Russian Tsar Alexander II lives until 1900

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,934
SoCal
#1
What if Russian Tsar Alexander II would have lived until 1900? He would have turned 82 in 1900 and one of his brothers lived to 77, so having him live to his early 80s is probably pretty plausible if he would have avoided ever getting assassinated.

Anyway, what would the last almost 20 years of Alexander II's reign have looked like? How would Russia's newly created Duma (which Alexander II planned to create shortly before his assassination) have handled itself? Also, what kind of foreign policy would Alexander II have pursued in his last 20 years of power? For instance, would he have militarily intervened in Ottoman Armenia during the Hamidian massacres in the mid-1890s?

Any thoughts on all of this?
 
Dec 2011
4,808
Iowa USA
#2
In contrast to Alexander's expedition of 1877-78, the minority within the OE doing the uprising in this case (Armenia) aren't Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Armenian church is one of the earliest "boughs" of the tree of denomination, importantly it does not concur with the findings of the Church councils of the 4th and 5th centuries.

So regarding a popular public opinion for intervention, religious feeling should have been less significant than in the case of uprisings of Orthodox Bulgarians, Romanians (Wallachians) or Serbs.

Alexander II may have been more of a militarist than Alexander III, but based on what I understand, I see an intervention specifically over the complaints of Armenians as a long shot.

Now regarding the future of the monarchy, if an elderly A2 remains in power the task of marrying Nicholas might have had less urgency? Nicholas avoiding marriage to Alix/Alexandra is possibly the departure most of note here? Not sure!
 
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Nov 2011
4,742
Ohio, USA
#3
In contrast to Alexander's expedition of 1877-78, the minority within the OE doing the uprising in this case (Armenia) aren't Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Armenian church is one of the earliest "boughs" of the tree of denomination, importantly it does not concur with the findings of the Church councils of the 4th and 5th centuries.

So regarding a popular public opinion for intervention, religious feeling should have been less significant than in the case of uprisings of Orthodox Bulgarians, Romanians (Wallachians) or Serbs.

Alexander II may have been more of a militarist than Alexander III, but based on what I understand, I see an intervention specifically over the complaints of Armenians as a long shot.

Now regarding the future of the monarchy, if an elderly A2 remains in power the task of marrying Nicholas might have had less urgency? Nicholas avoiding marriage to Alix/Alexandra is possibly the departure most of note here? Not sure!
Yeah, it's kind of funny when you think about it. Alexander III can easily come across as a very boorish and belligerent person but his actual reign was quite possibly the most peaceful and prosperous of almost any of the Romanov Tsars. I am a little dubious though of his favoring of France over Germany, essentially ending a strong Russian partnership with the Hohenzollerns that dated all the way back to the Napoleonic Wars, and which was likely motivated in part by Alexander III's personal dislike for Wilhelm II. This would sow fatal seeds for such disasters as Tannenberg, among others, and would be a huge part of the reason the Great War started in the first place.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,934
SoCal
#4
In contrast to Alexander's expedition of 1877-78, the minority within the OE doing the uprising in this case (Armenia) aren't Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Armenian church is one of the earliest "boughs" of the tree of denomination, importantly it does not concur with the findings of the Church councils of the 4th and 5th centuries.
Ethiopians were also Oriental Orthodox Christians just like the Armenians were and yet Tsarist Russia was nevertheless able to have good relations with them. One would think that a common feeling of Pan-Christian solidarity might be enough to overcome the denominational differences between Russians and Armenians.

So regarding a popular public opinion for intervention, religious feeling should have been less significant than in the case of uprisings of Orthodox Bulgarians, Romanians (Wallachians) or Serbs.
Yes, but theoretically speaking, there could still be enough push for a Russian military intervention. Interestingly enough, the Armenians' different church didn't actually prevent the Ottomans from viewing them as pro-Russian and thus genociding them just two decades later in real life.

Alexander II may have been more of a militarist than Alexander III, but based on what I understand, I see an intervention specifically over the complaints of Armenians as a long shot.
Why'd Russia conquer Kars in 1877-1878?

Also, do you think that Alexander II would have been inclined to militarily intervene in China in 1884-1885 during the Sino-French War?

Now regarding the future of the monarchy, if an elderly A2 remains in power the task of marrying Nicholas might have had less urgency? Nicholas avoiding marriage to Alix/Alexandra is possibly the departure most of note here? Not sure!
Agreed that it would be less urgent--especially if Alexander II doesn't look like he's about to die soon yet in 1894. Thus, Yes, theoretically speaking, Nicholas II could be forced to marry someone else in this scenario. Who that would be might be a question better suited for you than for me, though. :)
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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SoCal
#5
Yeah, it's kind of funny when you think about it. Alexander III can easily come across as a very boorish and belligerent person
Well, the anti-Jewish policies and the anti-minority policies in general is what I primarily dislike about Alexander III. Of course, I also dislike his squashing of a proto-Russian Duma in 1881, but at least that can be excused as him being angry at Russian revolutionaries for his father's assassination.

but his actual reign was quite possibly the most peaceful and prosperous of almost any of the Romanov Tsars.
Yes and Yes but I do wonder if Russia squandered good opportunities to militarily intervene in China in 1884-1885 and in Ottoman Armenia in 1894-1897.

I am a little dubious though of his favoring of France over Germany, essentially ending a strong Russian partnership with the Hohenzollerns that dated all the way back to the Napoleonic Wars, and which was likely motivated in part by Alexander III's personal dislike for Wilhelm II.
It was Kaiser Bill who refused to renew the Reinsurance Treaty, no? On the other hand, was the Reinsurance Treaty actually compatible with all of Germany's other obligations?

This would sow fatal seeds for such disasters as Tannenberg, among others, and would be a huge part of the reason the Great War started in the first place.
Yeah, I mean, WWI simply had too many casualties for too little gain (at least for the Great Powers) to actually be worth fighting, IMHO.
 
Nov 2011
4,742
Ohio, USA
#6
Well, the anti-Jewish policies and the anti-minority policies in general is what I primarily dislike about Alexander III. Of course, I also dislike his squashing of a proto-Russian Duma in 1881, but at least that can be excused as him being angry at Russian revolutionaries for his father's assassination.



Yes and Yes but I do wonder if Russia squandered good opportunities to militarily intervene in China in 1884-1885 and in Ottoman Armenia in 1894-1897.



It was Kaiser Bill who refused to renew the Reinsurance Treaty, no? On the other hand, was the Reinsurance Treaty actually compatible with all of Germany's other obligations?



Yeah, I mean, WWI simply had too many casualties for too little gain (at least for the Great Powers) to actually be worth fighting, IMHO.
The main problem for Russo-German relations was, no doubt, Pan-Slavism and with it, Russia and Austria's competing interests in the Balkans. Ultimately, you're right. I think the Germans made an error in tying themselves more closely to Austria than to Russia, given that Austria was flagging more than Russia was. That, and the roots of Russo-German partnership ran deeper than Austro-German partnership.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,934
SoCal
#7
The main problem for Russo-German relations was, no doubt, Pan-Slavism and with it, Russia and Austria's competing interests in the Balkans. Ultimately, you're right. I think the Germans made an error in tying themselves more closely to Austria than to Russia, given that Austria was flagging more than Russia was. That, and the roots of Russo-German partnership ran deeper than Austro-German partnership.
IMHO, the best way to settle the Balkan dispute would have been to divide them into spheres of influence--with Austria getting the western Balkans and Russia getting the eastern Balkans. There--problem solved!
 
Nov 2011
4,742
Ohio, USA
#8
IMHO, the best way to settle the Balkan dispute would have been to divide them into spheres of influence--with Austria getting the western Balkans and Russia getting the eastern Balkans. There--problem solved!
Very true, but human greed and fear on both sides' parts had a way of making a seemingly simple problem far more complicated.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,575
#9
IMHO, the best way to settle the Balkan dispute would have been to divide them into spheres of influence--with Austria getting the western Balkans and Russia getting the eastern Balkans. There--problem solved!
Well, that's the problem with spheres of influence. It only works according to the potency of the actual influence. Otherwise you need some kind of more formal empire. And then empires like the Austrian and Russia will still struggle with being "the prisons of nations".
 
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Dec 2011
4,808
Iowa USA
#10
IMHO, the best way to settle the Balkan dispute would have been to divide them into spheres of influence--with Austria getting the western Balkans and Russia getting the eastern Balkans. There--problem solved!
Except for the fact that France wanted Serbia to be strong, even allowing Serbia to buy artillery on credit. Austria and Russia were in some sense distracting the political classes from the challenge of international liberalism, broadly defined, with the drama associated with the decay of the Ottomans. It is interesting that as late as 1908, the Russian F.M. seemed to be agree to the idea of the East-West spheres of influence in the Balkan peninsula.

If Austria had perceived nationalism on the Southern frontier as serious long term threat then during the 1850s they ought to have done more to stop the Piedmont from unifying Italy?
 
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