Sixty Facts about the Last Christian Emperor and His Reign

1. Tsar Nicholas II spoke five languages fluently and received a brilliant higher education in military and legal affairs. This was combined with a deeply religious, sensitive and modest nature.

2. He was physically very fit, loved gymnastics, canoeing, swimming, skating, hiking and played tennis, hockey and billiards.

3. The Tsar was in no way responsible for the greed that provoked the tragic stampede in Khodynka in Moscow in 1896. When he learned of it, he at once gave very generous financial and also moral aid to all those who had suffered and their families.

4. Thanks to the monetary reform that he alone insisted on carrying out in 1897, the rouble was guaranteed by gold.

5. In 1898 he introduced a universal medical welfare system that cost the tiny sum of one rouble per year. The Swiss hygienist Friedrich Erismann praised this system as ‘the greatest achievement in the world in the field of social medicine’. Russia was third in the world for the number of its doctors.

6. The Hague International Tribunal of Justice, suggested by the Tsar in 1898 to prevent wars but derided by other European leaders, was the personal brainchild of Tsar Nicholas. If it had been implemented as the Tsar wanted, there would never have been any First World War, let alone later wars. Thus, those who derided it signed their own death warrants.

7. The clothes and shoes of the Tsar’s children were handed down from one child to the next. Until the end of his life he still wore the same clothes as he had worn as a young married man.

8. From June 1903 all employers in the Russian Empire were obliged to pay a benefit and pension to all employees and their families who had suffered an accident. This amounted to between 50% and 66% of their salary. Trade Unions were formed in 1906 and from June 1912 compulsory health insurance at work was introduced to cover illness or accident.

9. Social insurance legislation was introduced before other European countries and the USA.

10. The US President William Taft declared that: ‘Your Emperor has created such perfect labour legislation that no democratic state can boast of’.

11. When in February 1904 Japan, urged on, financed and armed to the teeth by the imperialists of Great Britain and the USA, treacherously attacked the small and poorly-armed Russian Imperial Navy without first declaring war (as it later did at Pearl Harbour), it only took the non-militaristic Russian Empire eighteen months to recover. However, instead of continuing the war and crushing by then bankrupt Japan militarily, Tsar Nicholas entered peace negotiations, but imposed such terms at the talks in the USA that Japan, forced to agree to them, went into mourning.

12. On so-called Bloody Sunday in 1905, it was the revolutionaries who opened fire and troops merely defended themselves. There were 130 victims (not 5,000, as claimed by the Russophobic liar and later mass murderer Lenin). All were given immediate medical care. The Tsar was not even in the city at the time. When he learned of it, he at once gave each family that had suffered the enormous sum of 50,000 roubles. This came from his personal money. The Japanese-financed Revolution of 1905-7 was averted only by the strong will of the Tsar.

13. The Trans Siberian Railway was completed at the insistence and according to the vision of the Tsar despite opposition.

14. Compulsory primary education was introduced in 1908. By 1916 literacy in the Empire had reached 85%. By 1914 there were 150,000 students studying at university institutions. In terms of numbers of students the Russian Empire was joint third in the world with Great Britain. Educational finance rose from 25 million roubles to 161 million roubles in 20 years. Another 300 million roubles was spent in 1913 on country schools, a budget up from 70 million in 1894. In less than 20 years the education budget rose by 628%. By 1913 there were 130,000 schools in the Empire with 6 million pupils. All education, primary, secondary and tertiary, was free.

15. Kindergartens, orphanages, maternity hospitals and hostels for the homeless were built in unheard of numbers.

16. By 1913 the Russian Orthodox Church had 67,000 churches and 1,000 monasteries. It had great influence in the Holy Land, Asia and seventeen Russian churches were built in Western Europe to witness to the Faith. The Tsar personally paid for the building of St Nicholas Cathedral in New York and he ensured that the number of bishops in North America went from one to three. In 1916 there were plans to make sure that every Western capital would have a church and that the service books of the Church would be translated into all the main Western languages.

17. By 1914 100% of usable land in Russia in Asia belonged to the peasants and 90% of it in European Russia.

18. Personal taxation in the Russian Empire was half the level of that in France and Germany and a quarter of that in Great Britain. Average earnings were higher than those in any Western European country, less only than those in the USA.

19. Prices were among the lowest in the world.

20. The budget increased threefold during the Tsar’s reign.

21. There were a large number of patriotic organizations and parties covering the Empire.

22. Between 1890 and 1913 GNP increased fourfold. There was a fourfold increase in the extraction of coal and the production of cast iron, and a fivefold increase in that of copper. Between 1911 and 1914 investment in engineering increased by 80%. In 20 years the length of railways and telegraph networks doubled. The largest fleet of river ships in the world doubled in tonnage during that period. In 1901 the USA extracted 9.9 million tons of oil, Russia 12.1 million tons. Between 1908 and 1913 productivity surpassed that of the USA, Great Britain and Germany.

23. It was prohibited to export crude oil, as it was all refined in situ.

24. In 1913 the number of civil servants in the Russian Empire stood at 163 per 100,000 people. (In the Russian Federation in 2010 it was 1,153).

25. National income and productivity increased at a rate unrivalled anywhere else in the world. The Empire was the biggest exporter of textiles and one of the biggest of metals and engineering.

26. The rate of railway construction was one of the highest in the world, the later Soviet rate being a mere fraction of it.

27. Inflation and unemployment were practically non-existent.

28. The Empire was the biggest exporter of cereals, flax, eggs, milk, butter, meat and sugar in the world. The wheat harvest was one third larger than that of the USA, Canada and Argentina combined.

29. Cereal production doubled during his reign.

30. The number of cattle increased by 60% during his reign. The Empire was number one in the world for the numbers of horses, cows, sheep and one of the biggest for the numbers of pigs and goats.

31. A number of territories voluntarily joined the Empire or became its protectorates, without a shot being fired. Among others these included Northern Manchuria, Northern Iran, Eastern Galicia and Western Armenia.

32. The Sovereign stood outside and above narrow party, group and class interests. He personally insisted on introducing economic reforms and measures against alcohol abuse, often in spite of the Duma. Contrary to popular myth, they were introduced by him alone and not others.

33. Alcohol consumption per head was one of the lowest in the world and the lowest in Europe outside Norway.

34. In 1913 the number of mentally ill was 187 in every 100,000, compared to 5,598 per 100,000 in the Tsarless Russian Federation in 2013.

35. The number of suicides in the Empire was 4.4 per 100,000. (In the Tsarless Russian Federation in 2012 it was 19.5 and 12.1 in the USA).

36. Crime was lower than in Western Europe and the USA. At an international forum held in Switzerland in 1913, Russian detection rates were considered to be the best in the world.
37. In 1908 56 people per 100,000 were imprisoned. (In the Stalinist Soviet Union in 1949 the figure was 1,537 per 100,000 and in the Russian Federation in 2011 555, with 724 per 100,000 in the USA in the same year).

38. There was a free press and freedom of speech, such as there had never been before and certainly not afterwards during the Soviet period.

39. The Empire had the largest gold reserves in the world and the Russian gold rouble remains one of the safest investments in the world.

40. In 20 years of the Tsar’s reign the population of the Empire increased by 62 million.

41. At the beginning of his reign the Tsar had inherited 4 million roubles held in a London Bank. By the end of his reign he had given it all away to charity.

42. The Tsar never rejected a single petition for pardon. Fewer death penalties were carried out during his whole reign than in any single day in the Soviet Union until the death of Stalin.

43. Russian culture went through a period known as the Silver Age, with developments in science, philosophy, art, architecture, music and literature. The French writer Paul Valery stated that Russian culture at the beginning of the 20th century was ‘one of the wonders of the world’.

44. The Russian Empire produced the inventors of: the wireless telegraph, the helicopter, the television, cinenews, the tramway, hydroelectric power stations, the electric plough, the submarine, the parachute, the radio, the electron microscope, the powder fire extinguisher, the astronomical clock, the seismograph, the electric omnibus, the flying boat, the icebreaker, the motorcycle, the airship and double-decker railway carriages.

45. The car industry was on a par with the German, Russian cars winning races at rallies in Monte Carlo and San Sebastian, the plane industry was on a par with that of the American and its locomotives were among the best in the world.

46. Two of the five founders of Hollywood came from Russia. Chanel No 5 was invented by the Russian émigré Verigin and Mercedes and Daimler engines were invented by the Russian engineer Boris Lutskoy.

47. All of this was achieved without terror, collectivization (State enserfment), concentration camps and millions of deaths in State-sponsored massacres and famines.

48. The Tsar had created the strongest and most prosperous Empire the world has ever seen.

49. The Tsar personally tried out new infantry equipment and clothing, marching 24 miles to do so.

50. He decreased the length of military service to 2 years in the Army and five years in the Navy.

51. He created one of the strongest and best-equipped armies in the world, which would have been the best by 1917 if Germany had not started the First World War.

52. The Russian Imperial Air Force, founded in 1910, was by 1917 the largest in the world, with 700 planes.

53. By 1917 the Russian Imperial Navy was one of the strongest in the world.

54. In 1914 the Russian Empire sent 2,000 engineers to help the USA at its request to set up a heavy armaments industry.

55. During the Great Patriotic War (as the First World War was then known) the Tsar constantly visited the Front together with his son, showing that he was not afraid to die for his country. In 1915, given the incompetence of the the former supreme commander, his uncle, the Tsar took on supreme command, against the advice of all, showing his strength of will, and immediately began winning the greatest victories of the War, advancing huge distances and taking huge numbers of prisoners, undreamed of by the Western Allies, bogged down in immobile and bloody trench warfare. Had it not been for the treason of the Allies, most of the aristocracy and many in the middle class, historians consider that the Tsar would have occupied Vienna and Berlin in 1917, thus ending the murderous war. He treated the 2,417,000 captured enemy soldiers with every dignity and over 95% of them returned home safely after the War.

56. Only 39% of males aged between 15-49 were mobilized in the Russian Empire, as against 81% in Germany, 79% in France, 74% in Austro-Hungary, 72% in Italy and 50% in Great Britain. Per 100,000 of its population, the Empire lost 11 people, as against 34 in France, 31 in Germany, 18 in Austria and 16 in Great Britain.

57. The plotters of the February Revolution, orchestrated by Great Britain, Germany and the USA, issued a forged document of abdication, ‘signed’ with a pencil (!) in handwriting that is not the Tsar’s.

58. When the Provisional Government wanted to accuse the Tsar of treason, someone suggested publishing his personal letters to the Tsarina. To which he received the reply: ‘Don’t do that, otherwise the people will recognize them as saints’.

59. Imprisoned in Tobolsk, the Family constantly worked. The Sovereign chopped wood, cleared the snow and did gardening. One of the soldiers, a peasant, commented: ‘If he we gave him some land, he would turn Russia around again with his own hands’.

60. The Tsar never abdicated from the throne, it was the elite that abdicated from him. As he wrote: ‘All around, treason and cowardice and deceit’. Refusing to leave the Empire, when he could have, he was ritually murdered with all his family.