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Old 06-19-2019, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I still don't see why people hated Alexandra. I would have thought, that after Catherine the Great, Germanic monarchs weren't seen as a bad thing, necessarily. Or was Catherine hated eventually, as well? If so, why was she called "the Great"?
First thing average Russian peasants, serfs, etc... knew of Alix of Hesse was that she arrived in their county to marry Nicholas II *after* his father had been assassinated. "This is not good, she comes to us behind a coffin" was one of the oft made statements.

Don't think the average Russians peasants, serfs and others who had more to worry about than gossip about or from the Imperial court gave the Empress a second thought. OTOH for reasons have mentioned already, and more Alexandra was a disaster.

This pretty much spells things out: https://www.quora.com/Why-was-the-la...uring-her-time

It is important to remember this pity party for the Romanovs including Nicholas and his wife all largely came about *after* their demise. While living "bloody" Nicholas II and his "hysteric" wife were nearly universally reviled outside of their own family (and sometimes within), and or other foreign royal courts/countries. Proof of this was how every single nation approached by Kerensky to give the Romanovs aslyum turned him down flat. Even Nicholas's cousin George V in the end turned his back on them. France, the long ally of Russia wanted nothing to do with the "tyrant" and his "hysterical" wife.

Princess Alix was a quarrelsome, meddlesome, prudish, slightly unhinged hot mess. She also like many "Englishwomen" had a superiority complex. That is everyone and thing had a place, and they ought to remain
within. As Nicholas's ministers were begging him to go along with reforms that would gradually usher Russia to a constitutional monarchy, Alexandra would have none of it; she lectured, nagged and otherwise got at Nicholas to put him off the idea. *He* was czar, and should put some stick about if necessary to keep his ministers in line.

Once Germany declared war on Russia, hate towards Alexandra only grew and spread. The populace, military and so forth knew her as "the German woman". Lenin and his adherents referred to Alexandra (and her daughters) as such in correspondence both within Russia and out. As part of making a separate peace with Russia, Lenin and Germany went back and forth about sending the "German women" (the Empress and Grand Duchesses) into exile in that country as part of a deal. How much Lenin meant this we shall never knew.

The whole affair with Rasputin didn't do Alexandra any good either. Tongues wagged not only within the Imperial court, but outside as well. Much like Louis XVI, Nicholas II was seen as being cuckolded and made a fool of by his wife. Worse the man seemingly put up with things.

Of course we know what only a few outside the Russian RF did at the time, the health of the heir which was in large part a driving force behind the behavior of both Nicholas and Alexandra almost from day he was born.

Large parts of the extended Romanov family were actually against (and or disgusted with) the old regime. They wanted Nicholas II to embrace reforms and start the process of leading Russia out of the dark ages. Again Alexandra would have none of it. Members of the Romanov family spoke to Nicholas strongly about sending his wife away, but the czar wouldn't hear a word.

That Nicholas and Alexandra ended up under house arrest is to an extent Alexandra's fault. The children all had come down with and were recovering from the measles. Other Romanovs, ministers, etc.. all begged Alexandra to leave Alexander Palace for perhaps the Crimea (where many of the surviving Romanovs and nobility eventually fled), but she wouldn't hear of it. While can to an extent understand such motherly feelings, Alexandra severely underestimated the situation.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by katharsis View Post
I clearly said that Alexandra was a carrier of hemophilia, NOT muscular dystrophy. The only reason I brought up muscular dystrophy was because I was a carrier of that disease, and I know how that fact has affected my own life, and not for the better -- and so I just wondered how much of the fact that Alexandra was responsible for the hemophilia disease in her own child affected history, and what the outcome would have been if she had not passed the disease onto Alexei.

Here is my original post, and I have bolded the relevant sections.

"As a carrier of muscular dystrophy, the Romanov tragedy has fascinated me for decades. I often wonder how history would have been changed if Alexandra had not been a carrier of hemophilia."

P.S. Both spellings of hemophilia are correct, btw. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/syc-20373327
Had wrong end of stick, sorry.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I still don't see why people hated Alexandra. I would have thought, that after Catherine the Great, Germanic monarchs weren't seen as a bad thing, necessarily. Or was Catherine hated eventually, as well? If so, why was she called "the Great"?
I think for the most part, people have had some prejudice about her, long before she became the empress. had she been from England/ France/ Italy I dont think she would have been hated this much.

I will share with you my real life example. I was born in India and moved from there several years ago. There is this lady, her name is Sonia Gandhi, born in Italy (a Roman catholic Italian). She married an Indian prime minister several years ago; i think its been more than 50 years since she moved to India.
After her husband was assassinated, she more or less became the head of the national political party called Congress. Trust me when i tell you this, even today, majority of people in india look at her as a "foreigner" who has no business with politics in India. She will never be accepted as "our Indian" in India.
Its been more than 100 years from Alexandra to Sonia....somethings never change. when it comes to being a political head, more often than not, its an uphill battle to win trust with the local people.

from what i read about Alexandra, her tragic childhood had deeply scarred her. She would read war and peace for "light" reading. She has always been timid from birth and as an empress, she is expected to be lively (people naturally compared her to Maria Feodorovna). So, her reserved nature was considered cold/rude.

I would think the main difference Catherine and Alexandra would be the fact that eventually Catherine became the ruling Monarch while Alexandra was the wife of a ruling Monarch.
Also, during Catherine's reign, Russia actually saw development, win's in the war, a move towards modern medicine etc Besides Peter, she was one monacrh who brought much (positive) change in Russia.


Alexandra, while good natured didnt have much influence in the affairs of state, at least not until the tsar made himself the Army chief giving her the state control.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post

That Nicholas and Alexandra ended up under house arrest is to an extent Alexandra's fault. The children all had come down with and were recovering from the measles. Other Romanovs, ministers, etc.. all begged Alexandra to leave Alexander Palace for perhaps the Crimea (where many of the surviving Romanovs and nobility eventually fled), but she wouldn't hear of it. While can to an extent understand such motherly feelings, Alexandra severely underestimated the situation.
I agree. It always bothered me how much she underestimated the grave situation. You would think that she would at least ship-off couple of her relatively well children along with some trusted guardians.
I think one quality of hers that always came across as odd to me is her ability to think that every plan she comes up with is a genius plan vs what others counsel her is only second to hers....
it made no sense for the family to be "together" under such circumstances. Split up in 2's or 3's and you have better chance of survival. Maids were still coming and going to an extent. There was a possibility of one of grand duchesses being disguised as a maid and escape...I am sure she had her own misgivings but the extent to which she underestimated the situation was really sad.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
It is important to remember this pity party for the Romanovs including Nicholas and his wife all largely came about *after* their demise. While living "bloody" Nicholas II and his "hysteric" wife were nearly universally reviled outside of their own family (and sometimes within), and or other foreign royal courts/countries. Proof of this was how every single nation approached by Kerensky to give the Romanovs aslyum turned him down flat. Even Nicholas's cousin George V in the end turned his back on them. France, the long ally of Russia wanted nothing to do with the "tyrant" and his "hysterical" wife.
From what I understand, England/ France not accepting the royal family was not because of Alexandra or Nicholas. It was because the nations, where the WWI is still going on, were afraid that in those turbulent times if they give refuge to Romanovs, revolution may actually follow them to their own door steps.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:38 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Such a great topic! Thanks OP, and everyone!
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Old 06-20-2019, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maila View Post
From what I understand, England/ France not accepting the royal family was not because of Alexandra or Nicholas. It was because the nations, where the WWI is still going on, were afraid that in those turbulent times if they give refuge to Romanovs, revolution may actually follow them to their own door steps.
If Nicholas II wasn't seen as a murderous and bloody tyrant, then it is far more likely other nations would have been more welcoming. GB and Queen Victoria had no problems taking in Emperor Bonaparte and Empress Eugenie when revolution in France forced them off their thrones. Holland took in the deposed Kaiser Wilhelm, and so it goes...

France was a strong ally of Russia going back hundreds of years; indeed that language was the official one of Russian Imperial court. A few hundred years prior during the French Revolution it was to Russia many French nobles found eventual sanctuary.

History of Russia is one seeped in violence and blood. Boris Godunov, Catherine the Great, Peter the Great, etc... all put some stick about when necessary resulting in deaths, exile, imprisonment, and other horrible things.

It has been said reason why Nicholas II and his predecessors (for most part) stuck Russia with a feudalistic government is because due to the vastness of the empire they felt Russia could only be governed with a firm hand on the wheel. That or a firm boot on people's throats.

You would think that after the assination of his father (by bomb) Nicholas II would have seen the light, but not a bit of it. One would also think the Romanovs would have learned from the Bourbons (and to extent the Bonapartes), in that the time for absolute monarchies had long passed.

Whatever hopes and dreams of a "new" Russia promised by Lenin/Bolsheviks never quite happened. Lenin and Stalin after him murdered, exiled and or imprisoned more Russians than the Romanovs in total for several hundred years. Even today Putin still imprisons, poisons, assassinates, steals and holds onto power in very undemocratic ways....

Back on topic:

Those who start revolutions are rarely same ones who end things; Kerensky as have said was weak but didn't know how short lived his government would be in the end.

There was only a limited window of time to get the czar, his family and other Romanovs out of Russia. Germany and Great Britain were first to make offers of asylum, but those offers weren't as straight forward as it seems. Also as mentioned the czar's daughters came down with the measles which complicated matters and the family's house arrest.

What many do not know is that King Alfonso XIII of Spain was *VERY* active in efforts to save not just the Romanovs, but many other Russian nobility and others who were displaced and or endangered by the revolution.

Though widley rumored to be gay, King Alfonso was married to a German princess (Eugenia of Battenberg), who was a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria, and thus also related to the Empress Alexandra. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor..._of_Battenberg

After George V ordered his government to withdraw asylum for the Romanovs, it was down to Germany and Spain who actively worked until the end (meaning Lenin had the czar and his family executed), to get them out of Russia. KING ALFONSO XIII AND HIS ATTEMPT TO SAVE THE IMPERIAL FAMILY OF RUSSIA – Russian Imperial Family Historical Society

It was only after George V and Queen Mary got the news Nicholas II, his wife and entire family were murdered that they knew Lenin meant business. HM dispatched the royal navy to Yalta in order to evacuate the dowager empress and other remaining members of the Romanov family along with courtiers and some servants. Empress Marie was reluctant to board the ship and pretty much refused to go; senior officer spoke to HIM quite severely telling her "Your Imperial Highness they are going to kill you...." , the dowager got on that ship....

Rescue of the Imperial family from Yalta 1919 - Blog & Alexander Palace Time Machine

Sadly space was limited and not only luggage/cases were left behind (lots of china, clothing and other furnishings/things), but many servants and others due to lack of room on board. They were all subsequently captured by the Red Army and sent into ghastly camps. There the guards instructed others not to give them food or aid because of their associations with aiding the Romanovs. Men, women, and children all pretty much starved to death, that is if other things didn't hasten their demise.
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maila View Post
I agree. It always bothered me how much she underestimated the grave situation. You would think that she would at least ship-off couple of her relatively well children along with some trusted guardians.
I think one quality of hers that always came across as odd to me is her ability to think that every plan she comes up with is a genius plan vs what others counsel her is only second to hers....
it made no sense for the family to be "together" under such circumstances. Split up in 2's or 3's and you have better chance of survival. Maids were still coming and going to an extent. There was a possibility of one of grand duchesses being disguised as a maid and escape...I am sure she had her own misgivings but the extent to which she underestimated the situation was really sad.
Part of the reason Nicholas was such a poor ruler was sheer ignorance and ineptitude. What he thought was true and what he believed did not coincide in any way with reality.

If he were here and you could talk to him, I think he would have told you that at the time, he believed he was "beloved" by most of his subjects. He probably only believed a handful of people were really opposed to the Romanov Dynasty. So, he failed to understand that the very survival of his family was at stake. All the signs were there, but he either didn't see them or wouldn't acknowledge them.

The Russian Duma or Parliament was lead by a man named Rodzianko just before Nicholas's abdication. Nicholas was so certain of his position that he took a train trip to the front to show support for the Russian Army. Rodzianko and his minister of state security both told him it was not wise to leave St. Petersburg and that the people were near revolt. Nicholas brushed off these concerns and made the trip anyway. While he was away a revolt broke out.

As he was returning to St. Petersburg, his train was stopped at Pskov by soldiers who were revolting. They refused to let Nicholas pass. Nicholas sent a telegram to all of his generals asking whether they thought he should abdicate the throne. Every single reply he got told him that he had to abdicate and there was no other choice. I cannot imagine the shock this must have been for a man who thought he had been given some kind of divine right to rule over the Russian people.

I personally have little regard for Nicholas as I see him as both inept and a tyrant. It was a shame though that his family was brutally murdered. In the end, his own actions are a big reason why this occurred.
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Nicholas was so certain of his position that he took a train trip to the front to show support for the Russian Army.
Nicholas was at the front because in September of 1915, he sacked his cousin, General Nikolay Nikolayevich, and assumed direct command of the Russian armies. Actual military decisions were made by his chief-of-staff General Michael Alexeiev, but Nicholas resided at army headquarters which was located at Mogilev. The affairs of government were left in the hands of Empress Alexandra, who was advised by Rasputin.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Nicholas was at the front because in September of 1915, he sacked his cousin, General Nikolay Nikolayevich, and assumed direct command of the Russian armies. Actual military decisions were made by his chief-of-staff General Michael Alexeiev, but Nicholas resided at army headquarters which was located at Mogilev. The affairs of government were left in the hands of Empress Alexandra, who was advised by Rasputin.

Talk about pouring gasoline onto a fire! *LOL*

Of all the dumbest moves Nicholas II could have made making the czarina in charge was one of if not the stupidest things he could have done. That decision likely was the last nail in coffin of the czar's reign.

The hysterical wreck Empress Alexandra was out of her depth, and totally ill equipped to stand in as a monarch during peace time; but for a Russia at war and a power keg of revolution about to explode, it was just the last straw that broke Russia's back.

Again as one has said often in this thread, all the moaning and sympathy for Nicholas II and his wife are of recent vintage; certainly after their deaths. Dowager Empress Marie and other Romanovs had not only to adjust to their new situation post revolution, but also the murders of their family members *and* the fact much of the sorry mess could be laid at the feet of Nicholas and Alexandra.
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