Events in the Life of Tsar Nicholas Ii

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Tsar Nicholas II was the last Tsar of Russia. From his accession to the throne in 1894 to his murder in 1918, he appeared to be plagued by ill fate and a weak will. His stoicism and reluctance towards change painted him as an inexperienced and cruel leader. His actions and the circumstances thrust upon him proved to alter the course of Russia's history. On 30th July 1904, the Tsar's prayers were answered. His wife finally gave birth to a longed-for baby boy, thus providing an heir to the throne. But in a cruel twist of fate, the baby was diagnosed with haemophilia. Haemophilia was not treatable at the time, and Tsarevich Alexei was not expected to live to middle life. Again, the future of the Romanov dynasty was thrown into limbo. The arrival of the haemophiliac was possibly one of the greatest fate-sealers for Nicholas and his empire. Gutted by the prospect of his only son and heir not living past fifteen, Nicholas was driven on a search for any possible remedies to the boy's illness. Ultimately, this led to the discovery of the person who is widely-believed to be responsible for the downfall of the Romanov empire. Some saw Rasputin as a visionary with supernatural healing powers, others deemed him a fraud. However, there was no denying the influence he held over Nicholas and his family. Summoned by the Tsar after hearing word of his incredible powers, he was eventually welcomed into the family, and subsequently into the throngs of a turbulent political situation. His services as a healer gradually extended to unofficial adviser of the Tsar and Tsarina, and he was viewed by many as a puppeteer of the regime: he pulled the strings behind the scenes, manipulating Nicholas and his wife to do whatever he wanted. He convinced Nicholas to take control of war operations from army headquarters in Mogilev, and had great impact on the way the country was run in Nicholas's absence. His presence caused many people to distrust and question the rule of the Tsar, and when the...
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