Author Topic: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?  (Read 70451 times)

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Offline TimM

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #120 on: February 27, 2012, 04:46:03 PM »
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As Michael  declined the throne, under the circumstances, that was the effective end of the monarchy.

Didn't he say that he would only take it if the Duma offered it to him (which seemed to indicate he was more flexable than his brother and would probably not mind being a Constitutional Monarch).  In my scenario, that is what happened, so he might say yes.


 
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These "what ifs" can go on forever, in many directions and I am not immune from having my own as well, but,  as it is, they are just imagination, are they not ?

As far as I know.  

However, me being a big Star Trek and Doctor Who fan (as well as other works of Science Fiction), I'm open to the idea of alternate realities, where history may have taken a different course.  If such realities exist, whose to say that my scenario didn't take place in one of them  ;)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 04:48:14 PM by TimM »
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Robert_Hall

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #121 on: February 27, 2012, 04:58:42 PM »
Being a  Dr. Who aficionado myself, I can see your story and go along with it for what it is.
 As for Michael, he left the fate of the throne  "up to the Russian people" whatever that may have meant. Duma ? Perhaps. Plebiscite? Probably. Military coup ? Doubtful.  Foreign intervention ?  Highly unlikely. Civil war ?  The worst case   in imagination, although inevitable.
 The idea at that time was to be rid of N&A, not abolish the monarchy, after all.

bestfriendsgirl

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #122 on: February 27, 2012, 07:42:56 PM »
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It was certainly odd, considering her devotion to Alixis that she would leave him  behind.

I never thought it was odd at all. Alexei was ill, but he would at least be cared for by his sisters and loyal family retainers. Alix had her faults, but she loved her husband more than life and he was facing a frightening, potentially dangerous situation and she didn't want to him to have to face it alone. And they thought they were going to a possible trial - maybe she wanted a chance to tell her side of the story.

Robert_Hall

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #123 on: February 27, 2012, 08:04:10 PM »
Yes, you are right BFG, but it was obvious Alexandra was obsessed  with her son, perhaps more so than  her husband.  And I said much the same as you have.
 To the topic, however.  Did the parents realise their son was doomed, by his health ? Did many outside of the family and intimate court ?
 Would that  have made a change in history's  perception of the   family's  reputation if they did ?

Offline TimM

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #124 on: February 27, 2012, 11:50:17 PM »
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Did the parents realise their son was doomed, by his health ? Did many outside of the family and intimate court ?
 Would that  have made a change in history's  perception of the   family's  reputation if they did ?

Hmmmm, another alternate world scenario comes to mind here...


Alexei dies at Spala in 1912, what would happen then?  Would this have pushed Alix over the edge and she would have to be committed?  If not, three outcomes come to mind here.

1.  Nicky and Alix try to have another baby, however, Alix was pushing 40 by then and, in those days, that was a severe health risk to both mother and child (also Alix had health issues already).  Plus there would be a 50/50 chance the new baby, if carried to term, would be another girl.

2.  Nicky could repeal the Pauline Laws, and thus move Olga to the head of the line.  Of course, then the pressure would be on Olga to get married and have children of her own to continue the line.

3.  Nicky names his brother, Michael, as Heir, and life goes on.
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Offline Petr

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #125 on: February 28, 2012, 06:27:34 AM »
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It was certainly odd, considering her devotion to Alixis that she would leave him  behind.

I never thought it was odd at all. Alexei was ill, but he would at least be cared for by his sisters and loyal family retainers. Alix had her faults, but she loved her husband more than life and he was facing a frightening, potentially dangerous situation and she didn't want to him to have to face it alone. And they thought they were going to a possible trial - maybe she wanted a chance to tell her side of the story.

When my Grandfather was arrested by the Bolsheviks in the Crimea and hauled before a "peoples court" my Grandmother left her children and went with him telling the arresting soldiers and the court that if they were going to take him they would have to take her as well and let her share his fate.  As it turned out this so impressed the judge that he let my Grandfather go (and for the Bolos that turned out to be  big mistake). Love is a powerful motivating factor and in times of peril one often does what the heart and not the head dictates.


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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #126 on: February 28, 2012, 07:11:10 AM »
Petr

That is interesting. For me, the surprising thing about Alexandra accompanying Nicholas is that for her time she was an unusually obsessive mother, and Alexei was ill.

I'm glad your grandmother's intervention helped!

Ann

Offline Petr

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #127 on: February 28, 2012, 10:26:45 AM »
She was a remarkable and wonderful woman. Starting as the eldest daughter of an extremely wealthy family with all the social advantages (she was a Lady in Waiting for Dowager Empress Maria Feodrovna and her Mother was a friend of GD Elena Feodorvna) she survived  WWI (she was a front line nurse), the Revolution and the Civil War (she was again a front line nurse), emigration, straightened financial circumstances and early widowhood with four children (she still managed to raise money for tuberculosis sanitariums (among other eleomosynary efforts on behalf of Russian refugees) in Serbia and Bulgaria by barnstorming the US on solo lecture tours), WWII (half the family trapped in Europe half in the US), the Korean War (son and grandson in the Air Force) and the Vietnam War (grandchild in the US Navy) and in a long and eventful life when asked what was the most devastating thing that happened in her life she would respond without hesitation WWI. And yet throughout all of that suffering and turmoil a woman of deep religious conviction, intelligence, never bitter and a broad and tolerant outlook on life.


Petr
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aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #128 on: February 28, 2012, 10:56:47 AM »
She was a remarkable and wonderful woman. Starting as the eldest daughter of an extremely wealthy family with all the social advantages (she was a Lady in Waiting for Dowager Empress Maria Feodrovna and her Mother was a friend of GD Elena Feodorvna) she survived  WWI (she was a front line nurse), the Revolution and the Civil War (she was again a front line nurse), emigration, straightened financial circumstances and early widowhood with four children (she still managed to raise money for tuberculosis sanitariums (among other eleomosynary efforts on behalf of Russian refugees) in Serbia and Bulgaria by barnstorming the US on solo lecture tours), WWII (half the family trapped in Europe half in the US), the Korean War (son and grandson in the Air Force) and the Vietnam War (grandchild in the US Navy) and in a long and eventful life when asked what was the most devastating thing that happened in her life she would respond without hesitation WWI. And yet throughout all of that suffering and turmoil a woman of deep religious conviction, intelligence, never bitter and a broad and tolerant outlook on life.


Petr

   These are the "unsung heroes/heroines" among us whose motto is "service before self."  IMO, your grandmother truly exemplified such.  Best regards,  AP.

Offline TimM

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #129 on: February 28, 2012, 04:37:37 PM »
Yeah, she sure was.  Good that your grandparents made it out.
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bestfriendsgirl

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #130 on: February 28, 2012, 04:59:22 PM »
It must be an honor to have her as an ancestor.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #131 on: February 29, 2012, 01:27:15 AM »
What a lady!

Petr's grandmother exemplifies a mindset that was not uncommon among ladies of the WW1 and WW2 generations. Definitely service before self.

Ann

Alixz

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #132 on: February 29, 2012, 08:09:48 AM »
Reply to Tim message #124

Michael was heir after Alexei and would become heir again if Alexei died before Nicholas II.  There was no reason to "make him heir" - he just was in the general line of Pauline Laws - the heir.

I like to think of alternate histories as much as anyone else, but if this thread keeps going back to time travel and different realities, I'll have to move it to "Having Fun" and I don't want to do that. I think it has a lot of good information and well put together postings.  However, we can't live in a fantasy world and so let's try to get back to the topic and get away from alternate realities and solutions to Nicholas leaving the throne without getting his whole family killed.

Offline Petr

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #133 on: February 29, 2012, 09:54:24 AM »
Petr's grandmother exemplifies a mindset that was not uncommon among ladies of the WW1 and WW2 generations. Definitely service before self.

This raises an interesting but tangential question. Were women born at the turn of the 20th Century who lived through one of the most turbulent (and some may say horrific) periods in history "different" or did they simply exhibit a natural human characteristic and rose to meet the challenges as they were presented? In particular, my Grandmother was clearly a Victorian in outlook although she managed to adapt to the modern world. In that long gone world "duty" over self-interest was prized as a virtue (that's why I admire Queen Elizabeth so much) and, returning to this thread, that is what motivated NII and AF in my view. Thus, when looking at them with modern eyes I think you have to take that into account. Whether this excuses some of their actions may be open to question but, in my view, it may help explain them.  The related question is whether in our modern world of "situational ethics", the "me generation" and "I'm ok you're ok" we've somehow lost this admirable quality. Somehow I think not it's just that we don't seem to celebrate such people and their deeds enough (then again the fact that such deeds are often performed quietly and anonymously is a greater credit to such people than any plaudits that publicity could ever confer).

By the way, I forgot to add to the litany of her experiences that she and her husband narrowly escaped assassination when their ship was deliberately sunk in the Bosphorus as the behest of the Cheka and, some say (my mother included) that her husband was finally successfully assassinated at the young age of 49 (she was 39 at the time and never remarried).

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Offline edubs31

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #134 on: February 29, 2012, 10:44:15 AM »
Petr) Excellent observation and one that I was just discussing recently with another member on the AP.

I think one of the reasons why we are so fascinated with the women living during the time period of the late-19th and early-20th century is because it was a very transitional period. Changes in political alignments, customs, social attitudes, technology, etc, were all so abundant...perhaps moving too quickly for some, but many of the most interesting figures from this era seem to be the most progressive ones.

With regards to an elegant women such as your grandmother I think they provide not only the necessary historical context but a bridge between two very different eras...Victorian era (ending 1901) to the modern era (arguably began at the end of WWI). In the nearly two decades in between we saw rapid change...defined by war and revolution in Russia/eastern Europe, the "Edwardian" era giving way to WWI in Britain and a lengthy "Progressive" era in the United States. I'm in awe of these women...their ability to adapt to a rapidly changing world, still confined to social structures & victims of prejudice & stigma (full suffrage didn't come about until 1920 in the U.S., for example), and yet do so with a graceful dignity worthy of their predecessors.

I also agree the "admirable quality", as you put it, has largely been lost over time. The liberalization of attitudes and social structures have leveled the playing field in many positive ways. Any decent person surely wants to live in an egalitarian society where the potential for all to succeed exists...regardless of gender, race & background. But the eliminating of traditional roles in society, while surely altruistic, I believe has also stripped away some of the great personal qualities you have talked about. We get caught up in the day to day competition of the more universal human rat race. Subsequently I feel like people in modern times have begun to work harder (or at least forced to be more innovative) at their jobs and output, but have grown collectively lazy when it comes to working at their personality and public image.

We strive for a "classless" society...but that also means we live in one of less class...
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 10:46:00 AM by edubs31 »
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