Tsar Essay

1367 WordsJan 31, 20136 Pages
On Sunday 13 March 1881, the 13-year-old Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov, the future tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, was accompanying his father and grandfather on a carriage through the streets of St Petersburg. His grandfather, Tsar Alexander II, had been to see his routine Sunday morning parade, despite advice that there were plots to have him assassinated. The tsar insisted but on this morning would pay for his obstinacy. A bomb thrown by a member of a terrorist group called the People’s Will killed the tsar. It was, for the young Nicholas, a terrible scene to have to witness. Alexander II had been a reformer and a liberal, introducing 20 years earlier the emancipation of the serfs and keen to introduce a raft of new reforms. In consequence of the tsar’s violent end, his son and the new tsar, Alexander III, undid much of Alexander II’s reforms, suppressed liberalism and brought back the full force of autocracy. The new tsar intended to start teaching his son the art of statesmanship once Nicholas had reached the age of 30. But on 1 November 1894, aged only 49, Alexander III died of kidney disease. His son was still only 26. Thus, following the death of his father, Nicholas (pictured) was thrust unprepared into the limelight. Fearful of the responsibility that was now his to bear, he reputedly asked, ‘What will become of me and all of Russia?’ The Khodynka Tragedy From the start the omens were not good. Four days after his coronation on 26 May 1896, Nicholas II and his wife of 18 months, Alix of Hesse, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, attended the public celebration held in their honour in Khodynka Field, on the outskirts of Moscow. 100,000 people gathered to enjoy the coronation festivities but a stampede caused the death of 1,389. Many more were injured. In a state of shock, Nicholas wished to pray for the dead. But he was persuaded by his advisors to attend

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