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Grigory Rasputin: The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back

2009 words - 8 pages

He had the Empress wrapped around his little finger; she in turn, had the Tsar eating out of her hand. His mere presence within the royal family had undermined the dynasty's credibility. Opposing politicians used his debauched lifestyle and unorthodox behaviour to discredit the monarchy. He passed on bad advice, advice that almost lost them a war. The Russian public suspected him of conspiring with the enemy. The only people who truly appreciated him were his family and the royal couple. He had managed to send a nation into mayhem. His influence within the royal family contributed to the fall of the Russian monarchy.Some of Rasputin's influence within the royal family would have been due to the fact that the Tsarevitch was diagnosed with haemophilia (Stewart, 2004). Haemophilia is an incurable illness, where the blood fails to clot, and even a simple bruise or scratch can mean bleeding to death (http://www.essay.org/school/english/nicholasii.doc). The royal couple were distraught - they had tried for years to bear a male heir to the throne - and now that they had an heir, it appeared he might not live long enough to rule. They reportedly prayed daily for some miracle to save their son. This all changed when on the 1st of November 1905 Nicholas II made the following entry into his diary: '"We've made the acquaintance of a man of God, Grigory from the Tobolsk Guberniya"' (Salisbury, 1977, p176). Little would he know, that the influence Rasputin would come to gain over him, would prove to undermine the monarchy's foundations so much, as to aid in it's collapse.Rasputin was a Siberian peasant and self-proclaimed holy man (Lieven, 2005), who somehow managed to alleviate Tsarevitch Alexei's symptoms, and successfully prevent him from haemorrhaging. The doctors had been unable to do anything for the child, so when Alexei had slipped and bruised his side on the edge of the bathtub the royal family had been asked to give their last farewells (Answers.com, www.answers.com/topic/rasputin). But then Rasputin came along. He was mysteriously able to save the Tsarevitch on that occasion; and managed to prevent other potentially fatal bouts of bleeding (Robbins, http://www.esp.org/misc/vignettes/alexis.html). There is no single hypothesis as to how the man was able to help the Tsarevitch, some believe that he had an abundance of "chi" or life force, which he was able to transfer to Alexei during his bouts of bleeding (Stewart, 2004); some say that he knew a wide repertoire of herbs which he used to alleviate the symptoms (Salisbury, 1977, p208); while some say he was just the vassal God used to channel his energy (Johnson, In Who was Rasputin? Review of Rasputin: Neither Devil nor Saint). Rasputin's ability to help Alexei won him the support of the worried Empress, and from then on his word was the law to her (Van Tulleken, 1984, p103). He was able to hold such power over the emperor and empress because they needed their only son alive and well, in order to be...

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