Nicholas Romanov\'s Role in the Russian Revolution


"Nicholas Romanov was an ignorant, incompetent and insensitive leader. His character was the decisive factor in bringing on the revolution"

"The last Tsar of Russia was a tragic figure a classic case of being a leader in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing within his power could have prevented the forces of change from overtaking Tsarist Russia."

To what extent do you agree with these explanations of the collapse of autocracy in Russia?

Nicholas Romanov was an indecisive man who was easily influenced by others. Although it was not his character that was the decisive factor in bringing on the revolution. He may have been a leader at the wrong time but if he had related better for the time he was in power.

Russia before 1917 was the largest country under one empire. In economic terms it was backward as it was late industrialising and late to emerge from feudalism. In political terms it was also backward as there was no legal political parties nor was there any centrally elected government

Russia at this time was under tsarist rule by Nicholas II of the Romanov empire. Nicholas II was brought up by his father Alexander III who didn\'t believe that his son could take an intelligent interest in anything and therefore did not educate him in the business of state . The fact that his father who died at age 49 thought that he had many more years ahead of him may also be another factor behind Nicholas\' poor leadership of Russia .

Alexander who died in 1894 had left Russia with a society no longer controlled by tsarist rule and when Nicholas took the throne after his father\'s death Russian society was not prepared to turn on it\'s heels and return to how it use to be . Nicholas II was 26 when his father died and was soon to marry the German princess, Alix of Hess, Granddaughter of Queen Victoria .

The relationship between Alexandra and Nicholas was a \'critical relationship at a turning point in history\' . He was weak and indecisive but he wasn\'t an imbecile, Alexandra, if not an imbecile was politically and socially illiterate, dominating him and towards the end of their lives forced him to make chaotic decisions.

Nicholas nor Alexander III were well trained for the job of ruling this vast country. Alexander was not so much superior to the son in character of abilities to justify admirers hopes that he lived longer, so the monarchy would have. There is some evidence to suggest that had Alexander ruled 22 years like his son instead of just 13 he would have had to face the wars and revolution and he too would have shown the deficiencies in character and intellect that close observers had already seen in the leader . This shows that Nicholas had inherited many of his own flaws from his father so it is possible another tsar from the Romanov empire may not have been able to prevent the revolutions which were to come.

As he was even more poorly prepared for his role as Tsar, Nicholas had no knowledge of the world of men, politics or government. His training was only adequate for the role of consitutional monarch. Yet he only recognised an inherited belief in the moral rightness of the autocracy and a religious faith that he was in Gods hands and God inspired all his actions .

In the early years of the twentith century the Russian economy entered a depression, this aroused extensive urban and rural unrest, partly due to this unrest the government led Russia into a war with Japan . The feat of Russian forces led to the onset of revolutionary events which reached to 1907.

The real starting point of revolutionary activities was the January 9 1905 protest which became known as \'Bloody Sunday\'. The protest was a large crowd bearing icons and pictures of the tsar marched towards the winter palace in St Petersberg . This crowd went with the hopes of presenting the tsar with a petion wich attacked the explotation of the people by capitalist factory owners and demanded a series of measures designed to improve the workers position and reverse some of the wrongs under which they had suffered . The tone of