Author Topic: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?  (Read 70453 times)

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Offline edubs31

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #165 on: March 05, 2012, 11:15:05 AM »
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In much the same way as Anne Frank is respresentative of all Jewish children lost in the Holocaust, Nicholas II's children have become representative (to some) of all the innocents lost in Russia's social and political troubles. I am not saying their deaths are in any way more important, just symbolic..

Perfect! Exactly what I was getting at in my previous post...couldn't have said it any better than this though Vanya!
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Offline TimM

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #166 on: March 06, 2012, 01:05:29 AM »
One has to wonder what history would say if just Nicholas had been murdered and everyone else just sent into exile.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #167 on: March 06, 2012, 01:22:09 AM »
Yes. Or if they had all been allowed to go into exile.

Nobody would have been much interested in them. Nicholas would have gone down in history as an incompetent ruler. There would be some interest in Alexei, Alexandra and Rasputin, but the girls would simply be a footnote.

Just as a parallel, who but royalty buffs know anything about the Kaiser's sons?

Ann

Alixz

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #168 on: March 06, 2012, 09:10:12 AM »
I was about to say something about the Kaiser's sons, but then I finished your post. You are right. Unless those of us who study the complete WWI picture and the aftermath haven't looked into the Kaiser's sons or Karl of Austria, I would imagine not too many even know their names!

Look at the exile of the Shah of Iran.  Same thing but a different century.

Robert_Hall

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #169 on: March 06, 2012, 11:06:54 AM »
The difference with the Shah was the media.  His every step was covered.  At least for those of us who watched the TV news. You could not avoid knowing about the revolution, his exile, his moves and ultimately his death.
 Not so much now, but the Empress [Shabana] Farah Diba still shows up now & then, but no one much pays attention to his children, unless there is another suicide.
 Tim,  I have a feeling that NII's execution was to be expected, perhaps even Alexandra's. The rest, caught in the crossfire, were the big shock. There is a line in Fall of Eagles wherein the Kaiser tells his wife about the murders and she responds "And the children too?" [or something to that effect].  It was as if she was not surprised about the parents but shocked by the "children"

Offline TimM

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #170 on: March 06, 2012, 12:02:09 PM »
That's the sad irony of the whole thing.  Had NAOTMAA just been sent into exile, they would have quietly faded into obscurity.


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Karl of Austria

Of course, he didn't live much longer after that, he died young in the early 1920's.  His widow, Zita, lived until 1989, and died at the age of 97.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #171 on: March 07, 2012, 08:41:31 AM »
Karl died in 1922. His eldest son Otto was a figure of some political significance as a young man in the 1930s - Admiral Horthy was technically Regent for him in Hungary, and the Nazis were concerned about a possible Habsburg revival in Austria. Otto later became a Euro MP, but his seven siblings became thoroughly obscure.

As far as the romanovs are concerned, we might cite the example of Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich, who went into exile in England in about 1891 after making an improper marriage, and also became thoroughly obscure, known only as the father-in-law of George Battenberg and father of Lady Zia Wernher, who was a leading society figure between the wars. Ironically perhaps, Mikhail Mikhailovich is buried in Highgate Cemetery, just like Karl Marx!

Offline edubs31

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #172 on: March 07, 2012, 10:09:47 AM »
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That's the sad irony of the whole thing.  Had NAOTMAA just been sent into exile, they would have quietly faded into obscurity.

Or maybe we can have some fun with this as well...

King George V rescinds his objections and allows the IF to live in exile in England. He goes to considerable measure to make sure that while they are well taken care of that they are also kept out of the limelight. In a situation that mirrors closely their experiences in Tsarskoye Selo (but without the palatial digs they were accustomed) their attitude goes from being thankful just to be out of harms way in Russia to embittered and agitated.

Alexei's, while still alive, continues to struggle with his illness. Nicholas II knocked off of his perch for good and feeling chastened begins to act depressed and withdrawn. Also depressed by their current "status" as deposed former rulers Alexandra, already prone to such behavior, develops violent mood swings. She argues openly with her husband and lashes out at the daughters over the slightest offense. At first all of her energy, love and tenderness goes to Alexei who she continues to dote upon like a toddler even though he is now in his mid-teens.

But Alexei too has up grown considerably since the beginning of their captivity. Heart broken to see his father in such a state, irritated by his smothering and compulsive mother, and feeling that his illness has precipitated the downfall of his family and his country he too begins a transformation. His confidant is Olga, the oldest and wisest of the daughters but more importantly never one to shy away from challenging her mother. Arguments are frequent and the internal struggle is being waged on several fronts...Nicholas vs. Alexandra, Olga/Alexei vs. Alexandra, Tatiana vs. Olga, etc.

Across the pond in the United States the daughters have been in correspondence with a number of well to do families. Most of these with Russian heritage, naturally sympathetic to the Romanov's ordeal, who "humbly" offer their homes and service as an alternative to their cramped lifestyle in England (think something along the lines of Sergei Rachmaninoff taking in Anna Anderson).

The year is now 1920 or '21. The family, barely functioning as a unit in spite of their deep faith and love for one another has reached a breaking point. The daughters, and to a lesser extend Alexei, naturally want experiences (and love) not afforded to them in their current situation. Already weary of post-war Europe they are provided with an offer from a wealthy aristocratic family in New York City. OTMA decides this is an opportunity they cannot refuse. They construct an elaborate lie, telling their parents that they are on a two month voyage across the Atlantic to see and experience America, when instead they hope to make the Big Apple their permanent residence. Nicholas & Alexandra are barred from traveling abroad, and Alexei is too weak and needy to take part in the initial journey, but the daughters (all adults now anyway) are free to go.

They come to New York City, the details of their arrival having been leaked to the press, and much to their surprise are greeted by a rapturous welcome. The daughters are instantly thrust into the limelight of the "Roaring 20s" and become popular socialites. Many opportunities are afforded to them...some titillating, other outlandish. The obstreperous yet charming Anastasia, with her relative youth and dramatic flare, proves a natural for the stage or film...something that she will ultimately make a career out of. Maria prefers a more secluded lifestyle after deciding to elope with an Aristocratic former soldier of Russian lineage. Olga and Tatiana become the object of affection for many an eligible bachelor...

Tim and/or Ann, care to write the rest or fill in the blanks? lol, you're better at this sort of thing than me :-)

Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Robert_Hall

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #173 on: March 07, 2012, 10:59:03 AM »
Fun, it is, just that.  We are in Having fun here now.  Speculation and deduction. This is just fantasy now.

Offline TimM

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #174 on: March 07, 2012, 11:20:17 AM »
I'll take up this what-if in the Having Fun section...
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Robert_Hall

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #175 on: March 07, 2012, 11:57:39 AM »
It is good fun, I do mean  to be a critic. Just the subject is no longer a serious discussion. You are a good writer of fantasy, so that is where it belongs, IMO.

Alixz

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #176 on: March 07, 2012, 12:54:35 PM »
Before I echo Robert's very just response, I want to add that perhaps Olga or even Tatiana might now marry David of Wales and there goes Mrs. Simpson.

As Eminem has said, "Now back to reality...."

Robert_Hall

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #177 on: March 07, 2012, 01:46:24 PM »
Sorry Tim, I was trying to say I do NOT mean to be a critic.
  Interesting thought, Alixz. But do you think the Windsors would go along with another Romanov in the family ?

Offline edubs31

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #178 on: March 07, 2012, 01:52:58 PM »
Yup, agreed...and sorry to have veered off course a tad, and I'll retire this particular notion momentarily...but just to clarify, my little fleshed out fantasy started as a response to the assertion that...

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Had NAOTMAA just been sent into exile, they would have quietly faded into obscurity.

My suggestion is that there are possible scenarios, like the one I just gave, where OTMA could have actually become socialites or even renowned celebrities. Even if Nicholas had somehow retained the throne, should the daughters have eventually married anyone less than eventual Kings their status as little more than royal footnotes would have been secure.

But granted exile & freedom could have garnered them even more fame. Not as daughters of a Tsar and/or wives of European royalty but perhaps something along the lines of "cause celebre". The 1920s was really the decade that "popular culture" began...it was an era of emerging celebrities. I think it's entirely possible that OTMA, and maybe even Alexei, could have been brought into this culture and could have left a more lasting impression than we might assume...
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Robert_Hall

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #179 on: March 07, 2012, 02:19:56 PM »
I do not know, edubs, they were awfully naive and sheltered. Do you really think they could handle celebrity ?
 Royalty was risky business apre guerre,  so that would not neccessarily be an issue, as you say. The family were so insular, could they have broken out of the shell, so to speak.
 The more outgoing may have made it in Hollywood but  royal princesses were rather  common at that time [see Russians in Hollywood by Robinson for example].
 As I have ssaid NII's fate was pretty much a given.  And as Ann mentioned, Alexei was pretty much a fated case one way or the other.
 I do not think Alexandra would have lasted because of her own health.   Their European relatives seemed unwilling to take them in, even if they could.
  Those "girls" were not very worldly and most likely would not have adapted, just by the nature of their upbringing.
 They seem not very clever and had no obvious talents.   We are the ones making them up for our own imaginations.  What we might like them to have been.
 I can envision at least 2 becoming devout nuns. Perhaps  a third.
 Nicholas himself was was already  seen as pretty much a dolt [the ambassadors memoirs, Buchannan & Paleologue]. Naturally, they would not put it the same way I just did.
 The Rasputin affair pretty much proved that as well,  along with his other actions..
 I do not remember the source, but I read or heard that Hitler once said he would have preferred to fight a  bunch of Romanovs  rather than Stalin. And the Romanovs were, essentially, German !