Rasputin’s Influence Over the Romanovs

Over time, Rasputin became more and more necessary to the Romanovs, at least in Alexandra’s opinion. The monk gradually became a fixture in the palace. He was given unrestrained access to the palace and was casually familiar with the family. Despite the rumors and substantiated stories, nothing could harm him with the Romanovs.

tsar and children
(L-R) Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Maria, Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the Tsarevich Alexei

 

People noticed it, and reacted with resentment. In a sign of imminent trouble, suggestive cartoons appeared in the newspapers, disrespectfully portraying the tsar and tsarina as manipulated children, and the tsarina as Rasputin’s lover.

This is stunning, given the newspapers were censored. Even a year earlier, no editor would have had the courage to print them.

cartoon 2

A suggestive cartoon that appeared in a St. Petersburg newspaper in 1916
A suggestive cartoon that appeared in a St. Petersburg newspaper in 1916

Then Alexei had another scare. Rasputin was in Siberia when Alexandra’s frantic telegram arrived: the doctors said the boy couldn’t live through the night. Rasputin responded immediately, reassuring the Empress that God had heard her prayers and Alexei would recover. The next day the tsarevich was better. After that, nothing could dislodge Rasputin.

Alexandra and Alexei
The Empress Alexandra with the tsarevich

 

 

The Great War was in progress when Tsar Nicholas plunged Russia into the fight.

Initially, it was a popular decision and the people supported Russia’s participation. The Tsar went to the field in 1915 to personally lead the troops, leaving his wife to rule the country. Alexei was comparatively well during this period and was occasionally with the tsar, in the field.

Alexandra, Alexei, and Nicholas
Alexandra, Alexei, and Nicholas

With the Tsar away, the whispers about Rasputin and the Tsarina grew louder. We’ll never know if there was truth to the rumors, but the Russians – who were ignorant of the Tsarevich’s illness – could account for the monk’s presence in no other way.

Like her husband, the Empress Alexandra exercised questionable judgment. In gratitude to Rasputin, the Empress allowed him to appoint government officials. The monk bragged about his power, and the unpopular Alexandra became an object of disgust – the more so because Rasputin openly sold these appointments to the highest bidder.

Rasputin

Despite the darkening horizon, Alexandra refused to curb Rasputin’s power. Tsar Nicholas heard complaints and wrote to his wife in 1916, questioning Rasputin’s influence. Alexandra responded, reassuring her husband of the monk’s goodness. The tsar was satisfied.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Rasputin’s Influence Over the Romanovs

Share your thoughts on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s