16/3/1917 The end of the Russian monarchy

Yesterday the Tsar abdicated, naming his brother, the Grand Duke Mikhail, as his successor. This comes as something of a surprise to Mikhail when he learns the news today in Petrograd. Having seen the revolutionary disorder in the capital at first hand, the Grand Duke is wary of accepting the throne. He is probably right to do so, as news that there is to be a new Tsar leads to considerable anger among the more radical elements in the city.

The Grand Duke meets with the Provisional Government. Most of them urge him to decline the throne, arguing that if he were not to do so Russia would be plunged into a chaotic civil war. However Milyukov, the foreign minister, argues the opposite, saying that without a Tsar Russia will collapse into anarchy.

What clinches it for the Grand Duke is the realisation that the Provisional Government would not be able to guarantee his personal safety if he accepts the crown. He chooses to abdicate, ending one of the shortest reigns in history and 300 years of rule by the Romanov dynasty.

Russia is now a republic. As news filters through the country it is greeted with joyous celebration.

image source:

Grand Duke Mikhail (Wikipedia)

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