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Tiananmen Moments

June 19, 2009
Patrick J. Buchanan

patrick-j-buchananOn Dec. 14, 1825, following the death of Alexander I — who had seen off Napoleon — his brother, the grand duke, who had just taken the oath as Czar Nicholas I, was confronted by mutinous troops and rebels in Senate Square before the Winter Palace.

For hours, the czar stood at the end of the square as the crowd shouted for a constitution or for Nicholas’ brother Constantine to take the throne. Shots were exchanged.

As darkness fell, a czarist general rode up to Nicholas and said, “Sire, clean the square with gunfire — or abdicate.”

The cannons belched — and Nicholas reigned for 30 years.

Most autocratic regimes face such moments.

The story continues …..

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