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Death of a Tsar: Romanov Execution - GIVE US BREAD

GIVE US BREAD (Illustration) Censorship Social Studies World History Medicine Civil Rights Civil Wars Russian Studies

Political cartoon, by John Tinney McCutcheon, from his book entitled The Mysterious Stranger and Other Cartoons (1905).  It depicts a father - Nicholas II - concerned about his hemophiliac son but seemingly unconcerned about the disastrous loss of Port Arthur (a key battle during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904).  Online, Google Books.

 

He was only ten when the serious trouble started. Serious trouble in the realm, that is.

But Alexei, the fifth child and only son of Nicholas II ("Tsar of all the Russias") and Alexandra ("the Tsarina" and "the Empress") had his own source of trouble long before he was ten. He was born with hemophilia.

Known by his nickname, Alexei was a hemophiliac in the days when the disease was fatal. Known by his title, the tsarevich was a hemophiliac in the days when the monarchy did not reveal its secrets.

How would Russians have reacted if they knew their next Tsar had a serious illness? As it happens ... probably a lot better had they known the truth.

At least the Russian people would have understood why their Tsar seemed to pay more attention to the needs of his wealthy family than he paid to the needs of his impoverished people. At least they would not have viewed a father's love as a ruler's indifference.

By the time average Russians knew Alexei had a serious illness, however, they were well beyond the point of caring. Their country was at war and people were starving. Many soldiers were fighting in their bare feet. 

Russia needed to change, but the man at the helm seemed not to hear the cries of his people. Alexei's father was losing his grip on the power he thought was divinely ordained.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Dec 23, 2014


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