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  #1  
Old 02-26-2010, 06:21 AM
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What would've happened to Russia had it not entered WWI?

I was just wondering: what could Russia be like now if it didn't enter World War I. Would the monarchy still be in place now? Would it have been turned into a constitutional monarchy (given that there already was a Duma at this time)? What would happen if the Russian Revolution of 1917 never started at all and the Bolsheviks never gained power?
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:05 PM
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I imagine Russia would have evolved into a constitutional monarchy. It was moving in that direction, albeit slowly, before the world erupted into flames during WWI
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:16 PM
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I agree. It was Russia's involvement in WWI that led to the destruction of the monarchy. It was already very unpopular, but going to war ill-equipped and with food shortage sealed the monarchy's fate.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:32 PM
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I believe that it might not have turned easily into a constitutional monarchy. Even though WWI was propably the final straw,things were realy ugly before that in the coutry. People were protesting, communism used to spread, Duma had terrible fights with the Romanovs and the whole autocratic establishment.... I personally believe that there was a possibily for the Russian Empire to face civil war at some extent.
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:35 PM
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I wonder if they might have dethroned Nicholas and Alexandra and put Alexis in or at least Michael. Interesting question.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:51 PM
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I agree with Russo, I think Nicholas and Alix would have to have been removed from power. And knowing Alix, she wouldn't allowed Alexis to far from her arms, so maybe Michael? Or even Cyril ??
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:16 AM
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I think that a revolution would have happened regardless of Russia entering the war or not. The country and it's people were suffering and hungry and feelings of hatred toward the Monarchy were growing daily, with help from the Bolsheviks and other Socialist organizations. Civil strikes and demonstrations were brutally ended by the Tsar's forces and the Tsar had a secret police that spied on citizens and sent so-called traitors to camps in Siberia or to secret prisons, also the Russian people resented the Tsarina as we all know and when she brought Rasputin into the Court, the resentment grew as rumors spread that it was Alexandra and Rasputin were lovers.
If it weren't for Russia entering the war, the revolution probably would not have happened for a few more years. The Bolsheviks were very lucky that the war came along in that it made their cause easier to accept among the people.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaLandgrave View Post
I agree with Russo, I think Nicholas and Alix would have to have been removed from power. And knowing Alix, she wouldn't allowed Alexis to far from her arms, so maybe Michael? Or even Cyril ??
Well you know the rivalry between Michen and Minnie and Nicky and Alicky, I don't think they would have let Cyril and co. take over so easily.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:30 AM
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Very true, Russo.... I was just thinking along the lines of precedence.
Maybe Alexei with Michael as Regent....?
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:36 AM
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In my opinion, the Romanovs would have stood a chance of surviving by putting Tsar Mikhail, who had some support among generals, to rule and completely removing Tsar Nicholas and his family, who happened to irritate/alienate common people and nobility alike.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:29 AM
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Removing Rasputin and Alix from the mix would have made things easier for Nicholas, unfortunately the poor man didn't have the backbone to stand up to his wife.
Having said that, the monarchy may have had a better chance with Michael at the wheel. Maybe he would have been able to bridge the gaps, smooth over the rough spots, and put Russia on the right road.
Very interesting "what if" thread!
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:26 PM
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How could Russia not have become involved in the events which rapidly turned into World War I?

Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Russia's ally Serbia was given an ultimatum by the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was then followed by the declaration of war. Vienna thought it would be a short and limited war not involving anyone else;
However, Russia, bound by treaty to Serbia, mobilised its forces;
Germany, allied to Austria-Hungary by treaty, viewed the mobilisation as an act of war against Austria-Hungary and declared war on Russia;
France, bound by treaty to Russia, found itself at war with Germany and by extension Austria-Hungary;
and so it went on until all the powers were dragged into the morass...
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:58 PM
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Warren is correct, but all else is supposition and fun. Russia would have had a revolution, anyway. Too much unhappiness, too much despair, too much distrust of the Monarchy, too much poverty. Remember, "there are none so free, as those who have nothing to lose". Russia was a cesspool of all the ailments of the world, with little tolerance to outside ideas. It was living in the 15th century in a 20th century world. Nicky and Alix were Alice and Wonderland the the rest was the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Alexis' ailment exacerbated the whole insanity.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:17 PM
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Right you are. The acts of terror carried out by Narodnaya Volya such as Alexander II's assassination did not spur the Romanovs to take any meaningful actions to address the issues, which were the cause of the revolutions of 1905 and 1917.
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren View Post
How could Russia not have become involved in the events which rapidly turned into World War I?

Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Russia's ally Serbia was given an ultimatum by the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was then followed by the declaration of war. Vienna thought it would be a short and limited war not involving anyone else;
However, Russia, bound by treaty to Serbia, mobilised its forces;
Germany, allied to Austria-Hungary by treaty, viewed the mobilisation as an act of war against Austria-Hungary and declared war on Russia;
France, bound by treaty to Russia, found itself at war with Germany and by extension Austria-Hungary;
and so it went on until all the powers were dragged into the morass...
Absolutely right, Russia had no choice because of the treaties it had been bonded to just as the other countries. I don't want to turn this into something political. Each of the countries involved had engaged in intricate pacts to defend one another with the blessings of each one's government and Monarchy. When the assassination happened, these countries essentially found themselves backed into the corner by their actions and it was fight to defend your ally or don't fight and lose face and face condemnation. Russia chose to enter the war and fight and it ultimately was the beginning of the end for the Monarchy.
Warren, if you feel this post is too political, please feel free to delete.
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:23 AM
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There's a continuing misunderstanding about this. The discussion of politics is not 'banned' or frowned upon in the Forums. Members' Corner is a politics-free zone but in the royal-related threads it is discouraged only where it has no relevance to the topic. Any discussion, real or hypothetical, of the involvement of the Russian Empire in the events which rapidly escalated into WWI will necessarily involve analysis of the political situation within Russia and across Europe.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaLandgrave View Post
Removing Rasputin and Alix from the mix would have made things easier for Nicholas, unfortunately the poor man didn't have the backbone to stand up to his wife.
Having said that, the monarchy may have had a better chance with Michael at the wheel. Maybe he would have been able to bridge the gaps, smooth over the rough spots, and put Russia on the right road.
Very interesting "what if" thread!
Misha had a lot of respect from the generals, he fought with his company at the front of the line, after being given a rather shatty commission (this from the Crawfords book--opinion is Russo's potty mouth) and with the Afghans? I think? It was a rag tag team of fierce fighters. Sort of like the Gurkhas. Misha and Natasha, even though it was a morganatic marriage, had set up a court of sorts that Marie the younger hung out at (see Crawwfords book). So he had some support there, unfortunately, Misha took his vow to the Tsar very, very seriously and would NOT go against Nicky. Too bad. Things might have been different.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:40 AM
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Kaizer wanted war in 1914. (The forgotten Tsar's telegram to Kaizer Wilhelm)

The World War I Document Archive:
The Willy-Nicky Telegrams - World War I Document Archive
There we see that 29-31 July 1914 for two or three telegrams a day was to exchange telegrams.
Now ATTENTION, please:
Quote:
Tsar to Kaiser, July 29, 8:20 P.M.
Peter's Court Palace, 29 July 1914
Thanks for your telegram conciliatory and friendly. Whereas official message presented today by your ambassador to my minister was conveyed in a very different tone. Beg you to explain this divergency! It would be right to give over the Austro-servian problem to the Hague conference. Trust in your wisdom and friendship.
Your loving Nicky
This was followed by another five or six telegrams (including three from Kaiser) - but none of Kaiser's telegrams had not answered to the proposal to refer consideration of Nicholas II of the conflict in the Hague tribunal.
It's actually a very important point. Can be little doubt that the international court in The Hague likely would sacrifice all the interests of Serbia, for the sake of preserving peace in Europe. There is no doubt that Nicholas II knew it. But there is no doubt in the fact that Kaiser understood this also - therefor he had not replied to this telegram to Nicholas II. So, Kaiser had ignored the suggestion to refer the dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia to The Hague! Kaiser has wanted the war in 1914!
***
M.Palaeologus. "Tsarist Russia during World War" (page 155, 156 - in Russian):
Quote:
The Forgotten Tsar's telegram to Emperor Wilhelm.
Sunday, January 31, 1915 Petrograd "Governmental Herald publishes the text of the telegram dated 29 July last year in which Emperor Nicholas suggested that Emperor Wilhelm convey the Austro-Serbian dispute the Hague tribunal. Here is the text of the document:
"Thanks for your telegram conciliatory and friendly. Whereas official message presented today by your ambassador to my minister was conveyed in a very different tone. Beg you to explain this divergency! It would be right to give over the Austro-servian problem to the Hague conference. Trust in your wisdom and friendship."
The German government has not seen fit to publish this telegram to the number of messages that are exchanged directly, both the monarch during the crisis preceding the war.
<...>
M.Palaeologus:
- And what a terrible responsibility assumed the Emperor Wilhelm, leaving without a word of reply sentence of Nicholas! He could not respond to an offer otherwise than agreeing to it. And he did not answer because he wanted war.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:58 AM
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The biggest problem is that Russians were sent in horrifically underequipped to fight; they had almost no weaponry, little ammunition and so many millions of Russians ended up as nothing but cannon fodder for German tanks and machine guns. After a while so many thought the war was pointless. War provided another form of propaganda for the Reds to use against the Imperial family as well.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:45 AM
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One point the Germans had virtually no tanks in WW1 as they didn't believe they were all that useful (and they weren't until 1918 by which time Russia was out of the war).

Another point was that despite how poorly prepared the Russians were they still managed to tie down about 5/8s of the German army until early 1918 (meaning that the industrialised nations of Britain and France were only fighting 3/8s of the army in the West).

Russia didn't have to get involved in the war at all but chose to do so in defence of Serbia but after the poor showing of the Russian troops in the Russo-Japanese War and the poor performance diplomatically in the years before the war the Tsar would have lost a lot of what little prestige he still had in 1914 had he not brought Russia into the war. Stupid decision by a stupid man who ended up getting his just deserts (although it would have been better if he had been put on trial first and then publicly executed for his crimes rather than murdered in secret).
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