|Born||in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire [now Russia]|
|Died||in Yekaterinburg, Russia (execution by firing squad)|
|Birth Name||Nikolai Alexandrevich Romanov|
Nicholas the Short
Nicholas the Bloody
Nicholas the Hangman
|Height||5' 7" (1.7 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Czar Nicholas II of Russia was crowned in 1894, and was the last Emperor of Russia. He was born on 19 May, 1868, the first child of Tsarevitch Aleksandr III and his wife, Maria Fyodorovna. He was christened His Imperial Highness Nicholas Aleksandrovitch Romanov, Grand Duke of Russia. He was followed by three brothers and two sisters: Grand Duke Aleksandr (1869-1870), Grand Duke Georgy (1871-1899) Grand Duchess Ksenia (1875-1960), Grand Duke Michael (1878-19180 and Grand Duchess Olga (1882-1960). He was related to the Danish, British and German royal families. As a child, Nicholas wasn't quite as bright as his younger brothers, resulting in his father's belief that Nicholas, a somewhat shy and sensitive child, wasn't "man enough" to be Emperor of Russia, and he often derisively referred to his son as a girl. His father had already picked out a French princess to be Nicholas' wife, in order to cement relations with the French. Unfortunately for him, however, he further alienated his father when he fell in love with a German princess, Alix (aka Alexandra), and decided to marry her instead. Although dead set against this marriage, his father finally gave his reluctant blessing only on his deathbed, when he realized that if Nicholas were not allowed to marry Alix he would marry no one, thus placing the continuation of the Romanov dynasty in danger). In November of 1894, he married Her Ducal Highness Princess Alix Victoria Helena Louise Beatrice of Hesse-Darstadt and By Rhine. They had five children: Grand Duchess Olga (b. 1895-1918), Grand Duchess Tatiana (b. 1897-1918), Grand Duchess Maria (b. 1899-1918), Grand Duchess Anastasia (b. 1901-1918) and Tsarevitch Aleksey (1904-1918).
Upon his ascension as the emperor of Russsia in 1894, he was given the following title: His Highness the Tsar Nicholas Aleksandrovitch Romanov, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, Tsar of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Kazan, Astrakhan, of Poland, of Siberia, of Tauric Chersonese, of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, Grand Duke of Smolensk, of Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia and Finland, Prince of Estonia, Livonia, Courland and Semigalia, Samogotia, Bialostock, Karelia, Tver, Yougouria, Perm, Viatka, Bulgaria, and other countries; Lord and Grand Duke of Lower Novgorod, of Tchernigov, Riazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslav, Belozero, Oudoria, Obdoria, Condia, Vitebsk, Mstislav and, all the region of the North, Lord and Sovereign of the countries of Iveria, Cartalinia, Kabardinia and the provinces of Armenia, Sovereign of the Circassian Princes and the Mountain Princes, Lord of Turkestan, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig Holstein, of Storman, of the Ditmars, and of Oldenbourg.
After Nicholas became Czar, he determined to travel and see as much of the world outside of Russia as he could. However, in an ominous portent of things to come, during a tour of Japan an assassin rushed at him with a large sword, and Nicholas barely escaped with his life, although the would-be assassin managed to inflict a large gash on his forehead. In what can be seen as yet another bad omen, during his coronation a stampede occurred on a field near the scene when free food was being given out to the large crowds, and more than 1000 people died. In 1905 relations between Russia and Japan had deteriorated to a dangerous point, and there was talk of war. Nicholas was in fact in favor of a negotiated settlement and talks resulted in a compromise being offered by the Japanese, but Nicholas' advisers and generals persuaded him to reject the Japanese offer and declare war, which they were confident they would win handily. As it turned out, however, the ensuing Russo-Japanese War of 1905 was a devastating defeat for Russia, which lost much of its navy to the better trained, better equipped and better led Japanese forces, tens of thousands of its soldiers and large swaths of its territory.
The defeat caused even more discontent in the country, which had been building for quite some time among peasants, workers, students and an increasing number of members of the armed forces. In 1905 a crowd of demonstrators marched on the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to present a petition to Nicholas asking for liberalization and reform. Although the demonstration was peaceful at first - Nicholas himself saw no danger in the situation and had in fact departed to his country estate for the weekend - things rapidly deteriorated, and before anyone could really figure out what happened, the troops surrounding the palace opened fire on the demonstrators (many of whom were carrying pictures and placards of Nicholas as proof of their devotion to him), killing many of them. Although it's believed now that Nicholas did not give orders for the soldiers to fire on the crowd, many Russians at the time believed that he had, and this began to solidify opposition to the monarchy's rule. The resulting political and domestic pressure forced Nicholas to convene the Duma, the Russian parliament, in August of 1905.
He then issued what was called the October Manifesto in which he promised to introduce basic civil liberties to the Russian populace, make the Duma more than just a rubber-stamp for the Czar--which many believed, rightly or wrongly, that it was--and give it legislative and oversight authority. Although relations between Nicholas and the Duma were at first good, they quickly deteriorated because Empress Alexandra did not like or trust its leadership. Nicholas wound up dissolving the Duma, adding fuel to the fires of revolution already building up in the country. As if Nicholas' political problems weren't enough, his son Alexei, who was born in 1904, turned out to have hemophilia, a disease which prevents blood from clotting properly. At that time it was tantamount to a death sentence, as no treatment for it existed. Alexandra, desperate for anything that might save her son's life, turned to a sinister mystic and "healer" from Siberia named Grigory Rasputin. Rasputin did seem to have a calming effect on the child, whose health appeared to improve, thus solidifying Rasputin's hold on the royal family (many at the time suspected that Rasputin was secretly hypnotizing the boy into believing that he was better, in order to strengthen his hold over the Empress). The Empress became totally dependent on Rasputin, and eventually came to believe that he and God were in direct contact about her son. Rasputin was assassinated in 1916 by a group of disgruntled Russian noblemen worried about his hold on the royal family (not to mention their own future at the court). In 1914 the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a member of "Young Bosnia", a fanatical Serbian nationalist secret society. It wasn't long before events snowballed and Europe was plunged into World War I. Russia entered the war on the side of the Allies against Germany and Austria-Hungary. At first Russian forces had considerable success against the German and Austrian armies and their Turkish allies on the Eastern front, but the fighting eventually turned into a combination of trench warfare and huge artillery barrages.
Through a combination of bad weather, poor logistics, low morale and staggeringly inept leadership, the Russian armies soon began incurring defeat after defeat and suffering huge losses (the Battle of Tannenberg alone cost them more than 100,000 dead). In 1915 Russia lost Poland to the Germans, and Nicholas himself decided to take over as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Since he was now personally prosecuting the war, domestic policy was basically left up to Empress Alexandra, who was not popular with the Russian people, especially since she herself was German. Political opposition to the regime increased. Unfortunately, Nicholas' military leadership was almost as inept as his generals', resulting in more defeats and even larger casualties for the Russian armies. The country was now being convulsed by strikes and riots, and many military units were mutinying and joining with revolutionary forces to take over cities from Nicholas' government. By March of 1917 popular opposition to the monarchy was so strong that Nicholas was forced to abdicate. Three hundred years of the Romanov dynasty came to an end. Aleksandr Kerensky, a former schoolmate of V.I. Lenin, became the leader of the provisional government, which detained the Romanov family under house arrest at the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, a suburb of St. Petersburg. They were then transported to Siberia in August of 1917. By November of 1917, with the Russian military being torn apart by mutinies and revolts, the Bolsheviks ousted the provisional government to become the rulers of Russia. They took custody of the Romanov family and moved them to the city of Ekaterinburg. Lenin and his colleague Yakov Sverdlov urged the murder of the Czar and his family in order to shore up support for the Bolsheviks among the masses.
At 2:30 on the morning of July 17, 1918, a firing squad shot Czar Nicholas, his wife Empress Alexandra, their five children, their doctor and their personal assistants and royal secretaries. As proof of their death and to dispel stories that the royal family had managed to escape, parts of their bodies and some of the royal necklaces and jewelry were delivered to the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Moscow, although rumors persisted for years afterward that some of the family did in fact manage to bribe their would-be executioners and escape.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dmitri and frankfob2
|Tsarina Alexandra||(26 November 1894 - 17 July 1918) ( his death) ( 5 children)|