Author Topic: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?  (Read 70813 times)

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Offline edubs31

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #90 on: February 24, 2012, 09:15:27 AM »
Tim) I think that's pretty spot on...

I'd be curious however to know how much relinquished power Nicholas would have acquiesced to...or perhaps to word it better...how much power would Alexandra allow him to relinquish to the Duma? They probably would have had no choice but I think a lot would have depended on the nature of the rescue. While obviously living with a growing sense of discomfort in Ekaterinburg the general naivety, as has been suggested, regarding their fate might not allow N&A to appreciate just how close they were to death. In that case Nicholas might have stubbornly tried to rally support around his divine right to rule as autocrat...how successful he would have been in convincing enough of the masses or those in power to "return things to normal" we'll never know. But I agree with you Tim, and I personally doubt the Duma would have permitted his reinstatement to the throne without major concessions.

On the other hand a lengthy period of captivity certainly seems to have had an emotional effect on Nicholas. Being humbled and chastened, even without the knowledge of he and his family's impending doom, can change a man. Alexei's condition would have complicated things further because the private knowledge they had that he was unlikely to live long into adulthood really could have dictated N&A's post-revolution approach. As frustrating as being the reduced leader of the new constitutional monarchy might be, knowing that a male heir of your line wouldn't carry on the Romanov name may have been too much to accept. Of course the opposite could have been true as well...knowing that his line was going to die with him anyway Nicholas could have been more at peace with his diminished role of Tsar.

Kalafrana) I also tend to agree with this. A healthy son and heir apparent would probably have kept her personality traits to the level of "eccentric Empress". But Alyosha's tragic disease made her possessive, obsessive, and irrational. All was sadly lost in 1904-05 and only a Hail Mary pass to the endzone, which was never even attempted, probably could have rescue the Empire thereafter...
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Alixz

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #91 on: February 24, 2012, 09:17:54 AM »
Also about Alexandra not having or trying to have any more children.  Her track record wasn't very good. Four girls and a hemophiliac son. She and Nicholas both might not have wanted to take another chance. I don't know that I would either.

If I gave birth to one son who was sick, even though she knew that her sisters and relatives who carried hemophilia had also produced healthy children, I might have been afraid to try again.  And also, the future children could well have been more girls.  

Did people understand at that time that the father determined the sex of the child and not the mother?  If Alexandra didn't know that or understand it, she might have been blaming herself. From the conversations before Alexei was born, it seems that way.

Offline edubs31

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #92 on: February 24, 2012, 09:29:25 AM »
Quote
The fact the she was the carrier of the disease and that she did not suffer from it was also, in my opinion, another blow she just couldn't recover from.

And if I have an ounce of sympathy for her this is where it exists...

I'm thinking of the Spala incident in particular but obviously numerous instances of health complications with her son could be made example of. I really can't imagine the personal torment that must have gripped her. A) You're child has an incurable disease that will almost certainly cut his life well short. B) The diseased was passed to that child through you. C) The child is your one and only son. D) Your son is heir to the throne of an Empire. E) You have a sworn responsibility to produce an heir that will one day lead your country through, what was at the present time, an extremely difficult and dangerous period. F) You're aren't exactly in the best physical health yourself.

A+B+C+D+E+F = Good Lord! :-(
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Alixz

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #93 on: February 24, 2012, 09:31:04 AM »
And one more thing.  I doubt that the duma or the people of Russia would have wanted Nicholas as weak as he was back on the throne. I also doubt that the family could have retired to Livadia and obscurity.

I am currently reading Catherine - The Great by Massie.  He points out that when Elizabeth took over from Ivan VI she had to keep him in prison in order to prevent another palace coup like the one that brought her to power.

Catherine had to dispose of Peter III for the same reason. She had the Orlovs to do it for her. Massie points out that she seems not to have ordered the murder herself but that she would have had to deal with Peter III at some time in the future in order to keep the throne.

"Uneasy lies a head that wears the crown." Shakespeare - Henry IV

I would imagine that the duma would have been in the same position.  I also doubt that the Vladimirovichi would have taken Nicholas back without putting up an autocratic battle that their branch of the family was better suited to rule that a neutered Nicholas.

Nicholas neutered by Alexandra, buy the pending loss of a hemophiliac son and now a Constitutional Monarch with no heir to pass the limited power on to unless the Pauline Laws WERE changed.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 09:34:24 AM by Alixz »

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #94 on: February 24, 2012, 11:40:06 AM »
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]If I gave birth to one son who was sick, even though she knew that her sisters and relatives who carried hemophilia had also produced healthy children, I might have been afraid to try again.  And also, the future children could well have been more girls.'

All this is perfectly true, the point I'm making is that it seems to have been completely ruled out from the start. Also, contraception in those days was nothing like as reliable as today. Given the long gap between Waldemar and Sigismund, I think it highly likely that Heinrich and Irene tried to avoid having any more children, but without success.

Ann
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 11:56:53 AM by Alixz »

Offline Petr

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #95 on: February 24, 2012, 12:39:20 PM »
Scenario:  Nicky and the family are rescued by the Whites.  The Reds are defeated, and Lenin and Co. are executed like the criminals they were.

Okay, what happens next.  I can see two possibilities.

1.  Nicky gets his throne back, BUT he's now a Constitutional monarch, like the British.  The Duma has all the real power, Nicky is a figurehead and performs the same duties that George V does.

2.  The Duma decides not to bring the monarchy back.  Nicky and family retire to the Crimea, where they peacefully fade into obscurity.

There is a third alternative -- Exile (viz., the Greek Royal family, the Spanish Royal Family (until Franco brought them back), the Hapsburgs and the Hohenzollerns, etc.)   

Petr
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Alixz

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #96 on: February 24, 2012, 01:14:24 PM »
Tim - you are so very dependable in your views.

Petr - Exile would have been another option, but no one seemed to want to take the family in.  They had numerous relatives by relation and marriage but no one offered except George V and then he took it back.

Nicholas and his family seemed to be an embarrassment to the rest of the European Royalty.  No one wanted to be connected to them after the abdication and I think that no thought through the future and that the whole family would be murdered.

Offline edubs31

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #97 on: February 24, 2012, 02:25:31 PM »
Nicholas and his family seemed to be an embarrassment to the rest of the European Royalty.  No one wanted to be connected to them after the abdication and I think that no thought through the future and that the whole family would be murdered.

Yeah I guess they never really knew how alone they were until their fate was already decided. Glad they had each other of course...right to the awful end. Still I shudder with sadness thinking about how unwanted, as you put it, the siblings were just being connected to their parents. For they had no crimes to answer for.

Their lives could and should have been spared but not for the shortsightedness and cruelty of those around them. Lives cut short in a most horrific fashion. One never fully able to enjoy his short existence. Punished for the sins of their parents and others. Casualties of war and revolution. Unwanted..........lives of privilege and splendor my @$$
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bestfriendsgirl

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #98 on: February 24, 2012, 07:01:31 PM »
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What ever the reason for her irrational change of personality from humble German Princess to haughty Russian Empress (drunk with power and position) it began as far back as Walden when she began to "forgive" Nicholas for things that she had no business even judging.

How many of us "forgive" out mates for things that they did before we knew them?  Who Nicholas loved and "dated" was none of her business. She was his future not his past.

Maybe so. But Nicholas felt pretty guilty about his affair with Matilde - I'm sure it was he who sought her forgiveness, especially as he was seeing Matilde and seeking permission to marry Alix at the same time.
Oh, and btw, I'm insanely jealous of all my husband's ex-girlfriends!  ;)

Offline TimM

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #99 on: February 25, 2012, 02:12:41 AM »
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I'd be curious however to know how much relinquished power Nicholas would have acquiesced to...or perhaps to word it better...how much power would Alexandra allow him to relinquish to the Duma? They probably would have had no choice but I think a lot would have depended on the nature of the rescue. While obviously living with a growing sense of discomfort in Ekaterinburg the general naivety, as has been suggested, regarding their fate might not allow N&A to appreciate just how close they were to death. In that case Nicholas might have stubbornly tried to rally support around his divine right to rule as autocrat...how successful he would have been in convincing enough of the masses or those in power to "return things to normal" we'll never know. But I agree with you Tim, and I personally doubt the Duma would have permitted his reinstatement to the throne without major concessions.


That's it exactly, the Duma would probably have said to Nicky:  "You get your throne back ONLY as a Constitutional Monarch.  Take it or leave it."  Alix would have no say in the matter whatsoever.


Quote
There is a third alternative -- Exile (viz., the Greek Royal family, the Spanish Royal Family (until Franco brought them back), the Hapsburgs and the Hohenzollerns, etc.)  


Yeah, there is that option.


Quote
Exile would have been another option, but no one seemed to want to take the family in.  They had numerous relatives by relation and marriage but no one offered except George V and then he took it back.

Nicholas and his family seemed to be an embarrassment to the rest of the European Royalty.

As I have said, they could have come here to Canada.  We have a large Russian population out west, they could have gone there.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 02:15:28 AM by TimM »
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feodorovna

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #100 on: February 25, 2012, 08:22:21 AM »
I agree that it was the birth of Alexei and then finding out that he was ill and could not be healed by ordinary means.

Before that point, Alexandra had taken the Tsar and her family out of the mainstream of Russian society and made many enemies, but she always had the sincere hope of providing an heir and thus rehabilitating herself in the eyes of the nation.  She would, in my opinion, have believed she would be proven right in all things when she gave Nicholas and Russia an heir.

I do think that she was "on the road" to her final trip over the edge as early as Nicholas's typhoid illness.  Even then, she tried to have the laws changed to favor Olga as heir over Michael or have herself proclaimed regent for the child she was carrying in case it might be a boy.  It, of course, wasn't. It was Maria.

What ever the reason for her irrational change of personality from humble German Princess to haughty Russian Empress (drunk with power and position) it began as far back as Walden when she began to "forgive" Nicholas for things that she had no business even judging.

How many of us "forgive" out mates for things that they did before we knew them?  Who Nicholas loved and "dated" was none of her business. She was his future not his past.

But she always thought that she would be the one to provide the future for Russia and the heir to carry on the autocracy.  The birth of Alexei changed all of that.  The fact the she was the carrier of the disease and that she did not suffer from it was also, in my opinion, another blow she just couldn't recover from.


Kalafrana and Alixz, spot on, both of you, but may I add something more (quirky?) to your mix? Alexei was not her first child but the product of a 6/7 pregnancy if we choose to believe stories of miscarriage/phantom pregnancy all of which seem to have taken a heavy toll on her physical health. It's not impossible that Alexei was a last attempt to get a boy so we can imagine her joy and relief when a fine, big boy is delivered. Then imagine the effect it has when it is revealed that this precious boy carries a potentially fatal flaw for which she is responsible and no power on earth can heal him. It may be that this was the moment that all reason fled, pushed out, partly by overwhelming guilt, and partly by the need to save her child at all costs. Did she determine, illogical as it may seem to us, that come what may, she would make certain that her son's birthright would be there for him as it always had been, unchanged and in tact? Did she believe that if she could accomplish this her son MUST live to take up his inheritance and her guilt might be assuaged?Can it be wondered at how desperately she clung to Rasputin? Could it be that in "forgiving" Nicky she sought her own forgiveness?
I was struck by the comment about "the personality change from humble German Princess to haughty Russian Empress," I wonder if she actually ever FELT like a Russian Empress or if she just managed to mask the "humble German Princess" never very far from the surface? She was not given any time to grow into the role, indeed, was catapulted into it, whereas her gregarious mother in law had been given ample time to develop it in her own way. Might not a "humble German Princess" have been scared WITLESS by a vivacious, popular ma in law and covered it with an aloof mask?
It was her duty to "provide for the future of Russia with an heir to carry on the autocracy." She failed in her duty. She failed her husband. She failed the dynasty.........and to those who accuse her of being unbalanced, in her position, who wouldn't be?

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #101 on: February 25, 2012, 12:40:10 PM »
'That's it exactly, the Duma would probably have said to Nicky:  "You get your throne back ONLY as a Constitutional Monarch.  Take it or leave it."  Alix would have no say in the matter whatsoever.'

But Nicholas would not have made a decision without discussing it with Alexandra, and Alexandra would not have accepted a constititional monarchy.

Ann

Robert_Hall

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #102 on: February 25, 2012, 12:46:57 PM »
 Interesting, Ann.  However, no such offer was made. The whole idea was to eliminate Nicholas [but I do not think  th PG had execution in mind].  The only hope would have GD Michael. Alexandra may have had great influence of Nicholas, but at this point, she was effectively neutered.  After all, he abdicated without consulting her.  Which begs the question Why ?

Offline edubs31

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #103 on: February 25, 2012, 03:16:36 PM »
'That's it exactly, the Duma would probably have said to Nicky:  "You get your throne back ONLY as a Constitutional Monarch.  Take it or leave it."  Alix would have no say in the matter whatsoever.'

But Nicholas would not have made a decision without discussing it with Alexandra, and Alexandra would not have accepted a constititional monarchy.

Ann


Makes sense Ann and I too believe the Duma would have served up in ultimatum to Nicholas. But Alix' "no say in the matter" is probably accurate only with regardless to the Duma's offer...her influence would still play a huge part in her husband's decision to accept such an offer I'd have to believe.

Does it sound inconceivable that Alix', not Russian herself and never popular amongst it's people, would have favored moving the family abroad rather to have accepted the "humiliation" of mere figurehead status? Just a thought...
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Offline TimM

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Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« Reply #104 on: February 25, 2012, 05:23:23 PM »
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'That's it exactly, the Duma would probably have said to Nicky:  "You get your throne back ONLY as a Constitutional Monarch.  Take it or leave it."  Alix would have no say in the matter whatsoever.'

But Nicholas would not have made a decision without discussing it with Alexandra, and Alexandra would not have accepted a constitutional monarchy.

Then Nicky would have two choices:

1.  Tell the Duma that it's no deal and then ask them to send the family to the Crimea or something like that.

2.  Man up and tell Alix that it's a Constitutional Monarchy, end of debate.

Alix would have to realize that a return to autocratic rule is just not gonna happen.  She should look to her grandmother, who managed to work with a Parliament.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 05:43:04 PM by TimM »
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