The Russians have demonstrated time and again that they prefer a strong, centralized government with a paternalistic head figure. It couldn't be any worse than what they have now, a highly corrupt oligarchy ruled by a corporate-criminal elite.
Restore the office of "Tsar of All the Russias" and reconfigure the government as a constitutional monarchy. It will give the Russian people something to look up to again, something to rally around, something to feel proud of.
Yeah, great idea, OP!
But I think we need to make it an autocracy for authenticity and we we need to bring back the Okhrana and the Cossacks.
I volunteer to be a Grand Duke as long as it comes with a few palaces, millions of acres of land, and serfs -- again for authenticity.
The bad thing about this idea is that it will appeal to the already strong nationalistic and xenophobic elements in Russian society. Putin won't agree because it would provide a competing source of leader worship.
Putin would make it himself.
Good idea. Maybe we should bring back the Pahlavis while we are at it.
We should, r4. Much better than the mullahs and ayatollahs they have now.
Do you get to be a serf? I hear that was a very popular job back in that time. Everyone was doing it.
Keep in mind that 50% of the population were serfs/ slaves who could be bought sold to other landowners and afforded no legal status whatsoever— but hey those Romanov's were so well dressed!
I know everyone on DL thinks they would identify with the landowners, but realistically many of us would be the serfs in that world.
Are there any left?
There's still family connections left. After all King George V was Nicky's cousin, and Alexandra (Alix of Hesse and by Rhine) was Queen Victoria's granddaughter.
Russians serfs were liberated in 1862, while the American Civil War was raging.
Alexander II was known as the Tsar-Liberator.
For his kindness, disgruntled revolutionaries blew him up in 1881.
I stand corrected, r10.
I didn't mention the INSTITUTION of Imperial Russia. I said bring back the Romanov monarchy. Alexander II dissolved serfdom in 1861. Obviously I'm not calling for that. If anything the remaining Romanovs can serve in the same capacity as the Windsors in the United Kingdom.
Well then you're taking all the fun out of the restoration there, OP / R12!
Serfs actually had more rights than slaves, who had no rights. Russia also had slaves although the Imperial family converted all theirs to serfs in 1723.
Some serfs were still in bondage until 1892 and under financial strictures until 1907.
Why didn't Britain allow the Romanovs to live there in exile?
They did,but they liked it best when they got the Romanov's money, at least a billion pounds' worth, but no Romanovs.
I guess I didn't make that clear. Britain would have offered them sanctuary if they could have gotten there. In the meantime, they did get some of their money there, which the Brits seized.
That is to say King George V offered them sanctuary, and then withdrew the offer, but they certainly would not have turned them away had they shown up.
I think the question of who the heir is still remains. There are two warring sides contesting headship of the House of Romanov. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna tends to attend European royal events, she is a descendent of both Queen Victoria and King Christian IX of Denmark, linking her to almost all the European royal Houses and acts like she is the heir. Her blubbery son trails behind like a puppy. If he doesn't marry equally (a princess or higher) he loses his claim on the throne. Pressures on!
Thanks, R18-20. What kept them from leaving sooner before the situation became so critical for them? Nicholas' pride? Or stupidity? I recall reading that while he was a nice fellow, he wasn't so sharp.
More info about serfdom in Russia.
выучьте что-то! Da!
Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it, "all men are created equal except negroes." When the Know-nothings get control, it will read, "all men are created equal except negroes and foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty--to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Joshua F. Speed, Aug. 24, 1855
Tsar Nicholas believed that he OWNED Russia. He wasn't about to leave.
Who should play Catherine the Great?
And I will be
the Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrand Duchess Andersontasia!
Thank you so much for that quote, R24. I'd never been aware of it, but it's now bookmarked for reference and use.
Bring back Anastasia!
Nicholas never thought the "rabble" would have gone so far, so quickly. He gravely underestimated the leftest factions in his country, thinking the dreaded Okhrana (the secret police) was keeping effective tabs on them and that the Cossacks (mercenary thugs used by the Tsars to terrify the peasants) would keep everything in order.
His major mistake, of which there were several, was going to the war front during WWI and leaving his inept and vacant wife, Alexandra to rule as regent in his stead. She let the drunkard mystic Rasputin manipulate her and the people resented the Imperial family because of it.
Also, the lives of the peasants were actually WORSE after the so-called "liberation of the serfs" because the economic situation was still the same but now they had to fend for themselves instead of getting guaranteed room and board from their former aristocratic masters. Many rural peasants became industrial workers and found that working in a 19th Century factory was worse than tending the fields.
I'll mark that down and give it to Putin the next he has me over for caviar and champagne.
JEEEEEZUSSS! Haven't any of you queens bothered to rent Dr. Zhivago from Netflix? Go get it and get an education.
And while you're at it, would you all please work to restore the Saxons to the throne in Britain?
I don't believe that George V thought that Cousin Nicky or his family were going to be executed. After news of their deaths reached London, he immediately sent for HMS Marlborough to rescue his aunt, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and other Romanovs such as Grand Duke Nicholas and Prince Felix Yusupov.
I understand Eleanor of Aquitaine is clamoring for get-out-of-jail card, and a new caftan.
Just google "Restoration of the Romanovs" and see all the links that pop up. It's not an entirely unfathomable thing. There is a contingent of Russians, at home and abroad, who want to return to the Czarist system.
We are interested in this "Restoration" business too!
Who wouldn't want to have a lovely royal family living on the tax payers' dole?
C'mon! You know you would!
Yes, just what the world needs. Moving backwards is always the way to go.
Great. They were so good for Russia's working class, not to mention for the Jews.
Great. The hysteria and hype for the Windsors magnified exponentially in a monarchy ruling a much more powerful nation. just what the world needs.
Yeah, that'll work. They so well the first time around.
The peasants were not freed in any sense we know the word. They couldn't live without land, and when they were freed they had to buy the land from the landlords with the notes lasting 30-40 years. They were locked in and the landlords no longer had responsibility for their welfare.
The landlords made sure they kept the best pieces for themselves.
As R30 pointed out things were worse when peasants went to the cities. They had no choice. They had to get money to support their families and their village.
In the city workers had to pay room and board to the factory owners who owed the dormitories as well as the shops, bars, and stores within walking distance of the factories.
The lucky ones got dormitories. The rest had to sleep in the factory on the floor next to their machines or on top of the looms.
The Tsar couldn't go anywhere to escape. Happened to fast. By the time he knew how bad it was in St Petersburg after the February Revolution, he couldn't get back to the city. The soldiers and rail road workers had gone over to the revolution, so he got arrested.
The Romanovs are disputing who is actually the rightful head of the family--lots of infighting.
The Romanovs we are all familiar with were actually Germans.
Shouldn't Russia just be split up into smaller countries? It seems to large to rule.
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes are one of OP's favorite things.
That's the only explanation for this.
R30 - there are so many myths in history, and your posting was loaded with a number of them. The history of Russia at the time was far more complex than that, not as black and white as you have presented it.
I agree, r46.
r30 knows the bare-bones story but the details matter.
Does this restoration involve hardware?
Yes, I know it was much more than just Rasputin but he did play a significant part. The common Russian folk were very superstitious and they didn't like someone they considered to be a sorcerer to be anywhere near the "Matushka". Every history book about the Tsars state in succinct terms that the Russian people were very paternalistic and looked to the Tsar as the "Big Father" of them all and his wife as the "Mother" or "Matushka".
So while the radical revolutionist was fighting from a much more complex place, the average everyday peasant was fighting just to fight or because they believed a devil were taking over the Imperial family.
There is no support in Russia for a restoration of the Romanovs and their history is hardly revered given their bloody past.
If they did restore the monarchy, it probaby would be with Putin putting the Crown on his own head.
However f'ed up and and dysfunctional our government is, it will never be as bad as the Russian government. It's unbelievable the treatment that's been inflicted on the Russian people over the years.
Yes, there isn't all that much Russian in the Romanov family. The House Laws demanded that Russian Grand Dukes marry equally, so that means they had to marry a princess with rank of HRH or higher. The largest supply of these were found in Germany, which back then was a patchwork of tiny kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies, counties and principalities. So the German (and Danish) factor continually watered down the Russian blood.
R50 - no Romanov came anywhere close to the bloody numbers of Stalin and Lenin. Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 50 million - even more than Hitler. Stalin personally signed off on several hundred thousand executions. Hitler was lazy in his genocide and left others get their hands dirty. Stalin checked off names - one by one.
How many executions were there in the reign of Nicholas II? Want to guess?
Romanov if you want to, all around the world.
Maria Vladimirovna is the only child of the last undisputed Head of the Imperial House, Grand Duke Vladimir Krillovich, who died in 1992. The problem with her claim is the House Laws required all dynasts to marry equally in order for their children to be considered dynasts.
Maria's mother was a Georgian princess of the Moukhrani branch, which was nobility during Tsarist Russia, not royalty, and the other branches of the Romanovs did not recognize the marriage as equal. However, Vladimir declared his marriage as equal, which was his sole perogative as de-jure Emperor, and that was that.
The other members of the family also married unequally so the reality is no one is in conformity with the House Laws and the dynasty is defunct.
How many peasants died in World War I when the Tsar and his advisors did not give them guns, coats, or shoes?
The Tsar sent millions to die with improper equipment to protect his privileges. The Tsar was a micro-manager. If that is not murder laid at the Tsar's feet, then what was it? A slight miscalculation?
There was no way out of Tsarist rule without a revolution, and no one knows for sure what a revolution will bring when it starts. At some point you have to roll the dice because things cannot get worse, and the people are ready for a change.
Lenin died in 1924. He was incapacitated in late 1922. One of his last acts while still functioning was to ask the Central Committee to do something about Stalin. Stalin offered his resignation, but the Central Committee declined it.
Doesn't that break the chain of responsibility leading to Lenin and put it on the Central Committee? Lenin did what he could to get rid of the monster in waiting.
What more should he have done? Have him executed? He couldn't do that without the Central Committee behind him, and you don't believe in executions anyway. He did what he could to get rid of the monster in waiting.
The debate about where the revolution went astray has been going on for decades. It will take more than deaths of millions in the 30s to put the blame on someone who had been dead for ten years and who wanted the man in power deposed years earlier anyway.
Unless of course your position is that any revolution that brings about a violent change in regime ends in disaster for the people, which is where you are coming from I think.
Then you have to distinguish the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Cuban Revolution.
Most people in the west consider them good revolutions, except in the United States where we condemn the Cuban Revolution, mostly because U.S. corporations and their owners were the big losers, can't have that. So that's what our media feeds us: Castro bad, U.S. good,
The French Revolution resulted in a dictatorship leading to the deaths of millions. Does that make it good or bad? As Zhou Enlai said, "It is too early to tell."
Many on the right now claim that the French Revolution was a failure, see Simon Schama and others. They say it went to far, but really they would prefer the kind of state that existed before the Enlightenment -- rule by the rich and the church.
The recent attitude of the a faction of Republicans, of course they would deny it, seems to be that the American Revolution was a failure because too many common people got rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of press, something the Tea Party would like to see changed.
Where is it that you draw the line as to good and bad revolutions? How many Russian soldiers would have died in World War II if the Tsar or Alexi had been leading the war effort?
The modern industrial society that came out of the Bolshevik Revolution produced a modern army. That army was the deciding factor in defeating fascism, by taking terrible losses on the Eastern Front. Would that kind of military success been possible without a revolution in 1917?
Who knows? And that is the point.
We can discuss these endlessly, but to put the deaths in the thirties on Lenin and not credit him with our victory in World War II isn't logical.
Or least it isn't logical on evidence that you have produced or that anyone else has produced.
Serfs never got guaranteed room and board. Are you nuts?
Russia was unquestionably a stronger country in 1941 than in 1914. Fact. Deal.
Thank you, Roland at R56. What would we do without your apologetics for Communist dictators.
So, are you permanently back from North Korea or just here to eat?
There really is no question that Maria Vladimirovna is the Head of the Imperial House. Some of her male cousins dispute her position, claiming she is the issue of a morganatic marriage and, as a female, takes precedence after the male morganauts representing the other branches. But this is pure nonsense.
She is the great-great granddaughter of Emperor Alexander II and the granddaughter of Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich, who succeeded Nicholas II as Head of the Imperial House after the murder of the Tsar and his family in 1917. Nicholas' brother, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, also was murdered leaving Alexander III's line extinct of dynasts.
Her mother was technically not royalty at the time of her marriage to Maria's father, but both branches of the Georgian Royal House today are reunited in marriage and there is a male heir. The Moukhrani and Gruzinsky lines reigned in Georgia for centuries before the Russian Empire annexed Georgia illegally in 1800. So, the idea that Maria's mother was not royal enough is ridiculous.
Maria also married equally to Prince Franz-Wilhelm of Prussia and her son, Georgi, is the heir as he is a product of an equal marriage.
Given that Germany invaded Russia and killed millions in World War I and World War II, I don't know if Maria Vladimirovna is considered Russian enough by the average Russian on the street to be Empress of All-Russias. Her son, Georgi, is a Hohenzollern prince and his father was a great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II, not exactly a welcome line of descent.
I think if they decided to bring back the monarchy, it would be a re-boot.
I think the Bagration Family should get a crack at it.
They have such a cool name.
Why, it was a Bagration who repelled Napoleon at Moscow's gates!
"The Romanovsky" -- pffft!
The Russians won't bring the Tsarist Monarchy back. None of the "Romanovs" today have the brains, strength of character, drive or passion to assume the throne.
Somebody at DL is just gaga over royals trivia.
The average Russian on the street doesn't care about the Romanovs and their return. It sounds like a joke in today's reality.
Russia has a Monarchist Party run by a former member of the State Duma named Anton Bakov, who advocates for a modern style constitutional monarchy. It hasn't exactly taken off and won't any time soon, Russia has a better chance to returning to Communism than it does to the Romanovs.
Putin will most likely remain in power until 2024, and given that Russia has become an autocratic police state, he is the tsar. There is no real opposition to United Russia and when any person in society becomes a possible threat (like Mikhail Khodorkovsky) Putin crushes them. There would have to be a popular uprising of the people to change Russia, one man or one party is not going to be able to do it alone.
The last of the Romanovs were nothing to inspire pride in anyone, especially the Russians.
Russia has never stopped being a monarchy. Throughout its history, one form of autocracy simply destroys the other and continues on. The elite simply do not care how many millions of people die to serve their needs.
The Communists were worse than the Romanovs ever were. After the death of the Soviet Union, new Tsars took over and there is still no democracy and corruption is endemic.
What a very stupid and ignorant statement, r68. Only someone looking back from the vantage point of a 21st century 1st World democracy would ever suggest the Russian monarchy was anything other than a vast, roiling vat of misery that quite rightfully destroyed itself. The only thing worse are modern libertarians who seem to be strangely attracted to monarchies and fascism. It would be wonderful if you lived in the world you want for others.
They should make Naomi Campbell the Tsarina.
By the time of Nicholas, the Romanovs were mostly of German descent anyway
Together Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra (or "Nicky" and "Sunny", as they called each other) managed to destroy a 300 year old dynasty. Theirs was a love match; that was the only positive thing about their relationship. Nicky was stupid and weak and hen-pecked; Sunny was domineering, unyieldingly stubborn and morbidly religious. Granted, they endured a lot of bad luck, but it was their own fault that they lost the throne and ended up assassinated. They were truly hated, especially Alexandra.
It was pretty simple really. After the unexpected death of his father, poor immature Nicholas was suddenly the Czar of All Russias. He fell in love with a woman of German extraction who was an absolute failure as Czarina (she had no idea how to behave socially in the Russian court and came across as stuck up and awkward).
She also carried the hemophiliac gene and gave the disease to her only son, the heir to the throne. She fell under the spell of the drunken, over-sexed holy man Rasputin; through some kind of hypnosis he was able to stop her son's bleeding episodes. She called him "Our Friend", like he was God. I guess she saw him as one.
While Nicholas was at the front, Alexandra took over the government and did anything Rasputin told her to do. She shunned family members or anyone who dared suggest she was being manipulated.
Finally, Rasputin was assassinated (it took a lot to kill him) and the shit hit the fan. There was the Revolution, and Nicholas abdicated and the Romanov dynasty was no more.
Nicholas and Alexandra and their blameless children were put under arrest; they hoped that their English relatives would come to their rescue. They didn't. They were all herded into a cellar and were shot hundreds of times; anyone who showed signs of life were bayoneted. And that was the end of the Romanovs.
A lot of imposters popped up later claiming to have survived the massacre. They were all frauds.
[quote]It was pretty simple really. After the unexpected death of his father, poor immature Nicholas was suddenly the Czar of All Russias. He fell in love with a woman of German extraction who was an absolute failure as Czarina (she had no idea how to behave socially in the Russian court and came across as stuck up and awkward).
This happened with Marie Antoinette, too -- she came from the more egalitarian Austrian Court into the hot mess of Versailles and didn't make a good showing as a young bride.
R74, I represented that beautifully in my film.
Nicholas seemed like a reaasonably likeable human being. He just never should have a Czar. He didn't have the balls for it. His awful wife DID have the balls to push him around and give him awful advice, which he more often than not took. She would tell him you're the boss, you're the ruler, the little people don't know what's good for them so you must make decisions for them, keep them in line, rule them with an iron hand...that kind of thing. It was disastrous policy and made the Russian people hate them with a passion.
Their love letters are sickeningly sweet and florid. Alexandra called Nicholas "darling boysy!" Itould have been much better for them if they had been Russian peasants instead of Russian royalty, and much better for the citizens of Russia, too.
If I'm not mistaken, to be tsar of "all the Russias" means Great Russia, which is what the modern day regards as Russia, Ukraine, which was at one time, for some reason, called Little or lesser Russia and Belarus or Byelorussia which translates as White Russia--why it is called "white" is sort of hazy, part of the reason is that it, along with a sizeable portion of the Ukraine, were once under Polish rule or the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. Anyway, I don't think the Ukrainians, at least, would go for another round of being subjected to Russian "administration". The tsarist regime has had its day and will no more "return" than the French monarchy, the Holy Roman Emperor, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the Turkish Sultan or the German Kaiser. All the families of the aforementioned former monarchies still exist and probably live quiet, middle class lives and like it that way. The last I knew the Romanov family lived in France and had visited Russia while Gorbachev was in power. As I recall the visit was cordial and Gorbachev invited them to live in Russia but beyond that it wouldn't work at all.
It is kind of interesting how art is imitating life. A couple of years ago Steve Berry wrote a fictional book titled The Romanov Prophecy which depicted the escape of the Romanov heirs who through the help of the book's protagonist resurrect the Russian monarchy after living in exile in the back woods of Tennessee. It was an entertaining read yet completely fiction.
Dr. Bodon, the coroner to the stars from the OJ case, wrote a book that examined the DNA remains of the Romanov family and it made it pretty clear that all of the family members from the Romanov family were accounted for and positively identified so the stories of a living direct descendant from the original family seem unlikely.
R76, I believe it was Gorbachev's successor Yeltsin who invited Maria Vladimirovna and Georgi to a visit to Russia. He gifted Georgi with a rifle owned by Peter the Great, and Maria managed to offend the Orthodox Metropolitan by failing to wear the requisite female head covering in an Orthodox cathedral.
What fools! I am still very much alive and will return to claim my throne.
R62, the Soviet Army's operation to move eastward across Byeloruss, pushing back the Nazis was called Operation Bagration.
Did you mean "westward," r80?
Whoops. Yes, westward.
I'd had no idea why they named it that until R62's post about the original Bagration.
See you, r82 – you can get an education by being a DLer.
Stick around here long enough and you'll learn something.
I think Massey's "Nicholas and Alexandra" bent over backwards to make Nicholas this genial, family-oriented fellow who just happened to be misguided.
I think he was more like Dubya. Someone who was basically amoral when it came to the safety and well-being of other people. He really didn't care. He was privileged, believed God put him in place, relied on schemers for advise -- knowing that they were schemers, BTW -- and sure of his ability to be in charge.
Nicholas could have done a lot more to find out how things were for the masses of Russians. He could have appointed knowledgable, fair minded men to be his advisors. He could have made an effort to be seen as someone who was in the process of turning the Russian monarchy into something like he British monarchy.
But he was too blinded by his sense of entitlement.
America would do better to have Queen Elizabeth II instead of John Boehner who is hell-bent on destroying us.
[quote] After the unexpected death of his father, poor immature Nicholas was suddenly the Czar of All Russias
Nicholas had 2 brothers who died. One died at one year old from meningitis and his younger brother George died at the age of 28 from tuberculosis.
Their mother was a daughter of Queen Victoria and insisted her sons be brought up the Victorian way - camp beds, windows open for fresh air, cold baths every morning.
I wonder if it lowered their resistance to illness.
Their mother sent them on a tour to Japan, hoping that the warm air in the places they visited along the way would be good for George. They visited Egypt and Bombay -- two sinkholes of disease for which there was no cure. Duh.
Make Alla Pugacheva the Queen and be done with it.
You are wrong r86 about Nicholas's mother being a daughter of Queen Victoria.
Look it up and come back here and correct yourself.
I never understood the whole 'camp bed' thing for 19th and early 20th century European royal children. The theory was that hard beds, cold baths, fresh air and mushy plain food was supposed to turn them into upright, disciplined adults. But what was the use? At age 17 or 18 they were out of the nursery and into regular adult life with untold riches and luxuries. What was the point of pretending to raise them in rough circumstances when in reality none of the rigors of that life would translate into anything they would experience in their adult lives?
Asking the Russians to accept a restoration of the monarchy would be like asking the Chinese to restore the emperor or the Iranians to restore the shah--it just AIN'T gonna happen any more than the USA making the British monarch the head of state and the president remaining the chief executive of the federal government. As long as we are in this dream world, why don't we find some legitimate descendants to occupy a restored throne of the Inca "Empire" (Tupac Amaru was the last legitimate claimant in the 18th century), the Aztecs (the descendants can be found in certain families of Spanish nobility as Montezuma's daughters were married off to Spanish noblemen), the Hawaiian throne (now there is a sticky one--many Native Hawaiians want it to some degree, and the relatives of Liliuokalani are alive and well to claim it-- how would the US Congress permit it?)or even the Egyptian, Iraqi or Afghan thrones? King Farouk once said that someday there will only be five kings left in the world, the ones in a deck of cards and the British monarch.
Da, and Betty Crocker should restore Noodles Romanov.
Was 'noodles' a third-cousin of Prince Charles??
"Their mother was a daughter of Queen Victoria and insisted her sons be brought up the Victorian way - camp beds, windows open for fresh air, cold baths every morning."
You must be mixing Nicholas's mother up with his wife Alexandra. Alexandra was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria; she did believe in such austerities as cold baths and camp beds. But generally her children led very pampered, cosseted lives. Her four daughters were expecially sheltered. She liked to dress them the same: white dresses with sashes, white, wide-brimmed sunhats. They looked like little fairy princesses. They had absolutely no idea of what life was like outside their fairytale world, and it was a rude awakening indeed when they were imprisoned and subjected to the obscenities and taunts of their guards. They had to use communal toilets after they were arrested. The Royal family pathetically left a note for the nasty guards: "please be so kind as to leave the seat as clean as you found it."