On This Day: Nicholas II Manifesto on Establishment of the State Duma Topic: Nicholas II
The throne draped and flanked by the Imperial Romanov regalia, the Imperial family (to the left of the throne) and members of the 1st State Duma witness Emperor Nicholas II opening the first Duma in St. George’s Hall of the Winter Palace the following year.
On 19 August (O.S. 6 August) 1905 Emperor Nicholas II signed the manifesto for the establishment of Russian State Duma - the supreme representative law advisory body of the Russian Empire. The same day was issued "Regulations on the State Duma elections".
The beginning of the project's development was an address of by Minister of Agriculture and State Property, A. S. Ermolov to Emperor Nicholas II 13 February (O.S. January 31) 1905, with a proposal to establish an elected Zemstvo Duma for preliminary consideration of major bills. In February the Council of Ministers met twice regarding this issue, but the decision had not been made. Soon, the Minister of Internal Affairs A. G. Bulygin was given a rescript, charging him the chairmanship of the Special Meeting to draft provisions on the State Duma. On behalf of its creator, this project was called Bulygin Duma.
Developed by the Ministry of Interior, the project was discussed at meetings with the Emperor at New Peterhof with attendance of the grand dukes, members of the Council of State and Ministers.
The Duma was to be convened no later than mid-January 1906. According to the project, it was granted the right to discuss all the bills, budget, report of state control and draw conclusions on them which then were submitted to the State Council, where from the bills with the conclusions of the Duma and the Council were submitted to the emperor for consideration. The Duma was to be elected for 5 year tearms. Most people did not have voting rights, including those under 25 years old, workers, women, students, military personnel, foreign nationals, as well as governors, vice governors, mayors and their aides and police officers within the areas under their jurisdiction. Elections were held in provinces and regions, and also separately in the capitals and 23 largest cities. Farmers were supposed to have four-stage elections, and landlords and bourgeoisie - two-stage elections; 42% of the electors were to be elected by congresses of representatives of the counties, 34% - by congresses of district landowners, and 24% - by congresses of urban voters.
Members of the State Duma were to be elected by the provincial election meetings of landowners and representatives of townships, under the chairmanship of the provincial marshal of nobility or urban voters meeting chaired by the mayor.
Members of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) called on the workers and peasants to actively boycott the Bulygin Duma and used their propaganda campaign to prepare for an armed uprising. The convening of the Bulygin Duma was disrupted as a result of the revolutionary events of October 1905, forcing the Russian Emperor to issue a Manifesto "On improvement of public order" on the establishment of the State Duma with legislative powers.
A monument of Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (the future Emperor Nicholas II), was unveiled 11th August on Cossack Square in the Russian city of Chita. It is the only monument in Russia which depicts Nicholas II as Tsesarevich
Chita is the administrative center of Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia, located at the confluence of the Chita and Ingoda Rivers and on the Trans-Siberian Railway, 900 kilometers (560 mi) east of Irkutsk.
The monument was created to mark the Tsesarevich’s visit to the Trans-Baikal region, where he spent 11 days in June 1891. During his visit to the region, the heir to the throne assisted with developments in education, and supported the establishment of new institutions, and the Chita trade school.
Standing proud, his young face, strong chin, the future emperor directs a confident gaze to the future of Russia. The bronze figure of the young Tsesarevich stands more than 2-meters in height, and is set on a 4-meter granite pedestal.
The cost of the monument was 2.5 million rubles. Funds for the monument were collected around the world, including the descendants of Trans-Baikal Cossacks living in Australia, plus major financial support provided by the Trans-Baikal Railway. Emperor Nicholas II is especially revered by the Cossacks, because he served as the Most August Ataman of All Cossack troops of the Russian Empire.
The creator of the monument is the famed Krasnoyarsk sculptor Konstantin Zinich, who is an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts. The unveiling of the monument took place with great pomp and ceremony. The event opened with the playing of the anthem of the Russian Empire, "God Save the Tsar," followed by local folk dancing, singing and an honourary 5-gun salute.
"In unveiling this monument to Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich, we restore historical justice and acknowledge that much of the planning and commitment by this man played a significant and positive role in the development of the Trans-Baikal", - organizers said.
One of the initiators of the monument, the deputy of the regional Legislative Assembly Alexander Filonich said that the arrival of Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich in the region will always be associated with the beginning of construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. During that journey, he stopped in 14 towns in the region, meeting with local residents, officials, clergy and merchants at each.
A new two-volume study on Emperor Nicholas II by historian and writer Petr Multatuli was presented in Ekaterinburg last week. Multatuli is the great-grandson of the imperial cook Ivan Kharitonov, who was shot along with the Imperial family in the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg on 17 July, 1918.
The presentation which took place on 20th July was attended by Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, and Mrs. Olga Kulikovsky, the widow of Tikhon Kulikovsky, son of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna.
To this day Russia’s last monarch continues to be misunderstood, both as a man and as a statesman. Even for the modern reader, the figure of Emperor Nicholas II remains a mystery. Historian Petr Multatuli presents his fundamental biographical project in two volumes (in Russian only):
In Volume I the author examines the reign of the Emperor, including a detailed analysis of the monarch's accession to the throne, Nicholas II's personal qualities as a politician and as a family man, his attitude to domestic reforms, events of the 1905 Revolution and the Russian-Japanese War.
In Volume II Multatuli explores the reign of Nicholas II before the collapse of the Russian Empire. Much attention is paid to the role of the Emperor in the reform of Russian society and his relations with Stolypin, and the complex assembly of the Balkan problems and Russia's participation in the First World War. Separately, the author examines the circumstances of the martyrdom of Nicholas II and his family.
The author has based his research for this new study new documents from the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) and the personal diaries of Nicholas II. Russian historian and writer Petr Multatuli presents by far the most complete biography of the Holy Tsar-Martyr.
Petr Multatuli has a PhD in Historical Sciences, and his written a number of monographs and articles on the life and reign of the Emperor Nicholas II and his epoch. His work challenges the popular held negative image of Russia's last emperor, embraced by many Western historians and biographers in the West.
Since June 2010 Petr Multatuli has been working for the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also a member of the Union of Writers of the Russian Federation.
Click on the link below to watch a video (in Russian) of the book's presentation in Ekaterinburg on 20th July, 2016:
The last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, was a pious man whose Christian priorities
were as misunderstood by Western observers as they were despised by Lenin.
His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov was born in the Blue Boudoir of his mother Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna (the future Empress Maria Feodorovna) of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo on 18 [O.S. 6] May 1868. He came into this world on the day upon which the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of St. Job the Long-Suffering. Upon the death of his father Emperor Alexander III on 1 November [O.S. 20 October] 1894, Emperor Nicholas II was destined to reign as Russia's last Orthodox Christian monarch until his abdication on 15 [O.S. 2] March 1917.
During my recent visit to Ekaterinburg last month, I had the pleasure of visiting the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent, which was located directly behind my hotel. Each morning, I would attend morning prayers held in the magnificent St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The beautiful landscaped grounds of the convent were surrounded by a high wall, the sweet smell of lilacs and the sound of birds singing provided me with a peaceful sanctuary in which to reflect and write about my visit to the Ural city and the places associated with the final days of Russia’s last emperor and his family.
The Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent shares an interesting history with the Romanov dynasty, particularly that of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. In 1918, during their imprisonment in the Ipatiev House, the nuns from the convent offered prayers to the family, and also brought them milk, eggs and cream. It was during my recent visit that I learned of a portrait of the last tsar, painted by one of the nuns at the convent, one with a sad yet fascinating fate.
During his reign, Nicholas II never visited Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent, however, when a request was made by one of the nuns to paint his portrait came, the emperor granted his favour. It was Nun Emilia who painted the portrait of Emperor Nicholas II in the uniform of the Life-Guards Hussar Regiment. The portrait - a gift marking the 1896 coronation - was sent to St. Petersburg, where the emperor hung it in his private apartments in the Winter Palace.
In October 1917, during the assault on the Winter Palace, the portrait was cut by the bayonets of Bolshevik thugs. During the Soviet years, the portrait hung in the Museum of the October Revolution in Leningrad for more than 70 years. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the portrait was restored, leaving, however, the cuts made by the bayonets as a poignant reminder of the dark days of the Bolshevik Revolution which swept Russia and it’s monarchy into an abyss.
Today, the portrait hangs in the Museum of Political History of Russia (located in the former mansion of Mathilde Kschessinska) in St. Petersburg.
For more information on the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent, please refer to the following article:
On 16 May, a bronze bust of St. Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II was unveiled on the grounds of the Transfiguration Cathedral in the Russian city of Tambov. Metropolitan Theodosius of Tambov and Rasskazovsky performed the consecration in the presence of members of the clergy, Orthodox Christians and monarchists.
In 1914, Emperor Nicholas II visited the church during a short visit to Tambov, where he venerated the relics of St. Pitirim of Tambov (glorified in 1914). In honour of this historic event a walkway was recreated from the church to the source of a nearby well, which allows the faithful to retrace the steps of Russia’s last emperor some 102 years ago.
"He proceeded along the walkway by which we today march to the source of Saint Pitirim, and drank water from it. We have historical evidence of this event, "- said Metropolitan Theodosius of Tambov and Rasskazovsky.
The bust of Emperor Nicholas II was presented to the church by the Orthodox Mission Branch of the Tambov Archdiocese.
A second bust of Emperor Nicholas II was also unveiled on 16 May in Yalta. The bronze bust was unveiled by Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) Chairman Sergei Stepashin, marking the 100th anniversary of the last visit to the Crimea by Russia’s last emperor.
Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea performed a liturgy in St. Nicholas Cathedral, followed by a procession along the waterfront where he performed the consecration of the bust. The solemn ceremony was followed by festivities attended by the heads of the municipality, municipal education departments of Family, Youth and Sports in Yevpatoriya.
The opening ceremony was attended by Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea Lazar, Metropolitan Platon of Feodosia and Kerch, the Head of the Russian Imperial House HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, her son Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich, and the head of the administration of Yevpatoriya Andrew Filonov, among other guests of honour.
The bust was established on the initiative of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society and its Chairman Sergei Stepashin with the blessing of His Eminence Lazarus, Metropolitan of Simferopol and Crimea. This is the second bust of Emperor Nicholas II in the Yalta area. The first was unveiled at Livadia Palace on 19 May, 2015.
A third bust of Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled on 19 May in Rostov-on-Don. The bronze bust was erected at the entrance of the Cadet School of the Second Don Emperor Nicholas II Cadets Corps, located at the Don State Technical University.
On This Day: Emperor Nicholas II was Born at Tsarskoye Selo Topic: Nicholas II
Note: this article has been amended from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
On 18 May (O.S. 6 May) 1868 in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, was born the first son of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna, the Grand Duke Nikolai Alexandrovich - the future and last Emperor of Russia - Nicholas II.
Nicholas passed his childhood years growing up in Gatchina Palace. The future emperor had been educated in compliance with an accurately designed thirteen year program. During the first 8 years particular attention was devoted to subjects such as political history, Russian literature, French, German, English, and gymnasium; the next five years were devoted to studying military affairs, legal and economic sciences, necessary for a statesman. Among his tutors were outstanding Russian scholars: N. N. Beketov, N. N. Obruchev, J. F. Cui, M. I. Dragomirov, N. J. Bunge.
In 1884 Nicholas joined the military service, and in July 1887 he joined the Preobrazhensky Regiment. Prior to ascending the throne, Nicholas commanded – as a colonel - the first battalion of the Life Guards Preobrazhensky Regiment.
Having a notion about public affairs, Nicholas began to attend meetings of the State Council and the Committee of Ministers from May 1889. In October 1890 he went on a voyage to the Far East. During the first 9 months, he visited Greece, Egypt, India, China, Japan, and then by land, having crossed the entire Siberia, returned to the capital of Russia.
In April 1894 the future Emperor became engaged with Princess Alice of Hesse Darmstadt, the daughter of Grand Duke of Hesse, granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England. After her conversion to Orthodoxy, she took the name Alexandra Feodorovna.
On 2 November (O.S. 20 October), 1894 his father Emperor Alexander III died at the young age of 49. A few hours before his death, the dying emperor obliged his son to sign a Manifesto on his accession to the throne.
During the reign of Nicholas II, Russia was being transformed into a major agro-industrial nation, the cities grew, railroads and industrial enterprises were being rapidly developed. The Emperor supported the decisions aimed at economic and social modernization of the country: introduction of the gold circulation of the ruble, Stolypin's agrarian reform, laws on workers' insurance, universal primary education, and religious tolerance.
The Reign of Nicholas II took place in an atmosphere of growing revolutionary movements and the complexity of the situation of foreign policy (Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905, Bloody Sunday, Revolution of 1905-1907; First World War, February Revolution of 1917).
Under the influence of a strong social movement in favour of political reforms, the Emperor signed the Manifesto of 17 October 1905, proclaiming democratic freedoms. On 6 May (O.S. 23 April), 1906 he approved a new edition of “Fundamental laws of the Russian Empire”, and in 1906 the State Duma began its work established by the emperor’s Manifesto.
The turning point in the fate of Nicholas II was the year of 1914 - the beginning of World War I, which worsened internal problems of the country. In Petrograd unrests began, which grew into mass demonstrations against the government and dynasty. On 15 March (O.S. 2 March) 1917 in Pskov, Nicholas II signed an act of abdication, handing power to his brother Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, who rejected the crown.
On 20 March (O.S. 7 March) 1917, the Provisional Government ordered the arrest of Nicholas and his wife. In early August 1917 the former emperor and his entourage were exiled to Tobolsk in Siberia. In May 1918, they were transferred to Ekaterinburg. On the night of 16 (O.S. 3) / 17 (O.S. 4) July 1918, Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, along with their five children and four of their faithful retainers were murdered by the Ural Soviet.
After years of research of the remains found near Ekaterinburg in the 1990s, they were solemnly buried in Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg on 17 July, 1998. In 2000, Nicholas II and the members of his family were canonized by the Moscow Patriarchate. The Imperial family had canonized in 1981 by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).
Diaries and Memoirs Assess Life and Reign of Russia's Last Emperor Topic: Nicholas II
Note: this article has been amended from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
Shortly before the anniversary day of the birth of Emperor Nicholas II (1868-1918), which is celebrated on May 18, the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library in St. Petersburg offers rare materials, revealing the tragedy of the autocrat, who failed to save Russia from the social cataclysms which engulfed Russia in the early 20th century.
Emperor Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov was born at the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo on the day when the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of Holy Job the Long-Suffering. The Emperor made note of this coincidence, believing with "profound conviction that he was fated to terrible ordeals."
And they were not slow to come. The results of the Russian-Japanese war, the economic crisis and dissatisfaction of populace in response, the events of January 9, 1905, when the army and police of St. Petersburg took arms to drive away a peaceful procession of workers carrying a petition to Tsar... In the end of 1905 railway strike broke out nationwide. It shut down traffic on the Baltic Railway. "Transportation to St. Petersburg only by water, disgraceful situation," - the last Russian Emperor noted in his diary.
In an electronic copy of the "The Diary of Emperor Nicholas II" for the years 1890-1906 can be found his brief notes about the weather, dinners with those close to the Emperor, his "treasures" (son Alexei) behaviour - but almost nothing about the ripening of the revolutionary storm brewing in the country. "The weather was calm and sunny with wonderful frost on the trees," - writes Emperor Nikolai on January 7, 1905, two days before Bloody Sunday. A mention of the events of January 9 is interspersed with description of the everyday family rituals:
"Hard day! In St. Petersburg there were serious disturbances due to workers’ longing to get to the Winter Palace. The troops had to shoot across the city; there were many dead and wounded. Lord, how painful and hard! Mamá came over to see us from the city straight to liturgy. We had breakfast with everyone. Mamá stayed over with us."
Note: I would like to point out that historians often cite the lack of “details” in Nicholas II’s diaries as evidence of a ruler out of touch with reality. In situations such as ‘Bloody Sunday’ they also accuse him of insensitivity. This is an unfair assessment, due to the fact that his diaries were never intended as a historical record for his descendants, nor as a historical record on which to judge his life and reign. Historians are guilty of an unconscionable number of conclusions based on diary entries, the overwhelming majority of them unfavorable to Nicholas II. One of the worst offenders is French historian Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, in her book Nicholas II: The Interrupted Transition, published in 2000 - Paul Gilbert
Russian journalist, writer, critic M. Nevedomsky in the book "The First Year of Nicholas II" of 1896 edition wrote about a petition to Tsar from the district council "community" in response to his first "programmatic" speech, which has over crossed out all the hopes for society democratization: "The most advanced district council and council’s people insisted, or rather, asked only for the Tsar’s accord with the people, the direct access of district council to the throne, for transparency and the fact that the law was always higher than administrative tyranny. In short, it was all just about the bureaucratic-court wall, separating Tsar of Russia, to collapse."
Most historians explain the defeat of the empire in many respects to mismatch of Nicholas’ II personal qualities with the scale of problems he had to face (although many contemporaries stressed his good manners, amazing memory, accuracy in business, and modesty). "A task, which has laid into his shoulders, was too heavy, it exceeded his powers," - wrote a mentor of Tsarevich Alexei, who well knew Emperor Pierre Gilliard.
A prophecy of Leo Tolstoy, who sent two letters to the Tsar, trying to warn Nicholas from the wrong steps in dealing with crisis, has come true - in February 1917 Petrograd was consumed with riots. On March 2 the abdication of Nicholas II from the throne occurred, followed by the arrest of the entire family. On July 17, 1918 after five months of detention, the Bolsheviks in the cellar of the Ipatiev house shot dead the former ruler of Russia, Tsarina and their five children. In 1980 Nicholas II, Tsarina and their five children were canonized by the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. They were later canonized in 2000 by the Moscow Patriarchate.
Detailed information about the fate of Nicholas II can be found in the electronic collection of the Presidential Library, which in 2013 marked the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The collection includes about a thousand digitized documents, most of which were previously unknown to Russian and Western historians.
On 9th May - Victory Day in Russia - Natalya Poklonskaya, Prosecutor General of Crimea, took part in a procession carrying an icon of Saint Nicholas II Tsar-Martyr of Russia. While most of those who participated in the Immortal Regiment march in the Crimean capital of Simferopol carrying photos of their relatives who fought in WWII, Poklonskaya instead carried an icon of Russia’s last emperor.
Poklonskaya, explained why she carried an icon of Nicholas II and not photos of her relatives who fought in WWII during the procession: “A lot of WWII veterans told me they had visions of the Virgin Mary and Russian Tsar Nicholas II” - said Poklonskaya, - “the two helped them survive in the most desperate and hopeless situations during the Great Patriotic War.”
She also noted that the idea of worshiping deceased or incumbent monarchs, or the ideology of monarchy was frowned upon back in the days of the Soviet Union, while the country’s official anthem up until 1943 was The Internationale which had the following refrain: “There are no supreme saviours, Neither God, nor Caesar, nor tribune”.
Since its inception in 2007, the Immortal Regiment initiative has been met with unprecedented support, spreading from Russia to cities worldwide, with millions of people in 42 countries across the globe marching in commemoration of their loved ones who fought in World War II. The Immortal Regiment procession follows Russia's annual Victory Day parade. This year, an estimated 24 million took part in processions held in cities across Russia. In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again took part in the "Immortal Regiment" leading a procession of more than 700,000 people through the center of Moscow.
Victory Day marks the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. According to official data, about 27 million Soviet citizens died, including both civilians and servicemen.