Nicholas: The Last Tsar Essay

This essay has a total of 974 words and 4 pages.

Nicholas: The Last Tsar

In his book, The Last Tsar, Edvard Radzinsky describes a very interesting viewpoint of the
life and death of Nicholas Alexandrovich, the last Russian Tsar. Radzinsky's illustration
of this ill-fated monarch follows the diaries of Nicholas from their beginning on March 1,
1881, to the final entry on July 16, 1918.1 Radzinsky mainly goes over pre-marital
relationship between Nicholas and Alexandra, the medical condition of Nicholas' son,
Alexei, and the imprisonment and execution of Nicholas and his family. The relationship
between Nicholas II and Alexandra began in 1884. Alexandra, the daughter of Louis IV, the
Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, a tiny state in Germany, was born in 1872.2 Her grandmother
was Queen Victoria of England, her oldest sister married an English prince, her second
sister married a Russian Grand Duke and her third sister married a German prince. Nicholas
and Alexandra met during the wedding of her second sister, Ella, to Grand Duke Sergei
Alexandrovich. Alexandra was only twelve and Nicholas was only sixteen, but he stated in
his diary that he fell in love with her a first sight. Nicholas' father, Tsar Alexander
III, did not approve of Alexandra, because of the fact that she was the granddaughter of
the English Queen. Instead, he suggested that Nicholas marry a princess from the House of
Orleans. His decision was basely mainly on politics, as he was striving for an alliance
between Russia and France. Alexander's suggestion did not have any effect on Nicholas, as
he seemed certain to marry his childhood sweetheart, Alexandra. That day came in 1894,
when Alexander was on his deathbed, suffering from a kidney disease that he had contracted
in a train wreck six years earlier. On April 8, 1894, at the wedding of Alexandra's
brother, her and Nicholas were engaged.3 On November 14, 1894, a month after the death of
his father Nicholas married Alexandra and officially became the tsar of Russia.Alexei
Nikolaevich, the first son of Nicholas and Alexandra was born on July 30, 1904, following
the births of four daughters. The problem of who would rule Russia in case of an accident
to Nicholas was solved. However, there was a new problem, as Alexei was diagnosed with
hemophilia. Hemophilia is a disease that weakened the walls of the arteries so that "any
blow or intense pressure can cause the blood vessels to burst and can mean the end."4
Rumours of a holy man, named Grigory Rasputin, however, living in the backwoods of Siberia
gave rise to Alexander's hopes that her son's hemophilia could be cured. Rasputin
possessed what some called a gift of healing, as he repeatedly healed possibly fatal
wounds suffered by Alexei.5 The first time he helped Alexei was when Alexei had suffered a
bruise on his leg was in agonizing pain. Rasputin walked to Alexei's bed, grasped Alexei's
leg and healed the possibly fatal bruise. There are many stories where Rasputin healed
Alexei without physically being there. For example, in 1912, Alexei was suffering from a
common cold. When he tried to blow his nose, the blood vessels burst and the blood began
to gush. The doctors could do nothing to help. When all hope was fading, they received a
telegram from Rasputin. It read "God will help you, be healthy,"6Nicholas II was forced to
end the Romanov rule over Russia after three hundred years, as he forfeited the throne on
March 2, 1917 because of the Russian Revolution. However, the people were still so upset
with him, that the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies passed a decree the
day following the abdication. The Deputies ordered the arrest of Nicholas II and the
members of the Romanov dynasty on March 3, 1917. The family and everyone who remained with
them were to be isolated from the outside world within the confines of Alexander's Palace,
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