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Topics - edubs31

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Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Ranking the Tsars
« on: June 24, 2015, 01:50:22 PM »
Thought I'd make an attempt at stirring up some debate with a list on the Romanov Tsars. Inspired by the recent eight-part documentary I watched and some additional research done online below is my ranking of the Romanov Tsars...from Michael I to Nicholas II. I've given equal weight to each category and rated them based on the following criteria;

Leadership - Probably the single most important quality. Are you both respected and, when necessary, feared by your subjects? How much confidence did you inspire in your people?
Character - What sort of human being were you? Kind or cruel? Trustworthy or devious? Empathetic or Oblivious?
Crisis Management - Similar to the above but more focus on your ability to successfully steer your empire through times of turmoil. Points deducted for self-created turmoil such as over zealous foreign policy. You don't get credit for cleaning up a mess that you started.
Foreign Affairs - Ability to win wars, achieve territorial gains and, when necessary, prevent conflict and create peace.
Domestic Policy - Peace and stability within your empire, the economy, and the overall quality of life of your subjects.
Intellect & Vision - How intelligent you were and how admired your intellect was by both foreign leaders and subordinates. Were you a creative mind able to think outside box and find solutions to problems while advancing Russia towards greater peace & prosperity?
Political Skill - Working with foreign leaders and subordinates to bring about peaceful and profitable solutions to issues & conflict. Your ability to negotiation and, when necessary, compromise. All the while remaining powerful and respected.

The "Great"

1) Alexander I (1801-25)
2) Catherine II (1762-96)
3) Alexander II (1855-81)
4) Peter I (1682-1725)

The "Good"

5) Michael I (1613-45)
6) Elizabeth (1741-62)
7) Feodor III (1676-82)
8 ) Alexis I (1645-76)

The "Average"

9) Alexander III (1881-94)
10) Anna (1730-40)
11) Sophia (1682-89)
12) Nicholas I (1825-55)

The "Poor"

13) Paul I (1796-1801)
14) Nicholas II (1894-1917)
15) Ivan V (1689-96)
16) Catherine I (1625-27)

The "Awful"

17) Peter II (1727-30)
18) Peter III (1762)

(Ivan VI, whose disputed reign lasted for only a few months as a baby before being imprisoned for the rest of his short life has been removed from the rankings. Also removed are Constantine I and Michael Alexandrovich who never formally accepted the title of Tsar.)

Apologies in advance if there is a thread on this lingering out there somewhere. Otherwise I'm amazed this hasn't been discussed.

Has anyone seen the lengthy documentary that came out last year: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty? I've watched the first two of what appears to be eight 50-52 minute episodes so far and am enjoying it a great deal. I can't wait to see what's in store in the later episodes when I assume the focus will shift to the last Imperial family and Russian Revolution.

The whole thing appears to be on Youtube. Highly recommended!

Appears to be a new series on Ovation. The second hour-long episode, "Faberge Eggs". A good overview of Faberge himself, the history of the eggs and naturally some focus on the Romanovs and late-imperial/early-Soviet Russia.

Verizon is my cable provider so Ovation might not be available to Comcast or dish subscribers. But if you happened to get the channel it's worth checking out.

I stumbled upon a new mini-series that premiered tonight on the 'American Heroes Channel'. If anyone has that network as part of their digital cable package (I have Verizon and didn't realize I had it until tonight) I strongly recommend tuning in to Apocalypse: World War I. Not certain how many hour-long episodes there will be, but tomorrow night's installment is titled "Chaos in the Skies".

The narration seems solid and historically accurate, but the real treat is the footage. Largely colorized it captures some amazing clips from all sides of the conflict. There is some footage of Nicholas II and Alexandra (and even a glimpse or two of OTMA) that I've never seen before, and certainly not colorized. No actor recreations like the History Channel's solid but unexceptional "World Wars" mini-series from a couple of months ago...this appears to be all original footage!

More information here;

For those of you in the States who haven't been near a TV recently you might want to consider tuning into the History Channel tonight at 9pm. A three-part two hours per-night mini-series called "The World Wars" is premiering and will run over the next three evenings. It follows the events that linked the World Wars and focuses on the key players involved in both global conflicts. Looks interesting. The first link below has more info and the second is a video preview...

Having Fun! / Russian Quizzo/Trivia Round
« on: February 19, 2014, 11:30:16 PM »
Thought some of the folks here might find this interesting...On Wednesday's I host a trivia game (sometimes referred to as 'Pub Quiz' or just 'Quizzo' depending on where you live) at a local bar/restaurant. Since I'm also responsible for coming up with the questions I decided to put together a Russian round for this week's game!

Below are the questions and a list of the scores. No doubt most of you on this forum will find these laughably easy to answer, but I think it interesting to see what type of knowledge there is (or lack thereof in many instances) for this particular topic among the general population. Keep in mind the clientele at this establishment is mostly upper-middle class 20s and 30-somethings (those you might refer to as "young professionals"). It's a pretty healthy split between male and female with a fair share of 50+ year olds as well.

Russian Round Questions

1) Technically the Sochi games are the first ever Olympics hosted by Russia. The Soviet Union however did host the 1980 Summer Games. In what city did it take place?
2) This cultural capital of Russia was renamed Petrograd in 1914 and then Leningrad from 1924 to 1991.
3) This 18th century female ruler led Russia through its “golden age”.
4) Perhaps the greatest of all Russian Tsars this ruler who reigned from 1682 to 1721 was responsible for bringing Russia into the modern age.
5) The Russian revolution that toppled Nicholas II and the Tsarist regime took place in March of what year?
6) Alexei Nicholaevich Romanov, the only son of Tsar Nicholas II, suffered from what debilitating disease? It was nicknamed the “Royal Disease".
7) What infamous Russian mystic & holy man was murdered by members of the royal family in December of 1916?
8 ) The "1812 Overture" from what Russian composer is often ranked as one of the ten greatest classical pieces of all-time.
9) This stunning Russian born female tennis player has won four grand slam singles titles in the past decade.
10) In 2012 three members of what outspoken female punk rock group were each sentenced to two years in prison for "Hooliganism"?

Scores By Team

Team A) 10
Team B) 9
Team C) 9
Team D) 9
Team E) 8
Team F) 7
Team G) 7
Team H) 6
Team I) 6
Team J) 4
Team K) 4
Team L) 4
Team M) 4
Team N) 4

Average Score - 6.5
Questions Ranked Easiest to Hardest - 1, 8, 10, 9, 2, 7, 6, 4, 3, 5

The Russian Revolution / World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« on: October 10, 2013, 05:04:07 PM »
Since there doesn't appear to be a specific category for this I thought I would slide it into the semi-related "Russia Revolution" topic.

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War in Europe I thought it might be worthwhile to analyze the factors that caused war to break out. Specifically to reassess the long held view that Germany was the primary instigator of the conflict and deserves most of the blame accordingly. What countries/leaders truly deserve the lion's share of the guilt, and was there one incident besides the assassination of Franz Ferdinand most responsible for triggering World War I?

Who do you blame and why?

I was hesitant to post this when I first stumbled upon it a few months ago but I figured, what the heck. Thought certain people on here might get a kick out of it.

"Epic Rap Battles of History" creates video shorts where two (or more) historical characters challenge one another in a lyrical duel. In this particular episode, which I found both hilarious and quite clever, Grigory Rasputin squares off against Joseph Stalin. Watch for cameos from Lenin, Gorbachev, and Putin. Not for everyone certainly. Some of the other videos are a bit offensive and if you hate rap music you're probably going to be annoyed by this...

Nicholas II / Should Nicholas have refused to abdicate?
« on: April 12, 2013, 11:14:48 AM »
I'm sort of thinking out loud here but was wondering if anyone would care to comment. I was considering starting a topic on Abdication and how often in modern history it has worked out for the better, but decided to keep the focus mainly on Nicholas II's abdication in 1917.

Many rulers have abdicated throughout history and there have been various reasons why they have done so. Sometimes relating to something as simple as old age or failing health, other times becomes their empire was crumbling before their very eyes. I'm curious as to how often abdications in modern history have positively affected the course of events, how often they have had a mostly negative impact, and how often has it made little to no difference.

I've found the abdication of Nicholas II to be a rather curious case, and perhaps a good example of the difficulties involved in judging the success or failure of any abdication. There was little positive that came from the Tsar's abdication other than it allowed for his country to momentarily rejoice before the onslaught of the inevitable Civil War. One could easily argue however that his abdication meant little by March of 1917 since it was obvious to most (with the rapidly deteriorating situation in Russia) that he would either give up power voluntarily or be overthrown. The argument against the logic of his abdication comes from those who bear witness to the eventual Red victory in the Civil War and subsequently brutal Soviet regime.

Would Russia have been better served if Nicholas refused to abdicate but instead, with whatever loyalty he still commanded and resources he had left, launched a military invasion of St. Petersburg designed at restoring order? If there was even a slight chance of success would it have been worth the risk? Nicholas could have continued to reign, already having accepted (finally!) political concessions and the appointment of a responsible government (i.e. a strengthening of the Duma) to help guide Russia through the war and past any revolution.

Yes, no, maybe?

The Russian Revolution / How deadly was the 20th century compared to other?
« on: February 20, 2013, 02:22:04 PM »
Some interesting information I stumbled upon provides estimates on how truly deadly the 20th century was compared other recent centuries. Matthew White ( is my primary source for the information below. He estimates that 160-million people perished during the 20th century as a direct result from war and genocide.

For each of the last three centuries I've decided to list the average world population from the time, the number of casualties, and the mathematical relationship between the two. In order to estimate world population I'm taking decade by decade census estimates from each of the past three centuries and calculating their averages.

20th century (1900-99)
Avg. World Population - 3,383,000,000
Number of casualties - 160,000,000
Percentage - 4.73%
Ratio - 21.1 to 1

19th century (1800-99)
Avg. World Population - 1,297,000,000
Number of casualties - 45,000,000
Percentage - 3.47%
Ratio - 28.2 to 1

18th century (1700-99)
Avg. World Population - 817,000,000
Number of casualties - 18,000,000
Percentage - 2.20%
Ratio - 45.4 to 1

TOTAL - Human History
Total Population - 107,602,707,791
Number of casualties - 3,640,000,000
Percentage - 3.38%
Ratio - 29.6 to 1

The Final Chapter / AP Therapy Group - Death of the IF. How do you cope?
« on: February 13, 2013, 09:26:08 AM »
Perhaps an unusual topic for conversation but something I've given a bit of thought to recently...

How do you cope with the murder/execution of the IF and their retainers? I imagine there is a wide range of feeling on the subject. From those of us who give little thought to it, to others who treat it like the death of family members, and then everything in between. For those of us whose emotions run high on the subject, and are willing to share, tell us how you deal with their deaths and the sadness it causes.

Do you...Ignore the topic altogether? Think of something happy and unrelated? Look at pretty pictures of the family and/or read charming stories? Or do you dive right in to the subject? What brings closure?

Nicholas II / Nicholas's speech at the Duma?
« on: October 18, 2012, 11:06:36 AM »
On April 27, 1906 the Duma officially opened and Nicholas II gave a speech during their opening ceremony. Does anyone know where to find that speech or roughly what was said? Was he reading aloud the Manifesto or, as I would assume, speaking from a prepared speech before the two chambers and other attendees?

Having Fun! / "Lincoln" - new Spielberg film
« on: September 14, 2012, 09:30:57 AM »
This looks to be a must see for any moviegoer this fall. Slated for a November 16th release date. The trailer was just released today...

Having Fun! / Polling Place - Vote, Post, Comment HERE!
« on: January 31, 2012, 11:23:31 AM »
Creating a topic thread for anyone interested in taking part in some interactive polling. There are many sites you can use to create polls, I often use Please feel free to vote, post your own, or leave comments!

Question: Who of the following is your favorite member of the Romanov family?

Please click the second link on the URL below to access the poll and vote!

<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src=""></script>
<noscript><a href="">Who of the following is your favorite member of the Romanov family?</a></noscript>

This seems to have been touched on in other threads but I thought might be worthy of its own topic.

At the risk of starting a bitter feud over a taboo subject that I hope we can all important do we all think religion, and the lack there of, was to the toppling of the Russian Empire and subsequent demise of the Soviet state? I think 20th century Russia gives fabulous proof of the dangers of both an ultra-religious society (or at least a devoutly religious head of state) and a society devoid of religion.

As I'm sure many of you would agree I believe the state should neither sponsor a religion nor restrict religious worship. But how big a role did the strongly theocratic views of the Tsar and his virtually neurotic Empress wife have in contributing to their empire's downfall. Did Nicholas and Alexandra's religious ultra-conservatism keep them from making the type of progressive decisions needed to keep up with the rapid social changes during their reign? An obvious example of this would be the guilt Alix expressed over Alexei's hemophilia, considering it a punishment from God for her conversion from Lutheranism to Russian Orthodoxy. Her misguided faith in the "mysticism" of Rasputin and the influence she wielded over her impressionable husband clearly had severe consequences.

Conversely the Bolshevik/Communist Soviet Union advocated the suppression and eventual elimination of religion. In this instance the extreme leftist approach of persecuting religion also had negative impact on the sustainability of the state...although one could argue how much the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union had to do with "Godlessness" as opposed to severe economic problems which were also in a state of crisis during Nicholas II's reign. Thoughts?

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