Tsar Nicholas II was rightfully blamed for his downfall in March 1917. His revolting actions resulting in detrimental impacts on Russia made him solely to blame for his abdication. Politically, socially and through War, Nicholas was to great extent his own reason of causing his downfall. There were numerous political challenges Tsar Nicholas encountered through his reign as ruler, with the majority a direct consequence of shear incompetence and several errors made on his part. In particular, his inability and ignorance to cooperate with the newly created Duma after 1905.
In the October Manifesto, Nicholas finally agreed on the existence of a Parliament, with the hope and desire to end the violence and unrest that had occurred following his inexcusable handling of the ‘Bloody Sunday”. Following the traumatic disaster of that day, the Tsar had a golden opportunity to begin to implement a much needed political reform in Russia. However, his shear ignorance and utter arrogance coincided with his unwillingness to concede any of his autocratic power through cooperation with an elected assembly. This therefore led to the failure of the first three Dumas.
This alienation of the middle classes was further compounded by political errors, which reduced support for the monarchy from the upper class. Whilst it was only a coincidence that Nicholas’s wife was of German descent during the first world war period, it’s only fair that he takes the blame for leaving her with effective political control of the country in his absence, upon his decision to assume personal responsibility for the Russian army and assume command. Tsarina Alexandria’s incompetent political handling led directly to further breakdowns between the monarchy and the flailing Duma.
To further exploit this, her over-reliance on the advice of Rasputin, a herbal healer and preacher with a life centered around womanizing and scandal, led to many of Russia’s lower classes with scorn and distasteful opinions of the Tsar and his wife. Nicholas should have been more reactive to the people’s needs, but his gratefulness towards Rasputin for the monk’s work in healing the Royal Prince’s hemophilia, as well as the Tsar’s own naivety, meant this alarming situation remained untouched. Although he was born into power, their were no factors that led opinions to think highly of Tsar Nicholas.
Indeed, even his own sister was of a belief that her brother was clearly unfit to rule. Historian H. Rogger further aggravated the Tsar’s incompetence by saying, “no knowledge of the world of men, of politics or government. ” Whilst it’s harsh to say that his personal qualities some might call non-existant, cannot be blamed on Nicholas, his abundance of crucial and costly errors through utter ignorance and lack of awareness of the real political situation in Russia most certainly can. In terms of Social effects on his abdication, Nicholas was too full extent every reason why his influence had led to him being overthrown.
To be a leader or a ruler, it’s immensely vital that you are a man of true decision-making and a strong character. Nicholas was a complete contrast to that and therefore lacked the personal qualities to succeed in the top job which greatly undermined his popularity. Tsar Nicholas was a man who couldn’t make the tough choices and decisions, which consequentially left his advisors authorizing all the judgments. Bloody Sunday was another event, which proved as a vital factor in his abdication and resulted in a gruesome episode of Russia’s History.
The Tsar was portrayed as the ‘little father’ by the church who could act as a guide, however after this episode in Russia’s history he was condemned as ‘Bloody Nicholas’. Under the Tsar’s orders, soldiers fired ruthlessly on innocent people who were simply protesting in order to achieve basic human rights. Of course, his popularity decreased dramatically and was an immense reason that his abdication came about. Sir Charles Hardinge, the British ambassador in St Petersburg, reported on the events of January 9, 1995. “What could not fail to strike a disinterested onlooker…was…the absence of any Government at all.
The report clearly stated that the Tsar was well aware and had every intention to persecute, therefore, reiterating the idea that he was every reason to blame for his own abdication. Ignorance of problems and his love of autocracy were major detriments for Nicholas, which ultimately led to his abdication. The severe issue was that the peasants, at the bottom of the hierarchy, weren’t being treated for and worked long hours with minimal pay without universal sufferage and as a result, didn’t aquire basic human rights. Tsar Nicholas’ attitude towards these issues was pathetic as displayed in the events of
Bloody Sunday. Furthermore, his profund love for autocracy meant that a class such as the peasants could not in anyway combat any of these issues and express their views. Through his actions and ineffective way of ruling, it’s undeniably obvious that his detrimental social impacts on Russia played a strong part in his abdication caused by absolutely no one other than himself. The Wars and military defeats were another essential reason that led to the Tsar’s downfall. The 1904/5 Russo-Japanese war defeat was the Tsar’s fault but World War I left the Tsar in all sorts of tatters.
The war against Japan proved as a costly mistake for the Tsar which ultimately was his own fault that and consequentially led to his abdication. It was the first victory of an Asian power over a European power which would have caused severe embarrassment for Tsar Nicholas. The incredible evidence of Russia’s military weakness was compounded by the fact that their was an increase in people discontent and demands for reform. World War I was considered the penultimate reason for the Tsar’s abdication and he was evidently responsible for all the detrimental impacts on Russia caused from it.
The economical effects of the war were severe which led to numerous problems based entirely as a result of the Tsar’s actions. Due to the fact over 15 million people joined the army, farms and factories were without workers causing severe shortages of food and materials. Their was a poor railway system which consequentially resulted in food shortages in the town and inadequate supplies to the front. This caused severe discontent towards the Tsar as it was too full extent his responsibility to maintain adequate living standards. The social effects were just as worse and led to widespread misery.
Hunger and discontent was a detrimental impact due to food shortages and price rises especially among the town workers. To only worsen the severe problem, Petrograd experienced a terrible winter which worsened the problems of food and fuel shortages. Due to the Tsar’s terrible decisions, it led to incredible criticism of both him and his wife, Alexandria. The Tsar was blamed for the military defeats after personally taking command of the army in August 1915. He left behind a weak and unstable government and also refused to appoint new ministers from the duma as mentioned in the paragraph describing his damaging political impacts.
The Russian army was very large but badly led by the Tsar and was poorly equipped. Within weeks of the outbreak of war, Russia was defeated at Tannenberg, where the Germans trapped the Russians in a swampland. Over 90 000 Russians were captured and a further 100 000 drowned as a direct consequence of the Tsar’s incapability to lead a military outfit. Another example of his incompetence was when he dismissed his commander-in-chief in the spring of 1915 after being invaded and then took command himself.
His damaging decision simply backfired, as Nicholas had little knowledge of military strategy and tactics. It is clearly evident that in all aspects of military action, Tsar Nicholas was simply incapable and in every extent responsible for causing such a destructive environment in Russia. Through exploring the various aspects of utter destructiveness on Russia caused by the Tsar, including the political, social and war aspects, its evident that too full extent he was truly to blame for his abdication.