Author Topic: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?  (Read 55331 times)

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Bev

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Griffh, Cullen doesn't read that way
« Reply #135 on: September 07, 2006, 01:10:52 PM »
to me.  It doesn't appear to me that he's shutting you down, he's giving you an answer to your question.  It's difficult in this kind of forum to give lengthy, all encompassing arguments and reasons for answers to questions.  Obviously, he respected your arguments enough to have read them and considered them, or I don't think he would have bothered to answer your question.  He seems to be a thoughtful person, if you ask him to give you a more nuanced explanation for his answer, I'm sure he would oblige. 

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #136 on: September 07, 2006, 01:46:09 PM »
You know Bev, you are absolutely right about Robert Cullen.  I am so grateful for your comments.  Having spent the day re-thinking my hurt feelings and how stupid my response was as a result of those wounded feeling, I was just about to post an apology when I found your helpful post.  I must say that I am grateful for its wisdom. 

I do wish I could have my male ego removed, it is such a bothersome thing.  I also appreciate your remarks about the natural limitations of the fourm and it makes me all the more grateful for everyone who has taken the time to contribute. 

Well thank you again for your correct assessment of Richard's response and I do apologize for my immaturity.  I am sorry Richard for being so stupid.  I guess it is just one more example of the pot calling the kettle black, e.i. of my calling Wilson stupid.  ta ta for now and back to my chonology.....griff 

Bev

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You're not being immature
« Reply #137 on: September 07, 2006, 07:09:40 PM »
it's difficult for anyone to have their theory rejected, and it's hard not to take it as a personal affront to one's intelligence.

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #138 on: September 08, 2006, 03:42:16 PM »
 
This chronology is not met to be exhaustive and certainly is not as detailed as the one I am in the midst of preparing about actions of the Americans sent to Russia in 1917. 

However this chronology does lay the ground work for a better understanding of Wilson’s changing moods about Great Britain and his abortive attempts to play Peace Mediator.  It also chronicles Page’s view of European governments and statesmen.  But most importantly it establishes the dynamic I have been speaking of about America’s power to alter the war, not through its military, but through cash and supplies.  It shows that this potential of America to bring Britain to its knees, posed a real threat that British statesmen took seriously. 

I hope it becomes evident that even though America was a bit player with no real knowledge of European politics or military prowess, this bit player did have the upper hand by the winter of 1916.  I have started in the Spring of 1916 with the sinking of the Sussex as it is here that Wilson is encouraged by Germany to play mediator.  Well let the games begin: 

April 18, 1916
The Sussex was torpedoed in the English Channel without warning and with loss of American life. 

April 26, 1916
President Wilson sends a strong warning to the German government to stop such attacks against passenger ships or he will sever diplomatic relations with Germany. 

April 26, 1916
Germany’s Ambassador to America, Bernstorff cables Berlin to suspend submarine war at least for the period of negotiations. Bernstorff writes that:

“…this would avoid all danger of a breach [with the United States} and also enable Wilson to continue his labours in his great plan of bringing about a peace based on the freedom of the seas...According to the assurances which Wilson, through House, has given me, he would in that case take in hand measures directly against England…”

April 27, 1916
Ambassador Page informs President Wilson [in Leuchtenburg words] that;

“Britain did not have enough food to feed the civilian population of the British Isles for more than six to eight weeks.  Under the adroit leadership of Food Administrator Herbert Hoover the entire nation was alerted to the need to conserve food…Hoover entered the grain market to purchase and distribute wheat, and he pegged hog prices so high farmers doubled production.  He bought the entire Cuban and American sugar crops…The Hoover program was an outstanding success; under it, the United States was about to ship three times as much food…as it had before the war.”

   


May 4, 1916
Germany considers the Wilson’s message as an ultimatum and promises to stop sinking passenger and freighters if Wilson will move against Great Britain to ease its blockade of Germany.  Wilson refuses to move against Great Britain and states that he considers Germany’s U-boat promise as unconditional.  Germany then states that what they expect of Wilson in return for their U-boat promise is his presidential meditation of peace.  This role of the Peace Mediator Wilson agrees to accept. 

May 27, 1916
In his new role as Peace Mediator, Wilson addresses the League to Enforce Peace.  It is in this speech that Wilson made the statement that the United States was “not concerned with the causes or the objects” of the war.  Wilson’s statement; “The obscure fountains from which its stupendous flood has burst forth we are not interested to search or to explain,” was intended to balance the accusations of the Allies and Germany thereby making him the perfect Peace mediator.  Possibly his most offensive remark was his desire as mediator to ensure the wartime “the freedom of the seas.”       

May 29, 1916
In a letter to Frank N. Doubleday, Ambassador Page reveals his feelings about Europe in general and Britain in particular: 

“I have never had the illusion that Europe, especially Europe outside this Kingdom, had many things that we needed to learn.  The chief lesson that it has, in my judgment, is the lesson of the art of living—the comforts and the courtesies of life, the refinements and the pleasures of conversation and of courteous conduct.  The upper classes have this to teach us; and we need and can learn much from them.  But this seems to me all—or practically all.  What we care most for are individual character, individual development, and a fair chance for every human being.  Character, of course, the English have—immense character, colossal character.  But even they have not the dimmest conception of what we mean by a fair chance for every human being—not the slightest…”

“If I could make the English and Scotch over, I could greatly improve them.  I’d cut out the Englishman’s arrogance and key him up to a quicker gait.  Lord! He is a slow beast…As I’ve gotten closer and closer to big men, as a rule they shrink up…”   At one point in his letter, Page states; “The idea that we were brought up on, therefore, that Europe is the home of civilization is general—nonsense!  It’s a periodic slaughter—pen, with all the vices that this implies.  I’d as life live in the Chicago stock-yards…Our form of government and our scheme of society—God knows they need improving—are yet so immeasurably superior, as systems, to anything on this side the world that no comparison need be made…”
« Last Edit: September 08, 2006, 03:56:12 PM by griffh »

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #139 on: September 08, 2006, 03:43:25 PM »
June 22, 1916
In a letter to Edwin A. Alderman Page again expresses his horror of what the war had already done to Europe.  Page writes:

“There are, perhaps, ten million men dead in this war and, perhaps, one hundred million persons to whom death would be a blessing.  Add to these many millions more whose views of life are so distorted that bank idiocy would be a better mental outlook, and you’ll get a hint (and only a hint) of what the continent has already become—a bankrupt slaughter-house inhabited by unmated women.”   

Page sees Europe’s cure in the rise of democracy, the same stand that Wilson will take with his Declaration of War:

“…The danger to the world lies in autocrats and autocracies and privileged classes; and these things have everywhere been dangerous and always will be.  There’s no security in any part of the world where people cannot think of a government without a king, and there never will be…If our missionary zeal and cash could be turned into convincing Europe of this simple and obvious fact, the longest step would be taken for human advancement that has been taken since 1776.” 

And finally Page evaluates Wilson’s May 27 “disentangling alliances” address to the League to Enforce Peace, as being:

“…in the right direction, but vague and general and cumbersome...The thing, and the only thing is—a perfect understanding between the English—speaking peoples…I frankly tell my friends here that the English have got to throw away their damned arrogance and their insularity and that we Americans have got to throw away our provincial ignorance…hang our Irish agitators and shoot our hyphenates and bring our children up with reverence for English history and in awe of English literature.  This is the only job now in the world worth the whole zeal and energy of all first-class, thoroughbred English-speaking men.  We must take the lead.  We are natural leaders.  The English must be driven to lead…”       
 
July 27, 1916
President Wilson summons Page back to the United States to confer on the European state of affairs.  Before leaving, Page speaks privately with Sir Edward Grey.  Sir Edward was concerned about President Wilson’s May 27, 1916 address before the League to Enforce Peace.   Sir Edward felt that Wilson’s use of the phrase “freedom of the seas” had been a German invention that Colonel House had started using after returning from his trip to Berlin.  He also felt that the President had compromised himself by stating that the causes and objects of the war were of no concern to him.  Sir Edward concluded that the May 27th speech had “produced in…many minds an unwillingness…to use the good offices of the President whenever any mediatorial service might be done by a neutral.”

Sir Edward Grey then went on to point out when the League of Enforcing Peace could have proved effective in ending the war:

“(1)  When England proposed a conference to France, Germany, Italy and Russia, all agreed to it but Germany.  Germany alone prevented a discussion.  It the League to Enforce Peace had included England, France, Italy, and Russia—there would have been no war; for Germany would have seen at once that they would all be against her.”

“(2)  Later, when the Czar sent the Kaiser a personal telegram proposing to submit their differences to some tribunal, a League to Enforce Peace would have prevented the war.”

“And (3) when the question of the invasion of Belgium came up, every signatory to the treaty guaranteeing Belgium’s integrity gave assurance of keeping the treaty—but Germany, and Germany gave an evasive answer.  A league would again have prevented a war—or put all the military force of all its members against Germany.”


July 31, 1916
Ambassador Page dines with Lord Bryce who told Page that:
“He judged, from letters that he receives from the United States as well as from Americans who come over here, that there was an expectation in America that the President would be called in at the peace settlement and that some persons even expected him to offer mediation.  He did not see how that could be.  He knew no precedent for such a proceeding…”   

August 1, 1916
Ambassador Page lunches with Mr. Asquith and the men discuss the heated controversy in America over the execution of Roger Casement, the pro-German Irishman and the anti-American feelings in Great Britain.  Asquith shrewdly observed that there was no serious breach as he points out:

“Mr. Page, after any policy or plan is thought out on its merits my next thought always is how it may affect our relations with the United States.  This is always a fundamental consideration.”


Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #140 on: September 08, 2006, 03:44:15 PM »
August 13, 1916
President Wilson invites Ambassador Page to lunch but Page quickly learned that:

“…he [Wilson] had no idea of talking with me now, if ever.  Not at lunch nor after did he suggest a conversation about American-British affairs or say anything about my seeing him again.”

The Secretary of State took the same attitude towards Page as the President had:

“The Secretary [of State] betrayed not the slightest curiosity about our relations with Great Britain.  I saw him…(1) in his office; (2) at his home; (3) at the French Ambassador’s: (4) at Wallace’s” (5) at his office; (6) at Crozier’s…The only remark he made was that I’d find a different atmosphere in Washington from the atmosphere in London.”

Burton J. Hendrick adds:

“The extraordinary feature of this experience was that Page had been officially summoned home, presumably to discuss the European situation, and that neither the President nor the State Department apparently had the slightest interest in his visit.

August 30, 1916
Page receives word from London that Germany was determined to ask for an armistice before winter set in.  Irwin Laughlin had written Page:

“There seems little doubt that Germany is casting about for an opportunity to effect an armistice, if possible before the winter closes in…I shall not try to mention the various sources from which the threads that compose this fabric have been drawn, but I finally fastened on X of the Admiralty as a man with whom I could talk profitably and confidentially, and he told me positively that his information showed that Germany was looking in the direction I have indicated, and that she would approach the President on the subject—even if she had not already taken the first steps towards preparing her advance to him…The latter [X] had reliable information that when Bethmann-Hollweg went to Munich…in June…he told the King of Bavaria that he was confident the Allies would be obliged to begin overtures for peace next October…The King…asked him how Germany could approach the Allies if it proved to be advisable and he replied; “Through our good friend Wilson.”

Burton J. Hendrick points out that:

“The situation was alarming for more reasons than the determination of Germany to force the peace issue.  The State Department was especially irritated at this time over the blockade.  Among the “trade advisors” there was a conviction, which all of Page’s explanations had not destroyed, that Great Britain was using the blockade as a means of destroying American commerce and securing America’s customers for herself.”

September 21, 1916
Page writes Wilson and urgently presses him for a meeting.  The President has Tumulty telegram Page the same day to come to Shadow Lawn, Wilson’s seaside house on the Jersey shore. 

September 22-23, 1916
Ambassador Page is hoping to soften Wilson’s antagonism to Britain by bringing the Lusitania metal, but without success:

“The President said to me…‘that when the war began he and all the men he met were in hearty sympathy with the Allies; but that now his sentiment towards England had greatly changed.  He saw no one who was not vexed and irritated by the arbitrary English course…”         

“Tell those gentlemen for me…a damage done to any American citizen is a damage to [me]”

Page continues: “…He spoke of England’s having the earth and of Germany wanting it.  Of course, he said, the German system is directly opposed to everything American.  But I do not gather that he thought that this carried any very great moral reprehensibility.  He added that he wouldn’t do anything with the retaliatory act till after the election…But he hinted that if there were continued provocation afterward…he would.  He added that one of the worst provocations was the long English delay in answering our Notes.  Was this delay due to fear or shame?  He evidently felt that such a delay showed contempt…”

Page then took the opportunity to bring up Germany’s determination to obtain an armistice and that Britain would not grant it and would be offended if the President proposed it.  Wilson replied:

“If an armistice, no…That’s a military matter and is none of my business.  But if they propose an armistice looking towards peace—yes I shall be glad.”
Page attempted to show the President again how unfavorably Great Britain regarded his efforts towards peace and even showed the President a message from the British Foreign Office stating that any Presidential attempt to “mediate” would be rejected by the Allies.

Burton J. Hendrick states that:  “…the Presidents reference to the causes of the war…and that Great Britian’s domination of the “earth” was one of them…” greatly concerned Page.  Hendrick pointed out: “The President’s statement that American sympathy for the Allies had now changed to irritation, and the tolerant attitude towards Germany which Mr. Wilson displayed, affected Page with the profoundest discouragement.”

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #141 on: September 08, 2006, 03:45:28 PM »
October 9, 1916
Kaiser Wilhelm informs President Wilson that unless he promptly moves the peace negotiations forward the German government will be forced to resume their indiscriminate submarine campaign.  Apparently Wilson had moved slowly because of what Page had told him about Britain’s opposition to his role as Peace mediator.  Germany, having just crushed Rumania which resulted in access to large food supplies, was feeling impatient.   

December 12, 1916
Just as Wilson was about to launch his own campaign for mediation, Germany presented to the Allies it’s own proposal for a peace conference.

December 18, 1916
Page presents the Kaiser’s “peace proposal” to Lord Robert Cecil.  Lord Cecil describes the meeting in a letter to Spring Rice:

“The American Ambassador came to see me this morning and presented to me the German note containing what is called in it the “offer of peace.”  He explained that he did so on instructions of his Government as representing the German Government, and not in any way as representing their opinions.  He also explained that the note must be regarded as coming from the four Central Powers, and as being addressed to all the Entente Powers who were represented by the United States.

He then read to me a telegram from his Government but declined to leave a copy of it.  The first part of the telegram explained that the Government of the United States would deeply appreciate a confidential intimation of the response to be made by the German not and that they would themselves have certain representations to make the Entente Powers, to which they urgently begged the closest consideration.  The telegram went on to explain that the Government of the United States had in mind for some time past to make such representations on behalf of neutral nations and humanity, and that it most not be thought that they were prompted by us to understand that the note of the Central Powers created a good opportunity for making the American representations, but was not the cause of such representations being made.
I replied that I could of course say nothing to him on such an important matter without consulting my colleagues.”

December 18, 1916
In spite of President Wilson’s open resentment over what he considers to be Germany’s interference, he does not back away from establishing his role as “Peace Mediator” and launches his “long-contemplated peace communication to all the warring powers.  In his note, Wilson states that he:

“…takes the liberty of calling attention to the fact that the objects which the statement of the belligerents on both sides have in mind in this war, are virtually the same, as stated in general terms to their own people and to the world.  Each side desires to make the rights and privileges of weak peoples and small states as secure against aggression and denial in the future as the rights and privileges of the great and powerful states now at war.”

 Burton J. Hendrick states that;
 
“This idea was elaborated in several sentences of a similar strain, the general purport of the whole passage being that there was little to choose between combatants, inasmuch as both were apparently fighting for about the same things.  Mr. Wilson’s purpose was not obscure; he was making his long expected appearance as a mediator, and he evidently believed that it was essential to this role that he should not seem to be prejudiced in favor of either side…The popular indignation which this caused in Great Britain was so intense that it alarmed the British authorities.”

Hendrick points out that Wilson’s note comes just as Rumania collapses, the first rumblings about a possible coup in Russia are starting to appear, the German submarine warfare is about to be resumed, and British finances are heading towards bankruptcy.  Though divided over the issue, more and more British statesmen were realizing their need for American intervention in the war.  Therefore British diplomacy did not want to take official offence at Wilson’s note and there by destroy chances for American help. 

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #142 on: September 08, 2006, 03:46:36 PM »
December 18, 1916
Lord Northcliffe commands his newspapers, The Times and the Daily Mail to discuss Wilson’s note in a prudent way that will avoid open criticism, at the same time Lord Northcliffe told the Ambassador that “everybody is as angry as hell.”  Page wrote candidly to the Secretary of State about the “insulting words” of Wilson’s note and the private impact it had on British statesmen.  He added that the government had publicly silenced their press to give no outward indication of their rage.     


December 21, 1916:
Ambassador Page attends a luncheon at Buckingham Palace where George V, who was visibly moved, expressed his shock and disappointment that Wilson should think that Britain was fighting for the same things in the war as the Germans. 


December 26, 1916
Ambassador Page meets with Lord Robert Cecil to present the President’s disclaimer concerning the impact of Wilson’s note.  Page said that in spite of the fact that Lord Robert did not wear his emotions of his sleeve, he could not hide how utterly grieved he was by Wilson’s communication.

“The President has seemed to pass judgment on the allied cause by putting it on the same level as the German.  I am deeply hurt.” 

“Moreover,” Lord Robert added, “there is one sentence in the note—that in which the President says that the position of neutrals is becoming intolerable—that seems almost a veiled threat.”   

Burton J. Hendrick explains:  “If we are to understand the full tragedy of this moment we must remember that, incredible as it now seems, there was a fear in British officialdom that the United States might…even throw its support to Germany…Lord Robert knew and Page knew that there were insidious influences at work at that time…A group of Americans…were associated with English pacifists…had worked out a program…The purpose was to compel Great Britain to accept the German terms for ending the war.  Unless she did accept them, then it was intended that the American Government should place an embargo on the shipment of foodstuffs and mutations to the Allies.  There is little question that the Untied States, by taking such action, could have ended the war almost instantly.  Should the food of her people and the great quantities of munitions which were coming from this country be suddenly cut off, there is little likelihood that Great Britain could have survived long.  The possibility that an embargo might shut out these supplies had hung over the head of British statesmen ever since the war began; they knew that the possession of this mighty power mad the United States the potential dictator of events; and the fear that it might be used had never ceased to influence their thoughts or their actions.”

Lord Robert went on:

“I will go so far as to say that if the United States will come into the war it will decide which will win, freedom or organized tyranny.  If the United States shall help the Germans, civilization will perish, and it will be necessary to build up slowly again—if indeed it will ever appear again.  If the United States will help the Allies, civilization will triumph.”

January 9, 1917
The German high command holds a military council at Pless and decides to resume their unrestricted submarine warfare. 

January 16, 1917
The Zimmerman-Mexico telegram is intercepted. 

January 16, 1917
Wilson sends Ambassador Page a copy of the address he is going to deliver to the Senate on January 22; this is Wilson’s second step as Peace Mediator.  As Burton J. Hendrick observes, “Startling as was the sensation caused by the Presidents’ December note, it was mild compared with that which was to come,” meaning the impact of Wilson’s address to the Senate on January 22, 1916 that Page has just received. 

Page’s secretary in charge reads the speech and wires Washington that there has been some kind of a mistake as the speech included a line at its end which said, “It must be a peace without victory.”  Washington wired back immediately that there had been no mistake and that the sentence was exactly correct.  The secretary then took the speech to Page who became openly furious and immediately cables President Wilson to remove the offensive sentence without success. 

Wilson ordered Page to have copies secretly made of his address and hand them to the British Foreign Office, the Nation, the Daily News, the Manchester Guardian, and other papers known for their pacifist leanings.

January 22, 1917
President Wilson addresses the Senate with his “Peace without Victory” speech.  Page considers it a “remote, academic deliverance,” bringing the United States to the “very depth of European disfavor.”  Page confides the Wilson thinks he can play peacemaker without understanding at all that Great Britain and France cannot make “peace without victory” without becoming vassals of Germany after the war.  Page feels that Wilson, who does not know anything about Germany’s true intentions, is unconsciously playing Germany game and is under their influence. 

It is also interesting to realize at this point, even though it is in the last hours of the Emperor Nicholas’ political power that he felt the same consternation over Wilson’s address as did his fellow Allies. 

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #143 on: September 08, 2006, 03:47:52 PM »
February 3, 1917
The United States breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany.  

March 15, 1917
Nicholas II abdicates in favor of his brother Michael through the following instrument:  

“In this great struggle with a foreign enemy, who for nearly three years had tried to enslave our country, the Lord God has been pleased to send down on Russia a new, heavy trial.  The internal popular disturbances which have begun, threaten to have a disastrous effect on the future conduct of this persistent war.  The destiny of Russia, the honor of our heroic army, the good of the people, the whole future of our dear country demand that whatever it cost, the war should be brought to a victorious end.

The cruel enemy is gathering his last forces, and already the hour is near when our gallant army, together with our glorious allies, will be able finally to crush the enemy.

In these decisive days in the life of Russia, we have thought it a duty of consequence to facilitate for our people a close union and consolidation of all national forces for the speedy attainment of victory; and, in agreement with the Imperial Duma, we have thought it good to abdicate fro the throne of the Russian State, and to lay down the supreme power.

Not wishing to part with our dear son, we hand over our inheritance to our brother, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovitch, and give him our blessing to mount the throne of the Russian State.  We bequeath it to our brother to direct the forces of the people in the legislative institutions, on those principles which will by them be established.

In the name of our dearly loved country, we call on all faithful sons of the Fatherland to fulfill their sacred duty to him by obedience to the Tsar at a heavy moment of national trials, to help him, together with the representatives of the people, to bring the Russian State on to the road of victory, prosperity, and glory.
May the Lord God help Russia!  
         Nicholas

Moorehead adds:  “It was sincere this last exhortation, not merely a ceremonial phrase, and the two Duma deputies found themselves very much moved when they came to say good-by.  Shulgin related later that he burst out with “Your Majesty, if you had done all of this earlier, even as late as the last summoning of the Duma, perhaps all that…” He was unable to finish.  “The Czar,” Shulgin goes on, “looked at me in a curiously simple way; “Do you think it might have been avoided?”
 
March 16, 1916
Using Alan Moorehead’ account of Michael stepping down:

“Early the next morning, March 16, the two delegates got back to Petrograd to find…The feelings against the Romanovs had hardened considerably…the Ex Com now made it clear that they were no longer content with Nicholas’ abdication, they wanted the end of the whole dynasty and the formation of a republic…Milyukov now got through to the two deputies on the telephone and told them to say no more about the abdication document, but to bring it at once to Prince Putitatin’s house on the Millionnaya, where the Provisional Government were negotiating with the Grand Duke Michael…Milyukov and Guchkov put up a last desperate struggle to save the monarchy.  Rodzianko and Lvov urged the Grand Duke against accepting.  Kerensky was in a rage against the very thought of the monarchy continuing.  The Grand Duke listened quietly and then very sensibly said he wished to withdraw into the next room while he considered.  He returned in five minutes and announced that he would accept the throne only if it were offered to him by a constituent assembly…Within a few minutes a second instrument of abdication [see David Pritchard’s clear assessment of the whole question of these two instruments of abdication] was typed out and signed and now for the first time in more than three centuries Russia found herself without a Czar.  In his place she had two exhausted and mutually suspicious groups of politicians struggling for power in Tauride Palace, a mob in the streets, and no certainty in the future anywhere.”    

March 22, 1917
The United States becomes the first government to recognize the Provisional Government.  Morrow tells us that Sir George Buchanan, who was clearly worried about the safety of the IF “I shall not be happy until they are safely out of Russia,”…“lost no time…offering…formal recognition of the new provisional government on 22 March, 1917.  [I am not sure if Morrow’s date is correct]


Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #144 on: September 08, 2006, 03:49:19 PM »
March 23, 1917
Morrow states that: “The King was at Sandringham when he heard about Nicholas’s decision to give up the throne.  He immediately summoned Lord Stamfordham, saying, ‘He has abdicated and we are agreed that they can come and live here in England’, and immediate warm and generous response.  The telegram inviting the Tsar to come to England was sent to Sir John Hanbury-Williams, believed to be at military headquarters at Mogilev with the Tsar.  This was the protocol. 

The contents of the celebrated telegram, dated 23 March 1917, conveyed the King’s heartfelt message that ‘apprehensive for the safety of his cousin, he, ‘would be happy to receive him’ as soon as possible in England, ‘where he and his family would find a sure and peaceful retreat.’  A British cruiser would meet them in Murmansk and bring them to safety.

Unfortunately, the Tsar had already left Mogilev for Tsarskoe Selo, and he never received the telegram.  It was passed on to the British Ambassador in St. Petersburg, who immediately gave it to Milyukov, who in turn seemed genuinely pleased to hear about the King’s invitation.  ‘It’s the last chance of securing these poor unfortunates’ freedom,’ he said, and then as an afterthought added, ‘and perhaps saving their lives.’

March 25, 1917
In a letter to his son, Ambassador Page writes:

“The impression becomes stronger her every day that we shall go to war “with both feet”—that the people have pushed the President over in spite of his vision of the Great Peacemaker, and that, being pushed over, his idea now will be to show how he led them into a glorious war in defense of democracy…”

Page then outlines what he feels will be the outcome of the war, in spite of President Wilson’s fear about:

“…the danger of the white man losing his supremacy because a few million men get killed.  The truth is every country that is playing a big part in the war was overpopulated.  There will be considerable productive loss because the killed men were, as a rule, the best men; but the white man’s control of the world hasn’t depended on any few millions of males.  This speculation is far up in the clouds.  If Russia and Germany really be liberated from social and political and industrial autocracy, this liberation will bring into play far more power than all the men killed in the war could have had under the pre-war regime…”

“The big results of the war will, after all, be the freedom and the stimulation of men in these weary Old-World lands—Russia, Germany itself, and in England.  In five or ten years (or sooner alas!) the dead will be forgotten.

If you wish to make a picture of the world as it will be when the war ends, your must conjure up such scenes as theses—the human bones along the Russian highways where the great retreat took place and all that such as sight denotes; Poland literally starved; Serbia, blasted and burned and starved; Armenia butchered; the horrible tragedy of Gallipoli, where the best soldiers in the world were sacrificed to politician’s policies; Austria and Germany starved and whipped but liberalized—perhaps no king in either country; Belgium—belgumized; northern France the same and worse; more productive Frenchmen killed in proportion to the population than perhaps any other country will have lost; Great Britain—most of her best men gone or maimed; colossal debts; several Teutonic countries bankrupt; every atrocity conceivable committed somewhere—a hell-swept great continent having endured more suffering in three years that in the preceding three hundred.  Then, ten years later, most of this suffering a mere memory; governments reorganized and liberalized; men made more efficient by this strenuous three year’s work; the fields got back their bloom, and life going on much as it did before—with this chief difference—some kings have gone and many privileges have been abolished.  The lessons are two—(1) that no government can successfully set out and conquer the world; and (2) that the hold that privilege holders acquire costs more to dislodge than any one could ever have guessed.  That’s the sum of it.  Kings and privilege mongers, of course, have held the parts of the world separate for one another.  They fatten on provincialism, which is mistaken for patriotism…If we (the U.S.A.) cultivate the manly qualities and throw off our cranks and read our own history and be true to our traditions and blood and get some political vigour; then if we emancipate ourselves from the isolation theory and from the landlubber theory—get into the world and build ships, ships, ships and run them to the ends of the seas, we can dominate the world in trade and it political thought.”

Without commenting on any of Page’s other observations in his March 26, 1916 letter to his son, one can’t help but remember Luechenburgs’ words here about the American government’s ship production when they did enter the war a month later, “The first vessel from the largest government shipyard (at Hog Island, near Philadelphia) was not delivered until the war was over...”

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #145 on: September 08, 2006, 03:50:20 PM »
April 2, 1917
Wilson delivers his Declaration of War.  Kennan states;  “In his message to Congress of April 2, calling for a declaration of war, the President drew sharply the ideological issue between democracy and autocracy.  He denied the possibility of any fruitful participation in international life by autocratic governments. (“No autocratic government could be trusted to keep faith or observe it covenants’).  He then turned, with obvious relief and pleasure, to the Russian situation, and went on to say:

Does not every American feel that assurance has been added to our hope for the future peace of the world by the wonderful and heartening things that have been happening within the last few weeks in Russia?  Russia was known by those who knew it best to have been always in fact democratic at heart, in all the vital habits of her thought, in all the intimate relationships of her people that spoke their natural instinct, their habitual attitude towards life.  The autocracy that crowned the summit of her political structure, long as it had stood and terrible as was the reality of its power; was not in fact Russian in origin, character, or purpose; and now it has been shaken off and the great, generous Russian people have been added in all their naïve majesty and might to the forces that are fighting for freedom in the world, for justice, and for peace.  Here is a fit partner for a league of honour.”

April 3, 1918
Kennan relates:  “…everything possible was done to bring assistance and encouragement to the Provisional Government.  One of the principle efforts in this direction was the extension of credit.  As early as April 3, even prior to our entry in the war, Francis was authorized to off American governmental credits to the new Russian Regime.  In pursuance of this offer, a series of credits totally $325 million were eventually extended at various times during the period of tenure of the Provisional Government.  Against these credits, $187,729,750 was actually used…In addition to this financial assistance, numbers of Americans were sent to Russia in 1917 in the belief that their presence would be useful either in giving inspiration and encouragement to the Provisional Government or in helping it to cope with the various technical problems thought to be associated with its war effort.”   

April 2-5, 1917
Burton J. Hendrick states: “An England that had been saying harsh things of the United States for nearly two years now suddenly changed it’s attitude.  Both houses of Parliament held commemorative sessions in honour of America’s participation; in the Commons Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Asquith, and other leaders welcomed their new allies, and in the Upper Chamber, Lord Curzon, Lord Bryce…The Stars and Stripes almost instantaneously broke out on private dwellings, shops, hotels, and theaters…Churches and cathedrals gave special services in honour of American intervention, and the King and the President began to figure side by side in the prayer books…The Presidents address before Congress was praised as on of the most eloquent and statesmanlike utterances in history.  Special editions of this heartening document had a rapid sale; it was read in school houses, churches, and at public gatherings, and it became a most influential force in uplifting the hopes of the Allies…”

In a letter to Frank N. Doubleday, Ambassador Page described the American Dedicatory Service at St. Pauls which he arranged;  “The royal family came, the Government came, the Allied diplomats came, my Lords and Ladies came, on hundred wounded American (Canadian) soldiers came—the pick of the Kingdom; my Navy and Army staff went in full uniform, the Stars and Stripes hung before the altar, a double brass band played the Star Spangled Banner and the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and an American bishop (Brentt) preached a red-hot American sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury delivered the benediction; and (for the first time in English history) a foreign flag (the Stars and Stripes) flew over the Houses of Parliament.  It was the biggest occasion, so they say, that St. Paul’s ever had…”

April 5, 1917
Morrow tells us; “In an almost childlike mood of optimism, Nicholas revealed his hopes, writing in his diary in his elegant hand on 5 April 1915: ‘I began to pack the belongings which I shall take with me, if fate wills that I shall take with me to England.”  His two daughters, Olga and Tatiana, with the hopefulness of youth were seen by one of the household, Sestra Effrossina, their nurse, busying themselves, making ‘everything ready for England.’”

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #146 on: September 08, 2006, 03:51:54 PM »
April, 1917
Burton J. Hendrick tells us; “Soon after this event (April 2 Declaration of War), the Ambassador and Mrs. Page were invited to spend the night at Windsor. 

‘“I’ve arrived during the middle of the afternoon,” writes Page, “and he sent for me to talk with him in his office.

‘“I’ve a good story for you,’ said he.  ‘You Americans have a queer use of the word “some,” to express mere bigness or emphasis.  We are taking that use of the word from you over here.  Well, an American and an Englishman were riding in the same railway compartment.  The American read his paper diligently—all the details of a big battle.  When he got done, he put the paper down and said:  “Some fight!” “And some don’t!” said the Englishman.’

“And the King roared.  ‘A good one on you!’

““The trouble with joke, sir,’ I ventured to reply, ‘is that it is out of date.’

“He was in a very gay mood, surely because of our entry into the war.  After dinner—there were no guests except Mrs. Page and me, the members of the household, of course, being present—he became even more familiar in the smoking room.  He talked about himself and his position as king.  ‘Knowing the difficulties of a limited monarch, I thank heaven I am spared being an absolute one.’

…”After I had risen and said ‘good-bye’ and was about to bow myself out the door, he ran towards me and waving his hand cried out, ‘Ah—Ah!—we knew where you stood all the time…”’
   

April 13, 1917
Morrow tells us:  Sitting in chancery at the embassy in St. Petersburg, the British Ambassador serenely opened a telegram from London.  He had fully expected it to be a message in code with the final instructions for the Tsar’s journey to England…Disbelieving, he looked again at the startling words: ‘The residence in this country of the ex-Emperor and Empress…would undoubtedly compromise the position of the King’…’They are afraid,’ he exclaimed.  ‘That is the truth of it…they are afraid!  The invitation was being cancelled, although it had been agreed at a cabinet meeting.”       


Churchill’s point of view
“It is the shallow fashion of these times to dismiss the Tsarist regime as a purblind, corrupt, incompetent tyranny.  But a survey of its thirty months’ war with Germany and Austria should correct there loose impressions and expose the dominant facts.  We may measure the strength of the Russian Empire by the battering it had endured, by the disasters it had survived, by the inexhaustible forces it had developed, and by the recovery it had made.  In the governments of states, when great events are afoot, the leader of the nation, whoever he be, is held accountable for failure and vindicated by success.  No matter who wrought the toil, who planned the struggle, to the supreme responsible authority belongs the blame or credit.

Why should this stern test be denied to Nicholas II?  He had made many mistakes, what ruler had not?  He was neither a great captain nor a great prince.  He was only a true, simple man of average ability, of merciful disposition, upheld in all his daily life by his faith in God.  But the brunt of supreme decisions centered on him.  At the summit where all problems are reduced to Yea or Nay, where events transcend the faculties of man and where all is inscrutable, he had to give answers.  His was the function of the compass needle.  War or no war?  Advance or retreat? Right or Left?  Democratise or hold firm? Quit or persevere?  These were the battlefields of Nicholas II.  Why should he reap no honor for them?  The devoted onset of the Russian armies which saved Paris in 1914; the mastered agony of the munitionless retreat; the slowly regathered forces; the victories of Brusilov; The Russian entry upon the campaign of 1917, unconquered, stronger than ever; has he no share in these?  In spite of the errors vast and terrible, the regime he personified, over which he presided, to which his personal character gave the vital spark, had at this moment won the war for Russia.

He is about to be struck down.  A dark hand, gloved at first in folly, now intervenes.  Exit Tsar.  Deliver him and all he loved to wounds and death.  Belittle his efforts, asperse his conduct, insult his memory; but pause then to tell us who else was found capable.  Who or what could guide the Russian state?  Men gifted and daring; men ambitious and fierce; spirits audacious and commanding—of these there was no lack.  But none could answer the few plain questions on which the life and fame of Russia turned.”

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #147 on: September 08, 2006, 03:52:45 PM »

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I am stopping this first chronology here as I believe it shows that far from carrying no power, Wilson’s words had to serious impact British politics.  As I see it, the statement that America was a bit player in WWI and that no one really listened to what Wilson had to say, while true from a military sense, is totally misleading.  I have established that Wilson’s power to end the war through an embargo on Britain was something that Britain took seriously and caused them to publicly maintain a conciliatory attitude towards America whose presence in the war they increasingly realized they needed in order to win the war. 

Clearly the April 2, 1917 Declaration of War redefined the war effort as a conflict that now was to be engaged against the destruction of absolutist monarchs and his characterization of Nicholas as autocratic tyrant who the world was gratefully rid of and whose fellow autocratic rulers the war was now aimed to get rid of did impact the Emperor’s safety.  Wilson had the power to mold public opinion against Nicholas.  Given the chronology of events I don’t believe that it is incorrect to suggest that Wilson had a share in George V’s decision to cancel his invitation of asylum to Nicholas.   
 
**** Just to say I am working on my next chronology that will cover the activities of the American community in Russia from the Root Mission to the expulsion of the American Ambassador by the Bolsheviks.           

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #148 on: September 08, 2006, 09:14:19 PM »
First off thanks Bev for that really kind support. 

Hey I also wanted to say that reading the chonology is jarring because while it follows a definite pattern of thought, it does it in a way that offers related perspectives and reading through it for the first time seems bumpy and disjointed. But it sort of works after a couple of runs.  Also I believe that I weakened the information by my remarks before and after the chronology.  I wish I had just let the information speak for itself. 

I also wanted to say that as careful as I was with the dates for Russian, and used New Style, I believe that the Czar's diary entry was Old style and should therefore be put back 13 days.  Nicholas arrived back at Tzarskoe Celo on March 22 new style.  If his April 5 entry is Old Style which it most likely is then it is April 18 New Style which means that this entry should have fallen after Buchanan was nformed on April 13 of England's refusal for asylum.  Sorry for the confusion. 

Offline griffh

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Re: Did President Wilson help murder Nicholas II?
« Reply #149 on: September 08, 2006, 11:27:28 PM »
I also wanted to say that as careful as I was with the dates for Russian, and used New Style, I believe that the Czar's diary entry was Old style and should therefore be put back 13 days.  Nicholas arrived back at Tzarskoe Celo on March 22 new style.  If his April 5 entry is Old Style which it most likely is then it is April 18 New Style which means that this entry should have fallen after Buchanan was nformed on April 13 of England's refusal for asylum.  Sorry for the confusion. 

Heavens, what I meant to say was: "...I believe that the Czar's diary entry was Old style and should therefore be put forward 13 days..."  Fortunately my next sentence is correct.  Sorry once again.