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  #1  
Old 02-24-2008, 06:54 PM
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Alexander II and III "what ifs"

Alexander II was known as a reformer. He recognized that the spirit of Russia was changing and realized that changes must be made if the monarchy were to survive.
He abolished capital punshiment and abolished slavery; relazed laws on censorship; developed a new penal code. He seemed to sense that revolution was on the horizon and work towards keeping it at bay. Some scholars have suggested that Alexander II was on a path of Westernization and had that path continued, Russia might have established a Constitutional monarchy instead of an autocracy.

The assassination of this Reformer Tsar left his son, Alexander III ruler of all Russia. Alexander III lacked the temperament of his father and did not share his ideas of reform. He wasn't prepared to take the throne. His brother, Nicholas, was the heir apparent until in his death in 1865. Nicholas's death came as a blow to Alexander II who lost heart and was lacked the energy needed to education his second son. Therefore, the relationship between the two was strained.

When Alexander III became tsar, he did away with many of the reforms made by his father and returned to more of an autocratic rule. His rule could be described as "anti-reform."

After all of that here is the question, do you think Alexander II would have continued in his father's footsteps had his father devoted more time to his education? Was Alexander II's reaction to reform based on fear having seen his own father killed? His autocratic ways set the stage for the next tsar, who would be the last tsar of Russia.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:42 PM
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its Difficult to say Hindsight being what it is so I Cannot say id like to think Alexander II Wouldve help mould his son had he lived and that possibly couldve saved the Dynasty
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:55 PM
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its Difficult to say Hindsight being what it is so I Cannot say id like to think Alexander II Wouldve help mould his son had he lived and that possibly couldve saved the Dynasty
Thank you to responding to my post.

Yes, you would think. But he didn't help Alexander after Nicholas died. He didn't have the heart for it. He was devasted by his oldest son's death. Prior to that Alexander III had received no formal training to become a tsar. There was no reason for him too. The rellationship between Alexander II & III was strained at best. I think Alexander II resented his father and I also think he was an angry man.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:04 PM
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Alexandra who, after Nicholas died? I don't think it was a contest. Alexander II was a bright man, with foresight, as to the real situation in Russia. Yet, he was still assinated. He did see, that the way they ruled had to be modified. He understood international politics. Alexander III, had no real formal education in international politics nor how to rule a nation. He got to his position by attrition. He was quite stubborn and never wanted to deal with change. Yet, he was a wonderful husband and father. He just did not have the temperment or credentials to rule a nation, especially at the time he did.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:26 AM
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Sorry about that. Alexander.
I agree it is not a contest. I was hoping for a discussion about the relationship between Alexander III and his father and how that might have impacted the decisions he made a Tsar.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:52 PM
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Although Alexander II "freed the serfs," many of them found themselves in the same situation except in name. It was like when the slavery was abolished in the US, but after the Civil War, many blacks became involved in sharecropping which was almost the same as slavery except in name.

I guess Alexander II's reforms were progressive but ultimately not quite effective...and it things only got worse when Alexander III reversed them.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:08 PM
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The reign of Alexander III was an unmitigated disaster, followed by the pathetically inept and tragic Nicholas II. By then of course Russia was in an impossible situation. If the constitutional reforms that were on the desk of Alexander II had been implemented it is possible Russia would have been spared the horrendous nightmare that followed. If the land reform had been begun twenty years earlier then all might have been saved.

The truth about the matter is that Alexander III was a not very intelligent indidividual who was, as the British say, above his ceiling. With appalling consequence.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:12 PM
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Thomas,
You summed it up very well. Alexander was megalomaniac who was convinced he ruled by Divine Right. He believed that his own brand of religious autocracy was well suited for the Russian people and saw himself as a god-like autocrat. He was opposed to the Petrine model of autocracy because it would put limits on the Tsar's powers. He preferred the principles of personal rule and distrusted bureaucracy. Had he followed in the footsteps of his father, the Revolution might have been avoided.
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:03 PM
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There was still a step between revolution and Alexander III and that was Nicholas II. Alexander II called Alexander III the bullock. He knew his son was not bright and very stubborn and, yet, as many presumed he would bypass this "lesser intellect", for his more urbane and charming son Vladimir. Yet, he didn't. Pobedonostsev, held back courting Alexander III favour, for he really though that Alexander II, would not allow him to be the heir.
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:01 AM
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Countess,
I am confused. How could anyone have thought he would bypass Alexander II? According to the laws of succession, he was next in line. He was one of the most influential men in Alexander II's empire.
Lexi
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:05 AM
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There was still a step between revolution and Alexander III and that was Nicholas II. Alexander II called Alexander III the bullock. He knew his son was not bright and very stubborn and, yet, as many presumed he would bypass this "lesser intellect", for his more urbane and charming son Vladimir. Yet, he didn't. Pobedonostsev, held back courting Alexander III favour, for he really though that Alexander II, would not allow him to be the heir.
This is interesting. Sources, Countess?
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:12 PM
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King-Kaiser-Tsar, by Catrine Clay, pages 47 and 48. I, too, wondered about that statement, as succession was succession.
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:34 PM
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I was wondering, why would we think that Vladimir would have done a 'better' job? Wasn't he the one that was always urging Nicholas II not to allow any kind of liberalism and such?
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:43 PM
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King-Kaiser-Tsar, by Catrine Clay, pages 47 and 48. I, too, wondered about that statement, as succession was succession.
Thank you very much Countess. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around that statement. You are correct, succession was succession and there was never any question, once Nicholas was dead, over whether or not Alexander III would become the Tsar. In fact, some of his education was changed after his brother's death which was more in line with the studies of a tsar.
Thank you for the source. What do you make of it?
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:06 PM
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Tsars can and have changed succession rights. Paul did it to females, as his relationship with his mother was terrible. Catherine would have done it to him. But, that was long ago. Nicholas I came to power, because his older brother Constantine refused to leave Warsaw and rule. Who knows. Perhaps, Alexander III, could have been persuaded, to step aside, in favor of his more urbane and intelligent brother, Vladimir. I have never read that account before, but it is possible. I, think, that it was more in outsiders minds, than in Alexander II mind.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:31 PM
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King-Kaiser-Tsar, by Catrine Clay, pages 47 and 48. I, too, wondered about that statement, as succession was succession.
Thanks for the book. I wasn't familiar with that one. I'll have to find it!
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:32 PM
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Tsars can and have changed succession rights. Paul did it to females, as his relationship with his mother was terrible. Catherine would have done it to him. But, that was long ago. Nicholas I came to power, because his older brother Constantine refused to leave Warsaw and rule. Who knows. Perhaps, Alexander III, could have been persuaded, to step aside, in favor of his more urbane and intelligent brother, Vladimir. I have never read that account before, but it is possible. I, think, that it was more in outsiders minds, than in Alexander II mind.
Oooh, I thought it was because Constantine had a morganitic marriage in addition to not wanting to leave. Wasn't it said he used to fire cannons in his palace?
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:12 PM
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Constantine was as strange as his father and looked a great deal like Paul. Catherine married him of to Princess Julianne of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, an aunt of Queen Victoria's, but they were separated for 19 years and after 20 years that marriage was annulled. He was appointed Governor of Poland and he like his job. Two months after his annulment he married Countess Joanna Grundzenska, who became Duchess of Lowicz. In connection with this he did renounce the throne. On Alexander I's death, Nicholas still had his brother procalimed Tsar. Thus the Decemberist Revolution and Constatine renounced the throne after one month.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:12 AM
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Tsars can and have changed succession rights. Paul did it to females, as his relationship with his mother was terrible. Catherine would have done it to him. But, that was long ago. Nicholas I came to power, because his older brother Constantine refused to leave Warsaw and rule. Who knows. Perhaps, Alexander III, could have been persuaded, to step aside, in favor of his more urbane and intelligent brother, Vladimir. I have never read that account before, but it is possible. I, think, that it was more in outsiders minds, than in Alexander II mind.
In a sense, Nicholas did change succession laws when he abdicated the throne for Alexei. But by that point in time, it really didn't matter much. The dynasty was doomed.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:56 AM
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But czars had changed succession before. Didn't Peter the Great keep the right to name his successor himself?

He was not the only czar that did that.
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