Asses the extent to which Tsar Nicholas II can be held personally responsible for the collapse of the Russian monarchy.
‘What weakened the Tsarist regime in the period before 1917 was not its tyranny but its incompetence’.
A small portion of Tsar Nicholas II’s downfall can be seen as his own accountability; however his autocratic ruling style, mixed with the inevitable disasters that were to come his way was a recipe for failure. Due to his natural ruling style inherited from his father Alexander, Nicholas Tsar was unwilling to reform to a nation urgent to modernise. One would say he is simply not a natural ruler, in a time where Russia depended greatly on one.
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Nicholas was not staying in his Winter palace. As the marchers approached the palace, they were fired on and charged at by cavalry. Approximately 200 marchers were killed. Immediately mayhem erupted around Russia, with peasants seizing property and questions were now starting to be raised about Nicholas’ treatment of mother Russia. Instantly after the bitter Bloody Sunday occurance, the people of Russia’s depiction as Tsar Nicholas being ‘the little father’ was tainted. This was a problem that didn’t have to happen if Nicholas didn’t take such a repressive approach leading up to this avoidable commencement of panic in the Tsarist Government.
Two of the most important and influential characters in the Tsarist government began to think and act wisely, giving Russia some direction that it lacked in previous years. Sergei Witte and Peter Stolypin were loyal to the tsarist regime, however looked to the development of modernisation. Sergei Witte regained composure within the government by dividing the opposition parties during a time of severe crisis in 1905. Witte advised Nicholas to grant concessions to the liberals, wipe out all money owed by peasants, and physically override the rebelling industrial workers. It was also Witte who intended on constructing a strong railway system in Russia to try and modernise and industrialise the nation. One would argue that Witte was a mastermind in the development of Russia, especially during crisis. However, in 1906, Nicholas Tsar unexpectedly dismissed Sergei Witte from his position of chairman, and was never to play an important position in the Tsarist Government. There was no lagitament reason why the Tsar felt the need to replace Witte, therefore is a reflection of Nicholas’ poor choices, lack of strong leadership, and retrospectively speaking, could have contributed enormously to his downfall, seeings Sergei Witte held Russia together.
Peter Stolypin was, similarly to Witte, in favour of economic advancement, however felt he needed to first suppress, then reform. In 1905, Stolypin under-went a long-term turnover revolving the peasants land. He aimed to conserve the peasants land, and it eventually proved to hold possible success until in 1911 he was assassinated, long before his process was complete. If Stolypin wasn’t killed, the state of peasantry in Russia may have progressed to a much stronger and healthier state, so it is easy to question the impact that Stolypin’s death had on the downfall of the Tsar’s moncarhy in terms of unhappiness and rebellions within the country.
The people of Russia expected a bit more than concessions, proceeding the catastrophe of 1905. The Octobrists group were granted a legislative duma in the parliament. In a way, they represented the people’s views. The duma was not granted any reasonable amount of power, and Nicholas made sure of this with his re-introduction of the fundamental laws in 1906. During the first duma, 200 people gathered in Vyborg pleading the...