bolsheviks.
Whoops. big mistake on my part. I mean "during world war I" when they were starving. ;D

It was the bolsheviks who excelled in creating famines causing millions to die.

Yes, I agree the Bolsheviks were much worse. But were many people not also starving during Nicholas's reign?

No. In the rural regions the majority all had their own kitchen gardens.

Where is your evidence to suggest otherwise?

I'm not claiming to be correct, I'm just going by what they said on all the documentaries I watched.

May I suggest that you place reliance on credible published sources that have been tested in the public domain rather than refer to an un- identified "documentary" if indeed it exists at all.
Yes, you may suggest that. And the documentaries I'm referring to do exist. They are "Anastasia: A&E Biography", "In Search of History: The Romanovs" and "Mystery of the Last Tsar". Excuse me for believing something I heard in 3 different documentaries made by 3 different production companies. ;)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2007, 02:45:14 AM by Paris, France. »

Offline carkuczyn

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2007, 02:56:15 AM »
IMHO, I believe that Nicholas was not guilty because of his great wealth, but because of his great stupidity.  Also...his father is equally, if not more, to blame for not preparing him better for the role of tsar.

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2007, 08:49:46 AM »


May I suggest that you place reliance on credible published sources that have been tested in the public domain rather than refer to an un- identified "documentary" if indeed it exists at all.

Beautifully put my dear! :)
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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2007, 10:37:21 AM »
But don't you see that whether or not Nicholas was rich had no direct bearing on the poorness of his subjects.

Any more than QEII or Prince Charles being rich has any bearing on the level or poverty in the UK.

Or the fact that Bush and Cheney are rich has no bearing on how government money is spent in the US?

Nicholas tried to create land reform under a policy that Stolypin advocated, but the other members of the Imperial family including Dagmar were against it.

So should Nicholas have lived in a hut just because his country's citizens were poor?  The Bolsheviks moved right into the Kremlin.  They did not live in "huts" even though they despised Nicholas II for all his wealth.

How Nicholas spent his own money (even though it was accrued through taxes and the workings of the Imperial lands) is not a valid issue to use in saying that he was a bad Tsar. 

I don't know how Russia's system of taxation worked, but did the crown tax the people or did the resident Grand Dukes?  Or both?  Nicholas's income came from several sources and I don't doubt that even if he moved into a "hut" and gave over his share of Imperial wealth to his people, it would have only been a drop in the bucket.

Besides, even in the US, the keeping up of  official presidential living quarters and memorials and government buildings is a priority because every county has to present a "nice" (for lack of better work) maybe strong or impressive front. 

Nicholas couldn't very well entertain heads of state in a "hut".  And the Bolsheviks (who disdained wealth) didn't think they could either.  That's why they moved right into the Kremlin and confiscated the cars and yachts and railroad cars and everything else that had belonged to Nicholas II.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2007, 09:57:25 PM »


May I suggest that you place reliance on credible published sources that have been tested in the public domain rather than refer to an un- identified "documentary" if indeed it exists at all.

Beautifully put my dear! :)

Thank you! You are very kind.

Margarita
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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2007, 10:11:43 PM »
www.loyno.edu/history/journal/1994-5/Lilly.htm - 35k

"Perhaps the main thing which led to the collapse of the Tsarist regime was the First World War.   If the Tsar’s government before 1914 was weak, the war pushed it to breaking point.   The war took men from the farms and food to the front, and it clogged up the railway system, so that people starved in the towns.   Prices rose, and there was famine in the winter of 1916-1917."
http://www.johndclare.net/Basics_Russia.htm


 Published:  Rabochaya Gazeta, No. 8, March 17 (30), 1912. Published according to the Rabochaya Gazeta text. http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1912/mar/17.htm
"Again famine—as in the past, in the old, pre-1905, Russia. Crops may fail anywhere, but only in Russia do they lead to such grave calamities, to the starvation of millions of peasants. The present disaster, as even the supporters of the government and the landowners are compelled to admit, surpasses in extent the famine of 1891."

"Economically, widespread inflation and food shortages in Russia contributed to the revolution. Militarily, inadequate supplies, logistics, and weaponry led to heavy losses that the Russians suffered during World War I; this further strengthened Russia’s view of Nicholas II as weak and unfit to rule. Ultimately, these factors, coupled with the development of revolutionary ideas and movements (particularly since the 1905 Bloody Sunday Massacre) led to the Russian Revolution."  Wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Revolution_of_1917

"Repeated mobilizations, moreover, disrupted industrial and agricultural production. The food supply decreased, and the transportation system became disorganized. In the trenches, the soldiers went hungry and frequently lacked shoes, munitions, and even weapons. Russian casualties were greater than those sustained by any army in any previous war. Behind the front, goods became scarce, prices skyrocketed, and by 1917 famine threatened the larger cities. Discontent became rife, and the morale of the army suffered, finally to be undermined by a succession of military defeats."
http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761569348_2/Russian_Revolutions_of_1917.html


From an article "Causes of the Tsar's Downfall"
www.igshistoryonline.co.uk/Resources/


"Agricultural labourers: overcrowding; inefficient farming methods led to famine; tied to lands they farmed


Harsh winters & poor harvests, e.g. 1916/17 winter led to 300% inflation, food queues & famine   Autocracy: Tsar divinely-appointed; imperial council unaccountable to a parliament"

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The fact that there were worse famines to come under the Bolshevik regime is immaterial.

Regards,

Simon





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Offline RichC

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2007, 06:03:19 PM »
I'm not saying the Tsar is guilty for being rich. I'm saying that to the people who were starving in his country after WWI, it probably didn't sit to well that he had so much money when they didn't have anything to eat. I'm not saying it was right, but in their position I may have felt the same way .

Yes, this is exactly what happened, Eminem (used to be Paris, France!!).  Afterall it was the breadline riots that set off the March revolution.  There was a lot of concern about this going back to the Fall of 1916 when Nicholas wrote to Alexandra on September 20th, "...the people are beginning to starve."  In her reply, (I assume it was in reply to Nicholas' letter), Alexandra wrote, "Yes, I am more Russian than many another, and I won't keep quiet.  I begged them to arrange (what Grigory said) that goods, flour, butter, bread, sugar, should all be weighed out beforehand in the shops and then each buyer can get his parcel much quicker and there won't be such endless tails -- all agreed it's an excellent idea -- now why did they not think of it before?"

Some folks on this site really pick on Alexandra for being completely out of it during this period, but we see here that she was right on the money.  Maintaining a proper food supply was vitally important -- she was particularly concerned about the long lines -- it was in those long lines that the revolution began.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2007, 06:07:53 PM by RichC »

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2007, 10:16:56 AM »
May I suggest that you place reliance on credible published sources that have been tested in the public domain rather than refer to an un- identified "documentary" if indeed it exists at all.

Okay.  For starters, people might want to check out Famine in Russia 1891-1892, by Richard G. Robbins, Jr. and published by the Columbia University Press.

Or, if you want a shorter survey of famines during tsarist times, you can read the full article cited by Louis Charles -- The Russian Famine of 1891-92, by David P. Lilly and published by the Loyola University Journal of History.

A few interesting excerpts:

"Throughout its long history, Russia has been plagued by famine. The Nikonian chronicle, written between 1127 and 1303, recorded no less than eleven famine years during that period. In 1873 when he was visiting his estate in Samara, Leo Tolstoi became aware of the seriousness of a famine there. Alexander I in 1822 was the first to attempt to create a comprehensive famine relief system. Modified by Nicholas I in 1834, it had changed little since then. It provided for a network of granaries that theoretically would have been filled by the peasants in good years and relied upon during a crop failure. While this theory looked good on paper, in practice it was a complete failure. Even in the best years the peasants were too poor to contribute, and where the granaries actually existed they were usually empty."

"Despite the poor harvest of 1891, there was enough food available to feed the population, but this would only have been possible if the harvest was rightly distributed.  This was almost impossible because the limited means of communication could not establish equilibrium between certain areas. In some areas there was a surplus and in others there was a deficit. Most of this grain, however, was exported. This was due to government economic policies that encouraged the sale of Russian grain abroad to strengthen the national economy. Even though the crops were diminishing yearly, exports remained the same; the grain reserves were thereby reduced. Due to a worldwide agricultural crisis, the price of grain was declining. Peasants received less and less for their crops so they sought to increase the size of their crops at the expense of fallow, pasture, and forest land. This led to the reduction of the herds which were the only source of power and fertilizer, the chopping down of forests, which were the natural wind breaks, and the rapid exhaustion of the soil. Before examining the situation of the peasantry at the time immediately leading up to the famine, one must first look back thirty years to investigate the origins of rural poverty."

As for the assertion that Russian peasants had kitchen gardens sufficient to feed entire families, Lilly writes this of the land allotments that had been given to the peasants by the 1861 Emancipation Manifesto:

"The allotments they were given were woefully inadequate to supply even their limited needs. It was estimated that ten to fourteen hectares were needed to maintain a peasant family, but most only received two to three hectares."

Yes . . . one really should read a few credible published things before asserting that there were no famines prior to the soviet era in Russia.


« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 10:24:05 AM by Tsarfan »

Offline Belochka

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2007, 08:19:23 PM »
I have to confess I was completely unaware of the 1891 famine.

Thank you for bringing this information to my attention.

Margarita
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Bob_the_builder

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2007, 10:06:14 PM »
I'm not saying the Tsar is guilty for being rich. I'm saying that to the people who were starving in his country after WWI, it probably didn't sit to well that he had so much money when they didn't have anything to eat. I'm not saying it was right, but in their position I may have felt the same way .

Yes, this is exactly what happened, Eminem (used to be Paris, France!!).  Afterall it was the breadline riots that set off the March revolution.  There was a lot of concern about this going back to the Fall of 1916 when Nicholas wrote to Alexandra on September 20th, "...the people are beginning to starve."  In her reply, (I assume it was in reply to Nicholas' letter), Alexandra wrote, "Yes, I am more Russian than many another, and I won't keep quiet.  I begged them to arrange (what Grigory said) that goods, flour, butter, bread, sugar, should all be weighed out beforehand in the shops and then each buyer can get his parcel much quicker and there won't be such endless tails -- all agreed it's an excellent idea -- now why did they not think of it before?"

Some folks on this site really pick on Alexandra for being completely out of it during this period, but we see here that she was right on the money.  Maintaining a proper food supply was vitally important -- she was particularly concerned about the long lines -- it was in those long lines that the revolution began.
This is exaclty what I thought. People's hunger and starvation was a huge part of the revolution. The documentaries I spoke of above were correct after all.

Offline dmitri

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Re: Why do some see Nicholas as guilty for being rich?
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2007, 11:07:42 AM »
Alexandra was as nutty as a fruitcake. She could have made a difference but didn't. Nicholas was a complete fool to leave her in charge at home and be away at the front. What a sad disaster they both were for Russia.