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Fall The Tsar 1917 Essay

1468 words - 6 pages

Downfall of Tsar 1917
How far do you agree that it was the misjudgments by Nicholas II after 1911 that caused the collapse of tsardom in 1917? [20]
Many factors contributed to the fall of the Tsar, which led to the end of the Romanov family, who had ruled for three hundred years. Much of this was because of the tsar’s own misjudgments and his personal failings. However, there were many other factors as well, such as the autocracy, the World War I, the military failures once the Tsar took personal command, the role of Rasputin and his poor ministers. Examining all these reasons, it must be noted that each of these reasons resulted because the Tsar was unable to handle them. If he had taken ...view middle of the document...

Nicholas bowed before the pressure and allowed the Duma to reassemble. However, Tsar made his view clear that he should have sole control over the conduct of the war by rejecting the duma’s proposal of replacing his incompetent cabinet with members from the duma. In doing so, he destroyed the last opportunity he would have of retaining the support of the politicaly progressive parties, which formed a ‘Progressive Bloc.’ Initially, this bloc was meant to help the tsar, however, he was not willing to listen to the block. And as a result, the Tsar and his government showed themselves increasingly incapable of running the war, which changed the Block from a supporter to a source of political resistance. Further more, his alienated the key sections of the society he depeded on for support. This could be seen when an aristocratic member of the duma took the lead in 1917 in refusing to disband on the tsar’s orders. Therefore, the Tsar’s limited powers of judgment blind him to the need to make an accommodation with his natural supporters and hence this resulted in a growth of opposition as well as weakening of the support of the tsardom to withstand it. Indeed, the most significant opposition came from those whose had been the tsar’s keenest supporters in 1914. Another mistake he made was to not cooperate fully with the non-government organizations such as Union of Zemstvos and the Union of Municipal Councils, which at the beginning of war had been willing to work with him. Failure to do that, highlighted the government’s own failures, loss the Tsar a source of support and hinted that there might be a workable alternative to tsardom.
The Tsar made a number of crucial errors in his handling of the war, the most significant being his decision in 1915 to take direct command of Russia’s armed forces. This in effect tied the fate of the Romanov Dynasty to the success or otherwise of Russia’s army. This also cut him off from information about the situation in St. Petersburg, now renamed Petrograd. In 1914, there had been very genuine enthusiasm for the tsar – which he hoped would happen; however, within 3 years, this enthusiasm wholly evaporated, even among dedicated tsarists. This was because of the many military failures. After a year, Russian casualties were approaching a staggering 4 million killed, wounded, captured or missing. The problem was no the lack of resources but poor administration and lack of liaison between the government departments responsible for supplies. Rodzianko, the president of the duma, undertook a special fact-finding study in 1916 of conditions in the army. The clear implication in his account was that the strong central leadership, which the war effort desperately needed, was not being provided. This was Nicholas’ II own fault. His decision to become Commander-in-chief made him a hostage to fortune. Now he was personally responsible for Russia’s performance. Lack of success could no longer be blamed on his appointees.

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