How Far Was Nicholas Ii Responsible for His Own Downfall?

Published: 2021-09-11 03:40:09
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When Tsar Nicholas II came to power many problems faced him, such as lack of industrial revolution, political problems, economical problems etc… Nicholas II was a very strong believer in autocracy and the belief that he had been made Tsar by God, however Nicholas was a very poor leader to the people of Russia, growing political problems and the war pushed Nicholas II to abdicate. Tsar Nicholas II was a very poor leader for the people of Russia, he lacked leadership skills. His poor leadership qualities lead too many problems within Russia that were not dealt with efficiently.
For example he did not trust the Duma, in 1906 the first Duma was introduced; after 72 days Nicholas dissolved the Duma as he did not believe in their policies and he did not trust them. This angered many people, Nicholas was not giving anyone a chance to speak and help him to change Russia. Nicholas poor leadership and traditional beliefs meant that there was little change in Russia, outside Russia many countries were thriving on industrialization where as Russia was still lacking behind.
The new Western ways built growing political tensions; left wing oppositions were forming against the Tsar and waiting to over throw him. This long – term factor is seen as Nicholas II own problem for his downfall, his lack in leadership skills angered the country and people knew Nicholas could improve his leadership, but would not do so. Russia was still an autocracy, this meant that the Tsar had complete power and his rules and beliefs could not be challenged. The autocracy system was growing old, people in Russia wanted westernization and democracy, however Nicholas II opposed these beliefs.
After the events of Bloody Sunday the Tsar lost popularity, people demanded that he should share power. The Tsar created the Duma in 1906 however this was only a powerless advisory board; they possessed no power to change the country only to advise the Tsar on how he could change the country. However it can be argued that the Tsar did attempt to share power, on the 28th February 1917 the Tsar sent a telegram to the State Duma offering to share power. This was rejected by Mikhail Rodzianko the prime minister.
This long-term factor can be viewed in two ways for Nicholas II responsibility for his own downfall, autocracy was something that had existed in Russia for 300 years, and nobody knew any different as the majority of the population were un-educated. However when people were introduced to westernization and democracy this educated people on a better standard of living and society, therefore this can be seen as a natural problem that Nicholas II could not of prevented. However it can be argued that Nicholas II could have followed and joined other countries with westernization and democracy, and learnt that times were changing and shared power.
In 1892 Sergei Witte was appointed as Minister of Finance. Witte wanted change in Russia; he knew that if Russia’s economy was to grow he would have to bring industrialisation. Witte changed a lot in Russia’s economy, such as directing the government to put emphasis on capital goods like iron, steel, coal etc… Witte also got other countries to invest into Russia such as Britain and France. Witte’s most effective change was the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway; the railway ran from St Petersburg to Vladivostock.
This helped Russia move their food quickly, and move their coal, iron and steal which they could then sell to other countries. Witte’s reforms also bought in industrialisation into the cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg, thousands of factories were built over Russia. This led to many peasants moving to the cities looking for work, the living conditions for the workers were poor, worse than the country side. Witte’s economical changes helped Russia become more economically stable, however it lead to nig changes in society.
A greater middle class developed, the middle class formed workers unions that opposed the way the Tsar run the industries and the way he handled the peasants living crisis. Nicholas II did not want much change as he could see the impact it was having on the people of Russia with the creation of working unions who opposed of the Tsar, this short term factor can be viewed as a problem that would have developed on its own to Nicholas II downfall. However it can be argued that this factor developed with Nicholas II disapproval of most industrialisation changes and his traditional view of Russia.
January 2nd 1905 Bloody Sunday occurred, a demonstration led by Father Gapon. Over 3,000 peasants walked to the gates of the winter palace asking the Tsar for help as they were starving and living in slums. The Tsar was not in the Winter Place at the time, the Imperial Guard shot at the crowd killing nearly 200 women, children and men. Nicholas II failure to act after Bloody Sunday can be seen as a short-term factor for his own responsibility for his downfall. After Bloody Sunday Tsar Nicholas II did not listen to the peasants asking for help, and he did not make any change to help with the loss of some many people.
This angered citizens all over Russia from aristocrats and peasants, the Tsar lost his popularity, the peasants whom once saw him as “Father figure” where now asking for change in the political system. Rasputin was another short – term factor for the Tsar’s own downfall. Rasputin was a Siberian Orthodox Monk. He had been influencing the Tsar and the Tsarina on the way to look after their ill son and how to run Russia. Rasputin was known as the “mad monk” over Russia, the majority of people despised Rasputin as he was a seen as a “dirty, drunk man”.
The Tsarina praised Rasputin after he had foreseen the Tsarevich recovering in his health; Rasputin became the Tsarina’s confidant. Rasputin main influence on the Tsar and Tsarina was World War 1, Nicholas II left for the home front leaving the Tsarina in-charge. From September 1915 to December 1916 there were many ministerial changes made by the Tsarina, many people saw this as the influence of Rasputin. December 1916 Rasputin was murdered by Tsarist who wished to keep the Tsar in power and by removing Rasputin they believed that this would help.
Russia was falling at this point due to World War 1, this short-term factor of Rasputin can be seen as the Tsar’s own responsibility for his downfall, people begged the Tsar to remove Rasputin out from the political system the Tsar ignored these points and continued with Rasputin influencing him and his wife on political matters. By 1914 Russia had entered World War One, at first Russia backed the Tsar his popularity began to grow amongst the people again, but as the military failure and the strain of the war hit Russia his support began to decrease.
Many problems through World War One faced the Tsar and Russia, food was becoming scares many people were starving, people began to riot in the streets for food. As Russia had not been through the industrial revolution unlike all other countries in Europe, the military were lacking behind all other countries. Back in Russia there was a lack of people and money to make the weapons for the military, many soldiers were restricted to 3 bullets a day and many had to fight with farming tools or anything they could fight with.
These problems were all blamed on the Tsar’s poor leadership skills. In September 1915 the Tsar left for the home front to become commander-in-chief, this was against the advice given by his Government and advisors. The Tsar was poor at leading the troops he could not motivate them nor help them. This lead to Russia’s military performance being blamed on the Tsar and his lack of leadership skills, many people wanted to see the end of the Tsar and the Government to take control of the war and the political and economical issues with it.
In conclusion the Tsar was responsible for his own downfall; he did not meet the demands and needs of the people, which was key to him keeping his leadership after the events like bloody Sunday. The Tsar’s failure to reform on the autocracy system in Russia led to people forming radical political groups wanting to over throw the Tsar and decrease his popularity. The failures of the war effort resulted in a loss of support from the Russian people and his ministers, these key people held the power for the Tsar to remain in power, and by lacking in these factors he became responsible for his own downfall. =

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