Friday, August 13, 2010

The Weak Tsar?

Blogger Christina Croft dissents from the conventional wisdom that Russia's Nicholas II (1868-1918) was a "weak" Tsar. I mostly agree with her analysis, though it's perhaps unfair to compare Britain's King George V (1865-1936) unfavourably to his Russian cousin as the British constitution would not have allowed him to occupy his time with anything much more politically decisive than shooting and stamp collecting. (Via Tea at Trianon via The Sword & The Sea.)


elena maria vidal said...

That's true about King George. His hands were tied.

Christina said...

Thank you for mentioning this and my blog :-)

This may be of no consequence and is just a thought...Yes, George V lacked the power of an autocrat and, being a constitutional monarch couldn't involve himself directly in politics, but Queen Victoria and Edward VII both had a great effect on foreign affairs, forging ties with other nations. George V shot a lot of birds and bullied his children and, when push came to shove, I think, turned out to be a very weak man and ineffectual king - being annoyed that a suffragette (who ran under his horse in a desperate attempt to draw attention to the plight of women) spoiled the Derbvy; turning his back on his cousin, Nicholas, (and allowing the blame to pass to his government when the opposite was true) changing the family name to appear patriotic...and shooting innocent creatures. Did he love his country and its people? I'm not sure that he did.

Perhaps it's unfair to compare him to Nicholas because their roles were quite different but it always seems that a worthy British monarch makes of his/her role whatever he/she will. Queen Victoria, Edward VII, George VI (reluctantly) and Queen Elizabeth II have done that so brilliantly - in the case of our present Queen, even with occasional 'leaks' to the papers, in much the same way as Queen Victoria did - but George V....he shot a thousand birds in one day and bullied his children.