You are Tsar Nicholas II just before power, what do you do?

Jun 2015
Is your meaning that at a young age you would hope to have more self-knowledge than Nicholas?

Sibling rivalries are a real thing, however, are you 100% confident that you would be abe to bear a life of seclusion knowing that you informed the entire world that you are the lesser between yourself and a younger brother?

I think as a religious person Nicholas accepted that he had a destiny to be Tsar.
Depends on the nature of their relationship. if it meant his survival, then fine. it also depends on Nicolas's own personality. Perhaps he may not care, or would not want the "bright lights" or could see where the wind was blowing, and didnt want to take the flak.
Mar 2012
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
With the benefit of hindsight? Relinquish all my powers to parliament and reinvent the Tsarist monarchy as a constitutional figurehead.
You'd probably want it to got at a piecemeal rate, to keep all those reactionary Romanov uncles and cousins off your back and to give them time to see things as you do.
Jun 2013
Siberia, deep in taiga
Nikolay II shouldn't have disbanded I Duma. Hence, there would be no need to disband II Duma where Lenin wasn't elected, though he tried. Had II Duma been working till WWI, Russian Empire would have gone through the War to the end, there would be no revolution 1917 probably.
Dec 2011
Iowa USA
Depends on the nature of their relationship. if it meant his survival, then fine. it also depends on Nicolas's own personality. Perhaps he may not care, or would not want the "bright lights" or could see where the wind was blowing, and didnt want to take the flak.
If Nicholas would see (like a young Bob Dylan) which way the wind was blowing, then Michael was just as able?

The precedent with Constantine passing on the crown involved a deeper set of disability than mere romanticism of Nicholas.

I don't see the evidence of Michael being a lost opportunity as the heir yet I would be very interested in any source which points in that direction.
Dec 2015
Of the original post, I'd strongly advise against an *aggressive* war with the Ottoman Turks, at least beyond, say Armenia. A limited alliance with Persia, otoh, very much to be desired.

TTL, the Nicky/Alix marriage seems to have been bad for both parties - certainly for Nicholas. If you can invoke enough self awareness and control, go for someone else.


Ad Honoris
May 2014
Suppose you are Nicholas II in 1893, a year before he became married Alix of Hesse and became Russia's last tsar. With the benefit of hindsight, what do you do to ensure Russia is a global power in the 20th century, while maintaining the monarchy and avoiding communist takeover?

What I would do:

-Find a different bride. Alix was unpopular, held much sway over Nicholas, and was indirectly responsible for things like Rasputin.
Completely agreed.

-Go with Witte's plans of subjugating Asia through monetary methods rather than military force. Also, make sure that ministers and advisers are deserving of their positions, and not just given them because of rank in society.
-Recognize Austria-Hungary for the dead man walking it is, and talk to Germany about carving it up in the future. The same applies for the Ottoman Empire, except with Greece and Iran. I would want to seize control of Constantinople and the Hellespont for a much desired Mediterranean entryway from the Black Sea.
-Be on better terms with England. End the Great Game (which happened in real life).
-Reform both the domestic government and military. This includes training and ensuring competent officers will be in positions of power regardless of social class, training an army that has more advantages than just manpower alone, end anti-Semitic pogroms, ensuring a more free press, and creating a Duma with teeth modeled on the British Parliment.
Completely agreed with all of this; however, I would also go one step further and outright abolish the Pale of Settlement and all anti-Semitic discrimination throughout Russia. Indeed, in addition to the extreme immorality and repulsiveness of anti-Semitism, it is also unproductive for Russia to encourage so many of its potentially talented citizens to emigrate.

Also, I would avoid entering a major European war until and unless Russia will have enough railroads to simultaneously send large numbers of troops to the front and bring enough food to the cities in Russia so that the people there can avoid food shortages and starvation.

-Large scale industrialization by 1900.
Completely agreed; at the very least, I will essentially allow people such as Sergei Witte to do whatever they want in regards to this. :)

-Should a catalyst for a WWI break out, I would try my hardest to stay out of the fight. Should that fail, hopefully the reforms to both army and industry will ensure Russia comes out ok, if not on the winning side and on top.
Completely agreed.

Also, though, off-topic, but I would like to mention one more thing that I would do: Land reform. Basically, I would like to make Russian peasants more loyal to the Tsarist (as in, my) regime by giving them their own patch of land; plus, I would use land reform as an opportunity to settle ethnic Russian peasants in various non-Russian parts (such as Latvia and Estonia) of the Russian Empire in order to Russify these areas and thus make these areas less prone to secessionist tendencies in the future. :)

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