Author Topic: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?  (Read 35233 times)

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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #120 on: February 19, 2007, 12:36:24 PM »
Be careful, Tsaria!

Agatha Christie uses valerian as a key plot point in her murder mystery called, I think, Remembered Death. She makes a point that cats are addicted to the smell of the plant. Is that true?

Simon
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Offline ChristineM

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #121 on: February 19, 2007, 02:21:41 PM »
Simon

I am not a cat.   Equally, I am not a bear!   But, you are a rascal.

Christine

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #122 on: February 19, 2007, 06:09:04 PM »
Valerian is a pretty popular herbal supplement today for use in helping to sleep. I've taken it myself and it's very effective. Others use it in conjunction with Kava for use in alleviating anxiety.

There's been speculation in modern biographies on what 'Dr Feelgood' prescribed to President Kennedy and the effect on decisions made while he was under the influence. It's pretty much accepted that the 'vitamin B' shots were filled with amphetamines.  "I don't care if it's horse piss," Kennedy is reported to have told his disapproving brother Bobby. "It works." Also the use of steroids to alleviate symptoms of his (then undisclosed) Addison's disease. It was the steroids that contributed to the fuller face that Kennedy had in later photographs.

During the first six months of his presidency, Kennedy's physicians "administered large doses of so many drugs that [Dr. Janet] Travell kept a `Medicine Administration Record'". Many of the drugs Kennedy received affect thinking: cortisone; lomotil; paregoric (contains opium); phenobarbital; testosterone; Tuinal (A mixture of secobarbital and amobarbital Kennedy used to help him sleep. Amobarbital is better known as Amytal, one of the more common "truth serum" drugs); and amphetamines.

Writing in the Atlantic Monthly about Kennedy's daily pain and medications, Robert Dallek noted there were "teroids for his Addison's disease, painkillers for his back, antispasmodics for his colitis, antibiotics for urinary-tract infections, antihistamines for allergies and, on at least one occasion, an antipsychotic (though only for two days) for a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed had been brought on by the antihistamines." 
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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #123 on: February 19, 2007, 10:56:13 PM »
Thanks for this, GDElla. I really wasn't kidding about Christie's description of it as extremely attractive to cats, and I am genuinely curious as to whether this is true. And clues?

Simon
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Offline James1941

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #124 on: February 20, 2007, 01:45:21 PM »
There is an very interesting post today on the Nicholas II thread by Helenrappaport. It deals with the use of medicines. I really think it should be transferred to this thread. Moderators????

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #125 on: February 20, 2007, 02:20:09 PM »
Here you go James:

Further to the 'Royal Smoker' post of last year and also the 'Reaction to Abdication' one which also touched on the subject, does anyone have any evidence that Nicholas may have tried marijuana or something similiar, along with opiate-based medicines in the final years?

I ask because I recently found this extract in the 'War Memoirs of David Lloyd George' vol 2 p 1521. The source is not named and may be utterly scurrilous but I'd like to hear listers' opinion on it:

'Felix Youssuopoff ... told me that he knew as a fact that the Emperor had been treated by a Thibetan Doctor here with drugs that had seriously affected his mental powers. He had himself been taken by Rasputin to see his Doctor one day when he was feeling unwell, and, on the question as to the effect of these drugs being broached by Rasputin, the Thibetan had said that, if taken for any length of time, they produced in the patient a state of callousness and complete insensibility to anything that befell him.'

Strikes me that the final phrase perfectly fits in with Nicholas's eery, fatalistic calm about the abdication and exile....

One other question: can anyone tell me whether he smoked only cigarettes in a holder, or just papirosy, or a mixture of the two?

I too have read somewhere in passing about how Nicholas and Alix both being coke addicts or certainly dependent on opiates of one kind or another in the last years, but just cannot find anything concrete. I don't want to dredge up discussion of a topic already covered but if anyone has any new evidence/thoughts since the last discussion, I'd love to hear.  All best, Helen
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Offline AGRBear

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #126 on: February 20, 2007, 02:41:42 PM »
Would any of these drug mentioned  have caused the following symtoms Nicholas II mentions in his dairy:

>>26 Feb 1917:

This morning during service I felt an excrusiating pain in the middle of my chest which lasted for a quarter of an hour.

I could hardly stand and my forehead was covered with beads of sweat.

I cannot understand what it was.... <<

???

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Offline Trevor

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #127 on: February 26, 2007, 04:36:48 PM »
Maybe it was a heart attack that was coming but subsided?  who really knows.....

Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #128 on: February 27, 2007, 03:49:48 AM »
Stress, a coming heart attack, so many things.

Alixz

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #129 on: February 27, 2007, 09:04:24 AM »
GDElla  quoted:

 "I don't care if it's horse piss," Kennedy is reported to have told his disapproving brother Bobby. "It works."


 ???   Premarin??    ::)   (For those of you who don't know -  PREgnant  MAre's  urINe.)

Offline dmitri

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #130 on: September 13, 2007, 12:42:54 PM »
Back to the topic of the thread ... Did Nicholas have to abdicate? ... I guess he didn't have to do anything. He probably would have simply been deposed and imprisoned if he had not abdicated. He was hardly in an position trapped inside the imperial train to do anything anymore.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #131 on: September 13, 2007, 09:23:57 PM »
... I guess he didn't have to do anything. He probably would have simply been deposed and imprisoned if he had not abdicated. He was hardly in an position trapped inside the imperial train to do anything anymore.

Nikolai II was offered two choices that day. Either sign the Abdication Manifesto or else expect a bullet to seal the matter. Had the latter come to pass (and it was indeed the plan), that unfortunate act would have been more difficult to explain.

Regardless, he was placed under arrest and imprisoned (albeit with a modicum of more comfort than at the Trubetskoi Bastion) despite the fact that he had abdicated in favor of his brother Mikhail.

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Offline dmitri

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #132 on: September 14, 2007, 01:34:37 AM »
I think the truly sad thing is it could have all have been avoided if he has simply listened to the many warnings he received. He chose not to and everything as Tsar that he should have been protecting came crashing down. Sadly he seemed to be oblivious to what was happening within the empire and its captial. It was indeed foolish to be so far away from the centre of governance of such an empire.   

dolgoruky18

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #133 on: September 14, 2007, 03:50:09 AM »
The Emperor's fatal mistake was to remove Grand Duke Nikolai as Commander-in-Chief and take over the position himself. His absence from Petrograd at a time of hardship and political uncertainty was crucial in what followed. No-one was in a position to take drastic action in the face of strikes and food shortages. The Empress was isolated and fully occupied with nursing her sick children. None of the Government ministers were in such a position  -  or of a calibre  -  to assume control.

In my opinion, if he had removed himself to another, so far peaceful city such as Kiev (where his mother was living), he might possibly have succeeded in rallying his wavering generals. His ultimate action in abdicating in favour of his brother without even consulting that brother was a grave dereliction of duty  -  as was that of Michael Alexandrovich in not immediately nominating a Regent who could also have acted independantly and continued the monarchy.

As to the possibility that Nicholas and his wife  (to say nothing of many others at the time) were under the influence of drugs such as cocaine and/or morphine, the suggestion has been put forward before now. I must remind all posters of the original formula of "Coca-Cola", the use of heroin as an advertised commercial pick-me-up, the misuse of products such as Chloral and Laudanum  - and, yes, valerian as a 'tranquilliser' and sleeping medication. Bromide was employed by the British army to calm soldiers in barracks up to the end of National Service in the 1960s. It was also said to be employed in prisons and mental hospitals. Alexandra Feodorovna was treated for sciatica and/or rhumatic pains at Harrogate, the spa in northen England, long before she married Nicholas II. She may well have been prescribed morphine while in Russia. This medication was not seen as a vice or an addiction until long afterwards when all these drugs were used recreationally in the 1920s. The doctors of the time simply did not always understand what they were doing as far as drugs were concerned.

Re the influence exerted on Nicholas II at the famous railway station, I have never once heard or read of his being threatened with summary violence if he did not abdicate.

Offline dmitri

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Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« Reply #134 on: September 14, 2007, 06:53:46 AM »
You are quite correct that the decision of Nicholas II to assume the position of Commander-in-Chief was extremely foolish. Taking up such a position made him 100% liable for all defeats and placed him far away from the capital of the empire. He was warned, like on so many other occasions during his reign, about the consequences of such actions. Sadly he chose not to listen. Nicholas seemed to go from one crisis to the next without learning and came out with the excuse that it was God's will or that he was born of the day of St.Job. Most of the situations he got himself into were completely avoidable, sadly. He seems to have been a very loving husband and father. Sadly this did not equip him to be the ruler of a vast empire.