Author Topic: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad  (Read 274429 times)

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Finelly

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #150 on: July 04, 2005, 09:45:14 AM »
well, if we're going back that far, then how about the fault lying with his father, who failed to give Nicholas the proper training and responsibility to take over when he passed on?  <g>

bluetoria

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #151 on: July 04, 2005, 09:49:34 AM »
Yes, perhaps so. Maybe Alexander III thought there was plenty of time left to train him for this role...Both Nicholas & Alexandra had so little time to prepare themselves for the positions into which they were so suddenly thrust.

Offline Jackswife

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #152 on: July 04, 2005, 01:21:28 PM »
 Finelly brings out what I feel is one of the main shortcomings of the last Romanovs-Alexander's failure to adequately prepare his son for the demands of being Tsar. Nicholas was 26 when he ascended the throne-plenty of time for him to have been instructed and trained in the art of ruling.  He could have been much better informed about the politics and necessities of governing such a vast country as Russia if the Tsar had taken the time to do such instructing. I guess it's like the old proverb that the best time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining, and Alexander's failure to train Nicholas to take over the throne is one of those instances where the failure to teach had really disastrous consequences.  :(

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #153 on: December 20, 2005, 10:08:20 AM »
It is too bad that there are not more posts to this thread because it is a good one. My thoughts about this question are as follows: I think that Alexander III, and Empress Alexandra had quite a bit in common because of the fact they both liked to stay home, and didn't like court entertainment and the like. They both liked to be Russian, and to understand the Russian soul, and understand the common people of Russia quite a bit. They both were very conservative, and believed in autocracy and the traditional values of the monarchy, they believed that autocrats should be strong and not give an inch of power over. I think Alexandra always encouraged Nicholas to be a strong autocrat, amd this was the way Alexander III  ruled. They were alike in this way, and I think in political views especially, they were alike. Both wanted Russia governed in the same way. ;)

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #154 on: December 21, 2005, 10:18:43 AM »
An interesting thought puzzle . . . certainly not amenable to any certain answers, but fun to try to assemble nonetheless.

First, let's start with what we know about the relationship that did exist.  Alexander III had not initially been a proponent of the marriage between Nicholas and Alexandra.  (Why this was so has been discussed extensively elsewhere.  My own view is that her coming from a family in which hemophilia was known to pass through the female line had a lot to do with it.)  But he eventually came around to accept it, probably in part because it was the first spark of determination to stand his ground that he had ever seen from his son.

No matter what his real reasons were for first resisting and then relenting, Alexander no doubt was poised to welcome Alexandra into Russia as an inevitability rather than as an ideal future empress.

From her end, Alexandra respected her grandmother's opinion, which held that Alexander III was a posturing boor who was ruling with an unnecessarily harsh hand over a backward country that, just under the surface, was on the boil politically . . . and whose foreign policy bore no particular goodwill for English interests.

So whatever views Alexandra eventually would develop of Alexander -- and how those views would interplay with and affect the views he developed of her -- would certainly have sprung from inauspicious beginnings on both sides.

Personally, I do not think their views would have ever comfortably melded.  While Alexandra and Alexander shared a superficial desire for a certain remove from public life, it was driven by two very different motives.  Alexandra was almost pathologically shy, not physically up to the stress of imperial social engagements, and profoundly domestic in her tastes and habits.  She would have sought a reserved life in almost any social stratum in which she found herself.  Alexander's removing himself from St. Petersburg had more to do with the physical security of himself and his family.  While he was not personally inclined to the lifestyle of the St. Petersburg fast set, he was quite willing to traffic with that crowd on the terms he set.  (Hence his indulging his wife with some of the social whirl in which she revelled, while putting an end to each event in his own unique way when he was ready.)  And, no matter what his personal preferences, he never would have risked the isolation of the ruling house from the upper social and military classes on which it depended for support.

He also had an unbending sense of duty.  Whereas Alexandra built a cozy and self-consciously-middle-class nest for her family at Tsarskoe Selo, Alexander imposed simplicity on his family almost as a matter of military discipline -- a view that self-denial and hardship built character in a tsar and his heir.

Alexander managed to remove himself physically from the center of St. Petersburg without isolating himself intellectually and emotionally from his nation.  While we may not like his policies, they were set with a clear view to the political and social situation in Russia.  (While the long-term effects of his policies might have deepened the radicalism of some elements in Russia, they at least managed to turn the larger political tide for a time and engender centrist support for the monarchy.  Nothing Nicholas ever did turned any political tide for any length of time.)

Alexandra's cocooning of herself in Tsarkoye Selo was but the outward manifestation of a deep-seated drive to build a fantasy world in which she could stay emotionally afloat.  In that world, the Russian peasants were the God-fearing, Tsar-worshipping children she wished them to be.  The Romanovs who pressed Nicholas to accept reforms were the effete, self-serving, untowardly ambitious connivers she thought them to be.  The ministers who challenged Nicholas' views or tried to bolster his resolve against her inclinations were the traitors she knew they must be to question their Tsar.

Had she been empress-in-waiting during the continuing reign of Alexander, she might well not have become the ultra-monarchist she became with her husband.  The political heritage in which Alexandra was raised was at odds with Russian autocracy.  Alexander had the strength to rule, which created a safety zone in which his methods and heavy hand could be questioned without risking the monarchy itself.  Had she not been dealing with a husband of notorious irresolution on key matters, to which she responded by becoming the cheerleader for absolutist rule, the more liberal strains in her background might have come more to the fore.  (While the evidence is contradictory, there are at least some indications that Alexandra had occasional bursts of liberal outlook regarding, for instance, the Jews.)  In other words, Alexandra's far-right leanings might have been more a response to Nicholas' weakness rather than a natural bent that would have cozied her up to Alexander politically had he remained Tsar.

I do believe Alexandra would have benefitted by "interning" under Alexander and Marie for a while before being thrust center stage.  But, ultimately, I believe she and Alexander were two very different streams that never would have had any real confluence.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #155 on: December 23, 2005, 05:09:02 AM »
Well-stated! I agree - Alexander III and Alix were very different persons to get along well.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 10:02:31 AM by Alixz »

Alixz

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #156 on: December 24, 2005, 09:51:00 AM »
Also, we must remember that the final approval for the marriage was given when AIII was already ill.  He only lived for six months after the engagement.

I remember reading that he felt that, if for no other reason, Nicholas should marry to give him the "stablizing presence of a wife".

I do agree though, that if Alexandra had had more time to be the wife of the Tsarevich and not the Tsar that she would have had less trouble.  You are probably right that she would have encouraged NII to learn more and participate more in government.  

You are probably also correct in that since Marie would have had her precidence at court preserved that the jealousy and coldness would have not developed.  

Perhaps it would never have developed if the two women had had the time to get to know one another without the pressures of rank.

Also, if Alexandra had had her difficult pregnancies as Tsarevna (?) instead of Empress, the pressures on her for public appearances would have been less.

Perhaps she would have made friends and a
"younger social set" would have emerged.  Perhaps not.

But whom she saw and what she did would not have been so vitally important as Marie would still have been in the limelight.

Marie would have remained "large and in charge" and Alexandra would have no reason to have been jealous because it wasn't her turn yet.

Marie might still have treated Nicholas as a "boy" but Alexander would have been there to take her attention away from the couple.

Again, what if???

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alixz »

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #157 on: January 08, 2006, 05:18:51 PM »
I think that everybody who has posted since me is right, it is true that the things they had in common were at merely superficial levels, and deep down they might not have too much in common at all, because their reasons for doing things were so different. It is doubtful if they ever would have gotten along in real life, had Alexander III lived longer past the marriage of Nicholas and Alexandra, yes. I think they were different people, but they might have had an easier time getting along than Alexandra and the dowager Empress proved to have. But though some of their ideas were alighned the reasons why were different, and they were different personalities. Of course Empress Alexandra would have benefited from an apprenticeship before she become an Empress as would most thrust into such a demanding position.

Offline Azarias

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #158 on: January 17, 2006, 02:59:43 AM »
If you look up and down the topics for Empress Alexandra it almost seems like lately she's been thrown to the wolves!

I admit she seemed out of place to the Russians, she certainly had her share of foibles that people still love to pick on BUT.....

Does anyone ever really considered life through her eyes? I'm not sure that people are  always fair with her. It's far too easy to pick on the lady, especially a lady with no voice today to defend herself!

PssMarieAmelie

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #159 on: January 17, 2006, 03:02:15 AM »
She was a devoted wife, and a loving mother. But I'm sorry--I still prefer Maria Feodorovna.

Offline Grace

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #160 on: January 17, 2006, 03:02:22 AM »

Poor Alexandra receives something of a regular lambasting on these threads, so to discuss her virtues will be a pleasant change... :)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 10:03:55 AM by Alixz »

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #161 on: January 17, 2006, 10:41:01 AM »
She did have virtues, and it is sad we so often concentrate on her negative qualities, hey, we all have negative qualities, some more than others, tha's life. But Alexandra was intelligent, thoughtful, feeling, strong,( in whatever sense), and devoted and cared about her family, and knew how, at the end, to get through adversity. ;)

Offline Joy0318

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #162 on: January 17, 2006, 10:49:47 AM »
A great idea for a topic. It does seem that most people want to bash Alix all the time. I think that she was:

A loving and faithful wife.
A good mother
Intelligent  
Compassionate and caring (worked as a nurse during war)


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by RomanovFan318 »
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Offline AkshayChavan

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #163 on: January 17, 2006, 01:37:30 PM »
A loving and faithful wife- yes certainly!!
A good mother - Perhaps. But this can be debated.
Intelligent - Certainly Not! I don't think she can be called intelligent in any sense. Dismissing ministers during war, calling for banning the press and asking her husband to be "strong like Ivan the terrible to crush dissent" when people are revolting does not seem like "intelligence" to me.

I have read so many books (really a lot) about Russia and the Romanovs. I have tried but have failed to come across any good qualities in her except that she was a good wife and a mother. All books cannot be wrong. Her bad qualities for overweight her good qualities.


leushino

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #164 on: January 17, 2006, 03:39:06 PM »
A very protective, devoted mother, particularly to the heir. Beyond that.... ? I've no wish to demonize her but try as I might, I just can't seem to see much that is beyond the ordinary.