Author Topic: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad  (Read 266845 times)

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Offline dmitri

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #450 on: January 19, 2008, 11:11:36 AM »
It hardly needs explanation. I am sure you will find the sources if you read further. One wonders who you think governed Russia when Nicholas was nowhere near St.Petersburg. A quick look at a map shows how impossible it would be. Examine the primary source information from Maria Feodorovna and you will find some information. Other Romanovs also give plenty of reference material as well. 

Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #451 on: January 19, 2008, 01:00:43 PM »
And so does Nicholas' and Alexandra's wartime correspondence. Examine the primary source information and you will find some information. One wonders who you think governed Russia when Nicholas was at Stavka. One does not have to look hard to find letters written from Stavka in which Nicholas made remarks about ministers who had sent him "hills of papers" or that he was "busy, as ministers and other people wanted to see him". I think it is safe to assume that these "hills of papers" and meetings with ministers related to governmental issues. Communication would have been easier if he had been in St Petersburg, but all the same Nicholas was still very much actively involved in governing Russia .
« Last Edit: January 19, 2008, 01:03:05 PM by Helen »
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline dmitri

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #452 on: January 19, 2008, 07:44:14 PM »
I have read the documents you refer to many years ago and countless others. Nicholas was not in control domestically. I suggest you do further reading. Alexandra was not in control much either. It is not surprising the whole dynasty collapsed given the sheer incompetence of the last Tsar and Tsarina. The fact that so many had to suffer due to their misrule is nothing short of an extreme tragedy.

Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #453 on: January 20, 2008, 03:24:11 AM »


I agree that the Russian revolution was a tragedy. However, I think it is too simplistic to put all of the 'blame' for the revolution on Nicholas and Alexandra and 'their misrule'. The Romanov throne had already been considered as unstable under Alexander III. Russia's political and socio-economic situation in 1894 was such that a revolution of some sort was already inevitable. Given the fact that Nicholas had not been properly prepared for the immense job awaiting him, it is not surprising that, in the end, he could not prevent the inevitable.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 10:49:40 AM by Alixz »
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline dmitri

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #454 on: January 20, 2008, 07:10:40 AM »
It is a rather unsupportable statement saying that in 1894 the revolution was inevitable. The only things inevitable in this world are death and taxes. One wonder where you obtained your ideas from? Your "let's not blame Nicholas and Alexandra" agenda is quite an unusual approach. Who do you blame then and don't come up with the business about Alexander III please! That is totally without foundation. Come up with hard evidence and names please. 

Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #455 on: January 20, 2008, 08:02:28 AM »
Taxes are not inevitable, but that's an entirely different discussion. I don't have a 'let's not blame Nicholas and Alexandra' agenda. If I have an agenda at all, it is a 'let's not lash out against Nicholas and Alexandra for the sake of lashing out and let's not put on them all of the "blame" for things they were only partly to "blame" for' agenda.

My remarks about the instability of the Russian throne and Nicholas being poorly prepared for his future role by Alexander III are not without foundation. Tsar Alexander II was killed, in case you had forgotten, and Massie - whose book you wanted me to read - mentioned at least one attempt to murder Alexander III. In October 1894 Queen Victoria said that her blood ran cold when she thought of Alix on that "very unsafe throne", "her husband's life constantly threatened". I wouldn't call that a stable situation.

As regards Nicholas being poorly prepared, one only has to read Nicholas' own words to his brother-in-law Sandro on the day his father died to know how serious the situation was: "I am not prepared to be a Tsar. ... I know nothing of ruling. I have no idea of even how to talk to the ministers." If Alexander III had prepared his son properly, Nicholas would have had an idea. Actually, the poor way Nicholas had been prepared for his role was the main reason why he himself decided to introduce his son to various aspects of his future role at an early age.
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline dmitri

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #456 on: January 20, 2008, 09:43:52 AM »
Nothing at all new or startling revealed there at all. How about getting back into the topic of Alexandra. Even though she has been made a saint by the orthodox church she was far from being one. She was a highly incompetent consort and history records countless examples of this. Nicholas was also an inept ruler who managed through sheer stupidity alone to get Russia involved in two bloody wars. He was responsible for it. His reign is viewed in Russia and elsewhere as a diastrous page in Russian history. It was not a fairytale of two young ones in love. It was a national disaster on an enormous scale. 

Offline dmitri

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #457 on: January 20, 2008, 09:51:38 AM »
Here's a little gem that Alexandra Feodorovna's Aunt, Kaiserin Friedrich wrote to her mother Queen Victoria about Alexandra,

"Alix is very imperious and will always insist on having her own way; she will never yield one iota of power she will imagine she wields ... "

Yes and this was before 1901. Both Kaiserin Victoria and Queen Victoria had grave misgivings about Alexandra. There's more if you both to do the research.

Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #458 on: January 20, 2008, 01:05:05 PM »
Nothing at all new or startling revealed there at all.
Thank you, Dmitri. :) I'm glad to hear that you did know then that critical comments on the instability of the Russian throne before 1894 and the poor preparation that Nicholas got were not without foundation.
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #459 on: January 20, 2008, 01:17:33 PM »
Queen Victoria did indeed have great misgivings about Alix on the Russian throne. In December 1890 she wrote: "The state of Russia is so bad, so rotten that at any moment something dreadful might happen & tho' it may not signify to Ella, the wife of the Thronfolger is in a most difficult and precarious position."

Alix was of a rather serious nature, she could be stubborn at times, and she had views of her own. Women with views of their own were not to everybody's liking, they weren't then and they still aren't. Queen Victoria loved her dearly anyway: "Oh! How I wish it was not to be that I should lose my sweet Alicky."
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline pandora

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #460 on: January 20, 2008, 03:39:07 PM »
The Russian Revolution cannot be entirely laid on the backs of Nicholas & Alexandra. All of their personality traits aside, the Russian Revolution came from centuries of oppression of the lower classes by the Tsarist regime. Emancipation from serfdom didn't occur until 1861, the peasants resented paying redemption payments to the state & the land reforms of Sergei Witte's in the early 1900's were not successful. To compound the problem even more, cities were becoming industrialized at an alarming rate yet the conditions were deplorable. All of this fed into the discontent of the people. Unfortunately, Nicholas was a man who knew nothing but the autocratic style of governing. He only had the tools, so to speak, that his ancestors had given him to go on to run the country.
Much has been made about Alexandra's personality feeding into the downfall of Russia but given the political and social climate that Russia had been experiencing it was a matter of time.   

Offline dmitri

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #461 on: January 20, 2008, 07:03:18 PM »
Nicholas wasn't even a competent autocrat. His worst trait was his inability to listen and his extreme indecisiveness. Alexandra was no help as she was the only granddaughter of Queen Victoria who failed to understand the need for reform, a hallmark of her grandmother's long reign. The revolution was far from inevitable. It took around 22 years of incompetent rule to come about.

Offline pandora

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #462 on: January 20, 2008, 08:59:33 PM »
One cannot cure in 22 years what has been built in hundreds by previous rulers. Nicholas would have had to have had some very savvy political people surrounding him to pull it off and he didn't. Too many people around him were concerned with their own socio-economical standing to have allowed the total reforms needed to keep the revolution from spinning out of control. It was a steam engine roaring down the track without an engineer and it had been doing so for many years before him.
 
Isn't "competent autocrat" a bit a contradictory expression as an autocratic system of government is never a competent method of governing human beings?

Offline LeahMayhem

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #463 on: January 29, 2008, 10:32:53 PM »
I've been studying the Romanovs basically my whole life. My father always kept books on them in the house so I've read about them since I was a little girl. I must say that Alexandra has always been my favorite, especially now that I'm older.

I can identify with her. I'm not at all shy, but in many other ways our personalities are alike. I can understand, to a certain degree, what she must have gone through with the Russian aristocracy, being so different from everyone else and having people assume the worst about her with no real basis to do so.

As an Empress she made many mistakes and managed to offend and alienate many people. As a wife, mother, and as a person; however, I have nothing but admiration for her.

Offline pandora

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #464 on: February 01, 2008, 07:02:55 AM »
RonnieLee - I agree with you. Unfortunately, Alexandra had character flaws but don't we all? And it's also unfortunate that she ended up in a country with a very precarious situation.