Did you ever wonder what brought about the Russian Revolution in the year 1917? Grigori Efimovich Rasputin and his actions were one of the main causes of the Revolution that ended the Romanov Dynasty. He was born on January 23, 1872 in Pokrovskoye, Siberia to Anna Egorovna and Efim Akovlevich Rasputin. At the age of eighteen, Rasputin claimed that he was visited by the Holy Virgin of Kazan. He then became convinced that God had chosen him for a special purpose that he would find out later in his life. Soon after he turned nineteen, Rasputin married Praskovia Feodorovna. They had two daughters and two sons and he remained a devoted husband for six years. After six years of marriage, Rasputin sought out spiritual guidance at the monastery of Verkhoture. There he met Father Makarii who confirmed that he had been visited by the Holy Virgin of Kazan, and advised him to take a long journey of spiritual guidance. Rasputin took the advice, left his wife and kids, and spent the next six years on his journey for spiritual guidance in the Serbian Steppe. On coming back from his journey, Rasputin converted to the religion Khlystovshchina, which is the oldest Russian Orthodox sect. He became a gifted and passionate preacher of his religion. His preaching brought him to St. Petersburg, Russia, where his reputation as a spiritual leader helped him become acquainted with the royal family of the Romanovs. He soon became a friend and confidante of the royal family. The royal family shared the darkest secret of their family with him. Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra’s son and heir to the throne, Alexis Nikilaevich, was a hemophiliac. Rasputin was soon entrusted with taking care of Alexis and managing his illness. “On occasion, Rasputin would use his abilities to heal Alexis when the illness was at its worst” (Massie). He was successful, and became an extremely influential person in the Royal entourage. Years later, World War I broke out and Tsar Nicholas II joined his army at the front and left Russia in the control of his wife Alexandra. Rasputin used this to his advantage and ruled the country through Alexandra. The royal family and delegates of the Russian Parliament quickly found out about Rasputin’s actions, and soon after assassinated him. Rasputin was supposedly a man of religion, a psychic, and faith healer, but in reality he was insane, a religious charlatan, whose thirst for power led to his demise and helped to discredit the Romanov government.
Soon after arriving in St. Petersburg, Rasputin began gaining power in the Romanov government and quickly became intoxicated with his rapidly expanding power. He was immediately recognized as a holy man by John of Kranstadt, who was one of the great preachers of the day. He was soon introduced to other important and famous people. Militsa, Grand duchess and Princess of Montenegro, introduced him to the Tsarina Alexandra Feorova. She and many others were soon very impressed with Rasputin’s skills. They found his wisdom and ability to translate religious texts alluring. “Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra believed that Rasputin was a man of God and a true voice of Russia” (Katkov). Rasputin soon became extremely influential in the royal entourage because of his role in caring for the heir to the throne. “Rasputin seemed to be the only one that could alleviate the disease“ (World History Since 1550: Grigori Rasputin). Alexandra believed that Rasputin had mystical powers and that God listened when he prayed for her. Although Nicholas II was impressed with Rasputin’s charisma, he was somewhat skeptical of his methods for treating his son. Just in case of emergency, Nicholas kept physicians close at hand. He was afraid to voice his doubts to his wife who was greatly influenced by Rasputin and believed that he had true spiritual power. Even though Nicholas II was not a strong believer in what Rasputin was doing, “Nicholas II claimed Rasputin was a good, religious, simple minded Russian”...
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