79 Facts About Nicholas II


Nicholas II advocated modernization based on foreign loans and close ties with France, but resisted giving the new parliament major roles.

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Ultimately, progress was undermined by Nicholas's commitment to autocratic rule, strong aristocratic opposition and defeats sustained by the Russian military in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I By March 1917, public support for Nicholas had collapsed and he was forced to abdicate the throne, thereby ending the Romanov dynasty's 304-year rule of Russia .

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Nicholas II signed the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907, which was designed to counter Germany's attempts to gain influence in the Middle East; it ended the Great Game of confrontation between Russia and the British Empire.

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Nicholas II aimed to strengthen the Franco-Russian Alliance and proposed the unsuccessful Hague Convention of 1899 to promote disarmament and solve international disputes peacefully.

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Nicholas II's popularity was further damaged by the Russo-Japanese War, which saw the Russian Baltic Fleet annihilated at the Battle of Tsushima, together with the loss of Russian influence over Manchuria and Korea and the Japanese annexation of the south of Sakhalin Island.

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Nicholas II was the eldest child of then-Tsesarevich Alexander Alexandrovich and his wife, Tsesarevna Maria Feodorovna .

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Grand Duke Nicholas II' father was heir apparent to the Russian throne as the second but eldest surviving son of Emperor Alexander II of Russia.

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Nicholas II's godparents were Emperor Alexander II, Queen Louise of Denmark, Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, and Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna .

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The boy received the traditional Romanov name Nicholas II and was named in memory of his father's older brother and mother's first fiance, Tsesarevich Nicholas II Alexandrovich of Russia, who had died young in 1865.

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Nicholas II was of primarily German and Danish descent, his last ethnically Russian ancestor being Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna of Russia, daughter of Peter the Great.

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Nicholas II was a first cousin of both King Haakon VII and Queen Maud of Norway, as well as King Christian X of Denmark and King Constantine I of Greece.

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Tsar Nicholas II was the first cousin once-removed of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich.

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Grand Duke Nicholas II was to have five younger siblings: Alexander, George, Xenia, Michael and Olga .

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Nicholas II often referred to his father nostalgically in letters after Alexander's death in 1894.

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Nicholas II was very close to his mother, as revealed in their published letters to each other.

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In 1873, Nicholas II accompanied his parents and younger brother, two-year-old George, on a two-month, semi-official visit to the United Kingdom.

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On 1 March 1881, following the assassination of his grandfather, Tsar Alexander II, Nicholas II became heir apparent upon his father's accession as Alexander III.

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Nicholas II visited Egypt, India, Singapore, and Siam, receiving honors as a distinguished guest in each country.

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Nicholas II was left with a 9 centimeter long scar on the right side of his forehead, but his wound was not life-threatening.

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In 1893, Nicholas II traveled to London on behalf of his parents to be present at the wedding of his cousin the Duke of York to Princess Mary of Teck.

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Nicholas II attended meetings of the State Council; however, as his father was only in his forties, it was expected that it would be many years before Nicholas succeeded to the throne.

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Alexander's assumptions that he would live a long life and had years to prepare Nicholas II for becoming Tsar proved wrong, as by 1894, Alexander's health was failing.

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Once in Coburg Nicholas II proposed to Alix, but she rejected his proposal, being reluctant to convert to Orthodoxy.

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Summer, Nicholas II travelled to England to visit both Alix and the Queen.

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Nicholas II chose to maintain the conservative policies favoured by his father throughout his reign.

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The Khodynka Tragedy was seen as an ill omen and Nicholas II found gaining popular trust difficult from the beginning of his reign.

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Nicholas II always believed God chose him to be the tsar and therefore the decisions of the tsar reflected the will of God and could not be disputed.

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Nicholas II was convinced that the simple people of Russia understood this and loved him, as demonstrated by the display of affection he perceived when he made public appearances.

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Nicholas II's old-fashioned belief made for a very stubborn ruler who rejected constitutional limitations on his power.

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In 1903, Nicholas II threw himself into an ecclesiastical crisis regarding the canonisation of Seraphim of Sarov.

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Nicholas II followed the policies of his father, strengthening the Franco-Russian Alliance and pursuing a policy of general European pacification, which culminated in the famous Hague peace conference.

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Nicholas II became the hero of the dedicated disciples of peace.

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Nicholas II pursued an aggressive foreign policy with regards to Manchuria and Korea, and strongly supported the scheme for timber concessions in these areas as developed by the Bezobrazov group.

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Nicholas II accepted American mediation, appointing Sergei Witte chief plenipotentiary for the peace talks.

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Nicholas II saw the war as an easy God-given victory that would raise Russian morale and patriotism.

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Nicholas II ignored the financial repercussions of a long-distance war.

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Rotem Kowner argues that during his visit to Japan in 1891, where Nicholas II was attacked by a Japanese policeman, he regarded the Japanese as small of stature, feminine, weak, and inferior.

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Nicholas II ignored reports of the prowess of Japanese soldiers in the Sino-Japanese War and reports on the capabilities of the Japanese fleet, as well as negative reports on the lack of readiness of Russian forces.

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Nicholas II forbade his chief negotiator Count Witte to agree to either indemnity payments or loss of territory.

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The government of Nicholas II formally condemned the rioting and dismissed the regional governor, with the perpetrators arrested and punished by the court.

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In private Nicholas II expressed his admiration for the mobs, viewing anti-Semitism as a useful tool for unifying the people behind the government; however in 1911, following the assassination of Pyotr Stolypin by the Jewish revolutionary Dmitry Bogrov, he approved of government efforts to prevent anti-Semitic pogroms.

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Tsar Nicholas II, taken by surprise by the events, reacted with anger and bewilderment.

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Under pressure from the attempted 1905 Russian Revolution, on 5 August of that year Nicholas II issued a manifesto about the convocation of the State Duma, known as the Bulygin Duma, initially thought to be an advisory organ.

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Nicholas II was determined to preserve his autocracy even in the context of reform.

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Nicholas II was described as the supreme autocrat, and retained sweeping executive powers, in church affairs.

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Nicholas II had ordered an investigation into Rasputin and presented it to the Tsar, who read it but did nothing.

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Alexandra protested vehemently but Nicholas II refused to overrule his Prime Minister, who had more influence with the Emperor.

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Alexandra bore Nicholas II four daughters, the Grand Duchess Olga in 1895, the Grand Duchess Tatiana in 1897, Grand Duchess Maria in 1899, and Grand Duchess Anastasia in 1901, before their son Alexei was born on 12 August 1904.

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Nicholas II's bleeding grew steadily worse as doctors despaired, and priests administered the Last Sacrament.

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Later that year, Nicholas II was taken off guard by the news that his foreign minister, Alexander Izvolsky, had entered into a secret agreement with the Austro-Hungarian foreign minister, Count Alois von Aehrenthal, agreeing that, in exchange for Russian naval access to the Dardanelles and the Bosporus Strait, Russia would not oppose the Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a revision of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin.

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In 1913, during the Balkan Wars, Nicholas II personally offered to arbitrate between Serbia and Bulgaria.

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Nicholas II was joined by his cousin, King George V and his wife, Queen Mary.

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In February 1913, Nicholas II presided over the tercentenary celebrations for the Romanov Dynasty.

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In Finland, Nicholas II had become associated with deeply unpopular Russification measures.

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Russification measures were reintroduced in 1908 after a temporary suspension in the aftermath of the 1905 Revolution, and Nicholas II received an icy reception when he made his only visit to Helsinki on 10 March 1915.

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Nicholas II wanted neither to abandon Serbia to the ultimatum of Austria, nor to provoke a general war.

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Nicholas II desired that Russia's mobilization be only against Austria-Hungary, in the hopes of preventing war with Germany.

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On 25 July 1914, at his council of ministers, Nicholas II decided to intervene in the Austro-Serbian conflict, a step toward general war.

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However, his army had no contingency plans for a partial mobilization, and on 30 July 1914 Nicholas II took the fateful step of confirming the order for general mobilization, despite being strongly counselled against it.

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On 29 July 1914, Nicholas II sent a telegram to Wilhelm with the suggestion to submit the Austro-Serbian problem to the Hague Conference .

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Nicholas II chose to turn down King Christian's offer of mediation, as he felt it would be a betrayal for Russia to form a separate peace treaty with the Central Powers when its allies Britain and France were still fighting.

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Nicholas II was away at the remote HQ at Mogilev, far from the direct governance of the empire, and when revolution broke out in Petrograd he was unable to halt it.

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In reality the move was largely symbolic, since all important military decisions were made by his chief-of-staff General Michael Alexeiev, and Nicholas II did little more than review troops, inspect field hospitals, and preside over military luncheons.

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Nicholas II had been repeatedly warned about the destructive influence of Rasputin but had failed to remove him.

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Nicholas II, informed of the situation by Rodzianko, ordered reinforcements to the capital and suspended the Duma.

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Nicholas II had suffered a coronary occlusion only four days before his abdication.

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Nicholas II first abdicated in favor of Alexei, but a few hours later changed his mind after advice from doctors that Alexei would not live long enough while separated from his parents, who would be forced into exile.

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Nicholas II thus abdicated on behalf of his son, and drew up a new manifesto naming his brother, Grand Duke Michael, as the next Emperor of all Russias.

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Nicholas II issued a statement but it was suppressed by the Provisional Government.

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Nicholas II joined the rest of the family there two days later, having traveled from the wartime headquarters at Mogilev.

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In October 1917 the Bolsheviks seized power from Kerensky's Provisional Government; Nicholas II followed the events in October with interest but not yet with alarm.

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Contemporary evaluations of Nicholas II portrayed him as a well-meaning but indecisive leader, whose actions as monarch were heavily influenced by his advisors.

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Nicholas II was described as shy, charming, gentle in disposition, fearful of controversy, indecisive, indulgent to his relatives, and deeply devoted to his family.

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Sergei Witte, who served Nicholas II and his father for eleven years as Minister of Finance, commented that the Tsar was a well-intentioned child, but his actions were entirely dependent upon the character of his counselors, most of whom were bad.

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Nicholas II was criticised for fanning nationalism and chauvinism, and his regime was condemned for its extensive use of the army, police, and courts to destroy the revolutionary movement.

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Essentially, the tragedy of Nicholas II was that he appeared in the wrong place in history.

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Emperor Nicholas II Land was discovered in 1913 by the Arctic Ocean Hydrographic Expedition led by Boris Vilkitsky on behalf of the Russian Hydrographic Service.

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Nicholas II was granted honorary senior rank in a number of foreign armies, reciprocating by extending similar distinctions to a number of his fellow monarchs.

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Nicholas II was Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Scots Greys from 1894 until his death.

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