Author Topic: Abdication  (Read 8781 times)

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Historybuff_262

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Abdication
« on: June 12, 2006, 08:42:23 AM »
I have been wondering for a while. Did Czar Nicholas have a right to abdicate for Alexei? I don't know what Russian law said back then. Did they have power of attorney back then, because Nicholas was Alexei's parent, so did he have a right to sign?

David_Pritchard

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 02:09:08 AM »
Emperor Nikolai II did not have the legal authority to abrogate the succession rights of his son, the Tsarevich and Grand Duke Aleksei Nikolaievich, without first amending the Fundamental Law. Only Aleksei Nikolaievich could have relinquished his hereditary rights though this may not have been possible until he had reached majority age.

David

TheAce1918

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2006, 08:08:46 PM »
Maybe Nicholas saw the impending future and did not want Aleksey to suffer the same fate that three generations of Romanovs already had (more than that even).  Plus, the instablility of the inner-politcal systems from the Duma to his own family members.  I suppose any parent would want the safest and most plausable route for such a strong minded but physically hurt child. :(

David_Pritchard

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2006, 01:36:37 AM »
I am sure that you are correct. At the time of his abdication, Emperor Nikolai II came face to face to the political reality of the day. I am certain that this came as a great shock to him and that he decided to protect his son from this uncertain situation. Just the same, the original question regarded the pure legality of the repudiation of the succession rights of the Tsarevich and Grand Duke Aleksei Nikolaievich and not the real life political situation that faced the Emperor in his train carriage in Pskov.

Had the Emperor not signed away the rights of his son, one would think that the Duma would have simply overlooked the Tsarevich and Grand Duke Aleksei Nikolaievich in favour of his uncle Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich to fill the vacant Throne.

David

Historybuff_262

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2006, 07:51:12 AM »
Thank you, Mr. Prichard for answering my question. However, I do disagree on one point. I do not think that the Duma would have overlooked Alexei seeing as he was the legitimate heir.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Historybuff_262 »

Offline J_Kendrick

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2006, 10:36:15 AM »
Quote
I am sure that you are correct. At the time of his abdication, Emperor Nikolai II came face to face to the political reality of the day. I am certain that this came as a great shock to him and that he decided to protect his son from this uncertain situation. Just the same, the original question regarded the pure legality of the repudiation of the succession rights of the Tsarevich and Grand Duke Aleksei Nikolaievich and not the real life political situation that faced the Emperor in his train carriage in Pskov.

Had the Emperor not signed away the rights of his son, one would think that the Duma would have simply overlooked the Tsarevich and Grand Duke Aleksei Nikolaievich in favour of his uncle Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich to fill the vacant Throne.

David

A popular misconception that is not true.  Nicholas did *not* sign away his son's succession rights.  

What Nicholas did say was: "Not wishing to part with our dear son, we transfer our legacy to our brother.."  That does *not* say that he was signing away Alexei's rights.  

Nicholas was merely passing the throne sideways within the same generation rather than passing it down to the next, handing it to his brother Michael, whom he had expected would probably have acted as Alexei's regent until the boy had reached the age of majority anyway.

In passing the throne to his brother, Nicholas would have remembered the one thing that everyone else seems to have forgotten... that GD Michael had no heirs of his own.  Michael's only son George was born out of wedlock and his wife was a divorcée... So Michael's closest male heir in the line of Imperial succession would have been his nephew... his brother's son..  Alexei.

Whether it was Nicholas or Michael on the throne does not matter.  Alexei would still be the Tsarevich and would still inherit either way, and Nicholas certainly knew this fact when he penned his abdication.

By passing the throne sideways to GD Michael, all Nicholas was really doing was simply delaying Alexei's imperial succession to the throne until after his uncle Michael's death.  Nothing more.

JK

Offline ptitchka

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2006, 11:43:48 AM »
Well meaning and loving, yes.  A slap in the face to those the Emperor wished not to have his dear son brought up by, perhaps.  Legal, perhaps not.  

Moot, alas, certainly, as Tsar Alexei reigned for only a few terrible moments, outstretched upon the floor of a Siberian cellar, mortally wounded already at the hands of the brute Ermakov.  In the end Yurovsky did not miss, and the dynasty ended with this poor young man's death in 1918.  

David_Pritchard

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2006, 07:21:20 PM »
According to this English translation of the Emperor's abdication decree, it is written 'transmit the succession' rather than 'transfer our legacy to our brother'. I will find a Russian language version of this ukaz so we can know what words were used in the original.

David


Ukaz of Abdication of Nikolai II
 
In the days of the great struggle against the foreign enemies, who for nearly three years have tried to enslave our fatherland, the Lord God has been pleased to send down on Russia a new heavy trial.
 
Internal popular disturbances threaten to have a disastrous effect on the future conduct of this persistent war.  The destiny of Russia, the honour of our heroic army, the welfare of the people and the whole future of our dear fatherland demand that the war should be brought to a victorious conclusion whatever the cost.
 
The cruel enemy is making his last efforts, and already the hour approaches when our glorious army together with our gallant allies will crush him.  In these decisive days in the life of Russia, We thought it Our duty of conscience to facilitate for Our people the closest union possible and a consolidation of all national forces for the speedy attainment of victory.
 
In agreement with the Imperial Duma We have thought it well to renounce the Throne of the Russian Empire and to lay down the supreme power.  As We do not wish to part from Our beloved son, We transmit the succession to Our brother, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, and give Him Our blessing to mount the Throne of the Russian Empire.
 
We direct Our brother to conduct the affairs of state in full and inviolable union with the representatives of the people in the legislative bodies on those principles which will be established by them, and on which He will take an inviolable oath.
 
In the name of Our dearly beloved homeland, We call on Our faithful sons of the fatherland to fulfil their sacred duty to the fatherland, to obey the Tsar in the heavy moment of national trials, and to help Him, together with the representatives of the people, to guide the Russian Empire on the road to victory, welfare, and glory.
 
May the Lord God help Russia!
 
(SIGNED)
 
NICHOLAS II
 
(COUNTER-SIGNED)
 
FREDERICKS, MINISTER OF THE IMPERIAL COURT

Offline J_Kendrick

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2006, 11:10:17 PM »
Quote
According to this English translation of the Emperor's abdication decree, it is written 'transmit the succession' rather than 'transfer our legacy to our brother'. I will find a Russian language version of this ukaz so we can know what words were used in the original.

David

The semantics do not matter.

A man who does not have a son of his own who is elligible to inherit his royal legacy then passes that legacy to his oldest brother's oldest son.  In Michael's case, because his own son George Brassov could not inherit that legacy, his closest male heir in the family line of succession was his brother's son... Alexei.

Arguing the finest details of wording in the abdication degree will not change that fact.

Alexei inherits from his uncle Michael, just as he does from his father Nicholas.  His place in the succession does not change.  Either way, Alexei was still the Sovereign Heir Tsarevich and would still have inherited his rightful place on the throne when his uncle GD Michael met his maker.

JK

David_Pritchard

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2006, 11:22:47 PM »
Here is the sentence over which we have been debating from the original text of the abdication document in Old Cyrillic. The square represents the abolished letter [ch1103][ch1090][ch1100] or yat. This forum does not support the abolished pre-1918 Russian letters that were not retained in the modern Ukrainian language.


[ch1053][ch1077] [ch1078][ch1077][ch1083][ch1072][ch1103] [ch1088][ch1072][ch1079][ch1089][ch1090][ch1072][ch1090][ch1100][ch1089][ch1103] [ch1089][ch1098] [ch1083][ch1102][ch1073][ch1080][ch1084][ch1099][ch1084][ch1098] [ch1089][ch1099][ch1085][ch1086][ch1084][ch1098] [ch1053][ch1040][ch1064][ch1048][ch1052][ch1066], [ch1052][ch1067] [ch1087][ch1077][ch1088][ch1077][ch1076][ch1072][ch1077][ch1084][ch1098] [ch1085][ch1072][ch1089][ch1083][ch1123][ch1076]i[ch1077] [ch1053][ch1040][ch1064][ch1045] [ch1041][ch1088][ch1072][ch1090][ch1091] [ch1053][ch1040][ch1064][ch1045][ch1052][ch1059] [ch1042][ch1077][ch1083][ch1080][ch1082][ch1086][ch1084][ch1091] [ch1050][ch1085][ch1103][ch1079][ch1102] [ch1052][ch1048][ch1061][ch1040][ch1048][ch1051][ch1059] [ch1040][ch1051][ch1045][ch1050][ch1057][ch1040][ch1053][ch1044][ch1056][ch1054][ch1042][ch1048][ch1063][ch1059] [ch1080] [ch1073][ch1083][ch1072][ch1075][ch1086][ch1089][ch1083][ch1086][ch1074][ch1083][ch1103][ch1077][ch1084][ch1098] [ch1045][ch1075][ch1086] [ch1085][ch1072] [ch1074][ch1089][ch1090][ch1091][ch1087][ch1083][ch1077][ch1085]i[ch1077] [ch1085][ch1072] [ch1055][ch1088][ch1077][ch1089][ch1090][ch1086][ch1083][ch1098] [ch1043][ch1086][ch1089][ch1091][ch1076][ch1072][ch1088][ch1089][ch1090][ch1074][ch1072] [ch1056][ch1086][ch1089][ch1089]i[ch1081][ch1089][ch1082][ch1072][ch1075][ch1086].


I translate this passage as:

"Not wishing to part with Our beloved son, We hand over Our legacy to Our brother Grand Duke Mihail Aleksandrovich and bless His accession onto the Sovereign Russian Throne."

No mention of Aleksei  Nikolaievich as the Tsarevich after Nikolai's abdication. It would really be up to the new Emperor Mihail II to decide as he would have been the arbiter of the Fundamental Law. I would expect that Grand Duke Kyrill Vladimirovich would have been made Tsarevich if the Empire lasted, since it was known that Aleksei Nikolaievich had what was then a fatal illness.


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

Offline Belochka

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2006, 12:29:38 AM »
[size=10]It should not be forgotten that Mikhail would have acted as regent in the event of the death of the Emperor until Alexei attained his majority.

The Abdication brought on a different legal complexion. Everyone was treading in new territory.

It is my belief and this is supported by recent Russian academic evaluations; in that because Nikolai would step down as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief; and doing so prevent his son receiving the same fate dealt out by the treacherous generals who sought his abdication with such relish. Nikolai's prior conversation with Professor Fedorov, confirmed that his Will was indeed the correct one.  

ptichka is correct that the bolsheviks did indeed ensure that neither Alexei nor Mikhail would survive the murderous hand of the godless assassins. [/size]



[ch1052][ch1072][ch1088][ch1075][ch1072][ch1088][ch1080][ch1090][ch1072]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline Belochka

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2006, 03:50:44 AM »
Quote
A man who does not have a son of his own who is elligible to inherit his royal legacy then passes that legacy to his oldest brother's oldest son.  In Michael's case, because his own son George Brassov could not inherit that legacy, his closest male heir in the family line of succession was his brother's son... Alexei.

Arguing the finest details of wording in the abdication degree will not change that fact.

Alexei inherits from his uncle Michael, just as he does from his father Nicholas.  His place in the succession does not change.  Either way, Alexei was still the Sovereign Heir Tsarevich and would still have inherited his rightful place on the throne when his uncle GD Michael met his maker.

JK

[size=10]Strictly speaking one cannot "inherit" a vacant throne that came about after a political transition.

Alexei was no longer Tsesarevich after 2 March (O.S.) 1917.[/size]
[/color]

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


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Offline Belochka

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2006, 04:05:57 AM »
Quote
Here is the sentence over which we have been debating from the original text of the abdication document in Old Cyrillic. The square represents the abolished letter [ch1103][ch1090][ch1100] or yat. This forum does not support the abolished pre-1918 Russian letters that were not retained in the modern Ukrainian language.

David

[size=10]Fortunately this forum permits us to view the image of the original document:[/size][/color]



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Offline Belochka

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2006, 04:21:31 AM »
Quote
Here is the sentence over which we have been debating from the original text of the abdication document in Old Cyrillic. The square represents the abolished letter [ch1103][ch1090][ch1100] or yat. This forum does not support the abolished pre-1918 Russian letters that were not retained in the modern Ukrainian language.


[ch1053][ch1077] [ch1078][ch1077][ch1083][ch1072][ch1103] [ch1088][ch1072][ch1079][ch1089][ch1090][ch1072][ch1090][ch1100][ch1089][ch1103] [ch1089][ch1098] [ch1083][ch1102][ch1073][ch1080][ch1084][ch1099][ch1084][ch1098] [ch1089][ch1099][ch1085][ch1086][ch1084][ch1098] [ch1053][ch1040][ch1064][ch1048][ch1052][ch1066], [ch1052][ch1067] [ch1087][ch1077][ch1088][ch1077][ch1076][ch1072][ch1077][ch1084][ch1098] [ch1085][ch1072][ch1089][ch1083][ch1123][ch1076]i[ch1077] [ch1053][ch1040][ch1064][ch1045] [ch1041][ch1088][ch1072][ch1090][ch1091] [ch1053][ch1040][ch1064][ch1045][ch1052][ch1059] [ch1042][ch1077][ch1083][ch1080][ch1082][ch1086][ch1084][ch1091] [ch1050][ch1085][ch1103][ch1079][ch1102] [ch1052][ch1048][ch1061][ch1040][ch1048][ch1051][ch1059] [ch1040][ch1051][ch1045][ch1050][ch1057][ch1040][ch1053][ch1044][ch1056][ch1054][ch1042][ch1048][ch1063][ch1059] [ch1080] [ch1073][ch1083][ch1072][ch1075][ch1086][ch1089][ch1083][ch1086][ch1074][ch1083][ch1103][ch1077][ch1084][ch1098] [ch1045][ch1075][ch1086] [ch1085][ch1072] [ch1074][ch1089][ch1090][ch1091][ch1087][ch1083][ch1077][ch1085]i[ch1077] [ch1085][ch1072] [ch1055][ch1088][ch1077][ch1089][ch1090][ch1086][ch1083][ch1098] [ch1043][ch1086][ch1089][ch1091][ch1076][ch1072][ch1088][ch1089][ch1090][ch1074][ch1072] [ch1056][ch1086][ch1089][ch1089]i[ch1081][ch1089][ch1082][ch1072][ch1075][ch1086].


I translate this passage as:

"Not wishing to part with Our beloved son, We hand over Our legacy to Our brother Grand Duke Mihail Aleksandrovich and bless His accession onto the Sovereign Russian Throne."

David

[size=10]Margarita's translation:[/size][/color]

... "Not wishing to part with OUR beloved son, WE transfer OUR inheritance ([ch1085][ch1072][ch1089][ch1083][ch1077][ch1076]i[ch1077]) to OUR Brother Grand Duke MIKHAIL ALEXANDROVICH and bless Him on his accession to (the) Throne of (the) Russian State."...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline Belochka

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Re: Abdication
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2006, 05:53:41 AM »
Quote
Did they have power of attorney back then, because Nicholas was Alexei's parent, so did he have a right to sign?

[size=10]The Power of Attorney is a modern western legal concept.

The Emperor's Will would have embraced Alexei (a minor) guided by the Imperial Laws of the day and Court protocol.[/size]
[/color]


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