Friday, November 2, 2007

The Friday Fact

Russian Succession

The Russian Succession laws are rather convoluted and anything but clear-cut. Here's the full rundown on the laws as they were in 1906, written much more clearly than I ever could! When the Duma was formed that year, the laws were slightly amended to allow the Duma to have limited participation.

These laws have given rise to some very heated discussions at the Alexander Palace Time Machine forum on exactly which Romanov has the best claim to the throne. Which is completely irrelevant anyway because the Russian people have no desire to restore the tsars. Their theory is at least with a democratically elected president, if they don't like him they can get rid of him without too much mess. You can't do with a tsar unless you assassinate the entire family. Kind of messy that, lol.

What these laws basically did, was kill the Romanov dynasty. If you didn't follow it to the letter and broke even the minutest detail of the law, you immediately lost all claim to the throne. Paul's motives were admirable, but in the end he sort of signed his own dynasty's death warrant.

This link is an interesting handbook that was printed in 1896 for use by English speaking diplomats. It basically explains to foreigners how Russian aristocracy works.

You can also consider this post a plug for the Alexander Palace Time Machine website. It is a Russian lover's dream come true! He has thousands of photographs, entire books and memoirs indexed online, and even menus from state dinners and Royal Family birthday parties. The discussion forum is vast, large and a little overwhelming at first glance. But it's also a treasure trove of information on the Romanovs and Imperial Russian history. He even has family expense reports.

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