Russian Czar. Born the eldest son of Alexander III and Marie Feodorovna. At 26, upon the death of his father, he ascended the Russain throne becoming the last Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias. Less than a month later he married the daughter of Grand Duke Ludwig of Hesse, Alice Victoria Eleanor Louisa Beatrice who adopted the Russian name Alexandra Feodorovna. The marriage produced five children. He embroiled Russia in the 1904 Russo-Japanese War, suffering a decisive defeat at a cost of over 400,000 casualties. During the prelude to WWI, Nicholas postponed decisions in his desire to avoid war but under political and military pressure finally ordered a general mobilization which led to a German mobilization and declaration of war. Gradually a war of attrition on the Eastern Front inflicted staggering losses on the Russian Army. In September 1915, Nicholas II assumed supreme command of the Army after dismissing the highly respected Grand Duke Nicholas from the post, linking himself personally to the country's military failures. During 1917 support for the Czar in Russia plummeted. His efforts to oversee the war left Russian domestic issues essentially in the hands of the German born Czarina who was both viewed with suspicion and was widly unpopular. Nicholas' government was unable to maintain supplies, the nation's economy was crumbling, and national hardship grew. Strikes and riots followed, and any authority seemed to collapse. On July 13, 1917, the Russian Army High Command recommended that Nicholas abdicate. Two days later the Czar renounced the throne for both himself and his son naming his brother, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, as his successor. The Grand Duke's refusal of the throne ended a dynasty which had ruled in Russia since 1613. After the abdication, the royal family remained at home in the Alexander Palace in Czarskoe Selo until the interim government had them transported to Tobolsk, Siberia. They remained there through the Bolshevik October Revolution in 1917. The new Bolshevik controlled government then had them moved to Ekaterinburg in the Urals. Shortly after midnight July 17, 1918, a detachment of Bolshevik Red Guards woke the royal family and sent them to the basement of the house in which they were being held. Nicholas II, his wife, their four daughters, and the Czarvich, along with four retainers were than summarily murdered. The bodies were then concealed – first in a mine shaft – and then buried secretly along Koptyaki Road. In 1991 nine of the bodies were recovered and identified with varying degrees of certainty. Exactly 80 years after the murders, Nicholas II was buried in the crypt the St Peter and Paul Cathedral in St Petersburg's. Nicholas is generally regarded by historians to have been not unintelligent, but hesitant, limited, lacking political savvy, autocratic, and incapable of seeing a broad scope. He was also known as affable, kindly, and deeply religious, an excellent husband and father; in short, a good man but a poor ruler. In 2000, the council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church voted unanimously to recognize Nicholas and his family as saints.
Bio by: Iola
Alexandra Feodorovna von Hesse Romanova
1872–1918 (m. 1894)