Biography of Nicholas II

Nicholas II - the last Russian tsar, abdicated from the throne and executed by the Bolsheviks, later canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. His reign is assessed differently: from harsh criticism and statements that he was a “bloody” and weak-willed monarch, guilty of a revolutionary catastrophe and the collapse of the empire, to praise of his human merits and claims that he was an outstanding statesman and reformer.
In the photo: Nicholas IIIn the photo: Nicholas II
During his reign, an unprecedented flourishing of the economy, agriculture, and industry was observed. The country became the main exporter of agricultural products, coal mining and iron smelting grew fourfold, power generation increased 100 times, and the state bank’s gold reserves increased more than 2 times. The emperor was the ancestor of the Russian aviation and submarine fleet. By 1913, the empire entered the top five most developed countries in the world.

Childhood and youth

The future autocrat was born on May 18, 1868 in the country residence of the nativerulers in Tsarskoe Selo. He became the firstborn of Alexander III and Maria Fedorovna among their five children and heir to the crown.
The future autocrat Nicholas II in childhoodThe future autocrat Nicholas II in childhood
According to the decision of his grandfather, Alexander II, General Grigory Danilovich, who held this position from 1877 to 1891, became his main tutor. Subsequently, he was accused of the shortcomings of the emperor's complex nature.
Since 1877, the heir received home education in the system, which included general education and lectures of higher sciences. Initially, he mastered the visual and musical art, literature, historical processes and foreign languages, including English, Danish, German, French. And from 1885 to 1890 studied military affairs, economics, jurisprudence, important for the royal activities. His mentors were prominent scientists - Vladimir Afanasyevich Obruchev, Nikolai Nikolaevich Beketov, Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev, Mikhail Ivanovich Dragomirov, etc. And they were only obliged to set out the material, but not to test the knowledge of the heir to the crown prince. However, he studied very diligently.
Nicholas II in his youthNicholas II in his youth
In 1878, an English teacher, Mr. Karl Heath, appeared among the boy's mentors. Thanks to him, the teenager not only perfectly mastered the language, but also fell in love with the sport.After the family moved in 1881 to the Gatchina Palace, not without the participation of an Englishman, a training room with horizontal bars and bars was equipped in one of its halls. In addition, together with his brothers, Nikolay rode well on a horse, shot, fenced and became well developed physically.
In 1884, a young man took an oath of service to the Motherland and began to serve at the beginning in Preobrazhensky, 2 years later in the Life-Guard Hussars of His Majesty's regiment.
Nicholas II in his youthNicholas II in his youth
In 1892, a young man earned the rank of colonel, and his father began to acquaint him with the specifics of governing the country. The young man took part in the work of the Parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers, visited various parts of the monarchy and abroad: in Japan, China, India, Egypt, Austria-Hungary, Greece.

Tragic accession to the throne

In 1894, Alexander III died from a kidney disease at 2 hours and 15 minutes in Livadia, and after an hour and a half in the Holy Cross Church his son swore allegiance to the crown. The coronation ceremony - the adoption of power along with the relevant attributes, including the crown, throne, scepter - was held in 1896 in the Kremlin.
Coronation of Nicholas IICoronation of Nicholas II
She was overshadowed by terrible events on the Khodynka field,where it was planned to hold festivities with the presentation of 400 thousand royal gifts - circles with the monarch of the monarch and various delicacies. As a result, on Khodynka there was a million crowd who wanted to receive presents. The result was a terrible crush that took the lives of about one and a half thousand citizens.
The crush on Khodynka claimed about one and a half thousand livesThe crush on Khodynka claimed about one and a half thousand lives
Upon learning of the tragedy, the sovereign did not cancel festive events, in particular, the reception at the French embassy. And although he later visited the victims in the hospitals, he financially supported the families of the victims, but he still received the nickname “Bloody” among the people.

Reign

In domestic politics, the young emperor retained his fatherly adherence to traditional values ​​and principles. In the first public address in 1895 in the Winter Palace, he announced his intention to “protect the beginnings of autocracy.” According to some historians, this statement was negatively perceived by society. People questioned the possibility of democratic reforms, and this caused an increase in revolutionary activity.
Nicholas II remained committed to traditional values ​​and principlesNicholas II remained committed to traditional values ​​and principles
However, after the father’s counter-reform, the last Russian tsar began to support decisions as much as possible.to improve people's life and strengthen the existing system.

Among the processes implemented with him were:

  • population census;
  • the introduction of the gold circulation of the ruble;
  • universal primary education;
  • industrialization;
  • limitation of working time;
  • workers insurance;
  • improved soldiers ’satisfaction;
  • increase of military salaries and pensions;
  • toleration;
  • agrarian reform;
  • large-scale road construction.
     
Rare newsreel with Emperor Nicholas II in color
Because of the growing popular unrest and wars, the reign of the emperor took place in a very difficult situation. Following the requirements of the time, he granted his subjects freedom of speech, assembly, and the press. The State Duma was established in the country, which served as the highest legislative body. However, with the beginning of the First World War in 1914, internal problems became even more aggravated, and mass protests against the government began.
Emperor Nicholas II at the maneuvers (1913)Emperor Nicholas II at the maneuvers (1913)
The prestige of the head of state was also negatively influenced by military failures and the appearance of rumors about interference in the governance of the country by various fortune tellers and other ambiguous personalities, especially the main “adviser to the tsar” Grigory Rasputin, who was considered an adventurer and rogue by most citizens.
Frames of Nicholas II's abdication
In February 1917, spontaneous unrest began in the capital. The monarch intended to stop them by force. However, there was a conspiracy atmosphere at GHQ. Only two generals expressed their readiness to support the emperor and send troops to pacify the rebels, the rest were in favor of his abdication. As a result, in early March in Pskov, Nicholas II made the difficult decision to renounce in favor of Brother Michael. However, he, after the Duma’s refusal to guarantee his personal security if he accepted the crown, officially renounced the throne, thereby putting an end to the thousand-year Russian monarchy and the 300-year reign of the Romanov dynasty.

The personal life of Nicholas II

The first love of the future emperor was the ballet dancer Matilda Kshesinskaya. He stayed with her in intimate connection with the approval of parents, concerned about the indifference of his son to the opposite sex, for two years, starting in 1892. However, the connection with the ballerina, the path and favorite of St. Petersburg, for obvious reasons, could not turn into a legal marriage. This page in the life of the emperor is devoted to Alexei Uchitel's feature film “Matilda” (although viewers agree that it is more fiction in this picture than historical authenticity).
Nicholas II and Matilda KshesinskayaNicholas II and Matilda Kshesinskaya
In April 1894In the German city of Coburg, the engagement of a 26-year-old Tsarevich with a 22-year-old princess Alice Darmstadt of Hesse, granddaughter of the Queen of England Victoria, took place. He later described the event as “miraculous and unforgettable.” Their marriage took place in November in the temple of the Winter Palace.
Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna (nee Alisa Darmstadt of Hesse)Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna (nee Alisa Darmstadt of Hesse)
The couple had 5 children: Tatiana, Olga, Maria, Anastasia and Alexey.
Royal familyRoyal family
From the age of 9, Nikolai kept a diary, was fond of photography, cars, loved hunting, cinema, reading books, smoking cigarettes.

The death of Nicholas II

After the autocrat's abdication, power in Russia passed to the Provisional Government. According to his decision, on March 8, 1917, on arrival at Tsarskoe Selo, Nikolai Alexandrovich was arrested along with his family members. On August 1, the royal family was sent to Tobolsk, ostensibly for security reasons - the Germans were stubbornly moving towards the Russian capital, where anarchy reigned.
In April 1918, the royal family was sent to EkaterinburgIn April 1918, the royal family was sent to Ekaterinburg
In April 1918, the former monarch and his wife, their children, and several servants who remained faithful to them under the orders of the Bolshevik government under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin were sent to Yekaterinburg.With the sanction of the leader of the revolution (although this fact is disputed by a number of historians) on the night of July 17 in a house where they were held in custody, all prisoners were shot without a court sentence.
The murder of the royal family
In 1981, the Russian Orthodox Church abroad and in 2000 in the Russian Federation, the family of the last monarch was canonized.

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