Tsar Nicholas II’s abdication in February 1917 was an event that both he could have prevented, however a number of factors meant it was out of his control. A revolution in Russia was inevitable and Nicolas was hapless to have been crowed a time of liberation; however his personality traits and actions lead to abdication in February 1917. Nicholas’ lack of political understanding was a constant delimitative factor throughout his rule, especially regarding Russia revolutionary stance, the Russo-Japanese War, the 1905 revolution, The October Manifesto, Russia’s participation in World War and the influencing factors of his wife and Gerogery Rasputin. Which lead to the question, was it Nicholas alone that led to his abdication in February 1917 or was it is combination of influencing factors?
By 1894, Russia was economically and socially backwards, needing a ruler who could guide them to modernisation and reform, without this a revolution is inevitable. Due to its proximity, Westernisers were contrasting their lifestyle to that of the Europeans post industrialisation, identifying clear injustices in their society. Literary critic Belinsky explains “Everything great, noble , human and spiritual came up, grew, burst into splendid bloom and brought fourth sumptuous fruit on European soil (after the industrial revolution)” Russians never had much to contrast their lifestyle to, however the boom of Europe proposed an idea of an alternation which could be achieved in Russia. This envious nature generated a resistance towards the Russia monarch, igniting the idea of change.
This combined with the growth of an intellectual class created greater resistance. This growth of education was not being viewed as a threat by the autocracy (Brooks, 2002). This was a gross underestimation by the autocrats as a higher number of intelligentsia combined with the growth of Marxism, increased the treat of revolution. Regardless of a ruling Tsar, the time period of 1840-1917, needed to be handled by opportunistic ruler for an abdication to be avoided. This situation would have been difficult to handle, therefore the blame of the abdication cannot rest solely on Nicholas’ inexpedient nature.
Russia need of a powerful leader with a reformative drive could not have been anticipated; the absence of this drive in Nicholas II was not a reflection on him, but his upbringing. The Tsar is a hereditary leader, and Nicholas had no choice in the inheritance of this role. Of constitutional, social and economic problems Nicholas understood little (Seton-Watson, 1964), which is not necessarily his fault. Knowing the role he was going to have to acceptance, his family had the responsibility to ensure his capabilities. It was because of this limited comprehension that when opportunities came about for reform and change, Nicholas would not have had the mental capacity to clearly consider them. This lack of understanding obscured his decision making skills throughout his rule, causing him...