Rasputin was without question one of the most scandalous figures in all of Russian history. It is hard to say when he exactly arrived in St. Petersburg. It was between the years of 1905-1911. Some sources say 1905, some say 1909, and others have said 1911. Within a few years of his arrival to the Russian capital, Rasputin became one of the most influential men in government circles. His ability to remain in such a high position despite his background is studied by many political figures in today?s world.
Originally, Rasputin was named Novylch. He was born into a peasant family in Siberia. He spent much of his youth in debauchery, receiving the name Rasputin (?Debaucher?).
Rasputin entered into the church and upon doing so; he saw a vision of the Virgin Mary. It is said that after he saw this vision, he gained fame as a healer. There is a myth that says Rasputin had a Guardian angel come to him and grant him powers to heal and to see the future.
When Rasputin came to St. Petersburg, he was introduced to the Tsar?s wife, Alexandra. She immediately saw him as a holy man, and an answer to her prayers when he claimed he could cure the disease of her one-year-old son Alexis, who suffered from hemophilia. Alexis was the heir to the throne. Rasputin could do what the best doctors could not do, and that was to keep Alexis from bleeding. Alexandra believed he was sent from God, and she kept him close at all times. He was a Russian mystic and prophet whose influence over the Russian Imperial family contributed to the collapse of the Romanov dynasty shortly after his death.
Rasputin developed a close relationship with the Tsarina, and later she allowed him to play a crucial part in the government and key appointments. In reality, Rasputin was a drunkard and a womanizer. He was sort of a bum. It was said that he rarely bathed himself. Having him at the side of the Tsarina (Alexandra) did not look good in the eye of the Russian people. He had such a great influence on Alexandra.
Rasputin?s hold over Alexandra stemmed from hypnotic power to alleviate the suffering of the crown prince, Alexis, and from her belief that he was a genuine representative of the Russian people. Through this close relationship with the Tsarina, he rose to political power. His influence over the Imperial government has been debated for many years. His influence also left much doubt in the government in the eyes of the Russian people. People began to believe that Rasputin had hypnotic control over Alexandra and the Tsar himself.
Rasputin?s original rise to the Imperial court began as Russia attempted to establish a constitutional monarchy. Nicholas appointed a new Prime Minister, Peter Stolypin. He was Russia?s last hope at an intelligent government. During his tenure, there were many advances in agriculture and industry. Russia had prospered under Stolypin. Alexandra did not like Stolypin. To her, he was evil. Her hatred for a man who had done so much to preserve Nicholas II?s throne, was rooted in that Stolypin had the courage to take on Rasputin. Stolypin had told the Tsar that he had to distance himself and his family from Rasputin. Stolypin had brought to the Tsar documented proof of Rasputin?s wild antics. The Tsar ignored him because Alexandra believed that Rasputin was the only person who could save her son.
Who knows what could have happened if Tsar Nicholas II would not have ignored Stolypin. Maybe the Romanov?s could still be in power in Russia. This just shows proof of the influence that Rasputin had over the imperial family.
Many people believe that during WWI Rasputin convinced the Tsar to take command of the Russian troops. In 1915, the Tsar was at the front, in command of the Russian troops. He took command from his relative, the Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaievich. Nicholas II did this despite the protests from within the Imperial government. This act boosted morale at first, but eventually helped lead to the downfall of the Romanovs, for it was at this time, when Alexandra let Rasputin?s advice lead Russia towards revolution.
During WWI, with the Tsar at the front, Alexandra was in command of the Imperial government. Alexandra was a German born Princess, in control of the Russian government at a time when Russia was at war with Germany. The Russian people had a very bad hatred towards her. During this time, Rasputin gave his advice on government affairs freely. Rasputin was an autocrat. He was a careful and powerful leader when the Tsar was at the front. While the Tsar was away, Rasputin?s behavior scandalized the Russian public.
In 1916, a group of nobles plotted to assassinate Rasputin. Vladimir Purishkevich, a member of the Duma, denounced Rasputin before his colleagues. In December of 1916, this group decided that Rasputin?s influence on the Imperial government had grown too large and tat he had to be killed to save the Monarchy and Russia. They lured him to the Yussapov Palace on the impression that Prince Felix Yussapov would introduce him to his beautiful wife.
Rasputin was led to the cellar and fed cakes laced with poison; but this had no affect on him. Frustrated, Yussapov shot Rasputin at point blank range and Rasputin fell to the floor. Yussapov ran out of room to tell the others Rasputin was dead. They sent him back to make sure he did the job. To his surprise, when he returned, Rasputin had regained consciousness. Yussapov ran out of the cellar screaming for help. Finally, Yussapov and the Grand Duke returned and Rasputin was gone. They found him in the yard crawling towards the gate and proceeded to shoot him and beat him with an iron. They bound him and tossed him into the Neva River. Rasputin eventually died from water filling in his lungs.
Rasputin was dead, but it was too late. The Monarchy was dead as well.
It is amazing how such a powerful dynasty could be influenced and destroyed by one man. The Tsar was warned many times of Rasputin but refused to listen. Did Rasputin really have some sort of hypnotic control over the Imperial family? Was he really possessed with these magical powers? By the way Rasputin is described, you are led to believe he is the devil; but on the other hand you see him as a ?holy man? who performed many healing miracles. Jesus Christ performed many healing miracles as well. Does this mean Rasputin really was sent by God? You could almost believe that if it were not for his background of being a womanizer and a drunkard. To me, Rasputin is a fascinating man to study. I really want to know how he performed these healing miracles and will continue my research in more depth.
Rasputin wrote a letter before he was killed which I find very interesting. You will find that letter on the next page.