Home Russian Revolution of 1917 Authored by R.E. Foy

Russian Revolution of 1917 Authored by R.E. Foy

104 years ago today in 1918, Czar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife Alexandra, their five children, and four of their servants are shot and stabbed to death by Bolshevik revolutionaries.

Nicholas was crowned Emperor of Russia on May 26th 1896. At the time he inherited one of the largest and most powerful empires in the world. However his reign would be plagued with internal and external crises early on. Modernization of the 20th century would lead to the lower classes of Russia clamoring for political reform from the old autocratic system. Officials in his government would be the target of violent activism and assassinations. And in response his government would sometimes harshly respond to protests and provocations.

In 1904 Russia would go to war with Japan and lose an entire fleet in battle. Nicholas would decide to double-down and send their prestigious Baltic fleet across the world. But the Japanese would also destroy this fleet and inflict over 100,000 casualties on the Russians, forcing them to cede territory. The cost and failure of the war was a direct cause of the 1905 Russian Revolution which the Czar’s government violently suppressed and would almost completely alienate him from the general population.

The Czar was also affected by a more personal issue too. His son Alexi was born a hemophiliac taking up much of his time and concern. Desperate to heal their son, the royal family turned to a bizarre mystic named Grigori Rasputin who would manipulate them and alienate many of the Czar’s closest advisers and noblemen.

The final catalyst to the Czar’s downfall would be the horrendous losses and failure in World War One. The February Revolution of 1917 would have the Czar abdicate his throne, including for his sick son. By all accounts, the family was relieved to give up power and avoid politics. They planned to live a comfortable life in exile. The royal family and their loyal servants were imprisoned in the Alexander Palace before being moved to Tobolsk and then Yekaterinburg. As the Russian Civil War escalated, Allied powers intervened and the Bolshevik government lost ground. The Royal family’s conditions deteriorated and became harsher. The Soviets would periodically execute servants and guards who were kind to the family. And with Allied forces getting close to their location, direct orders from Vladmir Lenin had forced the family and their remaining four servants to pack their belongings and go into the basement to be moved to another place.

On the dark early morning of July 17th, while the family sat together a group of Bolsheviks entered the room and read them an execution sentence. The Czar and his wife stood in front of their children and protested what was about to be done. Pistols were drawn and unloaded on the family. The Czar and his wife were killed immediately by the bullets and shielding their children. The noise from all the gunshots concerned the Bolsheviks and smoke covered the entire room making it difficult to see. The children and servants laid wounded and crying. The Soviets walked around the smokey room, stabbing and beating the survivors to death. And eventually shooting each of them in the head to ensure they were gone. The execution lasted a total of 20 minutes. The location and disposal of their bodies was a subject of great mystery for the next century.

With their deaths, one of the most important political dynasties of the last 300 years was extinguished. Fearful of the family being made martyrs, the Soviet Government denied the family was dead for decades. There were also impostors who claimed they were the missing royal family. Most of the remains were found in 1979, and the last two in 2007. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the new Russian government would formally rebury the remains of the royal family. They would also open a murder investigation in 1993 but failed to find any of the executors still alive. Nicholas, his wife, and their children are formally canonized as saints by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Chinweuba Anyaragbuhttps://cdanewsonline.com
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