Author Topic: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures  (Read 264010 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Svetabel

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4883
    • View Profile
    • http://svetabella.livejournal.com/
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #120 on: February 18, 2007, 03:52:13 AM »


And I ask you, Svetabel, would you want to live in a nation in which your fate and that of all your countrymen depended on the word of just one man? I thought communism had cured Russians of that idea.


Your question is of a rhetorical nature and out off topic. Besides I did not speak about benefits and defects of the autocracy and absolutism. It's just painful to me to listen to such revelations as  "Russia would have been better off without this/that/those/ " and so on...knowing the history of my country and after the mad post-Soviet period in the 1990s when Russia was in a sort of chaos. Seems everybody especially in the West knows better what Russia needs. Don't take my remark personally and let's stop here.

As for Alexander II and his sons frankly speaking it's somewhat simplified point of view that Nicholas,eldest son, might have been the dynasty's hope. All these "what if" are very interesting but useless. And this well-educated boy might have been blown to pieces as well as his father...Oh, well, it's another discussion.


Offline gleb

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 812
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #121 on: February 18, 2007, 01:11:59 PM »
It's just painful to me to listen to such revelations as  "Russia would have been better off without this/that/those/ " and so on...knowing the history of my country and after the mad post-Soviet period in the 1990s when Russia was in a sort of chaos. Seems everybody especially in the West knows better what Russia needs. Don't take my remark personally and let's stop here.



I think Sveta is totallly right. If one  doesn't live in a particular country one CANNOT know what it is better or worse for it. Reading books is not enough, to me.


Offline gleb

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 812
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #122 on: February 18, 2007, 01:16:23 PM »
....and there was Marie, herself married to an alcoholic womanizer, who let her own son be abused and then die a lonely death, and her daughters were no paragons of virture either. That they could have the unmitigated gall to point the finger at their father is laughable if not obscene. These corrupt, degenerate sons were nothing but millstones around the neck of the dynasty.


I think this a bit excessive!

Offline James1941

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #123 on: February 18, 2007, 02:17:47 PM »
Gleb: Be specific, and deliniate which points you find to be excessive, and let's debate the point.
Gleb and Svetabel: As to not knowing what is right or wrong for a country just because one doesn't live in it hasn't stopped anyone. In fact, living in a country tends to limit one's viewpoint because you are too close to the issues and have biases which tend to color and influence your opinions. Someone from the outside can see problems or issues from an unbiased angle. It is why physicians don't treat their close relations, not because they would not give them the best treatment but because their professional judgement might be hindered by emotional conflicts. It just makes good sense. That is why business firms hire outside auditors and inspectors to examine their books and products, to get an outside view.
If you think I am not doing your country justice, then debate me on the issues and try to convince me that I am wrong or misguided. Please don't insult me by telling me I don't know anything and my intelligence just because I don't live there and thus cannot possibly make a judgement on a fact of history. Since what happens in Russia had impact on the development of history in the rest of the world I think I and anyone else interested can have a right to our say, just as you have the right to a say about what has or is happening in my country. I will respect your opinions and views even if I don't agree with them. I will never insult you by telling you that you don't know anything about the U.S. just because you don't live here.
And you are right that speculating on what could have happened if Alexander II had lived longer, or if his oldest son had succeeded is a "what if." All we can know is that what did happen was a not a very happy time for a lot of Russians, and because of what happened in Russia, for a lot of people in the rest of the world.

Offline Belochka

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4447
  • City of Peter stand in all your splendor - Pushkin
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #124 on: February 18, 2007, 06:27:04 PM »
And I ask you, Svetabel, would you want to live in a nation in which your fate and that of all your countrymen depended on the word of just one man? I thought communism had cured Russians of that idea.

It's just painful to me to listen to such revelations as  "Russia would have been better off without this/that/those/ " and so on...knowing the history of my country and after the mad post-Soviet period in the 1990s when Russia was in a sort of chaos. Seems everybody especially in the West knows better what Russia needs. Don't take my remark personally and let's stop here.

I think Sveta is totallly right. If one  doesn't live in a particular country one CANNOT know what it is better or worse for it. Reading books is not enough, to me.

Gleb and Svetabel: As to not knowing what is right or wrong for a country just because one doesn't live in it hasn't stopped anyone. In fact, living in a country tends to limit one's viewpoint because you are too close to the issues and have biases which tend to color and influence your opinions. Someone from the outside can see problems or issues from an unbiased angle.

James surely we all have biases? Observers from the west are not immune and that is precisely why they offer their "view" based on their own principles.

Svetabel is correct in stating that the west believes they know what is best for Russia but it is important to listen to Russia and ask what she believes today is right for her ... don't you think?

Alexander II's assasination was a tragedy, and the two rulers who followed him while not so enlightened, were deeply affected by the brutallity of his death. The act of terrorism reflected their own decisions ensuring an observance of stringent law and order. AIII had subdued the temper of the people but the demands for reform had overwhelmed Nikolai II to the point that he himself opened the gates for their stampede towards the path of so called democracy offered by the Provisional Government. Surrounded by chaos and lack of firm decision making, terrorism and anarchy had prevailed, and Kerensky fled from the mayhem he had caused. This time there was no need to abdicate or resign. Instead the bloodied path was readily taken up by a series of pathological egotists, and it was the people who were forced to endure very different kinds of " social reforms" for several more decades.

Margarita


Faces of Russia is now on Facebook!


http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/

Offline James1941

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #125 on: February 18, 2007, 07:34:51 PM »
I would be the last person on this forum to try and offer advice to the Russian people on what they should do about the politics of their country in the present. That is a decision for them to make, for good or bad. I can offer opinions if asked but I would not ever dogmatically state that they should do this or that about their country today.
What we are arguing here is history and it belongs to all of us. What happened in Russia, just as what happened in Germany, or the United States affected all of us. Thus everyone has a right to comment on what happened. Our comments may be informed, intelligent, biased, stupid, or totally uninformed but we have a right to comment.
I am patently willing to listen until the cows come home to Svetabel's views and ideas on what was right or wrong for Russia of that time. I may even support them and concur in them. Let her state those views but don't tell me I don't have a right to discuss them just because I don't live there. She can discuss her views on the history of the United States and what happened in the same time period and I will listen as long as necessary. I won't tell her she doesn't know what she is talking about.
I have strong opinion about the uselessness of the last generation of Romanov grand dukes and what they did to Russia. I won't desist from stating them. Like in all cases there are exceptions but generally the good any of them did is far outweighed by the bad they did. Democracy is a messy, noisy, disorganized, untidy business but it works. It doesn't come from fiat from above or it doesn't happen overnight. But it must come as inevitably as day follows the night. It may have a different look and a diferent tone as it accomodates to the different looks and different tones of each particular people but essentially it is the same--the right of all the people to have a say in the governance of their affairs.
Communism was wrong for Russia but so was the Autocracy of Tsardom. Both have been swept away because they proved themselves to be corrupt, inefficient and unresponsive to the needs of the people. No one knows what might have happened if Alexander II had lived to carry his first tentative steps towards representative government. All we can know is that it would have most probably led to better things for ALL the Russian people than what happened under the heavy hand of tsardom under Alexander III and Nicholas II, and then Lennism-Stalinism.

Offline Belochka

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4447
  • City of Peter stand in all your splendor - Pushkin
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #126 on: February 18, 2007, 07:45:02 PM »
... No one knows what might have happened if Alexander II had lived to carry his first tentative steps towards representative government. All we can know is that it would have most probably led to better things for ALL the Russian people than what happened under the heavy hand of tsardom under Alexander III and Nicholas II, and then Lennism-Stalinism.

Let us not forget that Petr Stolypin did try to achieve social and agrarian reforms under Nikolai II but he too was assassinated for his efforts.

Margarita


Faces of Russia is now on Facebook!


http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/

Offline James1941

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #127 on: February 18, 2007, 10:22:54 PM »
Probably the assassin knew or was close to someone who had worn one of Stolypin's neckties. The man was a double agent and the whole affair is as fishy as a Gloucester cod boat.  Proves nothing about the corruption of the Romanov's.

Offline imperial angel

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4608
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #128 on: February 19, 2007, 03:20:03 PM »
Alexander II was certainly a great Czar. He did much for Russia. I tend to believe that the fact the nature of his relationship with Katia became so public was unfortunate, and must have hurt MA in many ways. He could have been more discreet about it, even if he was not the first Russian czar to have a mistress, for sure. It's not so much the fact of it as how obvious it was that is the problem to me ( especially in light of MA's illness, etc). I think there should be separated his public and personal life though,  and I imply no judgment on him as a ruler when I say something about his personal life.

As for his children, it's only natural they felt the way they did about everything with Katia. They were MA's children, she had been a good mother to them, and they didn't want to see any bad effects on her I believe. That's only natural. No matter what the reality of their own private lives, it was only natural for them to feel this way when they saw and observed what was going on, as for example with Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna. I think they didn't always serve the nation, well agreed. That was actually true of many members the last part of the dynasty. I think Sergei tried to serve the nation in his own way ( he did try to be a dutiful member of the dynasty), Alexei was inept, I don't know much about Paul, but he seemed to put his personal life over the dynasty. Vladimir stayed in Russia, and did what he was supposed to do dynastically, but he might not have been of the greatest service to the dynasty. MA really can't be judged, because she wasn't supposed to stay in Russia and do anything for the dynasty. Against their father's record of service, their examples aren't great. But, that doesn't have much to do with their personal lives, although Alexei was a playboy more concerned with pleasure than anything else, and Paul got tied up with his morgantic marriage and pleasure elsewhere. I think MA was fine in her personal life, Sergei an enigma who is hard to say, and Vladimir wasn't half bad by the standards of Romanov grand dukes.

That does make the last Romanovs ( Nicholas and Alexandra, etc) stand out for their devotion to their country and good personal lives. As for what their offspring did, well, good parents have been noted to produce bad children, and it is always easy to be judgmental. In Alexander II's and his children's defense, it was hard to be a royal parent in those days. After all of this, it may not make sense why some of his children criticized the Katia business, but yet it does; perhaps they shouldn't have criticized, but it was only natural they were going to. I really can't judge anyone for criticizing that if it was their mother involved. They were merely criticizing the sitiuation, as well, and not their father in general, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2007, 03:21:50 PM by imperial angel »

Offline James1941

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #129 on: February 19, 2007, 03:43:26 PM »
Well put. I can accept this. As with all human stories it is neither black nor white but all shades of gray.

Offline imperial angel

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4608
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #130 on: February 20, 2007, 08:58:35 AM »
Well, I think Alexander II tends to get remember for two things: one, his death with all that entailed and two, his affair with Katia and all that happened there. People tend to overlook the rest, perhaps because that was such dramatic stuff. Indeed, in his affair with Katia and all that, there were many shades of gray.

Offline gogm

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
    • View Profile
    • Grand Ladies
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #131 on: August 02, 2007, 01:15:24 AM »



This one is of her as Empress:


More pics from this source will follow soon. Its time to go to sleep! :) :)  ;D
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 02:32:02 PM by Svetabel »

Offline LenelorMiksi

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #132 on: August 02, 2007, 06:12:39 PM »
Have you ever read Romanov Autumn by Charlotte Zeepvat?  MA and Alexander II were very happy together during their early married life.  She enjoyed her children and shared her husband's zeal for reform.  I think during the years that these portraits were painted, she was a happy woman. 
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline ashanti01

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1570
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #133 on: August 28, 2007, 01:52:12 AM »

Not sure when this picture was taken but I've always been struck by her sad expression.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 02:32:48 PM by Svetabel »

Offline dmitri

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2018
    • View Profile
Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #134 on: September 02, 2007, 12:08:44 PM »
Remember she was not a well woman in her last few years. She had also survived a great many childbirths. Medical treatment in those days was quite primitive compared to now as well.