“Fate was not as cruel to any state as it was to Russia. Her ship went to the bottom when the harbor was already in sight. ”
20 August 2000 year in the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior in the presence of numerous representatives of the Orthodox Churches passed the catholic glorification of the royal family, as Russian confessors and martyrs of the twentieth century. The act of this reads: “To glorify ... the royal family: Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexander, Tsarevich Alexy, the great princes Mary, Olga, Anastasia and Tatiana. In the last Russian monarch and members of his family, you can see people who sincerely tried to translate the commandments of the Gospel into life. ”
Despite the fact that more than one year has passed since the adoption of this decision, discussions about whether the last emperor of our country should be considered holy should continue in Russian society to this day. Often, various experts express their statements that, perhaps, the Russian Orthodox Church “was mistaken” by taking Nicholas II and his family in full strength to the name of saints.
History the life of the sovereign served as the basis for a huge amount of research conducted by professional historians. On the basis of the collected material was written many wonderful articles and books, filmed documentaries and programs. Nevertheless, taking into account the enormous amount of myths created by Soviet historiography with the aim of denigrating autocracy, the personality of the last Russian tsar still remains extremely controversial. Despite all the achievements of the state activity of Nicholas II, even contemporaries attributed to him "weak-willed and weak character", the inability to lead a huge country, the blame for the tragedy of the shooting of workers and "Bloody Sunday", the defeat in the Russian-Japanese war and World Power Invasion.
Grand Duke Nikolai Aleksandrovich at the age of 3
Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov was born on May 6 of 1868 in Tsarskoye Selo. He is the eldest son of Alexander III and his wife, Empress Maria. After Nicholas was eight years old, his homework began. At the heart of the curriculum lay a modified program of the classical gymnasium. It covered an eight-year general education course, as well as a five-year cycle of higher sciences. The future king studied zoology, mineralogy, botany, physiology, anatomy, history, Russian literature and foreign languages. The higher education course included law, political economy, strategy, military law, the service of the General Staff and military geography. In addition, there were classes in fencing, music, drawing, bearing, good manners, riding and dancing. Alexander III and his wife themselves found teachers and educators. It is therefore not surprising that among them were the most prominent scientists, military and government leaders of their time: M.I. Dragomirov, K.P. Pobedonostsev, N.N. Obruchev, N.H. Bunge, N.K. Girs and many others. Chemistry Nicholas taught famous Beketov, Cui read the theory of fortifications.
Tsarevich Nikolai Aleksandrovich. 1889 year
As a young man, Nikolai Alexandrovich, he was Nicholas II, resolutely refused to grow up. Contemporaries noted with surprise, like a crown prince, having exchanged the third ten years, he played hide and seek in the palace, rushing about the rooms, sweeping away everything in its path. Alexander III himself said to the Minister of Finance Witte: “Sergei Yurievich, you see, my son was late in his development. He is a blockhead, what to look for. ” In spite of the fact that the future emperor was a very capable student, General Dragomirov, who gave tactics lessons to the Tsarevich, sometimes openly angrily stated: “Not in horse feed. He is fit to sit on the throne, but he is not free to stand at the head of the state ... ”
From an early age, Nikolai paid a lot of attention to physical improvement. All my life, the last Russian tsar was distinguished by excellent health and remarkable strength, he loved to swim in icy water and never got sick. He was small — one meter seventy centimeters. It is well known that, despite his excellent physique, surrounded by his tall relatives, Nikolai felt some awkwardness, even inferiority.
Coronation of Emperor Nicholas II. Held on Tuesday 14 (26) May 1896, in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. Chevalier Guardsman to the left of the Emperor - K. Mannerheim
By the age of majority, the future king brilliantly knew Russian classical literature and European languages. From the clothes he chose the Russian style, he often quoted Pushkin, he considered Gogol to be his favorite writer. He also appreciated the ballet, adored listening to Tchaikovsky and Wagner, independently put the “Ring of the Nibelungs” on the imperial stage. And the young tsar was experiencing a strange craving for military affairs: he knew perfectly not only military regulations, but also numerous traditions of the officer environment. In his youth, Nicholas did not miss a single officer's party, hunting or military parade. He treated the soldiers patronizingly, did not avoid contact with them, easily endured the inconvenience of military life at gatherings or maneuvers.
He took the throne on October 21 on October 1894 at the age of twenty-six, one day after the death of his father. On the eve of his coronation in May 1896, posters were posted to inform residents that there would be free festivities on the Khodynka field. The royal presents were wrapped in calico kerchiefs, inside were pieces of sausage, codfish, gingerbread and a mug with a date in order to preserve the memory of Nicholas among the people forever. People were invited to ten in the morning, but local tramps and beggars began to gather on the field in the evening. Behind them to the onset of darkness, ordinary citizens, eager for gifts, also caught up. During the night, the crowd grew to enormous size, according to police, at midnight more than five hundred thousand people settled on Khodynka. At dawn, seeing the huge crowd of people, the police, as well as soldiers and officers of the regiments, specially sent to maintain order during the festivities, were confused. In violation of the program, the royal presents were decided not to distribute at eleven o'clock in the afternoon, but at six in the morning. There was also a rumor in the crowd that the bartenders were hiding gifts for “their own”. The crowd reacted immediately. Crushing temporary wooden barriers, people rushed to the buffets, they grabbed presents and ran away. Accidentally fallen instantly choking on the pressing masses. The result of the "festivities" on the Khodynka field was more than one thousand two hundred dead people. About the same number received terrible injuries.
Clever people asked the king to declare mourning and transfer the coronation, but her husband, Alexandra Fedorovna, was against it. Perhaps it was because of her influence that Nicholas II continued the celebration. Despite the fact that many at the court of the king did not approve of the actions, the magnificent series of fine dinners and balls was not canceled. It is still unclear what prompted the king to make such a decision: indifference to the people, limited mind or "blind" love.
However, from 1897-th to 1914-th year, the growth of Russia's population increased by a huge number of fifty and a half million people. For the same time, the budget of public education has increased by six hundred percent, the number of higher schools has increased by one hundred and eighty percent, secondary schools - by two hundred thirty, and public schools - by one hundred percent. Surprisingly, in Russia of those years, ten thousand schools were opened every year, and more newspapers and magazines were produced than in the 1988 year in the USSR. Despite all this, Nicholas II got the nickname "Bloody" among the people. And to the wine for the horrible events of Khodynka, was added Bloody Sunday and Lensky shooting.
According to the historical data of January 9, the workers of the Putilov factory with banners, icons and royal portraits headed in a procession to Palace Square. Their goal was to meet the sovereign and worship him. They were filled with joy, made prayer chants. The meeting with the emperor was prepared and organized by the Social Democrats, apparently with the goal of publicizing their own political demands through the mouths of the workers. But on that day, Nicholas II was not in Petersburg, on January 8 he left for Tsarskoye Selo. People gathered in the square naively waited for the king to appear. Time passed, no one left, the people began to worry and get angry. It is not known for certain who first opened fire on that day: provocateurs from the crowd or gendarmes. There was panic, confusion and crush. As a result, the tragedy played out, according to various estimates, from one hundred to one hundred thirty people died, three times more wounded. Shocked by Nicholas II ordered to allocate fifty thousand rubles to the families of the victims and injured, a special commission was organized to investigate the case.
Adhering to the generally accepted scientific point of view, we can say that the Russian tsar was the "sovereign" of more than one hundred and eighty million "subjects." Legally, this is quite true, but psychologically not quite. The emperor is the only person in Russia who did not have the freedom of conscience. He could not accept any other religion besides Orthodoxy, could not openly speak his thoughts, for his every word “created history”. Even the freedom of movement he did not have. Of course, he lived in a palace and did not stand in line for bread. However, people who have palaces on duty, for some reason often prefer to run away from them. Nicholas II, most likely, was the richest man in the world. Revolutionary propaganda showed his civil list of thirty million rubles a year to everyone. However, due to these millions there were the best theaters in the world - the imperial ones. Prices there were only seventeen kopecks. It is also known that this money was used to irrigate desert lands, supported scientific research, paid pensions to prominent Russian state and cultural figures, for example, the family of Leo Tolstoy.
The next failure of the last Russian emperor is the defeat of the country in the Russo-Japanese war. The war with Japan was very similar to the Crimean one - similar enemy sea communications, underestimation of the enemy, fantastic distances between the state and the front (eight thousand miles along the only unfinished railway), and (which is never mentioned in history books) monstrous quartermaster robbery. It is known that in the Crimean War "left" even straw for the infirmary left, while in the Japanese the whole divisions fought in felt boots on cardboard soles. In World, this lesson was learned, the defendant quartermaster caught and hung packs, the theft soon came to naught.
Due to their combat effectiveness and efficiency, the Russian army and navy were not ready for war, the emperor did not have time to carry out the necessary political and economic reforms, did not build a dialogue with representatives of various classes that had taken shape in Russia at that time. The defeat “caused” the 1905-1907-year revolution, which led to the strongest destabilization of society and shaken the centuries-old foundations of the Russian state system.
Emperor Nicholas II and the commander of the regiment, Major General N.M. Kisilevsky bypass the system. Tsarskoye Selo. 17 May 1909 of the year
Emperor Nicholas II conducts a review of the Life Guard Cuirassier Regiment. Tsarskoye Selo. 1911 year
On the destroyer "Emir of Bukhara." Finland, 1912 year
Russian tsars suffered losses greater than, for example, infantry in the First World War - out of six kings (from Paul I to Nicholas II) three died at their post: Paul I, Alexander II and Nicholas II, that is exactly fifty percent. Years later, historians declared Paul insane, Alexander II a reactionary, Nicholas II a fool and a drunkard. However, there is a different opinion - each of the Russian tsars was killed not at all for reaction, insanity, loss of war, or anything else: they were all killed for the Russian peasantry. After all, Paul initiated his release, Alexander - finished, and Nikolai eliminated the remnants of inequality.
Having learned the sad results of the Russo-Japanese war, the emperor did a great job of restoring Russian fleet and strengthening the country's defense capabilities. It was a difficult and, unfortunately, forgotten feat of both Nicholas II and his state apparatus. By the time of the onset of a new, World War II, the economy of Russia was experiencing an unprecedented rise. The agricultural sector strengthened (Stolypin reform), Russia became the leading European exporter of agricultural products. A large industry was actively forming: cities were expanding, new enterprises appeared, and railways were built. The personal actions of Nicholas II include the introduction of a normalized working day, workers insurance, a provision on universal primary education, and support for the development of science in the country. From 1894 to 1914, the state budget grew five and a half times, the gold reserve - almost four times, the Russian currency was one of the most stable in the world. At the same time, government revenues grew without increasing taxes.
Paradoxically, but at the same time popular unrest constantly passed through the country. In January, the first revolution took place on 1905, as a result of which, by mid-October of the same year, the manifesto imposed on the emperor “On the improvement of state order” was adopted. He expanded civil liberties, allowed the organization of parties, and also justified the creation of a parliament consisting of the State Duma and the State Council. Thus, Russia began to slowly but surely turn into a constitutional monarchy. However, the sovereign, as before, had gigantic powers: he had the right to issue laws, appoint ministers (who reported only to him), determine the country's foreign policy, head the army and court, be the patron saint of the Orthodox Church.
Emperor Nicholas II among the officers of the Headquarters. Mogilyov. August 1915 of the year
Testing the plow in the presence of Emperor Nicholas II
The Emperor accepts a parade of parts of the 3 of the horse corps. Second left, with a sword at his feet, General Earl Keller
If you get acquainted with the memoirs of the contemporaries of the emperor (both Russian and foreigners), then you can see extremely contradictory assessments of the personality of Nicholas II. Among the closest associates of the king, it was widely believed that his gentle and kind intellectual, a family man, was completely controlled by his wife, a German by nationality, Alice of Hesse-Darmstadt. Indeed, in communication, unlike his father, Alexander III, Nikolai gave the impression of being a weak-willed person. However, at the same time, there is plenty of evidence that the emperor has repeatedly sought the fulfillment of his intentions, with persistence he went to the intended goal. In particular, Emile Loubet, the French president, wrote that "under ostentatious timidity, Nicholas II has a courageous heart and a strong soul." Some people who knew the Tsar closely said that "the emperor has an iron hand, but only many are deceived by the look of a velvet glove worn on her." The tsar also has exceptional self-control, perhaps this explains the strange composure with which Nicholas II received news of the death of people or the defeat of the Russian army.
However, contemporaries saw well that the management of a huge country was nevertheless a “heavy burden” for the sovereign. And this is despite his natural perseverance and accuracy, good memory and observation. Not being a reformer by nature, the emperor had to constantly make important decisions, many of which did not meet his inner convictions. Historians believe that the king found his happiness in the family circle. He greatly valued the welfare of his loved ones. Empress Alexandra Fedorovna was his support, had a great influence on the views, habits and cultural interests of the spouse.
From 1907 year in the royal family appeared old man Gregory Rasputin. And although it has not yet been established what role he played in the state life of the Russian Empire, his enormous authority and influence on the tsar is indisputable. And in aristocratic circles with might and main walked gossip about the queen - Rasputin's mistress. The masses are also firmly seized on these speculations. By the beginning of the war, the emphasis on the Tsar's wife — a traitor and a spy — had switched to Nicholas II himself. People were surprised how he sees nothing right in front of his nose, he suffers a traitor Rasputin and a traitor to his wife. From here followed only one conclusion - the king is a rag and needs to be changed.
The turning point in the fate of Nicholas II was the beginning of the First World War. The emperor did not want her, tried to delay. He said that Russia, unlike Germany, was not ready. However, the Russian Tsar, like all reasonable people in the country, understood very well that a collision was inevitable. In 1914, the German military machine was the limit of virtually half a century of concentration of all the forces of the state. Like sports training, all the forces of the country were raised to the limit of physiological possibilities. You can not raise more and can not keep on this level further. Germany, Wilhelm had to either speak or forget about performances. Similarly, in the 1941 year, Hitler could not wait. In 1939, the Germans ate one by one Poland and the Netherlands, and then Belgium and, most importantly, France. In the 1914 year, the situation on the French front was very similar, the Chief of General Staff Joffre shot entire divisions in order to keep the troops at the front. The German army was moving west with great speed, and because of the distance our mobilization did not have time. Nicholas II, on his own initiative, sent the army of Samsonov to certain death. She died, but Paris and France were saved. This, in turn, did not give an opportunity to unite against Russia, Germany, Austria, Turkey and avoid the tragedy of the 1941-1945s. After this, the armies burrowed into the ground, on all fronts military leaders of approximately equal talent acted, no one had any advantage for a long time.
Emperor Nicholas II (in front) and the Chief of the Russian Navy and Naval Department Grand Duke Alexey Alexandrovich bypass the command of the Don Cossack squadron
After a long period of military setbacks since August 1915, the king focused entirely on command of the troops and planning military operations. Nicholas rarely appeared in the capital, spending most of his time at his headquarters in Mogilev. On the nature of the military command of Nicholas II go a variety of judgments. There are opinions that his sovereign leadership was purely nominal. However, there are other data, first of all, regarding the 1917 summer campaign plan. It is known that Nicholas II offered his headquarters to focus its main efforts on the destruction of the allies of Germany - Bulgaria and Turkey. The emperor claimed that it was necessary to beat the enemy where he was the weakest. For this, a landing was planned near Constantinople and in Romania, as well as a coordinated performance with the Allies in the Balkans. A year later, the Allies partially implemented the plan of Nicholas, the Fourth Union collapsed, only Russia was no longer among the winners. The war revealed the accumulated internal problems of the country. The protracted military campaign, the failures at the front were mainly attributed to the king and his associates. It was rumored that the government "became a nest of traitors." And at this time (January 1917-th year), the highest military command, together with the headquarters of the British and French, was preparing a plan for a general offensive. General N.A. Lokhvitsky said: “It took Peter the Great nine years to turn the Narva defeated people into Poltava winners. Emperor Nicholas II did the same work in a year and a half, but a revolution arose between the Sovereign, his Army and the Victory. ”
At the end of February 1917 of the year in St. Petersburg began folk performances. Having met with no serious resistance from the authorities, in a couple of days the insurrections escalated into mass uprisings against the government. Learning about this, Nicholas II decided to disperse the strikers by force, but when he found out the true scale of the unrest, he immediately abandoned this venture. Perhaps he understood the futility of this attempt, and maybe he was horrified, imagining the size of the bloodshed that threatened.
Under pressure from high-ranking military officials, members of his retinue, and various political figures, Nicholas II abdicated the throne. It happened 2 March 1917-th year in the car of the imperial train near Pskov. Thus, his duty to the Fatherland was violated, and the country was transferred into the hands of the Bolsheviks. If the renunciation of the anointed king really took place, it is a church-canonical crime, like the refusal of the representative of the Orthodox Church from his dignity. One "but." Modern historians have not found evidence of the very fact of the abdication of the throne. The only document stored in the State Archives is a printed leaflet about the abdication with the signature in a pencil “Nikolai” and circled in pen. The signature of Count Fredericks, who was minister of the Imperial Court, was also inscribed in pencil and pen.
There is an opinion that, already being in captivity by the Bolsheviks, the emperor could save himself and his family life. For this, he only needed to approve the Brest Peace. However, he refused.
9 March All members of the royal family were arrested. The first five months they were kept in Tsarskoye Selo, and in August they were transported to Tobolsk. In April, the 1918 of the year the Romanovs ended up in Yekaterinburg. Around midnight 16 July 1918 of the year, Yankel Yurovsky, the commandant of the House of Special Purpose, gave the order to wake the sleeping Nikolai, the queen, five children and several approximate (only eleven people) and tell them to dress and go down to the basement under the pretext of protecting from shelling. White troops. The king did not answer this, only asked to take two chairs - for himself and his wife. He carried his sick son in his arms. All under escort was taken to the semi-basement room six by five meters. Behind the Romanovs came the firing squad. Yurovsky immediately solemnly read the decision of the Ural Executive Committee. Everything became finally clear when the visitors raised weapon. Women tried to cross themselves, shots rang out, then on the already fallen bodies. When the smoke blocked the electric light, the shooting was stopped. But some members of the royal family were still alive. The soldiers stabbed them with bayonets on rifles ....
Immediately after the February Revolution, a powerful PR campaign began to completely discredit the last Russian monarch. Nicholas II was appointed personally responsible for the Khodyn tragedy and 9 in January, the defeat of the army and navy in the Russian-Japanese war, many punitive actions and military field courts, the Lensky shooting and Jewish pogroms, drawing the country into the First World, mediocre leadership in the war. The former king was portrayed before new generations by a bloody despot, a drunkard, a moral monster capable of domestic murder, not to mention other crimes. The first defeats of the Russians during the war years, according to the assurances of the Soviet political workers, were due to the tsar's criminal behavior, direct betrayal and even absurd thought, espionage in favor of Germany.
If we consider the specific results of the reign of Nicholas II, then they really ended in failure. However, the causes and nature of these failures are closely related to world historical processes. After all, the revolution at the end of the First World War began not only in Russia. The centuries-old thrones of the Ottomans, Hapsburgs, Hohenzollerns fell. Disappeared Turkish and Austrian empires. The fermentation began even in the victor countries. The disintegration of the general colonial system began.
The fact that Nicholas II, both as a person and as a representative of the tradition, was a man with rather average abilities. However, right up to the grave he tried to honestly and honestly do everything he could or could for the country. He failed, he made many mistakes. Today, many of them look pretty obvious, but at the time they did not seem so. At the end of his reign, Nicholas II faced a task that was truly insoluble for him: it was necessary to fight both Germany and the remnants of noble privileges, and in the very rear he had a new intelligentsia growing and becoming stronger. The only link between the emperor and the people is purely moral. Even the Church, broken by Nikon's reforms, had already lost its own voice and public authority.
The last Russian tsar is often accused of completely opposite sins. For example, because he was too slowly pursuing liberal reforms, and, at the same time, was too soft in relation to revolutionaries. Indeed, he could be more cruel, could be an extremist on the throne, could by all means fight for his power and drown the country in rivers of blood. He did not do this, and if this is his fault, then, thank God, he had such flaws. It is well known that most of all the emperor wanted peace, but there was no perfect peace with him, and without him there was much less peace.