tsardom

10

HISTORY MEME → [2/4] Families/Dynasties: House of Romanov

The House of Romanov was the second dynasty, after the House of Rurik, to rule over Russia, and reigned from 1613 until the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II on March 15, 1917, as a result of the February Revolution.

The Romanovs achieved prominence as boyars of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, later the Tsardom of Russia. In 1613, following years of interregnum, the zemsky sobor offered the Russian crown to Mikhail Romanov. He acceded to the throne as Michael I, becoming the first Tsar of Russia from the House of Romanov. His grandson Peter I established the Russian Empire and transformed the country into a continental power through a series of wars and reforms.

The direct male line of the Romanovs came to an end when Elizabeth of Russia died in 1762. After an era of dynastic crisis, the House of Holstein-Gottorp, a cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg which reigned in Denmark, ascended the throne in 1762 with Peter III, a grandson of Peter I. All rulers from the middle of the 18th century to the revolution of 1917 were descended from that branch. Though officially known as the House of Romanov, these descendants of the Romanov and Oldenburg dynasties are sometimes referred to as Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov.

In early 1917 the Romanov dynasty had 65 members, 18 of whom were killed by the Bolsheviks. The remaining 47 members went into exile abroad. In 1924, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, the senior, surviving male-line descendant of Alexander II of Russia by primogeniture, claimed the headship of the defunct Imperial House of Russia. Since 1991, the succession to the former Russian throne has been in dispute, largely due to disagreements over the validity of dynasts’ marriages.

2

I’m still slacking off on all my responsibilities and am not feeling well, so I decided to start a small project that I’ve been meaning to do for a while; namely, illustrating the relations between Prussia and Russia, starting with the 18th century!
…obviously my style is not going to be very consistent. Anyway, on to explain this piece! My knowledge may not be 100% accurate and corrections are appreciated.

Keep reading

Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias (1868 - 1918)

“What am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia?“

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov was born on May 6, 1868, in the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, south of St. Petersburg. He was the eldest son of his parents, Alexander Alexandrovich, the heir to the Russian throne, and Princess Dagmar of Denmark. Nicolas’s grandfather was the Tsar, Alexander II, known as the Liberator for emancipating Russia’s serfs in 1863. Their family, the Romanov dynasty, had ruled Russia for three hundred years. Nicholas would be the last emperor.

Unlike his soft-hearted, liberal grandfather, Nicholas’s father was a reactionary, whose conservative and religious values strongly influenced Nicholas’s beliefs. In 1891, Nicholas’s father acceded to the throne when Alexander II was murdered by an anarchist revolutionary. This murder convinced both Alexander III, and his son, against offering further reforms. Yet Nicholas’s education did not prepare him at all for his future role as Russian emperor.

Although he had a close relationship with his mother, Nicholas’s father believed his son to be silly and weak. Tsar Alexander III was a very strong ruler and saw no need to share a job with his uninterested heir. He refused to let him participate in any affairs of state; once, when Nicholas was twenty-five, a minister suggested that he be allowed to head a committee to supervise the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Alexander III was incredulous. “Have you ever tried to discuss anything of consequence with him?” asked the Tsar about his son and heir. “He is still absolutely a child; he has only infantile judgements. How would he be able to become president of a committee?”

The Romanov family in 1893. From left to right: Tsarevich Nicholas, Grand Duke George, Empress Maria Feodorovna (Princess Dagmar of Denmark), Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Xenia, Grand Duke Michael, Tsar Alexander III seated.

In neither his education nor his temperament did Nicholas show much aptitude to be emperor. He enjoyed foreign languages and history, but struggled with economics and politics. In general he preferred sport to books, when older he delighted in the military and served for a year when he was nine-teen. In 1894 he married Princess Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt, a German noble, with whom he had four daughters and a son, Alexei. Alexandra was an assertive woman whose personality dominated the weaker Nicholas, and she strongly reinforced his belief in autocratic rule and his resistance to democratic reforms. In contrast to his political life, Nicholas’s home life was serene. He was a wonderful family man, a devout Orthodox Christian, and devoted to his wife and children.

The same year that he married, Nicholas became the Tsar when his father died of kidney disease. The newly-crowned emperor had not expected to be thrust into the role so soon, and he panicked about running the vast Russian empire all by himself. It was the moment, he wrote, that he “had dreaded all his life.” He confessed his fears to a cousin: “Sandro, what am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia? I am not prepared to be Tsar. I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling. I have no idea of even how to talk to ministers.”

Nicholas determined to uphold the status quo as Tsar, but unfortunately evens abroad and at home forced his hand. Hoping not to be left out of the imperial scramble, Russia grew its industry in the Far East, and forced concessions from China in Manchuria. Yet Russian’s expansion provoked the Japanese, who attacked Russia’s eastern border in 1904, beginning the Russo-Japanese War. Europeans were convinced that the white Russians would easily triumph over the “yellow” Japanese, but the Japanese embarked on a series of victories ending in the total destruction of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Tshushima in 1905.

Nicholas and Alix’s engagement photo, 1894.

The defeat was a stunning humiliation for Russian prestige. At home it sparked outrage and crisis that turned to strikes and riots. In January 1905, Russian troops opened fire on demonstrators in front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, killing many. Outrage turned to outright revolution, and eventually the Tsar was forced to grant concessions in a constitution, as well as establish an elected parliament, the Duma.

Despite some elements of democratic reform, Nicholas tightened his autocratic rule. Secret police crushed revolutionary elements in the cities, and voting laws prevented the election of radicals. A travel guide for foreigners published in 1914 warned against taking photos in rail stations - offenders would be arrested.

The Tsar’s most pressing crisis, however, was at home. His son and heir, the Tsarevich Alexei, had hemophilia, the scourge of interbred European royal families. Nicholas and Alexandra despaired for their child and sought any means to help him. They turned to an unlikely source, a disheveled mysticfrom Siberia named Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin’s monasticism belied his true character, that of a debauched womanizer and con-man. Russian noble society despised him, but Alexandra especially confided in him, and Rasputin strengthened her belief in Nicholas’s divine right to rule. His influence steadily eroded the trust Russian people felt for their Tsar.

Nicholas (left) with his cousin King George V of England. They are wearing German military uniforms while on a visit to Berlin. Despite their likeness, George refused to help Nicholas or offer him asylum during the Russian Revolution, fearing that he might be toppled as well.

Nicholas’s failing popularity received a boost in 1914, when Russia went to war against Germany and Austria. Although Nicholas was close to his cousin, the Kaiser (they wrote to each other as “Nicky” and “Willy”), Russians enlisted en masse and displayed loyalty and love for their royal family. Yet endless failures at the front burst newfound support for the Tsar, especially when Nicholas took over from his cousin as supreme commander in 1915, a position in which he demonstrated no talent. The unending string of military disaster was now firmly pinned on him. Worse, economic deprivations at home soon turned into crisis. Russia was deeply in debt and many were starving. Approval of the royal family soured; they were thought to be living in luxury while ordinary Russians died at the front or starved at home.

In March 1917 (February of the old Russian calendar), demonstrations in St. Petersburg (now Petrograd) again turned to revolution. This time, Nicholas had no army to turn to - the military was in a state of collapse, with many soldiers deserting to go back home and take part in the revolution. Helpless, Nicholas abdicated on March 15, 1917. He hoped to go to England for asylum, but the British government (fearing he might provoke the British left) refused his request. Five hundred years of Russian Tsardom ended with NIcholas.

A shaky liberal-socialist Provisional Government was set up to replace the monarchy, but the war continued to go badly. Nicholas went into house arrest in the Urals with his family. His situation worsened in the fall of 1917, when a radical communist party, the Bolsheviks, ousted the Provisional Government. Civil war began in Russia between the Bolshevik “Reds” and the “Whites”, a complex mix of warlords and political parties who opposed the Bolsheviks.

The Russian royals played no role in the Civil War, but the Bolsheviks feared that the Tsar and his family could become a symbol for the White armies to rally around. Nicholas, Alexandra, and their children were transported to a house in Yekaterinburg for safe-keeping, but in the summer of 1918 the war was going poorly for the Reds and the Czech Legion, a unit of the White army, was rapidly advancing towards Yekaterinburg.

Nicholas in captivity at Tsarskoye Selo. This is one of the last photos taken in his life.

On the night of July 16-17, as the Czechs neared, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin ordered the execution of the royal family. What actually happened is still shrouded in some state secrecy, but what is known is that a truckload of local Bolsheviks and foreign soldiers entered the house and ordered the ex-Tsar and his family to the basement. The Empress asked for chairs for her and thirteen-year-old Alexei to sit upon. The Red commander brought in two chairs, and then informed the stunned Tsar that he had been condemned to death. “What? What?” asked the Tsar. The executioners brought out revolvers and began shooting the family. The four daughters, between twenty-two and seven-teen years old, had been hiding some of their jewels in their clothes which deflected the bullets. The Bolshevik shooters stabbed them with bayonets and shot them in their heads, and stabbed to death their maid, who had shielded herself with a pillow full of jewels.

The executioners burnt, dismembered, and buried the bodies. In 1976 a team of investigators found their grave, but did not release the information until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rumors had long abounded that one of the daughters, seven-teen year-old Anastasia, had survived and escaped the massacre, which were put to rest. In 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the family as saints; today the place where they were buried is the site of a church.

On This Day In History~ May 2nd

1729; The birth of Catherine the Great

Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great (2 May 1729 – 17 November 1796), was the most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from 9 July 1762 until her death in 1796 at the age of 67. Her reign was called Russia’s golden age. She was born in Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, and came to power following a coup d'état and the assassination of her husband, Peter III, at the end of the Seven Years’ War. Russia was revitalized under her reign, growing larger and stronger than ever and becoming recognized as one of the great powers of Europe.

In both her accession to power and in rule of her empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by highly successful generals such as Pyotr Rumyantsev and Alexander Suvorov, and admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish wars, and Russia colonised the vast territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas. In the west, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine’s former lover, king Stanisław August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned, with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. In the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America.

Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyas, and many new cities and towns were founded on her orders. An admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernise Russia along Western European lines. However, military conscription and economy continued to depend on serfdom, and the increasing demands of the state and private landowners led to increased levels of reliance on serfs. This was one of the chief reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachev’s Rebellion of cossacks and peasants.

The period of Catherine the Great’s rule, the Catherinian Era, is often considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire and the Russian nobility. The Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility, issued during the short reign of Peter III and confirmed by Catherine, freed Russian nobles from compulsory military or state service. Construction of many mansions of the nobility, in the classical style endorsed by the Empress, changed the face of the country. A notable example of an enlightened despot, a correspondent of Voltaire and an amateur opera librettist, Catherine presided over the age of the Russian Enlightenment, when the Smolny Institute, the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe, was established.

4

LIST OF ROMANOV RULERS: #1 - Tsar Michael I of Russia (12 July 1596 - 13 July 1645)

“On these difficult days, a boy was brought on a sledge across the dirty March roads to the charred walls of Moscow – a plundered and ravaged heap of ashes, only freed at great cost from the Polish occupants. A frightened boy elected tsar of Muscovy, at the advice of the patriarch, by impoverished boyars, empty-handed merchants and hard men from the north and the Volga. The boy prayed and wept, looking out of the window of his coach in fear and dejection at the ragged, frenzied crowds who had come to greet him at the gates of Moscow. The Russian people had little faith in the new tsar, but life had to go on.”

28 October is the International Animation Day

Personally I love cartoons! When I was a kid we only had Russian (Soviet) cartoons on TV, plus a few from the Eastern bloc. To this day they’re my favourite. :)

Here are some of my personal favourites with English subtitles.

Last Year’s Snow Was Falling (1983)

The Mystery of the Third Planet (1981) (watch all 6 parts)

Vovka in the Never-Ever Tsardom (1965)

The Enchanted Boy (1955)

Prostokvashino (1978) (watch all 3 parts)

I hope you enjoyed these! What are your favourite Soviet cartoons?

3

LIST OF ROMANOV RULERS: #3 - Tsar Feodor III of Russia (9 June 1661 - 7 May 1682)

“The tsar was consecrated last Sunday according to the manners and customs of this country. The people and the courtiers were all superbly turned out, dressed in cloth of gold and silver; a number of them had their coats and tall hats very richly embroidered, decked with a quantity of pearls. Prince Mikhail Dolgoruky threw liberal handfuls of gold and silver pieces to the people. There was present a teeming mass of people of all sorts, shouting at the tops of their voices, wishing the prince all kinds of prosperity. However certain of them, over eager to gather up the money, were trampled under foot.” - Van Zeller, a Dutch statesman present at the coronation of Feodor III

HEY HETALIA FANS!! RUSSIA IS RELATED TO ITALY, ROMANO AND SEBORGA!!

It all started out with The Principality of Moscow!! Later named Muscovy by Tsar Peter the Great around 1700! and people say Sealand doesn’t have a chance… Well we didn’t doubt Muscovy!! Also Moscow is the “heir” to the (Eastern Roman Empire) Byzantine Empire’s capital Constantinople! (Later named Istanbul when it was taken over by the Ottoman Empire aka modern day Turkey) The Byzantine Empire was the east half of the Roman Empire… so for all of you Hetalians out there… you could say that Russia is related to Italy, Romano and Seborga and (I think this is right) Rome would be his Grandpa too!! meaning that Byzantine Empire would be his father and I think the Italy brothers would be his cousins? I say this because as Rome started to fall they divided into east and west so lets say that our beloved grandpa Rome is the west and we know Byzantine is the east! Muscovy (Russia) wanted the lands to its south and east so they married Grand Prince Ivan the 3rd to the last niece of the Byzantine Empire thus is why I said that Moscow (Muscovy/Russia’s capital) is the “heir” to Constantinople! Sadly at this point in history the Byzantine Empire’s capital Constantinople was already captured and long gone turned into Istanbul… meaning that (If we want to think about this from a Hetalia standpoint) Russia grew up on his own… alone and Byzantine Empire was dead and probably either didn’t tell Russia/Muscovy who he was related to or if he did Russia was just never introduced/allowed to be introduced to the Italy brothers or (even sadder…) Italy and Romano were never introduced to Russia and were not told that they were related to him… or (The worst situation) Rome did not want the Italy brothers to know that they were related to Russia because he didn’t want to be associated with the defeat of Constantinople which was, besides Rome the Christian capital of the world at this time, but after its defeat by the Ottoman Empire the city was quickly converted to the Ottoman’s primary religion which was(possibly still is? I don’t know about the present religion of Istanbul) Sunni Islam. To Rome this would be a major disgrace to be associated with. I DO NOT mean that to be disrespectful to anyone but the fact is that the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire did NOT get along and certainly did not share the same religious views.


I was just reading through my college history book and I thought that I would take a crack at making a headcanon that is backed up by history!!! But if you have evidence that this IS wrong please inform me and I shall change this!!

This is the most in-depth headcanon I have ever created!! If you like it and would like more just ask and I’ll see what I can do!! Also I felt bad for leaving all of you for so long.. so I hope you enjoy!!

===========================================================

(I thought that I would add the notes that everyone added to this post because I thought they were really cool and everyone had great things to say!! Honestly I didn’t think anyone would respond and if they did I thought it would be negative or maybe someone liking it but this is great!!!! Also you all brought my attention to so many things I didn’t even know about Russia and various other nations so thank you to everyone and you can always keep adding things and I’ll try to add them to the post so they can be seen and not just hidden in the notes!!)

december-dragon added: I believe it was Peter the Great who named Russia an empire when he took power, rather than Muscovy which it had already been, because though it remained a tsardom Peter the Great wanted a title that was more European as he sought to westernize Russia.But aaahhh, it’s always so interesting to read about that early history- there really is such a close relationship between Russia and Byzantium, and the resulting relations are fascinating. Always great to read others spreading this history.

stautris added: I myself would recommend  reading about Russian and Scandinavian relationships at IX-X centuries.;)

(Thank you very much for the suggestion!! I shall see what I can find!! Right now my history book only told what I mentioned about Russia and Byzantine but I’m going to check into what you said!!)

thiscrazyhetalian added: Well wouldn’t he also be related to France (“Big Brother France” to N.Italy) and once it is canon and Moscow is the heir of the Eastern Roman empire , doesn’t this mean that he is related to Greece (and Possibly Cyprus ) too? This is really interesting and if you think about it, almost all nations have some kind of relation :) * the byzantine empire is mama Greece in canon i forgot to mention and now it doesn’t make sense But still if you think about it non-canon-icallly it still makes sense , like , i agree with the fact that Rome and the Byzantine empire could be brothers ,but in my headcanon the western and roman empire his sons and Romano is Byz.’s son while N.Italy is West’s son and thats how we got them calling the Roman empire “ Grandpa Rome” but anyway this is my HC they could possibly be brothers too. Also lets not forget that Spain might as well be a son of Rome , wow Russia has many relatives.

huggiebird added: I fully support this stuff. I do. But the person who wanted to Westernize Russia as well was Catherine the Second, of Russia.
She was very facinated by France and their ways~

(Indeed Catherine the Great was very influential in Russia’s history! you could say she greatly influenced Russia!! anyway thank you for adding Catherine because she was far to important for us to even think about forgetting!!) 

The Crown’s Fate (late) ARC Book Review

Summary:

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

My Review:

I received this e-ARC from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.

So, this is unfortunately a late ARC read since this book released yesterday. Technically, I did finish reading this last night so it’s not terribly late. But, still. You know it makes me feel bad when I read an ARC late.

This sequel to The Crown’s Game starts off with Vika in her role as the Imperial Enchanter. She isn’t really enjoying it because she has to deal with Pasha, whom she still hasn’t forgiven. And, she has to deal with Yuliana, who is really the only one bossing her around and forcing her to do duties. 

Vika keeps going back to Nikolai’s bench in hopes of seeing him, but it’s really his shadow. She has a strong feeling that he isn’t really dead, but she can’t see him like she wants to. 

This adds on to the complications that there are rumors of Pasha’s citizens wanting to revolt against him.

So, that’s the basics without revealing too much. This sequel, I am happy to say, has a strong start. It doesn’t start off with any filler chapters. It gets right back into the tension from the last book. Vika doesn’t want anything to do with Pasha as a friend, even though he is racked with guilt from what he did to Nikolai. 

Let’s talk about Nikolai, though. He is still alive. Sort of. He is described as being a shadow, but he does have a face. From what I gathered, he is a blurry and black-and-white form of his former self and he can’t have that much physical contact without someone’s hand going through him. However, this is where is creepy mother comes in. She is determined to win his affections so she transfers her energy to him. 

Dark energy.

This is where Nikolai becomes a bigger part of the sequel. This dark energy is definitely not good for him. It makes him angry and causes him to try to exact revenge on Pasha and even Vika multiple times. He feels like he has nobody and it’s troubling him. It’s really troubling to read because we know Nikolai as this ambitious and sweet person. This dark energy clouds his real personality. 

Vika has trouble dealing with this, too. She is in love with this kid and she wants to save him, but it’s difficult when he pushes her away. Nikolai is basically thinking that Vika wants Pasha, which we know isn’t true. But, still. The dark energy is causing him to just think awful things and do awful things.

One thing that I liked seeing is Pasha growing up quickly. He isn’t the same person as he was in the first book. He knows that he is about to become the tsar and he knows it’s an important role. He is starting to take it seriously and all he wants is for his people to love him for who he is, not because he is just the tsar. He even develops a stronger bond with his sister, which is nice to see other than the bitchy Yuliana. 

This is a small thing and I’m glad she didn’t have a bigger part, but…Renata. I really can’t stand her. She is completely aware that Nikolai is in love with Vika, yet she keeps thinking she has a chance. I know it’s probably petty of me to act like this, but her role in this book just made me like her even less. She’s chasing something that is never going to come to her and she just needs to stop. It’s just sad.

So, this sequel is definitely satisfying. I do think that there could be a small continuation because some things were not finished. I think Evelyn Skye could write a few novellas of this world and give the readers some insight on how things are going five or ten years from now. 

This book is available NOW!

My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Goodreads

The ivory throne of Tsar Ivan IV of Russia
Ivan IV Vasilyevich (Russian: Ива́н Васи́льевич; 25 August 1530 – 28 March [O.S. 18 March] 1584), commonly known as Ivan the Terrible, was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547 and Tsar of All the Russias from 1547 until his death. His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state spanning almost one billion acres, approximately 4,046,856 km2 (1,562,500 sq mi). Ivan managed countless changes in the progression from a medieval state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first ruler to be crowned as Tsar of All the Russias.

Historic sources present disparate accounts of Ivan’s complex personality: he was described as intelligent and devout, yet given to rages and prone to episodic outbreaks of mental illness. In one such outburst he killed his groomed and chosen heir Ivan Ivanovich. This left the Tsardom to be passed to Ivan’s younger son, the weak and intellectually disabled Feodor Ivanovich. Ivan’s legacy is complex: he was an able diplomat, a patron of arts and trade, founder of Russia’s first Print Yard, a leader highly popular among the common people of Russia, but he is also remembered for his paranoia and arguably harsh treatment of the nobility.