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  #641  
Old 11-16-2020, 11:20 PM
Majesty
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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By Nicholas II's reign it was far too late. The rot against autocracy set it at the time of the Decembrists early in the 19th century. If moves towards democracy had begun in the 1830s there might have been a chance. After that, it was one slow decline to disaster IMO.

After the assassination of Alexander the Liberator, Nicholas's grandfather, his son Alexander III was determined to retain autocracy and strengthen it. His younger brothers agreed with that philosophy and had an enormous influence over the young and inexperienced Tsar Nicholas.

Alexandra didn't interest herself in politics in the earlier years of her marriage. And she was quite happy with the way things were. When her grandmother Victoria spoke to her about being gracious to commoners she replied 'Here' (in Russia) 'it is not necessary to seek the favour of the people'.

She was in fact quite upset when a limited Duma was set up after the mini-revolution in 1905 that 'Baby' (Alexei) wouldn't inherit the same powers and prestige as his ancestors.
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  #642  
Old 11-17-2020, 09:01 AM
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I think that there was a chance even at the beginning of Nicky's reign. If it didn't save the dynasty, it might have at least saved their lives... if he had allowed a Duma with some powers, in the early years of his reign.. there would probalby have been discontent still and the War might still have caused the end of his reign but Russia would have moved a fraction closer to a normal developing democracy and it wouldn't have required such a massive Revolution to try and break the stranglehold that autocracy had on Russia. There would have been more political parties, and while there would still have been Communists they might not have been able to get a hold on power the way they did, and kill off the Tsar and his family. Nicky might have been pushed to abidcate but he might have been allowed to abidcate and leave the country....
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  #643  
Old 11-17-2020, 09:37 AM
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It seems like, every time there was a move towards reform, something happened to spook the Romanovs. Catherine the Great was spooked by the Pugachev revolt and the French Revolution. Alexander I might have made changes had he not been distracted by the Napoleonic Wars, but then the Decembrist Uprising spooked Nicholas I right at the start of his reign. Even Alexander II rolled back on things after being spooked by the Polish Uprising, and then his assassination drove his son right the other way. But, yes, I think there was still a chance early in Nicholas II's reign, and sensible ministers like Witte could see that.
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  #644  
Old 11-17-2020, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
It seems like, every time there was a move towards reform, something happened to spook the Romanovs. Catherine the Great was spooked by the Pugachev revolt and the French Revolution. Alexander I might have made changes had he not been distracted by the Napoleonic Wars, but then the Decembrist Uprising spooked Nicholas I right at the start of his reign. Even Alexander II rolled back on things after being spooked by the Polish Uprising, and then his assassination drove his son right the other way. But, yes, I think there was still a chance early in Nicholas II's reign, and sensible ministers like Witte could see that.
I dont have a detailed knowledge of Russian history.. but I think that for Russia's sake as well, some moves towards reform would have been better than what happened. Because the Russian tsars had stamped on even a mild measure of reform, in 1917 Russia had to move from the 18th C (or even earlier) to the 20th C in one jump, and the Communist system was a brutal blunt instrument that probably killed more than it helped. Had Nicky allowed a proper Duma in 1905, the country would have begun to develop a bit further towards constitutional monarchy.. and Nicky would not have been in sole charge when the war broke out.. and made a hash of things. I think that its possible that if the war was going badly, a semi constitutional monarchy with Nick at the head and a sick child like Alexis as the heir would have been vulnerable.. and as the people got more fed up wiht them, there might have been pressure for them to leave and the country would become a republic, like Germany and other monarchies did toward the end of the war.

But it might have been a case of saying "Sign this abdication paper and get out" to Nick and the IF, so he would have escaped with his life.. And mabye it would have been easier, if Nicky wasn't seen as the Bloody Tsar who had refused all reform, for him to find asylum somwhere.
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  #645  
Old 11-17-2020, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Berlin, Germany
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The Russian regime of Nicholas II. was as backwards as the one of Alexander I., the winner over Napoleon, and much more liberal, than the one of Stalin, the winner over Hitler.

All three were involved in giant wars, yet Nicky II. was the only one, who died not in his bed...

The difference between the three: While Alexander I. and Stalin were attacked by their enemies, Nicky II. attacked his.

And this is the turning point imho: The Russian nation has always been willing to endure gruelling situations and to fight against the most terrible opponents - in defence of Mother Russia!

So, I am pretty much convinced, that if Nicky II. had waited for a pre-emptive strike of the Germans, he would have been the victorious hero instead of dead....
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  #646  
Old 11-17-2020, 04:42 PM
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I think the Bolsheviks were genuinely concerned that the White Army might take Ekaterinburg and liberate the Romanovs, and that that was why they decided to shoot them when they did, but who knows what would have happened if they had? Maybe somewhere - Denmark? Greece? - would have taken them in?
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  #647  
Old 11-17-2020, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
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King Alfonso XIII of Spain, (probably with the encouragement of his wife) tried constantly after the Revolution to negotiate safe travel for the IF. In the autumn of 1918, having heard that the Tsarina and her daughters were still alive but being held by the Bolsheviks, he urgently renewed his efforts. He was prepared to have them settle in Spain, at least temporarily. However, by then they were dead.

The Danish Royal family, not particularly well off, paid large ransoms (in vain) for two Princes of the extended family who were later shot by the Bolsheviks. I believe they would have been allowed to settle in Denmark, just as the Dowager Empress and her daughter were. And if Nicholas and his family had managed to get away before Siberia, then I am convinced that they would have been allowed to stay there, at least for a while.
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  #648  
Old 11-18-2020, 06:52 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
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I think that when they went to Siberia it was nearly impossible to rescue them. But possible at first other royal families while they would like to rescue fellow royals did not think they'd actually be shot, that they would spend some years in confinement and eventually when things cooled down, it would be possible for them to leave the country...
And of course the other RF's were concerned for their own survival in their own countries and weren't keen to take in a member of a RF who had such a poor reputation and who would be seen as Nicholas the Bloody and might arouse their own socialists and communists to protests that might get out of hand. Which was no doubt why the Romanovs tried to hold onto their jeweler and money so that if they did manage to get away they had money to support themselves which might make it a bit easier to find somewhere that would take them in.
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