Author Topic: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?  (Read 223216 times)

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Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2010, 11:27:27 PM »
Also, he should have stood up to Alix and given Rasputin the boot.  Many people felt that it was really Rasputin running the show when Nicky was away at the Military HQ.
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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2010, 01:40:20 AM »
In the end because of his nature and because of circumstances and the natures of the people around him, I don't think there is anything that Nicholas could do to preserve the Imperial throne.  Between his actions and those that unrolled around him, he faced a perfect storm, a set of circumstances and conditions that were unique but deadly.

Offline Belochka

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2010, 02:19:40 AM »
I am inclined to agree with the last posting.

IMO as the year 1916 was drawing to a close, there was not one intervening act that could have helped preserve the autocratic monarchy. That system of government had become too archaic to co-exist with the emerging philosophies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Nikolai II just happened to be the last card in the falling deck.

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Offline Michael HR

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2010, 05:36:29 AM »
In my humble view he should have handed the Crown to his Brother, Michael. He was one member of the dynasty who was respected by most of the family, government and the army. I have always thought Michael would have made a very good Tsar and things would have changed. By the time he did it was in any event to late. One more mistake by Nicholas.
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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2010, 10:10:16 AM »
If Nicholas were going to do that, it should have been before 1905 but at that time it probably would have been better to set up a constitutional monarchy with Count Witte as the first prime minister.

Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2010, 10:56:23 AM »
Yeah, when he created the Duma, that is when he should have stepped back.  He might have kept his crown then. 
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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2010, 11:26:20 AM »
He might have saved his family and his life if he had released power at that time.

Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2010, 04:05:53 PM »
Exactly.  Of course, this is hindsight talking, he had no way of knowing that his actions, or lack thereof, would result in the brutal muder of himself and his family.
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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2010, 11:30:58 PM »
actrually he had had a few warnings, more than one Tsar was assassinated or murdered and 1905 was a clear warning to what could happen.  It was only a complete lack of generosity in terms of sharing power that spelt the end for Nicholas and his family and imperial Russia.  Foresight is a valuable skill if you are a politician or a monarch.

Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2010, 09:25:08 AM »
Yeah, also he could have considered what happened to Louis VIII and Marie Antionette (sp?) of France.
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2010, 02:20:07 PM »
I agree that Nicholas himself would not have been able to save the throne for the Romanovs. But he could have given others the power to do so. Witte and Stolypin were very successful until Nicholas lost confidence in them. When Nicholas felt they threatened his powers, they fell out of favor. But with a good team around him and enough mutual trust they could have come a long way. 

Maybe yes, maybe no. I think the political situation in early 20th-century imperial Russia was dicey, dodgy, in plain and simple terms, terribly tricky. One major problem with Stolypin was that he was not a good team player, in fact he tended to be somewhat autocratic in his own methods, so he alienated a lot of potential supporters in the political field and thus ultimately failed to build a real power base that could keep him alive as a political player in the event that he fell out of Nicholas II's favor. Which is why, when Nicholas II turned away from him, Stolypin didn't have a leg left to stand on and was fading so quickly from the political scene when he was assassinated.

It's also a point of much debate among historians of this period whether Stolypin's reforms had been moderately successful or an overall failure. One thing you're not taking into account is the Russian peasantry, which virtually every member of the educated elite (partly in reaction to the horrors of the Revolution of 1905-06) saw as a real hindrance to modernization and liberalization in Russia. This is very much reflected in authors of the period - Gorky (who himself came from the lower classes) despised the peasantry, and Chekhov wrote several stories in which Russian peasants are remarkable chiefly for their backwardness. So it's not remarkable if Stolypin's reforms were a failure, especially since a large segment of the peasantry were apparently opposed to them.

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Offline TimM

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2010, 03:43:40 PM »
Sounds like Russia was a powder keg no matter what Nicky did.
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2010, 01:12:01 PM »
Sounds like Russia was a powder keg no matter what Nicky did.

That's true, and no matter how impatient I get with Nicholas II when I read accounts of his reign, I always have to keep in mind that even a political genius like Peter or Catherine the Great would have found early 20th-century Russia a tough row to plough. There's no getting around it. Especially since World War I, after the death of Victoria, seemed an inevitability. And World War I, more than anything else, sentenced imperial, Romanov Russia to destruction, as it did so many monarchies in Europe.
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Offline Sergei Witte

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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2010, 04:20:29 PM »
I agree that Nicholas himself would not have been able to save the throne for the Romanovs. But he could have given others the power to do so. Witte and Stolypin were very successful until Nicholas lost confidence in them. When Nicholas felt they threatened his powers, they fell out of favor. But with a good team around him and enough mutual trust they could have come a long way. 

Maybe yes, maybe no. I think the political situation in early 20th-century imperial Russia was dicey, dodgy, in plain and simple terms, terribly tricky. One major problem with Stolypin was that he was not a good team player, in fact he tended to be somewhat autocratic in his own methods, so he alienated a lot of potential supporters in the political field and thus ultimately failed to build a real power base that could keep him alive as a political player in the event that he fell out of Nicholas II's favor. Which is why, when Nicholas II turned away from him, Stolypin didn't have a leg left to stand on and was fading so quickly from the political scene when he was assassinated.

It's also a point of much debate among historians of this period whether Stolypin's reforms had been moderately successful or an overall failure. One thing you're not taking into account is the Russian peasantry, which virtually every member of the educated elite (partly in reaction to the horrors of the Revolution of 1905-06) saw as a real hindrance to modernization and liberalization in Russia. This is very much reflected in authors of the period - Gorky (who himself came from the lower classes) despised the peasantry, and Chekhov wrote several stories in which Russian peasants are remarkable chiefly for their backwardness. So it's not remarkable if Stolypin's reforms were a failure, especially since a large segment of the peasantry were apparently opposed to them.

I don't know enough about Witte to make a judgment on him.

I think these two statesmen were geniuses. And geniuses are mostly not very good team players.

Who knows how Stolypins reforms would have worked out if he had been given more time. He wanted to change urban life so that the peasants were able to deal with the problems which made life so miserable for them. But this would have taken a long time. Which there wasn't.




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Re: What Could Nicholas II Have Done to Preserve the Imperial Throne?
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2010, 05:18:50 PM »
Well if Peter the Great had led Russia in the 20th century, one of two things would have happened, either he would have had a very modern army or he wouldn't have been drawn into WW1