On This Day

Nicholas II

Tsar of Russia Nicholas II

Full Name: Nicholas Aleksandrovitch Romanov
Profession: Tsar of Russia


Biography: Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His disastrous reign saw Imperial Russia go from being one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse.

His reign saw several disastrous events for Russia. At the coronation festivities, a stampede resulted in the deaths of nearly 1,400 people. In 1905 Russia was decisively defeated by Japan during the Russo-Japanese War, and the Russian Baltic Fleet was annihilated by the Japanese Navy.

Nicholas approved the mobilization in 1914 which led to Russian entry in World War I. This conflict was catastrophic for the country and for the House of Romanov, with over 3 million Russians killed and sharp deterioration in living conditions across the country. Though it was part of the Allies, Russia was defeated by Germany.

The influence of Grigori Rasputin over the Russian monarchy - given his supposed ability to heal Nicholas' hemophiliac son Tsarevich Alexei - helped lead to his downfall. The war directly led to the Russian Revolution of 1917, in which Nicholas abdicated following riots and the Russian monarchy collapsed. He and his family were taken into custody and executed by the Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg in July 1918.

Born: May 18, 1868
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: July 17, 1918 (aged 50)
Cause of Death: Executed by a Bolshevik firing squad in the basement of Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Siberia

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1894-11-26 Russian emperor Nicholas II (26) weds Alexandra Feodorovna (22) at the Grand Church of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Russia

Historical Events

  • 1891-05-11 The Otsu Scandal: While visiting Japan, Prince Nicholas (later Tsar Nicholas II) survives an assassination attempt
  • 1894-11-01 Nicholas II becomes the new Tsar of Russia after the death of his father, Tsar Alexander III
  • 1896-05-26 Last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, crowned
  • 1896-05-30 Khodynka Tragedy: Stampeding crowd on Khodynka Field, Moscow, during the festivities for coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, results in the deaths of about 1,300 people
  • 1905-01-29 Tsar Nicolas II of Russia, unsettled by the rising violence and protest, enacts reforms to improve the conditions of workers; these changes will do little to stop disorder throughout Russia in ensuing months
  • 1905-03-03 Tsar Nicholas II of Russia agrees to summon a 'consultative assembly' and concedes other points including an edict of religious toleration, relief for Jews, and the cancellation of certain debts
  • 1905-07-24 Tsar Nicholas II (Russia) and Emperor Wilhelm II (Germany) sign the Björkö Treaty, whereby each country agrees to come to the other's defense if attacked by European powers
  • 1905-08-19 Russian Tsar Nicholas II installs "Imperial Duma", without legislative powers
  • 1905-10-20 Russian Tsar Nicholas II allows the Poles to speak Polish to help quell the revolution in the Kingdom of Poland
  • 1905-10-30 "October Manifesto" Russian Tsar Nicholas II grants civil liberties and accepts the first Duma (Parliament)
  • 1905-11-03 Tsar Nicholas II of Russia signs a document of amnesty for the political prisoners
  • 1906-05-02 Tsar Nicolas II of Russia dismisses his moderate Prime Minister Witte and appoints Ivan Goremykin, a conservative bureaucrat
  • 1906-05-06 Tsar Nicolas II of Russia claims right to legislate by decree and restricts the power of the Duma (Russian Parliament)
  • 1907-06-16 Tsar Nicolas II of Russia dissolves the Second Duma (parliament) and issues an edict that will increase representation of propertied classes while reducing that of peasants, workers and national minorities
  • 1907-11-14 The Third Duma (Parliament) meets in Russia; following Tsar Nicholas II's limiting of the franchise, a conservative majority holds sway and suppresses the radical elements
  • 1908-06-09 King Edward VII of Great Britain visits Tsar Nicholas II at Reval, Russia, where the two discuss the growing power of Germany and British plans for reform in Macedonia
  • 1909-02-23 Russian Tsar Nicholas II dissolves Finnish Diet
  • 1910-11-04 Russian Tsar Nicholas II visits German Emperor Wilhelm II at Potsdam; they force tentative agreements on spheres of influence in the Middle East
  • 1914-07-30 After initial reluctance, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia is persuaded to decree a general mobilizations in response to Austria; 'Think of the thousands and thousands of men who will be sent to their deaths!' he claims
  • 1914-08-01 Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany declares war on his nephew Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in WWI
  • 1915-09-05 Tsar Nicholas II, distressed by increasing Russian losses, assumes personal command of his nation's military forces; clearly a symbolic act and devastating for his leadership
  • 1915-09-16 Tsar Nicolas II adjourns 4th Duma
  • 1917-02-26 Russian February Revolution: Tsar Nicolas II orders army to quell civil unrest in Petrograd - army mutinies [NS Mar 11]
  • 1917-03-15 Nicholas II, the last Russian Tsar abdicates and nominates his brother Grand Duke Michael to succeed him [OS Mar 2]
  • 1917-03-16 Russian Grand Duke Michael, brother of Tsar Nicholas II declines the Russian throne [OS Mar 3]
  • 1918-07-17 The Romanov royal family and several of their retainers are executed by a Bolshevik firing squad in the basement of Ipatiev House, in Yekaterinburg, Siberia
  • 1992-06-22 Two skeletons excavated in Yekaterinburg, Russia identified as Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra
  • 1995-03-05 Graves of Tsar Nicholas II and family found in St Petersburg
  • 1998-07-17 Russia buries Tsar Nicholas II and family, 80 years after they died
  • 2008-12-05 Human remains previously found in 1991 are finally identified by Russian and American scientists as those of Tsar Nicholas II

Biographies and Sources

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