Author Topic: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived  (Read 14113 times)

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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2006, 12:04:46 PM »
I really doubt that the succession laws would ever have been changed. I think Nicholas was quite traditional, and would never have done this, even to allow his own flesh and blood to rule. Alexandra was also pretty traditional, and I don't see that she would have allowed it either, however much she would have wanted it personally, which I cannot doubt she might have eventually.The old law would have stayed the way it was, in my opinion, no matter what change there was or not in the country as a whole.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2006, 03:44:00 AM »
I'm going to respectfully disagree with you, Grace.

I think, if it had come down to it, Nicholas would have changed the law of succession IF the revolution had not have happened and he had stayed in power.  I think, in an increasingly modern age where people of all sexes and classes were demanding democracy and equal rights, a law only allowing males to rule a country would simply have no longer been acceptable.

The women's suffrage movement in the UK had gained the vote for women after the first world war, and this had repercussions on women's rights across Europe.  The domino effect, if you will.  Not to mention that if the Romanovs HAD survived, they most likely would have done so as a constitutional and not an autocratic monarchy; no country after 1918 would accept the total rule of one man not voted in by the public. 

The First World War catapulted the world into a modern era wholly different from the Victorian in its ideas and beliefs.  To survive, the Romanovs would have had to have changed with the times.  An autocratic monarchy that didn't allow women to rule was not going to be acceptable to the world after 1918. Things would have had to change if the Romanovs were going to retain their position.

I think it's difficult for us to look back and understand just how much the world changed after the First World War, and was also beginning to change in the Edwardian and late Victorian periods, pre-war.  Mass industrialisation, an increased access to education and foreign travel and womens and worker's movements had caused a deep rooted desire for change amongst the majority of people.  The middle and lower classes were no longer prepared to be ruled over by a distant figure of authority; they wanted to have power over their own lives.  Do you REALLY think an autocratic monarchy could have survived in this world, and an autocratic monarchy only allowing males to rule (I know that they were prepared to have a female, but only if there were no other males left, and this was never going to happen in the Romanov family), at that?

Rachel
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2006, 11:25:59 AM »
Well, I think that it is hard to know if the autocracy would have survived, and that's a totally different question. I think whether the autocracy would have survived or not would have had much bearing on the succession laws. I am not going to get into that, as it isn't the subject of this thread, but maybe whether there was not an autocracy or not, would not have changed the fact of the succession laws? All in all, we don't know what implicarions Alexei's possible being infertile would have had, on succession laws or anything else.

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2006, 08:43:04 PM »
Well, the Japanese succession laws only allow for males to inherit the throne. Why would Russia necessarily feel compelled to do things just because the western European societies were changing?

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2006, 08:43:12 AM »
Exactly! In this day and age, one would think those laws would have been changed, but they weren't. Russia was very traditional, and slow to change except in a bad way, and the Romanovs, even if not an autocracy, were a traditional dynasty. The Vladmirvitchi would have put up a huge fight anyway-they always thought they were better than their cousins, throne or no throne. That's the determinng factor, indeed. Much would have been on the shoulders of Alexei..

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2006, 09:38:37 AM »
Interesting comparison with Japan, Georgiy.

Russia has always been very much it's own country, and distinct from the rest of Europe. This is, however, in recent times, largely due to the Communism/Capitalism divide.  If we're hypthothesising, as I am, about a Russia post 1918 with the Romanovs in rule, however, I'd see Russia as becoming much closer to the rest of Europe.  Industrialisation was beginning to take a hold, democracy was starting to be asked for, there was a much wider access to education, etc.  Personally, I think that if the Romanovs had retained power they would have done so as a much reduced, constitutional monarchy with very little say in politics.  This would bring them much closer to the British monarchy and other European monarchies of the time, and with the role of Tsar/Tsarina much less about ruling the country than before, I think changing the law of accession would have been a much less problematic issue and something Nicholas would have been far more likely to consider, especially if Alexei, as one would suspect, had become much weaker as he progressed towards adulthood.

The new bourgeoisie were very influenced by Western Europe, so those in power would have been too. Women's rights in the rest of Europe may have led to Nicholas being forced to change the law of accession by his hypothetical parliament.

I don't think Alexei would ever have become Tsar myself.  If there HAD been no revolution, I think Nicholas would easily have outlived his son.

Rachel
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Offline Lemur

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2006, 09:41:33 AM »
Well, the Japanese succession laws only allow for males to inherit the throne. Why would Russia necessarily feel compelled to do things just because the western European societies were changing?

Japan's laws have always been the same, for a thousand years. Russia used to allow female rulers, but one Tsar who hated his mother changed the rule. So the way it looks to me if it was changed once for purely selfish, personal reasons, what's so untradtional about changing it again?

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2006, 09:45:30 AM »
Very true, Lemur.

This is what I don't understand as to why people keep saying 'but Nicholas was so traditional, why would he change the rule?'

Paul changed the earlier tradition, so why would it be so shocking to change it back? Times move on, ideas change...I really don't see why it would have been a scandal to change a rule that was ridiculously outmoded and based on a personal dislike a previous Tsar had of women!

Rachel
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #38 on: November 15, 2006, 10:04:51 AM »
Ironically, if he hadn't been infertile, the succession would've been safe. Had he married anyone except a carrier (and to be safe, I would've eliminated many of his female relations given what was understood at the time) his sons would have been safe from the disease--unlike the risk that would've been taken when his sister's married.
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2006, 10:35:04 AM »
Well, whether the laws were changed could have depended on the personality of the ruler, again, you are right. But, we all know Nicholas was very traditional and that Alexandra was too. I think Alexei, had he reached the throne might have changed it if he realized he would have no heirs, and let his sister Olga's children possibly succeed, maybe a son or something, but that would have depended on who she married. But, we don't know enough about Alexei to know what he would have done. He, from what I understand might not have been infertile, it was just a possibility. I think that the laws would most likely not have been changed, though if you consider the Vladimirvitchi.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #40 on: November 16, 2006, 11:09:11 AM »
Not that it really matters anyway.

No one has the right or wrong answer, because all we are doing is speculating.

Personally I doubt that Alexei would have lived long enough to become Tsar or have children if the Revolution hadn't have happened.  He was already declining rapidly when he was killed.  So one way or another, if Nicholas had REALLY wanted his own progeny on the throne, he would have had to change the rules.  If not, he would have had to have been content with one of the Vladimirovichi on the throne. 

IF Alexei had lived and been infertile, the same issue would have arisen- he would have had to have changed the rules, or been content to have one of the Vladimirovichi on the throne.

It's as simple as that.

Rachel
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #41 on: November 16, 2006, 01:39:36 PM »
It is indeed something that is mere speculation, but it is so interesting, to consider how the future would have happened that never occured, because it would have had great implications had it occured. One thing I have thought of is that it might have been easier for Paul in late 18th century Russia to change the succesion laws, because there wasn't much precedent, and it would have been harder for a monarch even in an autocracy to do so in 20th century Russia. Also, Paul's male line was the only line there was, there was no competition from other branches of the family, there was only his own. I wonder if, had the autocracy been replaced by constitional monarchy how much impact would that have had on succession laws, and could the monarch have changed them then?

Offline Annie

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2006, 09:51:26 PM »
I know all we can do is speculate, but I really feel that Nicholas and Alexandra's love for their children and their hatred of the Vladimirovichi would have led them to do what they had to do, change the rules, if it came down to it. The fact they were even considering the Olga-Dmitri thing proves to me they were open to possibilities. I think he'd have changed the male only rule before he let the Vlads rule, or before he accepted his brother Michael's marriage.

It is true Alexei was declining in health when he was shot, but I wonder if he'd have been healthier if the revolution had never happened? Captivity took a lot out of him mentally and physically, and of course the biggest reason for his fragile condition was the fall/ride down the stairs on the sled which would not have happened if they were not exiled. So IF they had stayed in power, his health would not likely have been so bad. Again, it's all ifs.