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Rasputin, His Hold Over The Romanovs

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  • Category: Russian

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Problem Statement

            Until 1917, Russia was ruled by a loyal family called the Romanovs. The head of that family was Tsar Nicholas II, and he ruled Russia with help of nobles appointed by him as advisers; however, majority of Russians who were peasants or town workers had to say in how Russia was run. The Tsar and his nobles lived a life of luxury, while others during that time especially the peasants did not get much of the same lifestyle. The appearance of Grigori Rasputin in the higher circles of Russian society deepened the rift between the State Duma and the Holy Synod[1]. Rasputin was a Russian peasant who saw himself a holy man. He had some interesting views, such as believing that people could only repent of they first sinned properly. Rasputin had tremendous influence over the Tsarina because he seemed to be able to help her son, Alexi, who suffered from a blood disease called hemophilia; however, he was hated by the Russian nobles[2]. The figure of staritz (elder) Grigori Rasputin was provocation that united all opposition parties and increased the pressure on imperial authority. Rasputin’s involvement with the royal family eventually created a sense of repulsion toward the monarchy among the ROC clergymen, aristocrats, and subjects alike. Some individuals sided with Rasputin and were swept upward with this ambitious rising star, while his opponents saw him as comfortable target for their anti-imperial attacks[3].

Scope and Limitations

            The course of discussion shall tackle the vast historical event that occurred between the Romanov and Grigori Rasputin of Russia. Considering the historical theories provided that explains the event that occurred during the time of their presence with aims to alter the societal standards of their time, the research should aim primarily to the conceptual discussions and the theoretical propositions by various historical researches. By providing cultural and social stands, the study shall discuss the influential grasps of Grigori Romanov to the Romanov groups.

The following are the objectives imposed into the study in order to serve as the guidelines for conducting the research.

  1. To be able to provide justifications that shall negate the implementation of such actions and impose the overall validation of Rasputin and Romanov coalition during the time of their reign
  2. To be able to identify, discuss, analyze and evaluate the issues concerning the subject of Rasputin’s reign among Romanov involving the positive affirmative and rebuttal points of the subject

Purpose of the Research

            The study exemplifies the events that provided the theoretical statements of the Romanov and Rasputin, which changed the societal stands during their time. The significance of the study is to provide awareness expansion by discussing the points relevant to the why, when, and who of the historical phenomena issued by the said groups; hence, giving the idea of framework for the institution of such hold as claimed by the influential powers of Grigori Rasputin.


Who is Rasputin and his Origin?

            Rasputin was not his real name: he was rightly called Grigori Yefimovitsch, and was born in Pterovoskype, a tiny village in the department of Tobolsk[4] in Siberia, where he also spent the whole of his childhood; however, little is known about him during these years[5]. His nickname Rasputin was an offensive Russian epithet implying a character whose main interests were sex, alcohol, and debauchery. There was, however, a great deal more to Rasputin than this popular image of him as an unkempt, alcoholic sex maniac, cursed with weird religious obsessions, but strangely blessed with inexplicable healing and prophetic power[6].

            In Tobolsk, besides the genuine Russian Siberians, live also a very large number of nomads – Samoyads of Mongolian origin; and Grigori Yefimovitsch’s mother must have been one such Samoyad woman, in whose blood and soul lived in pagan traditions dating back thousand of years. His father was just a common peasant, no nomad, and had, in nor respect, raised himself above the level of his fellows; on the contrary, the family was known as being below the level as regards morality[7].

            Some expert historians and psychologists who have studied Rasputin’s convoluted character in depth have wondered whether his curious contradictory mixture of intense spirituality and debauchery might have been the result of abuse in his early life. The young and impressionable Grigory came into contact with a fanatical religious sect known as the Khlysty[8]. Their interests included flagellation, and they embraced the morbid belief that persecution and martyrdom were, in some inexplicable way, good for people. Moreover, their rituals seem to have been designed to induce altered states of consciousness[9]. To add up, Rasputin grew in an environment wherein paganism is very much evident and patronized, especially by his family. In Tobolsk, idols are worshipped, and these frightful grotesque creatures are the only beings the people continue to look up to, and the qualities that are attributed to he gods and deemed virtues are not exactly those, which, in civilized communities, are written on the credit side when the moral reckoning is made up. Consequently, these gods, who are smeared all over with reindeer’s blood, permit all the excesses that men commit, and these are carried on quite openly. Grigori Rasputin grew up in these particular surroundings; hence, when he was older, records brought up claims of notorious perception over his brutality, reckless violence and maliciousness during his childhood[10].

            Rasputin did seem to exercise powers of prophesy and some sort of second sight on several occasions; yet, they apparently deserted him when he needed them most in Yusopov’s palace. Among his prophecies was that of the birth of a son and heir to Nicholas and the tsarina. Alexandria, whose love for each other went back a long war; Nicholas had first met the twelve-years-old Alexandria, or Alix, of Hesse-Darmstadt when he was the sixteen-year-old Crown Prince of Russia, and they had married in 1894, shortly after the death of Nicholas’s father[11].

            When he was thirty, Rasputin informed his family that he had undergone a sudden religious conversion[12]. His skeptical relatives responded with laughter, for that change of heart during a day of hard labor on threshing crew was an excuse for him to drive his shovel into a pile of grain and take off, wandering aimlessly alone from one monastery to another. By his own account, he went from Siberia to Kiev and later completed a pilgrimage to far Mount Athos in Greece and even to Jerusalem[13]. Rasputin had an immense religious obsession most likely due to his origins.

            Moreover, Rasputin never took holy instruction, nor was he ever more than marginally literate; although, he could recite the gospels by heart, many observers seriously doubted the sincerity of his belief in the Orthodox faith. Some contended that he had joined one of the strangest of the groups (khylsty); however, the Tobolsk Consistory investigated the issue but could not find no evidence to support the claims[14]. Grigori Rasputin played on the mysticism that was popular among the Russian elite and their pre-occupation with ascetic monks[15]. The phenomenon of Rasputin’s rise to prominence is related to another manifestation of Russian asceticism: the many unusual fools in Christ of early ages, some of whom were sincere and others who were absolute hypocrites. Initially, people considered Rasputin a genuine fool in Christ who sought perfection in self-humiliation and n the subjection of his will to the will of God. Tsar Nicholas met Rasputin in 1906, and immediately recognized him as a man of pure faith, while others referred to Rasputin as a holy devil.[16]

            Rasputin first appeared in St. Petersburg in 1903 or 1904, when he was about forty; nonetheless, he presumptuously called himself starlets[17] or monks – because he claimed the powers of clairvoyant and a healer. Claims that supposedly respected doctors confirmed cured by Rasputin in cases pronounced as hopeless do not stand up to scrutiny[18].

            In modern terms, Rasputin might be described as uncultural psychotherapist who manipulate his patients once he gained their trust, more than any type of mystic or man of God. Living in Siberia, with a wife and five children, Rasputin developed an ability to reduce tension and calm people’s fears and anxieties, even under the worst of circumstances. Grand Duke Alexis, heir to the Russian throne, suffered from a hereditary blood disease. The perception was that the Romanov Dynasty was doomed by hemophilia, which is transmitted through the female bloodline, but infects only men. Rhetorically, it could be described as a decadent disease, especially if bane of degeneration and the blood troupe of the decadence, not to speak of the myth of feminine evil in the fin de sieche. The presence of Rasputin at the Russian court was linked to Alexis’ illness. A Siberian peasant who claimed divine healing powers, Rasputin had insinuated himself into the royal family by convincing the emperor and empress that he could contain the uncontrollable flow of blood during their son’s hemophilic attacks[19]. This talent worked to his benefit as he eased the tensions of the royal family that resulted from the leukemia afflicting the tsarevich, Alexis Nikolayevich.

            Once Rasputin made his inroads into the personal affairs of the royal family, and gained their trust as a staritz[20], ­they began to allow him more influence in the affairs of the ROC and the Holy Synod. Rasputin lived a paradoxical double life, wherein in the morning Rasputin could be found in the private company of a prostitute whom he had propositioned on the streets of St. Petersburg, while later that same day he might be at Tsarskoe Selo “healing” the Tsarevich Alexis of his leukemia and acting as divine counselor to the royal parents[21]. Rasputin lived a life of sexual excess and was surrounded by decadent luxury, having acquired political power in the court circles. His influence came to an end in 1916 when he was assassinated by a group of conspirators consisting of members of the royal family and the notorious anti-Semite Vladimir Purishkevich[22]. Due to rumors that a massive cache of jewels was hidden in Rasputin’s coffin, buried in a special sepulcher at Tsarkoe Selo, soldiers exhumed the coffin in January 1917; however, no jewels or valuables were found. The coffin was then removed from the premises by order of the officials of the Provisional Government and stored in a warehouse in Petrograd. The decision was made due to the association of Rasputin with the royal family. It was removed about a month or so late to be buried at some unrecorded place to avoid his grave becoming a shrine for his devotees; however, on the night of March 11, 1917, Rasputin’s corpse was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the wind[23].

The Role of Rasputin Over the Romanovs

            The Romanov dynasty began with the reign of Michael Romanov in 1613 and ended in 1917 with Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution. When World War I broke out in 1914, Russia joined Great Britain and France in the war against Germany. The war quickly grew unpopular at home, as the Russian army suffered defeats at the hands of the better-prepared and supplied Germans[24]. The war not only revealed poor government planning but also the political ineptitude of the Tsar. The Duma was dissolved in 1915 and the Tsar made clear his view that he should have sole control over the conduct of the war. In September, Nicholas, under pressure from Alexandra, took over command of the armed forces and went to the front to direct the fighting. He was now in a position where he could be seen as responsible for military defeats and be the target officer’s criticisms of the war effort. He was also cut off from information about the situation in St. Petersburg, now renamed Petrograd[25].

            Nicholas’s troubles grew with the presence of Grigory Rasputin, who claimed to have mystical healing powers. Rasputin convinced Empress Alexandra, the czar’s wife, that he could ease her son, Alexi’s hemophilia[26]. Since young Alexis was the czarevitch, which is the heir of the Romanov throne – his health was of the utmost importance to the family and the empire[27]. With Nicholas away at the front, Alexandra was left in control of government in the capital. Already unpopular because of her German background, Alexandra further added up to the demoralization of the government by taking the advice of Rasputin, a holy man and confidant of the Tsarina. He was able to exert a strong influence over Alexandra because of his apparent ability to control the condition of Alexis, the only son and heir of Nicholas[28].

            In the czar’s absence, Alexandra attempted to rule the way she had always encouraged Nicholas to rule, as an absolutist. Under the influence of Rasputin, Alexandra dismissed and reappointed many of the top positions in the Russian government. Unfortunately, Alexandra had a limited understanding of political issues and often acted on the advice of unsuitable people, such as Rasputin. Her unpopularity increased during the World War I when her German background allowed opponents to raise doubts about her loyalty to Russia[29].

            Alexandra constantly attacked Cabinet ministers who incurred Rasputin’s or her displeasure. With the tsar away at Stavka, his normal receptiveness to her suggestions increased, and from mid-1915 capable ministers were replaced by nonentities. First of these was the replacement of Goremykin as Prime minister by Sturner, a notorious pro-German. Next was the War minister, General Polivanov, and in the next few months, since he replaced the incompetent Sukhomlinov, he had effected immense improvements in army supply and training. However, like Grand Duke Nikolay, he hated Rasputin and favored seeking Duma support, a combination that doomed him in Alexandra’s eyes. On 25th of March 1916, Nicholas replaced him with General Shuvayev, whom coming events would show to be a poor substitute[30].

            Rasputin was an unordained, self-proclaimed holy man who dressed in monk’s robes but was in reality a lecher, drunkard, and con man. He followed the credo that sin was necessary for contribution, and he was more than willing to sin in order to be forgiven. His powers of hypnosis and healing were apparently real, and there are numerous records of his cures. Nonetheless, the family’s determination to keep Alexi’s illness secret, Rasputin’s frequent clandestine visits to the household, and Rasputin’s own personal excesses, encouraged wild speculation about his sexual debaucheries with Alexandra – and even her daughters[31].

            Through his hypnotic healing powers, Rasputin exercised powerful hold over the tsar and was thereby able – in return for sexual favors arranged for him by ambitious politicians – to influence the emperor’s choice of government ministers. There is probably no substance in the allegations that Rasputin had sexual relations with the empress, but his outrageous public behavior and his intimacy with the royal family succeeded in bringing the court and his intimacy with the royal family succeeded in bringing the court, and with it the government, into public disrepute. Though they were not all, of course, Rasputin nominees, ministers of the crown were hired and fired in rapid succession in what has been described as a game of ministerial leapfrog. Between 1912 and 1916, Russia had four Prime Ministers, four Ministers of Justice, four of Education, four procurators of the Holy Synod, and no less than six Ministers of the Interior, all of them, in Professor Florinsky’s felicitous phrase, ‘pebbles – not milestones – on the road that led the monarchy to ruin.

            Rasputin took advantage of the political instability and upheavals of the era. He was able to gain his greatest power and influence during the years of World War I, when Tsar Nicholas was at the front. Rasputin then manipulated Tsarina Alexandra Feodorevna to his advantage. In this manner, Rasputin was able to take control of the Holy Synod[32], and his decisions especially extended to the post of At-Gen and Tsar began to accept only Rasputin’s recommendations for any new attorney-general. In retrospect, it was the candidate who was supportive of Rasputin and had his favor that was assigned the post of administrative head of the ROC[33].

The quality of government deteriorated rapidly as more competent ministers, many of whom had supported working with the Duma or opposed Nicholas’ decision to go to the front, were dismissed in early 1916. A rapid succession of lesser men replaced them, often appointed at the urging of Empress Alexandra. The latter in turn relied increasingly on the advice of Rasputin, and his influence grew because of Alexandra’s belief that only he could save the life of her son and the heir to the throne. This was reinforced by her own increasingly hysterical conviction that only she and Rasputin could guide Nicholas to the right decisions. Besides his insidious influence on Alexandra and government, Rasputin’s sordid personal life, which was common knowledge, tarnished the royal family and alienated many conservatives, even imperial relatives. Equally important, rumors of his having had intimate relations with Nicholas’ daughters circulated widely, discrediting Nicholas in the eyes of many of the common people, including soldiers and lower-rank officers[34].

            Rasputin, as the spiritual counselor and political advisor to the tsarina, made their task impossibly difficult, given that this main enemy of the throne derived his power from his relationship with Alexandra. Whereas, the Okhranka had waged effective clandestine warfare against various external enemies – in the underground, over the vast reaches of the Empire, over the continent of Europe – in Rasputin it encountered for the first time an enemy who had the support of the imperial consorts.

            Rasputin used his influence to get both church and government positions for his friends and cronies and as a result upset many of the aristocrats at court who saw their own influence over the Tsar threatened[35]. Ambitious clerics and prelates seeking a means of ascending the ecclesiastical ladder attached themselves to Rasputin, hoping his influence would provide them a promotion or career advancement. Such petty clerics and prelates would do Rasputin’s bidding at his whim and defended him against critics, which only increased his political ecclesiastical influence[36].

            Rasputin’s influence on the royal family and those around them is obvious in the vengeance of Rasputin toward At Gen S.M. Lukianov, who was fired as a result of his effort to ameliorate the strife between the Holy Synod and the new State Duma. The recommendation Rasputin to the Tsar and Tsarina for the post of attorney general of the Holy Synod was Vladimir K. Sabler, a German converted to Russian Orthodoxy, whom Rasputin felt would be in his best interests, and to replace the existing Lukianov. Some delegates of the State Duma stated that Sable’s ecclesiastical politics undermined the authority of the tsar, while others verbally attacked the At-Gen himself[37]. With Nicholas at the front anxieties about the nation fell to the Empress, who became increasingly reliant on the advice of Rasputin. The increasing presence of Rasputin at the palace and interference in government affairs, coupled with his very public debaucheries, horrified and alarmed the imperial family and the conservatives[38].

            Criticism of the dynasty was on everyone’s lips and revolution was spoken about openly, as if it were already a fully accomplished plan. The Tsar even began to receive advice from members of his own family and the nobility to allow the Duma to name a government. Nicholas again tried to make small concessions, by naming A.F Trepov as Prime Minister. Alexandra hated Trepov and her influence, supported by Rasputin, hindered his negotiations with the moderate factions of the Duma, which was increasingly coming under control of the radical Trudovlk and Meshevik parties[39].

            During the course of 1916, there was a succession of three Ministers of War, four Ministers of Agriculture and five Ministers of the Interior. The government was in chaos and the aristocracy, who made up most of its personnel, was beginning to lose faith in the regime as an instrument for preserving its power[40]. Due to Bishop Hermogen’s attempt to expose Rasputin, he was exiled by order of the Holy Synod to Zhirovetz Monastery in December 1911; however, his future was not as secure as monk Illiodor’s. Hermogen was murdered by Bolshevik revolutionaries in July 1918[41].

            In Petrograd members of the imperial family allied with the political elite, realizing that revolution was now inevitable, decided began to hatch various plots to remove Nicholas and place another Romanov on the throne and set a government of confidence. This idea of a coup supported by the privileged elite was a vain effort in preserve their way of life through revolution from above before it came from below. While none of the main plots succeeded, one of their efforts did – the assassination of Rasputin[42]. Grigori Rasputin himself was murdered on December 17, 1916, by Prince Felix Felixovich Yusopov, who was married to Irina Alexandrovna, a niece of Tsar Nicholas, and this event freed Russia from one major factor that had been contributing to the ineffectiveness of the royal family’s leadership[43]. The plot led by the wealthiest princely family was a known homosexual who virtually despised Rasputin.

It was rumored that Rasputin had tried to seduce him on his wedding day. Yusopov recruited two other members of the imperial family: the tsar’s cousins Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich and Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich. Finally the royal trio turned to the conservative leader of the Duma, V.M. Purishkevich, an outspoken critic of Rasputin. The plan they hatched was as naïve as it was ambitious: kill Rasputin and arrest Alexandra, thus removing all negative influences from the Tsar and enable him to listen and to restore order before the strike of revolution[44]. Yet it would be wrong to see Rasputin as an important factor in the fall of the regime. His influence was limited and although it grew during the World War I, he is probably best seen more as a symptom of decay rather than a cause[45]. Adding to the bizarre and yet powerful aura surrounding this legendary figure, Rasputin is reputed to have predicted not only his own death – in a letter he allegedly wrote – but also the death of all the members of the royal family within two years. His prophesy was realized with the brutal murder of the royal family on July 16, 1918.[46]

            On 30th December, Rasputin was accompanied by the prince to the Yusopov Palace on the Moika on the pretext that he was to meet Princess Irina and treat her for some unspecified illness. Rasputin received a warning of a plot the day before, but ignored it, although he did place money into his daughter’s account, which some say was indication that he may have had a premonition of his death. At the palace Yusopov led Rasputin down into a cellar apartment, which he had opulently decorated for the visit. Plush oriental carpets, chandeliers, a rock crystal crucifix and an elegant table set with plates of sweets and goblets of wine; however, unknown to him, the cakes and wines were laced with poison. The monk drank, yet did not die. The prince, who had begun to panic, conferred with his co-conspirators this time he returned with a pistol[47]. The prince returned and referred him to the crucifix standing on a nearby table. As Rasputin admired the object, Yusopov shot him in the side. Shrieking in pain, Rasputin fell to the floor, presumably dead. The conspirators quickly moved to prepare for the removal of the body. Once ready, they returned to the cellar. However, they could not believe their eyes since the body was gone. Meanwhile, Rasputin had struggled to the courtyard and was limping through the snow trying to escape. Purishkevich drew his own pistol and fired twice but missed, and then he took aim once again, this time made his mark. Rasputin was struck in the back and in the head before he collapsed[48].

            When Felix Felixovich Yusopov murdered Rasputin, the Prince perform Act One in the regeneration of Russia. Freed from the starets, the tsar would at least listen to the voice of the nation, that is, of the Duma, summon up his energies, win the war and restore the country. This was also the inspiration of his friends, Grand Dukes and Duma deputies, the latter including men of the extreme Right, like V. Purishkevich, as well as of the liberal wing, like V.Maklakov, A.Guchkov and Speaker Rodzianko, who were all exasperated with the growing influence of Rasputin and his clique[49]. Meanwhile, Alexandra, upon hearing of her confidant’s death, was paralyzed with fear and rage. The plot was soon revealed and, in spite of the objections of the imperial family, the prince and the Grand Duke were banished on the orders of the Tsar[50].

            Even after the death of Rasputin, the reputations of the Tsar and Tsarina continued to decline. Rumors that Alexandra was a German spy persisted and it was even suggested that the Tsar’s failure to inflict military defeat on Germany was evidence of his own German sympathies. By 1916, the government, undermined by rumors and speculation, was in chaos and seemed paralyzed by hesitancy and inaction[51]. As hopes to use the war crisis to reform the government ran into the intransigence of Nicholas, the Progressive Bloc members and reform advocates moved in three directions. One group, represented by Miliukov, continued to pressure the government from within the Duma, hoping that military reverses and the rising tide of popular discontent would force Nicholas to make concessions as they had in 1905[52].

            On November 1, 1916, Miliukov, speaking in the Duma, attached the government bitterly and demanded change. Milikukov’s sentiments were echoed soon afterwards by V.M.Purishkevich, a leader of the extreme right in  the Duma, underscoring the breadth of political hostility to the current group of government ministers and, indirectly, to Alexandra. Both speeches reflected how widespread was the believe that many high government and court officials were pro-German or even in German pay. At the same time, other important political and military figures were coming to remove Nicholas – and with him Alexandra – from the throne and direction of Russia’s affairs. They believed that only such a drastic move could improve the government’s ability to prosecute the war, head off a popular revolt and save the Russian state[53].

            By the end of 1916, the idea of a pervasive pro-German treason at the highest levels had permeated all strata of society as an explanation for defeats and government mismanagement. Rumors circulated of German officers (many Russian noble families and officers had German names, mostly dating from the eighteenth-century annexation of the Baltic region) deliberately sending Russian peasant soldiers to their deaths[54]. Empress Alexandra was of German birth and several court and government officials had German names, which gave rise to rumors of pro-German sentiment, even betrayal, at the highest level[55]. By 1916, even some aristocrats referred to Alexandra as the German woman; however, these charges were proven untrue. Belief in a German hand behind Russia’s political and military problems continued to affect politics through the year 1917, long after the overthrow of the Romanov, but with different groups now identified as the German agents[56].


            Grigori Rasputin is known for two opposing perspective that pose personality contradictions. Rasputin came from Tobolsk, Siberia wherein paganism and the act of unholy practices was primarily present. Examining the origin and background of Rasputin, significant knowledge on his true identity was being revealed. Rasputin possessed undeniable healing, hypnotic and predictive supernatural access that he used for his own advantage. It is an undeniable fact the Rasputin played an evident role in the manipulation of powers during the political and royal calamity in the head house of imperialism. Furthermore, the outbreak of World War I made the scenario at worst case possible.

            During the absence of Nicholas, the head of Romanovs at 195, Rasputin made his entry through the use of his psychic and healing abilities, which he used to heal the hemophiliac condition of the Imperial’s son, Alexis, heir to the Romanov throne. With the absence of Nicholas, Alexandra, the wife of Tsar, recognized Rasputin as the chief adviser of the royal highness. On the negative perspective, this decision brought great calamity to the Russian republic and even worsens the conditions of the situation. Furthermore, the lack of capacity of the tsarina resulted in increased consultations and dependency of Alexandra to Rasputin, which further worsen the conditions of government leadership. Frequent Ministerial changes had been made, which resulted the incompetence of the leadership. Due to all this negative influence brought by Rasputin and Alexandra, the latter was executed by the royal trio headed by Prince Yusopov in December 17, 1916.


Charles A. Ruud, S. A. Stepanov, Charles A. Ruud, S. A. Stepanov (McGill-Queen’s Press, 1999) p.291

Colin Amery and Brian Curran, St Petersburg (frances lincoln ltd , 2006) p.163

Daniel H. Shubin, A History of Russian Christianity (Algora Publishing, 2006) p.13

Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthrope, The World’s Most Mysterious People (Dundurn Press Ltd., 1998) p.76

Gerrit Steunebrink and Evert van der Zweerde, Civil Society, Religion, and the Nation (Rodopi, 2004) p.9

Henri Troyat, Daily Life in Russia Under the Last Tsar (Stanford University Press, 1999) p.72

Heron Marquez, Russia in Pictures (Twenty-First Century Books, 2004) p.29

Marc Ferro, Nicholas II: Last of the Tsars (Oxford University Press US, 1993) p.178

Nigel Kelly, Rosemary Rees, Jane Shuter, The Twentieth Century World (Harcourt Heinemann, 1998) p.26

Olga Matich, Erotic Utopia: The Decadent Imagination in Russia’s Fin de Siecle (Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2007) p.274

Rex A. Wade, The Russian Revolution, 1917 (Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Robin Milner-Gulland, The Russians (Blackwell Publishing, 1997) p.118

Ruth Werner, A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins,2005) p.273-274

Steve Phillips, Lenin and the Russian Revolution (Harcourt Heinemann, 2000) p.21

  1. Vogel-Jorgensen, Rasputin: Prophet, Libertine, Plotter (Kessinger Publishing, 2003) p.15

Tom Tierney, Nicholas and Alexandra Paper Dolls (Courier Dover Publications, 1998) p.27

[1] Daniel H. Shubin, A History of Russian Christianity (Algora Publishing, 2006) p.13

[2] Nigel Kelly, Rosemary Rees, Jane Shuter, The Twentieth Century World (Harcourt Heinemann, 1998) p.26

[3] Shubin, p.13

[4] Tobolsk is a half-deserted flat country that lies around the Altai Mountains wherein the character of the area is infertile and savage. Trees and shrubs are both of sickly and stunted, woning to the rough climate. The great Tundras – those swamps that extended for miles – alternate story soil and scanty flora. (Vogel-Jorgensen, p.115-16)

[5] T. Vogel-Jorgensen, Rasputin: Prophet, Libertine, Plotter (Kessinger Publishing, 2003) p.15

[6] Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthrope, The World’s Most Mysterious People (Dundurn Press Ltd., 1998) p.76

[7] Vogel-Jorgensen, p.115-116

[8] Khlysty dated their appearance to the reign of tsar Mikhail, when a Kostroma peasant, Danila Filipov, proclaimed himself the lord of sabath on Gorodno Hill near Murom; he and his successor “christs” established a following in the Oka-Volga region, and by the eighteenth century in Moscow as well. During the 1730s and 1740s, the government made determined efforts to root out and punish the sectarians, but they proved tenacious, breeding many further sects in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Common to all Khlysty were the extraction of a small number of basic tenets of belief from the independent study and interpretation of the Scriptures, which had become possible only from the time of the Trands-Volga Elders and Judaizers, an ideal of asceticism and chastity for the elect, democratic and egalitarian organization into independent, semi-secret tolki (congregations) and ecstatic, candle-lit gatherings known as radeniya, from the root meaning ‘joy’, culminating in energetic ritual dancing, outburst of speaking in tongues and prophecy. (Robin Milner-Gulland, The Russians (Blackwell Publishing, 1997) p.118)

[9] Fanthorpe and Patricia Fanthrope, p.76

[10] Vogel-Jorgensen, p.115-116

[11] Fanthorpe and Patricia Fanthrope, p.76-77

[12] See Khlysty p.4

[13] Charles A. Ruud, S. A. Stepanov, Charles A. Ruud, S. A. Stepanov (McGill-Queen’s Press, 1999) p.291

[14] Ruud and Stepanov, p.290

[15] Fanthorpe and Patricia Fanthrope, p.76-77

[16] Shubin, p.13

[17] The Russian word starets means “an old man”, but contrary to the current and serene experience. The starets was generally an elderly monk who by meditation and prayer had acquired the power to understand and to guide those who came to him in trouble. Whether he was the superior of the monastery or whether he assisted the superior in his task, he was the brotherhood’s spiritual guide. However, there was one stange fact: the starets was not necessarily a priest, and in Russia, the renown of these starets was so great that from morning till night the most famous of them received crowds of sinners in search of truth in their cells or visiting rooms. (Henri Troyat, Daily Life in Russia Under the Last Tsar (Stanford University Press, 1999) p.72)

[18] Ruud and Stepanov, p.291-292

[19] Olga Matich, Erotic Utopia: The Decadent Imagination in Russia’s Fin de Siecle (Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2007) p.274

[20] Connotes the word elder; someone that leads through spiritual means and conceptual ideologies; and others termed this as contemporary fool of Christ (Shubin, p.13)

[21] Shubin, p.14

[22] Olga Matich, p.274-275

[23] Shubin, p.14

[24] Heron Marquez, Russia in Pictures (Twenty-First Century Books, 2004) p.29

[25] Steve Phillips, Lenin and the Russian Revolution (Harcourt Heinemann, 2000) p.21

[26] Classic hemophilia is a hemorrhagic disease due to a deficiency of anti hemophilic globulin (factor VIII). It occurs almost exclusively in males and is transmitted as a sex-linked recessive gene by the female. An essentially identical disorder develops as a result of deficiency of a different factor, plasma thromboplastin component (factor IX). Hemophiliacs do not bleed faster than normal, but they do bleed longer. Hemophilia first appears at birth when the umbilical cord bleeds excessively, or in early childhood, as babies begin to engage in physical activities that can involve mild bruising. These babies experience extensive bruising and bleeding with very mild irritation, and small scrapes and lesions tend to bleed as well. (Ruth Werner, A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins,2005) p.273-274)

[27] Marquez, p.29

[28] Phillips, p.21

[29] Ibid, p.21-22

[30] Phillips, p.21

[31] Tom Tierney, Nicholas and Alexandra Paper Dolls (Courier Dover Publications, 1998) p.27

[32] The automization of religion in Russia was affected by two developments: first, the foundation of the Holy Snod, as a result of which the spiritual domain became clearly marked off from the secular domain; and second, the Great Reforms of Alexander II and the impact they had on the social consciousness of the clergy. In 1721, under Peter the great, the Moscow patriarch was abolished and replaced by a body that late became the Holy Synod. From this time onward, the authority of the Church was strictly confined to the spiritual domain. The Church was charged with four functions: education, pastoral, sacramental and theological. Its activity embraced the liturgy, the preservation of the doctrine of Orthodox Christianity, the combating of heresy and schism, the supervision of preaching and of ecclesiastical schools and the selection of worthy hierarchs (Gerrit Steunebrink and Evert van der Zweerde, Civil Society, Religion, and the Nation (Rodopi, 2004) p.9).

[33] Shubin, p.14

[34] Rex A. Wade, The Russian Revolution, 1917 (Cambridge University Press, 2005) p.21

[35] Phillips, p.21

[36] Shubin, p.14

[37] Shubin, p.14

[38] Colin Amery and Brian Curran, St Petersburg (frances lincoln ltd , 2006) p.163

[39] Amery and Curran, p.163

[40] Phillips, p.21

[41] Shubin, p.14

[42] Amery and Curran, p.163

[43] Shubin, p.14-15

[44] Amery and Curran, p.163

[45] Phillips, p.21

[46] Tierny, p.27

[47] Amery and Curran, p.165

[48] Ibid, p.165

[49] Marc Ferro, Nicholas II: Last of the Tsars (Oxford University Press US, 1993) p.178

[50] Amery and Curran, p.165

[51] Phillips, p.21

[52] Wade, p.22

[53] Ibid, p.22

[54] Phillips, p.21

[55] Wade, p.22

[56] Ibid, p.22-23

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