The Decline and Fall of the Romanov Dynasty
In 1894, Tsar Alexander III died suddenly of Kidney failure at a very young age. His son, Nicholas II took over the position (he was only 26) through succession, not knowing that he would soon become the tsar who brought the Romanov rule to an end after more than 300 years of autocratic rule.
The same year, Tsar Nicholas married Princess Alix (Alexandra) of Hesse-Darmstadt. The marriage was a love match. The couple were a perfect example of complete love for one another but, when one is a ruler of an empire, unquestionable love is not always a good thing. During the first years of the marriage, the Tsar would not even upset his wife by complaining about his problems to her. He was once quoted in saying the following to his brother-in-law "I am not prepared to be a Tsar. I never wanted to become one.
I know nothing of the business of ruling".
Tsar Nicholas soon decided (or knew no other way) that he would rule the same as his father, and all the Romanov generations before him ruled, with absolute power. He decided to rule this way because he saw no need for change - 'it's worked for nearly 300 years, why change now?' the tsar was once quoted saying. What the Tsar didn't realize is that he is ruling with a 17th Century mind-set, and it was now the 20th century.
In 1895, the first of 5 children were born, Olga. Later in 1897 Tatiana is born, 1899 Marie, 1001 Anastasia is born and in 1904 Alexis, the only son was born. Alexis was born with a disease know as hemophilia - when a sufferer is cut, the blood flow is not stopped by the blood forming a...