Was the Tsar Right to Abdicate in 1917? by Vladimir Moss

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Was the Tsar Right to Abdicate in 1917? by Vladimir Moss

St Tsar Nicholas after Signing Abdication

November 12, 2014   (Source:

 

Why did the Tsar agree to abdicate from the throne in that lonely railway carriage near Pskov in February, 1917? And was he right to do so? These questions are relevant not only to our understanding of the Tsar himself, but also of Russia and her destiny. For, as we know, the abdication of the Tsar led to the destruction of Russia, a catastrophe of the most terrible consequences both for Russia and the world, which are still being felt to this day. So could it all have been avoided if the Tsar had simply refused the pleas of his generals and the other Masonic plotters against him, and continued to rule?

It has been argued that both Tsar Nicholas’ abdication and that of his short-lived successor, Tsar Michael, had no legal force because there was no provision for abdication in the Basic Laws. As Michael Nazarov points out, the Basic Laws of the Russian Empire, which had been drawn up by Tsar Paul I and which all members of the Royal Family swore to uphold, “do not foresee the abdication of a reigning Emperor (‘from a religious… point of view the abdication of the Monarch, the Anointed of God, is contrary to the act of His Sacred Coronation and Anointing; it would be possible only by means of monastic tonsure’ [N. Korevo]). Still less did his Majesty have the right to abdicate for his son in favour of his brother; while his brother Michael Alexandrovich had the right neither to ascend the Throne during the lifetime of the adolescent Tsarevich Alexis, nor to be crowned, since he was married to a divorced woman, nor to transfer power to the Provisional government, nor refer the resolution of the question of the fate of the monarchy to the future Constituent Assembly.

“Even if the monarch had been installed by the will of such an Assembly, ‘this would have been the abolition of the Orthodox legitimating principle of the Basic Laws’, so that these acts would have been ‘juridically non-existent’, says M.V. Zyzykin… ‘Great Prince Michael Alexandrovich… performed only an act in which he expressed his personal opinions and abdication, which had an obligatory force for nobody. Thereby he estranged himself from the succession in accordance with the Basic Laws, which juridically in his eyes did not exist, in spite of the fact that he had earlier, in his capacity as Great Prince on the day of his coming of age, sworn allegiance to the decrees of the Basic Laws on the inheritance of the Throne and the order of the Family Institution’.

“It goes without saying that his Majesty did not expect such a step from his brother, a step which placed the very monarchical order under question…”

So from a juridical point of view, the abdications were wrong – both Tsar Nicholas’ and Tsar Michael’s. But was it possible to fulfill the law in this case? And are there not considerations higher than the law?

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