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Assess The Extent To Which Tsar Nicholas 2nd Can Be Held Personally Responsible For The Collapse Of The Russian Monarchy.

2051 words - 8 pages

Tsar Nicholas II"The Emperor Nicholas II is one of the most pathetic figures in history. He loved his country. He had its welfare and greatness at heart. Yet it was he who was to precipitate the catastrophe, which has brought it to utter ruin and misery…Nicholas had not inherited his father's commanding personality nor the strong character and prompt decision which are so essential to an autocratic ruler." (Bucklow & Russell, 1976, p. 108)Tsar Nicholas II came into reign in 1894 when his father Alexander III unexpectedly died at the age of 49. From a political and social standpoint, at the age of 26, Nicholas II was unprepared for leadership and he lacked the qualities and skills to fulfill an autocratic position of power (as suggested in the quote above). Nicholas II was responsible for the modernization of Russia, the discontent within the populace, war, and a range of protests; most of which he was not even capable of administering. He was extremely ignorant and extended what influence he had to secluding his royal family from the world. Nicholas II cannot be held entirely responsible for the deterioration of Russia as there were a number of factors which lead to its revolution such as industrialism, revolutionary parties, peasantry and failed reforms. Ultimately, the Tsar was unable to maintain the autocracy of Russia at the pace of the global socio-economic change.Nicholas II was initially reluctant to take on the role of Tsar, but wanted to continue the tradition of autocratic rule and believed it was God's wish for him to do so; he was an extremely religious man as well as his family. His acute nepotism resulted in the selection of ministers who told him what he wanted to hear rather than the advice that would help Russia. When he was appointed Tsar, the thing he focussed on directly was the development of the military; this was necessary owing to the defeat in the Crimean War. As a result of the modernization of the army, political rejuvenation was necessary, of which Nicholas II was opposed to. He lacked the capability to balance out the things he needed to take care of, and rather, flung himself into expanding the military in order for him to be glorified. He was the type of man who was easily influenced as long as he was in power. His wife, Alexander, is a great example of this as she encouraged him to front with the military and insisted that she would take care of political matters at home, which she hugely underestimated.Even from the beginning, the reign had complications. There was encouraged industrial growth which resulted in a 55 percent rise in the population. The peasants comprised approximately 82 percent of the population and were a discontent crowd difficult to control. By the year 1900, most, if not all of the growing divisions of Russia's population were disaffected. Nicholas II had begun receiving strong advice to enhance the government system but he refused this, preferring to follow his father and continue...

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