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Messages - James1941

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Imperial Russian History / Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« on: February 21, 2007, 10:31:30 PM »

When the first attempt at a deputation of elected workers failed, the police had the management of various enterprises select reliable workers which the police then picked a delegation. Told to dress in their best clothes, when they gathered gendarmes officers escorted them to the Winter Palace. Trepov himself inspected each man and instructed them how to behave in the tsar's presence. They were to speak only when spoken to and not to say anything that they would later regret. Then they were taken to the train station, each two deputies accompanied by a police agent, and they were not allowed to communicate with each other on the trip.
At the Alexander Palace they were taken into a hall and then lined up against the wall. At last Nicholas entered and read a speech composed for him by Trepov.  He expressed sadness over the deaths of innocent people. Wicked people, he said, had incited the workers to sedition. Their lives were hard and improvements were sorely needed but to address the tsar as a rebellious mob was a crime. Strikes and large gatherings led to disorder and forced the authorities to use force.
"I believe in the honest feelings of the working people and in their unshakable loyalty to me, and therefore I forgive them their guilt."
He promised to work to improve their lives and said he would donate 50,000 roubles to help the families of the victims.
Then he passed by and spoke a few brief words with each man. As he left, he told them to return to work with God's blessings, and to tell their fellow workers what he had said.

This meeting was heavily publicized, and it led to a bombshell of denuciation. The Tsar was forgiving the rebellious workers of their crime!

Imperial Russian History / Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« on: February 21, 2007, 10:16:56 PM »
At the suggestion of the new governor-general of St. Petersburg, General Trepov, Nicholas II agreed to receive a delegation of workers. Trepov's idea was to have the workers elect reliable, loyal workers who had not taken part in the march. The police and their employers would have veto over the selection. Nicholas approved. However, when word got out the reaction was hostile and negative. Kokovtsov warned Nicholas of the worker's reaction. The tsar replied" If this is so, no one can blame me for being indifferent to the needs of the workers: they are to blame for having refused to come to me with confidence."  (Kokovtsov)

Imperial Russian History / Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« on: February 21, 2007, 10:09:11 PM »

1. Witnesses left vivid descriptions of these attitudes. Just moments after the shooting in Troitskaia Square an elderly man, his voice filled with anger, spoke to a youngster of about fourteen, "Remember, son, remember and swear to repay the tsar. You saw how much blood he spilled, you saw? Then swear, son, swear!"  (Zeikson-Bobrovskaia, ed.  Pervaia russkaia revoliutsiia.)
2. Cab drivers in St. Petersburg, usually hostile to and uncommmunicative with the intelligentsia, openly discussed the events. One recounted the shooting at the Narva Arch. He was indignant at the firing upon a religious procession carrying icons and portraits of the tsar. When asked if he feared the tsar's picture might get hit he replied, "Yes, and he got it right in the nose."  (Elizarova-Ul'ianova  "Is proshlogo")
3. Students at the St. Petersburg Thiological Academy voted unanimosuly to condemn the government's action, offered a prayer for the victims, and called for a 'modern regime' with national representation.
4. The Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich was visiting with the Maurice Paleologue (future ambassador to Russia) in Paris when news came. The grand duke exploded: "Why in heaven didn't the emperor receive the strikers' deputation? There was nothing seditious about their attitude....What has happened is both unpardonable and irreparable...we would have been saved."  (M. Paleologue, The Turning Point: Three Critical Years, 1904-1906)

In his book  Queen Mary  David Duff writes:

"....Being more at home during these years suited May, for she had a very real mother's problem on her hands. Her youngest son, John, was subnormal and early suffered from epileptic fits. He was cared for by nurse "Lalla." By nature a happy child, he grew at an immense rate. His mother loved him, spent much time with him and treasured his quaint little sayings, but he was an everlasting worry to her. He was kept apart from his brothers and sister, as was the fashion of the day, and an aura of mystery built up about him. At the age of eleven he was given his own establishment, under the care of "Lalla" and a male nurse."

So, another point of view. What are we to believe? Mary was an emotionally detacted mother who paid little attention to John and didn't mention him in her letters or conversations because she didn't care about him, OR she loved him, spent as much time with him as possible, and it had a great impact on her emotionally>

The key lies in what Ms. Edwards writes--"Queen Mary's emotions towards John's disablement is hard to assess." Until documentary proof surfaces all we can know is that Queen Mary didn't wear her emotions on her sleeve, To say that she was an uncaring and uninvolved with her youngest son is unsupported at best and an insult at worst.

I only meant to defend her against an unproved charge from a post above. This is not a thread about Queen Mary as a mother so it probably best if the subject is dropped, or taken up on another thread.

Imperial Russian History / Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« on: February 21, 2007, 01:19:33 AM »
I am going to head off into a new direction slightly. Did Bloody Sunday have a good or bad effect?
Were the deaths of those people a useless tragedy, or can they be considered marytrs in a good cause?
I will begin by saying that I think the affair had a good effect.
It generated a mini-revolution that shifted the monarchy off its stultifying adherence to an outdated concept and moved it toward shared government, led to attempts by Stolypin and others to stave off total revolution by using the carrot/stick approach of giving some reforms, particularly land reforms, while maintaining order and a sound economy..  Had it not been for the war the evolution might have been successful.

If I may interject a personal story concerning this movie which I have remembered for over thirty years now.
I saw the film during its first run at an Odeon theater across from Hyde Park in London. It was the evening showing, and there was a large but not overflow crowd.
The lights went down and the movie commenced. At the end was the dramatic closing scene, then the credits.
As the end the light came up there was no applause, everyone sat there quietly for a minute or two as if in thought. Then they began to get up. I stood up and as I turned I saw the gentlemen seated behind me. He was most certainly upper class. He had very nice graying hair and a neatly trimmed guard's moustache. He was well dressed, as was his wife who sat next to him.
He turned to his wife and in a rather loud and most definitely disgusted voice said to her:
"It's those damned trade unionists."

Imperial Russian History / Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« on: February 20, 2007, 08:47:00 PM »
I will now go against my own complaint. As to who wrote the final petition document, here is what Walter Sablinsky writes:
"According to Gapon, the text of the petition evolved from the Program of the Five in the following manner. Arriving home at a late hour on the firth of January, he found several acquaintances and journalists, including a representative of an English paper, waiting for him. In his own words, 'I asked my friends to compose a draft of the petition which would include all the points of our program. None of their drafts satisfied me, but later I myself composed the peitition on the basis of these drafts.' We do not know all the individuals who were involved, but no doubt several drafts were prepared, and there were long discussions over the various provisions. Available sources suggest the the liberals of the Kuskov-Prokopovich-Bogucharkii group, who had close contacts with Gapon at certain periods, were influential in persuading him to support the demand for a
national representative body, but the resolution they prepared found no reflection in the final draft of the petition. This final draft, called the "Tsar's Charter" in the English original of Gapon's autobiography, bore the clear imprint of Gapon's style and training. It was the Program of the Five with a long introduction, a brief conclusion, and the demand for popular representation added.
The petition, written in simple language and conventional rhetorical style, had the suppliant tones of a religious invocation. Although the intelligentsia scoffed at its peculiar form and the naive, often contradictory demands expressed in the strange prose of a priest, the working masses were moved to fenzied exaltation upon hearing it. Gapon knew his audience well and spoke in a language born to touch their deepest frustrations and dearest hopes...."

Imperial Russian History / Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« on: February 20, 2007, 08:21:53 PM »
In all this discussion of whether the petition was about economic and/or political goals, whether or not it was carried that day, whether Gapon was police agent, a revolutionary, or an ambitious priest, whether the police knew of it or not, whether Nicholas knew of it or not, whether the workers were going to stage a revolution as the concierge thought, or whether they were just out to see the action on that Sunday, and so on and so on is beginning to obscure the issue.
That day, soldiers wearing the uniform and cockade of their sovereign, shot into and killed a number of citizens, who at that point did not present a clear and present danger of revolt or criminal intent. This would have been a major event in any country in Europe at that time and would have caused any government to quake. You just don't do things like that.

The Stuarts of Scotland / Re: why is Mary, Queen of Scots seen as tragic?
« on: February 20, 2007, 07:48:38 PM »
Of course Rizzio didn't derserve to be murdered. Yet Mary must share some of the blame. He was a foreigner in a very xenophobic land. By making him seem like he was an advisor and counsel and giving him too much personal access she set him up as a target. That doesn't excuse his death, just explains why it might have happened. And of course, there was the element of jealousy. Darnley listened to and probably believed the rumors that Rizzio was more than just the queen's good friend. Murders have happened over much less.

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Alexander III
« on: February 20, 2007, 07:31:17 PM »
It wasn't just the Standart that was commissioned from Danish yards but also quite a few destroyers and torpedo boats were also commissioned. I suspect that Russian workers could have used the money also, probably at lot more than the Danish. Take care of your own first. With industrial conditions in Russia the way they were "being generous" to foreigners is a little iffy. And if Russia had capital to spare why was she indebting herself to the French while barely managing to balance the budget?
As for the Easter eggs, I admire and enjoy them as much as anyone today, and yes, the could spend their money any way they wanted, just like I can and you can, without anyone's permission. But please don't come on here an tell me that a family that lives like that can be "humble." I guess I could be humble with a staff of 1,000s taking care of me and my property 24/7. That he wore worn clothes or ate simple Russian fare doesn't make a 'humble' life. Living in two rather bare rooms and sleeping on a bed with no mattress and eating frugal meals and doing it all with no help at all, as well as spending hours in some of the most dank and dangerous places in the city is "humble" [Ella, of course], not travelling around in a luxurious yacht and train, and having a dozen palaces complete with staff no matter how ratty your clothes are.
I have nothing at all against Alexander III and MF or their sons and daughters and aunts and uncles and cousins by the dozen living an imperial life. It is the "gush" about how humble, common and ordinary they were, just like everybody else. Baloney.

The Windsors / Re: Re: Windsor Jewels Part 6
« on: February 20, 2007, 02:40:23 PM »
Don't forget the Windsor's part in currency manipulation during the war while in the Bahamas. It was rather sleazy. And, while maybe one may excuse him on the grounds that he had a lot on his mind at the time, what about his flimflam of his brother over the Balmoral and Sandringham properities and his grant of a pension. I think it says a lot about his attitude toward money.

There is a news article that the great granddaughter of FF and Sophie is suing the Czech government for the return of the famous Konopiste Castle in Bohemia. This was one of the families favorite homes. It was here that FF and Sophie left to start their trip to Sarajevo and immortality.  After World War I, in the early 1920s, the government of Czechoslovakia seized all the property of the Hapsburgs as state property. The gg daughter, also a Sophie, is suing on the grounds that her family was not Hapsburg at the time of the seizure and thus the castle was not Hapsburg property.
Since Konopiste is a major tourist attraction today, it will be interesting to see how this case turns out.

***I should read further before jumping in to post. I see the Forum Admin has posted on this below. My apologies.***

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Alexander III
« on: February 20, 2007, 02:07:26 PM »
I concur that Marie Feodorovna was a very important influence on Nicholas II, as well as Alexander III. In a discussion betwee the British Foreign Secretary and the Russian ambassador to Britain in 1905, the Foreign Secretary said that only two people in Russia had any influence over the tsar--the dowager empress and Witte. The Russian ambassador replied: "Witte??" (Meaning the dowager empress' influence was paramount.)

I will debate you, imperial angel, about the eggs and the yacht. The eggs were personal also. I doubt seriously that anyone except the family and entourage ever saw them. The first one was relatively simple in nature but they grew excessively ornate and costly as time went by. I think the imperial family could have remained very imperial without them.
As for the yacht, they had a perfectly good one already. The only reason they decided to built a newer and bigger one was because MF got a letter from her father, King Christian, asking her to help relieve the depression among Danish boatyard workers. So she persuaded Alexander to have this expensive yacht built in Denmark, instead of Russia (whose workers could have used the jobs also. Outsourcing even then.)
And if dressing in shabby clothes is an example of being humble, then Queen Victoria is an epitome of humbleness. She wore her black widows dresses until they had green mold on them. One of them is on display at Kennsington Palace today.
And Alexander, probably under the influence of MF, was a rude boor on occasions. He had the habit of turning his back on German diplomats and visitors at court. When Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia paid a visit he asked to have a meeting with Alexander. He was told that Alexander was "feeling unwell" and would be unable to receive the Crown Prince. Showing more grace and class that his counterpart the Crown Prince accepted this transparent excuse without demur. Everyone at court knew perfectly well that Alexander was as healthy as an ox at that moment.
It is a great pity that Emperor Frederick of Germany's life was cut so short. He is a royal whose private life is almost beyond reproach and his political life is also an example how royalty should behave. He had a few faults but he stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries. It is a pity his life is so relegated to obscurity. Even Bismarck admired him, and feared him, that is why he tried so hard to keep him out of his rightful place.

The Final Chapter / Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« on: February 20, 2007, 01:45:21 PM »
There is an very interesting post today on the Nicholas II thread by Helenrappaport. It deals with the use of medicines. I really think it should be transferred to this thread. Moderators????

Imperial Russian History / Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« on: February 19, 2007, 11:14:15 PM »
Simply Wonderful.
1. Narva Arch, where Gapon's group was met, is down at the bottom, lower left (almost off the map)
2. Troitskaia Square, where there was one serious incident, is at the top, near the Peter-Paul Fortress.
3. Alexander Gardens, near the Winter Palace, is in the middle.
4. The Nevsky Prospekt runs disagonally (not Diagon Alley) down from the Winter Palace.
The main incidents with the troops occurred at all these places and some more.
Thank you so much, Belochka.

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