As you know, Tsar Nikolai Pavlovich was a very handsome man, a remarkably well-mannered and educated person and a gentle family man, he considered law and legality to be the pinnacle of everything, and both flourished under him. Everything so that both the nobles and the common people love him. And, nevertheless, the nobles rebelled, poets ridiculed, and the people nicknamed "Nikolai Palkin". There were reasons for that.
Like his father, Emperor Paul, Nikolai loved discipline and orderliness from childhood. He considered the army to be a model of any order with its unification of everything and the formation of soldiers in strict, eye-pleasing lines, even in battle. Among all the sciences and crafts, Nikolai most of all liked engineering and artillery with its calculations.
In general, initially, no one prepared Nicholas for the ascension to the throne. He had two older brothers - Alexander and Konstantin. It was assumed that Nikolai was destined to make an army career, so that his inclinations did not cause alarm in anyone, except, perhaps, subordinate officers - they did not like him for his pettiness and pickiness. In the barracks, orderliness, which will seem manic in civilian life, is the norm. But Constantine renounced his right to the throne, and the reigning emperor Alexander died, leaving no other heirs except his brother. So the campaigner and lover of the barracks found himself on the throne.
On the very first day of his reign, an uprising took place on Senate Square, the participants of which later went down in history as the "Decembrists". The purpose of the uprising was to overthrow the Romanovs from the throne. The rebels had plans for further actions, but they had not yet coordinated them with each other, so that Russia could expect both liberal reforms and the most severe nationalism - among the Decembrists there were supporters of both one and the other development of events. Nicholas harshly suppressed the revolt, partially exiled the Decembrists, partially sentenced them to death by hanging.
As a matter of fact, he was blamed not so much for the suppression of the riot as for these executions. The type of execution was chosen personally by the sovereign. According to the law, quartering was supposed to be a rebellion, but Nicholas rejected it as an atrocity. Chopping off the head was associated with the revolution in France and was also not suitable. Shooting was considered a special favor, since it allowed the officer to die with honor - from a bullet. Ultimately, Nicholas chose hanging, shameful enough, conservative enough, civilized enough by the standards of the nineteenth century. Five rioters were sentenced to him.
Public killing of nobles had not been practiced since Elizabeth's accession to the throne, so society was in shock. Added shock and execution. One of the executioners could not fulfill his duties - he fainted. When, at last, the rioters were hauled up, three out of five snapped their rope and fell down. The fourth was too tall, he stood on tiptoe, panting, and his agony lasted a long time and painfully even for the audience. Only the fifth died safely.
According to the tradition that existed both in Russia and in Europe, if the gallows fell, he was spared. But the three who broke off were hanged again. True, they had to wait for the ropes to be brought in better quality, and while waiting to watch the terrible, prolonged death of their comrade.
The soldiers who participated in the uprising were sentenced to service in the Caucasus, where active hostilities were taking place, or to pass through the formation. The last type of punishment consisted of passing a man between two ranks of soldiers with sticks in their hands, which struck him at the blow. A rather long line turned the execution from a painful, painful punishment into a brutal, bloody, prolonged murder. Under Nikolai Pavlovich, this type of punishment was very popular and was used not only for military personnel - he somehow sentenced quarantine violators to twelve thousand strikes. This did not add to the love of the people.
In society, Nikolai tightened all possible nuts to the fullest. In schools, children were punished as for insolent behavior for the unbuttoned top button of their uniform. Lawyers were banned in the courts. Any ideology, different from the state one, was persecuted, including the resumption of the persecution of the Old Believers. In the Volga region, forcible Russification of indigenous peoples was carried out - having burned himself on Poland's constant striving for independence, Nikolai now saw the threat of an uprising in any national identity other than Russian.
In family life, Nikolai also behaved ambiguously. The maid of honor Tyutcheva recalled that he saw his wife as his property, a thing, albeit a loved one, and his family despotism, with all his love for his wife, was clearly visible from the outside. She notes that many of the incongruities and cruelties of Nicholas' reign did not come from his special malice, but, on the contrary, from burning, confidence in his chosenness and the ability to understand everything and penetrate everything and from the conviction that one person can keep everything under control and keeps. She calls him both a tyrant and Don Quixote.
And separately and persistently there were rumors that after the empress moved into a separate bedroom, Nicholas was mired in debauchery. If before that he only pestered the maids of honor without far-reaching consequences for them, now he just seemed to choose a girl or a woman, and then her consent was not required, because the emperor would still pay some kind of service to her and her. family, which means that everything is fair.
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