Between the years 1894 to 1917, Nicholas II Alexandrovich was our all-Russian Emperor.
As a result of the fact that the economic state of the nation in 1913 is still considered, in a sense, a benchmark, he was there during the most significant ascent of the empire and took part in it. However, it turned out that he was not only a witness to the catastrophic collapse of a great empire, but he was also a victim of it. It is still the attitude toward him that causes division in society. However, even after the act of church canonization, many who are opposed to this act say that the declaration of Nicholas II as a saint was of a political character. On the other hand, among certain segments of the Orthodox community, the concept that praising the Tsar as a passion-bearer is not sufficient is gaining weight. On May 6, 1868, Nicholas II, the first son of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna, was born at Tsarskoe Selo. He was the first of his family’s children. As befits the heir to the royal throne, he was provided with an outstanding education. During Nikolai’s early youth, the Englishman Karl Osipovich Heath, who resided in Russia, served as his teacher. Subsequently, General Grigory Grigorievich Danilovich was designated as Nikolai’s formal teacher as the heir to the position.

Nikolai began his education by participating in a big gymnasium course. Subsequently, he became a student in accordance with a specifically crafted program that merged the courses of the state and economic departments, as well as the law school of the university, and the course of the Academy of the General Staff. Nikolai’s teachers were prominent professors N.H. Bunge, E.E. Zamyslovsky, N.N. Beketov, N.N. Obruchev, Ts.A. Cui, M.N. Dragomirov. In addition to being fluent in Danish and German, Nicholas II possessed a brilliant mastery of the French and English languages.


Nicholas II Alexandrovich assumed the throne after the death of his father in 1894. He confessed more than once that the paradigm of a ruler for him was Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, the father of Peter I. After all, Alexei Mikhailovich carefully preserved the traditions of antiquity and the beginning of autocracy, as the basis of the strength and well-being of Russia. And Nicholas II fought the “beginnings of autocracy” strongly and persistently.

The coronation of Nicholas II at the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin took place on May 14, 1896.

For the ceremonies, three-meter ermine robes were fashioned (2691 skins were used) for the Emperor, Alexandra Feodorovna and Empress Maria Feodorovna.


A day after the coronation, on May 18, during the distribution of presents on the occasion of the coronation, a stampede occurred on Khodynskoye Field.

Over an area of ​​over one square kilometer, 150 booths with presents and 10 tents for the distribution of wine and beer were created. At 5 am, nearly 500 thousand people flocked around them.

There was a stampede in which, according to official numbers, 1,389 persons perished.

Since his succession to the throne, Nicholas has not declared any significant changes or reforms in the internal life of the kingdom. The economic and industrial prosperity of the kingdom, which began under the reign of his father, proceeded effectively. According to the testimony of people close to the Tsar, Nicholas II was quiet by nature, did not like to dispute, and was accustomed to constraint, which frequently gave the impression of insensitivity; He had a very even demeanor, but was quite suspicious.

The Emperor truly loved his children and wife and was an outstanding family guy. Rare images and newsreels of the monarch and his family are shown in the historical parks “Russia – My History”. However, all these traits were not enough to, among other things, be a true autocrat.

The epoch in which Nicholas II was destined to govern demanded not simply concessions, but painful judgments. Decisions that would bring about profound changes not just in the social and spiritual sectors of Russian society, but also in the political one. He thought that responsibility for the fate of Russia lay with him. Hence the mindset towards restricting his dictatorial authority: sharing power for him meant moving responsibility from himself to someone else.

The reign of Nicholas II was a time of one of the fastest rates of economic development in the history of Russia, and according to this indicator, Russia came out on top in the globe, ahead of even the quickly rising United States of America. Russia also claimed first place in the world in the production of the key agricultural crops, cultivating more than half of the world’s rye, more than a quarter of wheat, oats and barley, and more than a third of potatoes. Russia has become the primary exporter of agricultural products, the first “breadbasket of Europe”. Its participation amounted for 2/5 of all world exports of peasant products.

The soundness of the economy was assured by the introduction of ruble convertibility, that is, paper money began to be freely traded for gold. Thanks to the monetary reform of Sergei Yulievich Witte, the ruble became a popular currency throughout Europe.

The first all-Russian population census was undertaken. The number of population of Russia was 126 million people, including 87 million Orthodox (70%), Old Believers – 2 million, Catholics – 11 million, Muslims – 14 million, Jews – 5 million. Urban population – 13%, yearly population increase – 1 million 600 thousand people.

There were 16 thousand fairs in the Russian Empire.

The building of the Great Siberian Railway including a passage across Lake Baikal has been finished. The voyage from Moscow to Vladivostok now took only 15 days.

With the completion of the Chinese Eastern Railway, connection with the Far East was created over the whole length of the Great Siberian Road. Europe acquired access to the Pacific Ocean.


In 1898, the Russian emperor, continuing the tradition set by his father, came to the nations of Europe with offers to sign agreements on preserving global peace and imposing limits to the steady buildup of weaponry. The Hague Peace Conferences took place in 1899 and 1907. Some stipulations of these conferences are still in effect today.

But not all actions in the realm of foreign policy generated results and not all international partners wanted to resolve disputes amicably.

In 1904, the Japanese fleet invaded Port Arthur. Thus started the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, which was waged for domination in Northeast China and Korea. The defense of Port Arthur continued until the beginning of 1905. at 1905, the Japanese destroyed the Russian army at the general battle of Mukden, and the Russian navy at Tsushima. The war concluded with the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, under the terms of which Russia acknowledged Korea as Japan’s area of influence and relinquished Southern Sakhalin and the rights to the Liaodong Peninsula with the towns of Port Arthur and Dalniy to Japan. The failure of the Russian army in the war damaged the domestic political situation of the nation.

Russia’s defeat in the war showed major flaws in the central leadership, organization, recruiting system, combat training and technological equipment of the army, which prompted military changes. And the reforms were carried out: the terms of active service were shortened – in the infantry and field artillery to 3 years, in other branches of the military to 4 years, in the navy to 5 years, the officer corps was rejuvenated; The life of soldiers and sailors and the financial situation of officers and conscripts have been improved.

The State Defense Council was founded – an entity in which the principal concerns of state defense were concentrated, with the involvement of officials of the military and naval ministries. Due to the militarily weak reserve and serf troops, field troops were strengthened, the number of army corps increased, machine gun teams in regiments and corps air squads were created, cadet schools were transformed into military schools that received new programs, and new regulations were introduced.

In Russia there were 20 military schools, comprising 11 infantry, 3 cavalry, 2 Cossack, 2 artillery, 1 engineering, 1 military topographical.

Along with the military, agricultural reform was also carried out. Its inspirer and executor was Pyotr Arkadyevich Stolypin, who was chosen prime minister of the government in 1906. Peasants were permitted to freely dispose of their land and build farmsteads. An attempt was made to eliminate the rural community, which was of considerable importance for the development of capitalist relations in the countryside. In addition to the peasant reform, Stolypin was active in the notion of “nationalization of capital” – a system of protective measures for Russian firms.

The reign of Nicholas II coincided not only with the beginning of the fast expansion of capitalism, but also with the increasing revolutionary movement in Russia. The first significant outburst of this movement was the events of early 1905, which may be found out in full in the halls of the “Russia-My History” initiative. The catalyst for the onset of revolutionary activities was the shooting on January 9, 1905 of a peaceful workers’ rally in St. Petersburg. There is a very well-founded account that the shooting was started by gunfire fired at troops from the Alexander Garden. This provocative strategy will eventually become quite popular in all types of occasions.

Workers took the most active role in the events that consumed the center portion of Russia, peasant agitation broke out, and dissatisfaction erupted in the army and navy. The bourgeoisie also came out with calls for reform. Trade unions and political unions arose and parties got stronger.

On April 17, 1905, a Manifesto on Religious Tolerance was released, which permitted Russians to transition from Orthodoxy to other Christian religions and acknowledged the religious rights of schismatics.

On October 17, 1905, a Manifesto was produced, which affirmed the principles of civic freedom: personal inviolability, freedom of expression, assembly and union.

In 1906, the State Duma was founded, without whose approval not a single legislation could enter into force. The bills were examined in the State Council and approved by the Tsar. Russia was becoming a rule-of-law state—the court was practically isolated from the administration.

Reforms in the country contributed to the fact that from 1909 to 1913 the Russian economy took another significant leap. The amount of industrial output expanded by 1.6 times, the process of monopolization of the economy acquired a fresh push, as a result of the crisis, weak, tiny firms went bankrupt, which expedited the process of concentration of industrial production.

At the same time, the financial system was being reinforced, new banks were founded, notably Russian-Asian and St. Petersburg International.

In 1913, the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty was heavily honored in Russia. It appeared that nothing could disrupt the historical process, dismantle the most powerful edifice – the Russian Empire. The population of the empire was 155 million people, the gross grain harvest in Russia was 765 million centners, the total length of railways was 70,000 km, the total yearly circulation of literature was 106 million copies. The Russian fleet consisted of 434 ships. The Russian active army totaled 2,711,253 personnel.

But 1914 came an unforeseen calamity – in July, Germany issued Russia with an ultimatum, and the First World War started out.

By the end of 1914, 6.5 million people were put under arms. During the war years, the situation on the fronts altered more than once. Russia entered the 1917 battle stronger than before.

But developments within Russia in 1917 significantly transformed the situation not only at the fronts.

In February 1917, a bourgeois revolution took place in Russia: the Russian Empire ceased to exist, Russia became a republic and the Provisional Government, led by Prince Georgy Evgenievich Lvov, came to power.

Until this time, Lvov served as head of the All-Russian Zemstvo Movement. On the night of March 2-3, Nicholas II, deprived of knowledge about the actual situation in the nation, stuck on the train, signed the compulsory renunciation. Nicholas II abdicated the throne in favor of his brother Mikhail Alexandrovich. But Mikhail Alexandrovich also signed the Manifesto abdicating the crown.

After the February Revolution, Nicholas II began to be named Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov; earlier, the surname “Romanov” was not stated by members of the royal line; The titles signified membership in the clan: Grand Duke, Emperor, Empress, Tsarevich.

A decision was made to arrest Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov (former Emperor Nicholas II) and Alexandra Fedorovna Romanova (former Empress Alexandra Feodorovna).

At first, the former emperor and members of his family were detained under imprisonment at Tsarskoe Selo, then they were brought to Tobolsk. In 1918, the prisoners were transferred to Yekaterinburg, where on the night of July 17, 1918, the former emperor, his wife and children and the doctor and servants who stayed with them were slain by the Bolsheviks.

Even more information about the lives of the royal family are revealed in all multimedia projects “Russia – My History”.

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