The Reign Of Tsar Nicholas II Essay

, Research Paper

Discuss the reign of Nicholas II and analyze the reasons for his


The idea that anything Nicholas II could have done to change the

course of history would be wishful thinking. Russia before 1917 was

the largest country in the world. In economic terms it was backward as

it was late industrializing and late to emerge from feudalism. In

political terms it was also backward, with no legal political parties or

any centrally elected government.

Nicholas was brought up by his father Alexander III who didn?t believe

his son had the intelligence and therefore neglected to educate him in

the business of running the country. The fact that his father died at the

age of 49 and thought he had many more years to rule also contributed

to Alexander?s poor preparation to rule.

At 29 Nicholas assumed the throne, marrying the granddaughter of

Queen Victoria the German Princess Alix of Hess. She took the name

Alexandra and proceeded to dominate Nicholas in his decisions on state

matters. Their relationship though not the sole reason for the downfall

of the Romanov dynasty could be considered one of the causes. Both

lacked any ability for their positions in leading a country.

In the early years of the twentieth century the Russian economy fell into

a depression, this aroused extensive urban and rural unrest, partly due

to the unrest the government and Czar led Russia into a war with

Japan. The defeat of the Russian forces led to the onset of

revolutionary events led up to the events of January 9, 1905 which

became known as ?Bloody Sunday?. The large crowds bearing icons

and pictures of the tsar marched to the winter palace in St. Petersburg.

They went with the hopes of presenting the tsar with a petition

demanding a series of measures to improve the lot of workers. The

protesters believed that the tsar would hear their petition and correct

the wrongs. Instead on orders from Nicholas the troops opened fired

and hundreds died. From that night on Nicholas had sealed the fate of

the dynasty.

Nicholas under pressure tried to make concessions in an effort to shore

up support from the intelligentsia and professional sections of Russian

society. He tried to meet the peoples demands by introducing the

October Manifesto of 1905, which tried to establish civil liberties in the

form of freedom of speech, assembly, association and creating a

semi-popularly elected legislative body, the Duma.

Over the following years the reign of Nicholas II and Alexandria

became so estranged from the ruling circle that a palace coup was being

openly advocated. The intrigues swirling around the palace because of

the dominating monk, Rasputin who had a grip on the minds of the

royal couple until his assassination in 1916. Nicholas was deaf to the

cries from many fronts to take a more democratic course. On March 7,

1917 major demonstrations broke out in Petrograd. After two days of

heavy rioting, the soldiers called into to control the mob instead joined

the demonstrators. On March 15 Czar Nicholas II abdicated his

Empire to the emissaries of the Duma.

Maybe Nicholas was an incompetent and totally incapable of running a

vast country as Russia. But could anyone stepping into the morass

Russia had become solve the problem? It seems Nicholas was a man

doomed to his fate. The country was far down the road to revolution

when he became tsar. The lack of any historical basis for change from

the backward autocratic system as was the case in other European

countries and the lack of industrialization made Russia nothing more

than a feudal realm. In the midst of democratic and social change

occurring throughout Europe, Russia was bound to explode in