Quotes on Nicholas II Romanov

Nicholas II Romanov was often criticised by many due to his weak character and incompetence in a political aspect. Here are quotes of historian Orlando Figes, a politician Sergei Witte and Peter Stolypin, a monk Rasputin, etc. However some quotes show sympathy towards him, such as his wife Alexandra.

“His character is the source of all our misfortunes. His outstanding weakness is a lack of willpower.”

By: Sergei Witte

“The Czar can change his mind from one minute to the next; he’s a sad man; he lacks guts.”

By: Rasputin

“It was not a weakness of will that was the undoing of the last Czar but… a wilful determination to rule from the throne, despite the fact that he clearly lacked the necessary qualities to do so.”

By: Orlando Figes

“Nicholas had not been blessed with either his father’s strength of character or his intelligence.”

By: Orlando Figes

“What is going to happen to me and all of Russia? I am not prepared to be a Tsar. I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling.”

By: Nicholas II

“Be more autocratic than Peter the Great and sterner than Ivan the Terrible.”

By: Tsarina Alexandra, to her husband

“I will preserve the principle of Autocracy as firmly and unflinchingly as my late father.”

By: Nicholas II

“I pity the Tsar. I pity Russia. He is a poor and unhappy sovereign. What did he inherit and what will he leave? He is obviously a good and quite intelligent man, but he lacks will power, and it is from that character that his state defects developed, that is, his defects as a ruler, especially an autocratic and absolute ruler.”

By: Sergei Witte, Russian minister

“I am fully convinced that great and beautiful times are coming for your reign and Russia…we must give a strong country to Baby and dare not be weak for his sake…Don’t let things slip through your fingers and leave it to him to build all over again. Be firm…How I wish I could pour my will into your veins.”

By: Tsarina Alexandra, to her husband

“Autocracy is a superannuated form of government that may suit the needs of a Central African tribe, but not those of the Russian people, who are increasingly assimilating the culture of the rest of the world. That is why it is impossible to maintain this form of government except by violence.”

By: Nicolai Tolstoy

“Comrade Workers, tear up all portraits of the blood-sucking Tsar and say to him: Be thou damned with all Thine August Reptilian Progeny!”

By: Georgi Gapon during 1905

“Rioting and disturbances in the capitals and in many localities of Our Empire fill Our heart with great and heavy grief. The well-being of the Russian Sovereign is inseparable from the national well-being; and the national sorrow is His sorrow.”

By: Nicholas II, writing in October 1905

“Curse the Duma. It’s all Witte’s fault.”

By: Nicholas II

“The tragic aspect of the situation is that the Tsar is living in an utter fool’s paradise, thinking that He is as strong and all-powerful as before.”

By: Sergei Witte in 1905

“As long as I live, I will never trust that man (Witte) again with the smallest thing. I had quite enough with last year’s experiment. It is still like a nightmare to me.”

By: Nicholas II, writing in 1906

“I must carry through effective measures of reform, and at the same time I must face the revolution, resist it and stop it.”

By: Peter Stolypin, 1906

“I shall never, under any circumstances, agree to a representative form of government because I consider it harmful to the people whom God has entrusted to my care.”

By: Nicholas II

“There is no limit to the assistance I am ready to give and the concessions I am willing to make to put the peasantry on the path of cultural development. If we fail to carry out this reform we should all be swept on to the rubbish heap… The government has placed its wager, not on the needy and the drunken, but on the sturdy and the strong”.

By: Peter Stolypin in 1908

“In a year of war the regular army had vanished. It was replaced by an army of ignoramuses.”

By: General Brusilov

“He is just a good, religious, simple-minded Russian. When in trouble or assailed by doubts I like to have a talk with him, and invariably feel at peace with myself afterwards.”

By: Nicholas II on Rasputin

“Our Friend’s [Rasputin’s] opinions of people are sometimes very strange, as you know yourself; therefore one must be careful.”

By: Nicholas II

“The appearance in [the royal] court of Grigory Rasputin, and the influence he exercised there, mark the beginning of the decay of Russian society and the loss of prestige for the throne and for the person of the Tsar himself.”

By: Rodzianko, chairman of the Duma

“I wish to make known to the Russian people, to Papa [Nicholas II] the Russian mother and to the children, to the land of Russia, what they must understand. If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you, Tsar of Russia, have nothing to fear, remain on your thrown and govern… But if I am murdered by nobles and if they shed my blood, their hands will remain soiled with my blood, for twenty-five years they will not wash their hands from my blood. They will leave Russia. Brothers will kill brothers… if it was your relations who have wrought my death then no one of your family, that is to say none of your children or relations, will remain alive for more then two years.”

By: Grigori Rasputin, in a 1916 letter to the tsarina

“When the Duma with ever greater persistence insists that the rear must be organised for a successful struggle, while the government persists in claiming that organising the country means organising a revolution and deliberately prefers chaos and disorganization, then what is this: stupidity or treason?”

By: Pavel Milyukov in a November 1916 speech

“I am obliged to report that, at the present moment, the Russian Empire is run by lunatics.”

By: Maurice Paleologue, French ambassador


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