Rasputin’s Revolutionary Spark by Blake and Casey

When researching and discussing Grigori Rasputin, it quickly becomes clear that his presence in the Russian court took the Russian monarchy down a path for destruction. It is incredibly intriguing that a Siberian peasent was able to hold the ear of Russia’s most powerful family.

However, it is important to note that by the time Nicholas II came to the throne absolute monarchy was not the way it had been before. The monarchy was weak, especially once the Duma was put in place- which is essentially a constitution. Moreover, the question of a male heir was a huge conflict within the Romanov household, as Alexandra, the tsarina, did give birth to a boy but he was ill for his whole life. With the weak foundation of the monarchy, a desperate mother let a suspicious man in to the court in order to save her son.

Video: https://washingtonjeffersoncollege-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/aberba_washjeff_edu/EVMisKpShQRAnBvFTD-Gzb0BPZjSBTEPXQrg_XmHR5s2Og?e=7aUHGF

Paper: https://washingtonjeffersoncollege-my.sharepoint.com/:w:/g/personal/aberba_washjeff_edu/ESj4NtWxIcdCnzvJcoslsmcBt4BCthi6IGtvFLVoYY8vaw?e=PpH1EK

9 Replies to “Rasputin’s Revolutionary Spark by Blake and Casey”

  1. I think you guys picked the perfect way to explain Rasputin’s life and revolutionary spark, with chaos much like the one he created for Russia. To me, the use of drunk history almost mimicked the affect Rasputin had on Russia, again with chaos. Overall, I enjoyed your information on Rasputin and his revolutionary spark that aided in the destruction of the tsarist empire and the defeat (and death) of “Nick” and his family. At the end, I liked how you guys discussed how the nobles disliked Rasputin, but hated Nicholas even more.

  2. I agree with Lauren that your choice to do a drunk history-themed segment exemplifies the chaos Rasputin had on the tsarist empire. I really liked how you both discussed Rasputin in a way that was easy to follow. I really liked how you both told the history as a story–much like drunk history does. It made things more interesting. I also really enjoyed how you both added your own commentary and made the story like a conversation.
    I do have a question though. You both discussed how Rasputin was a big reason for the downfall of the tsarist empire but was he the sole reason for the revolution? He did a lot of things that made him a lot of enemies that in turn hated the royal family, but were his actions the biggest reason for the downfall of the Russian empire as we knew it?

    1. Chase, I think the question you posed is an excellent one. Moreover, I think it has multipule answers, because there are so many factors. I think that when Nicholas II came to the throne the Russian monarchy was already headed towards a great change or possible downfall all together. The duma was in place and Nicholas II was being blamed for a number of failures. Furthermore, the royal family was weaker because of Nicholas II son, due to his illness. I do not think Rasputin was the biggest reason for the downfall, but I think he acted as a spark that lit a whole other existing mess on fire. Through the tsarina letting Rasputin into the court it exposed to the Russian nobles and people just how weak the royal family was.

  3. I really liked how you provided the background of Rasputin and how he had come from a rich peasant family. His involvement in interpreting Christianity in a new way is also very interesting because I feel like at any other time, he would have been persecuted for his interpretations, yet the royal family was drawn to him and his beliefs. I also found it interesting how he was able to travel to Jerusalem and Greece back in that time. It would have taken a lot of time and money to go those distances, so his work must have impressed many influential people that supported his endeavors. Ultimately because he was so influential, he must have angered many nobles to the point of his assassination, but that also proves how wealthy people were drawn to his interpretations.

    1. Rhetorically the way in which Blake and Casey stayed true to the historical facts of this subject, while adding the feeling of a dramatic medieval epic narrative, was effective historically as well as the way it engages the viewer into the topic. Separate from a historic standpoint and in respects to creating a successful presentation of actual events, by thoroughly conveying Rasputin’s socioeconomic upbringing it not only establishes a viewer with necessary background knowledge in addition to humanizing him as a historical figure. Re-turning back to the idea of rhetoric and its application in reality, I can only imagine the linguistic and argumentative skills Rasputin possessed. I say this because, as mentioned by Kate, it would take considerable economic equity or backing to accomplish the vast geographical distances he traveled. Staying true to its dramatic elements, ironically it would then be the same oratory abilities being the primary reasons for his assassination. Brought up by Blake, Casey, and several other posts the entire historical narrative really goes to highlight the entire state of the Russian nobility and political structure at this point in history. Historically it can teach us that even though it may sound cliche, a single individual can have the potential to mass affect one’s own society just based on words in an extreme fashion.

  4. Like the others mentioned, the format of your video was perfect for the history that you were telling. The history of Rasputin is best told (in a drunken way) as a story. I think it is really important that you emphasize that one man from Siberia could have such a profound impact on the Russian monarchy. To me, this shows how fragile and unstable the political environment of the nobility and the Romanov monarchy was at the beginning of the twentieth century. Equally important to Rasputin was Tsarina Alexandra. Especially since Russia and Nicholas II was away at war with Germany and Austria-Hungary and Alexandra was of German decent, the nobles saw her and Rasputin as in cahoots, trying to topple the monarchy from inside. So my question deals with responsibility. Who is more to blame for the monarchy’s collapse, Rasputin and Alexandra, or the nobles who sought to get rid of the two?

    1. Erik, I think you pose a great question. Moreover, I think you could answer this question by putting the two subjects into a group of their own. I would argue that the person most at blame is Nicholas II, as he was the Tsar, and therefore had the responsibility to keep the monarchy together. Nicholas is the cause and the Tsarina, Rasputin, and the nobles were the effect. Although the Tsarina is more so labeled as the one who brought Rasputin in, I would make the claim that the Tsar had an equal hand in that. Furthermore, if the Tsar would have made the monarchy stronger then Rasputin might not have had the ability to infiltrate it in the way he did. To answer your question then, I would argue that Nicholas II is more to blame as he sets the scene for a collapse; the Tsarina felt pressure due to the weakened monarchy and thus sought to save her only son, Rasputin just takes advantage of that to become something more than a Siberian peasant, and the nobles react to a threat in their government.

  5. Rasputin for me was a similar version of Fidel Castro on the term of how many assassination attempts were made yet failed miserably. It is interesting to see how a Siberian Peasant was able to rise up the rank quickly, and cause alot of chaos to a already chaotic government. Even his surname is considered Debauched, but that does not change the fact he was able to rise as one of the Tsars trusted men and be despised by many who wanted him dead. In a way, I think this show how Russias government was very unstable, especially if you let a “mystical” peasant become an advisor for the empress during times of war (I am still baffled something like this occurred). If I were to be the Tsar of Russia, I would definitely not let a homeless man with a weird reputation get near my sick children, especially if they had internal bleeding. I wonder what would happen if they had that mindset, and gotten an actual doctor instead. Would Russia be a completely different government and society if it wasnt for Rasputin influence over Empress Alexander? Using Drunk History to talk and depict the life and influence of Rasputin is great, especially when we are talking about a mystic peasant that rose to fame really quick in the Russian society.

  6. You guys did a great job of telling a clear story, even though its a complex story. Also, I agree with everyone else in that the drunk history was the best way to talk about one of Russias most infamous figures because it matches his “off the cuff” nature. I also think that Kenny asked a very interested question at the end of his post. To respond, I think 100% Russia would be different and I think that its very unlikely that someone could have had the same affect as Rasputin had they been in the same position.

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