Throughout the semester, evaluating different eras and event across the world and expanse of time, we have studied how individual players and their actions contribute to our understanding of history itself. Many of our readings were historical accounts centralized on the lives of single players, and these players’ roles in greater historical events.
The outbreak and entirety of WWI, serves as an example of how many individual players, and their actions, contributed to the overall outcome of an all-out war. In class, we discussed how there were a number of major players whom helped contribute to the outbreak and subsequent events of WW1. One of the key actors we examined, was the Emperor to Russia at the time, Nicholas II, and the qualities attributed to him as an individual. These are the qualities which may have not only led to Russia’s involvement in WWI, but also can be attributed to Russia’s loss in Russo-Japanese War, further destabilization of Russia’s central government under Nicholas II, and ultimately the collapse of the Russian Monarchy, all culminating in the 1917 Russian Revolution.
Nicholas II was the first-born child of Emperor Alexander III of Russia, and being so, his upbringing was a rather quite and isolated, though he maintained a close relationship with both his father and mother. In 1881, Alexander II, Nicholas’ grandfather (and Emperor at the time) was assassinated by revolutionaries, quickly making Nicholas heir apparent at the age of thirteen. Though
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It all began in 1894 when a man named Alexander III (Tsar of Russia), died leaving his son Nicholas II to become the tsar of Russia at the age of 26. In 1894 Nicholas married Alexander the princess of Germany; they had 5 children, 4 girls and a boy. There only son Alexei was born with hemophilia.
This demonstrates that since the stress of waging war was tremendous, it should be no surprise that the first war could be a primary cause of the Russian Revolution. Moreover, the major powers of Europe hurt Russia in World War I; yet, by 1917, all the combatants horrifically suffered from the strains of war economically, proving this to be a long-term cause. This was, to a great extent, considerable because the military defeats and social strains of World War I had created a crisis in Imperial Russia. Before, Russia had some military accomplishments and they were on their way to being successful. Nevertheless, their triumphs were not long-standing; hence, Russia was not able to be victorious due to the fact that Russia decreased in economy because of the limitations in Russia. Similarly, restraints included the shortage of food and the huge problems with getting the obligatory materials for the army during World War I, which shows that this was momentous. Along with Russia being defeated and having a scarcity of supplies, Russia also showed economic oppression due to the pressure in jobs workers faced.
The last Tsar Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894 and was faced with a country that was trying to free itself from its autocratic regime. The serfs had recently been emancipated, the industry and economy was just starting to develop and opposition to the Tsar was building up. Russia was still behind Europe in terms of the political regime, the social conditions and the economy. Nicholas II who was a weak and very influenced by his mother and his wife had to deal with Russia’s troubles during his reign. In order to ascertain how successfully Russia dealt with its problems by 1914, this essay will examine the October Manifesto and the split of the opposition, how the Tsar became more reactionary after the 1905 revolution, Stolypin’s
Nicholas II was known, not only for being the Emperor of Russia but also for his character and personality which undoubtably led him to his own downfall. Nicholas was often referred to as not being ready to become Tsar as well as being a weak leader. Firstly, Nicholas II himself, amongst a very large proportion of Russian society, believed that he was not prepared to be coronated Emperor. Nicholas himself stated “What is going to happen to me and all of Russia? I am not prepared to be a Tsar. I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling.”. (Russian Revolution Quotations 2015). Nicholas was aware of what he was getting himself into and that he was not prepared for such a role. This is further corroborated by the
The First World War was seen as a devastating impact on Tsardom and is seen as the main reason for the fall of Tsar Nicholas II in 1917. “The effect of the war was
The argument that the First World War led to the downfall of the Tsardom in Russia is supported by how unprepared the military were from the outset and throughout the war. Poor conditions and lack of weaponry led to low morale. Production of weapons was seriously flawed as seen in the Russian front at Gorlice, where “many soldiers had no rifles and had to wait for a comrade to be killed before taking his weapon”3. “By the end of December 1914, 6,554,000 men had been mobilized with only 4,652,000 rifles available to them”4. Furthermore the appalling conditions that were reported in the Russian trenches caused outbreaks of diseases such as typhoid and cholera creating tensions amongst Russia's “indestructible army”5. The dreadful conditions caused soldiers to turn against their
Various aspects of Nicholas II’s political decisions reflected his clear unsuitability for the role of Tsar, and these decisions form a preliminary basis for both his own legacy of incompetency & the eventual undoing of the Romanovs. In comparison to rulers preceding, Nicholas was ill-prepared for the role: his father, Alexander III, failed to adequately develop his son’s understanding of civil & state responsibilities before his death in 1894, under the guise that he would live long enough to teach Nicholas of these affairs. Upon his consecration as Tsar, Nicholas spoke in his diary of his apprehensiveness
As World War I was heading towards its end Russia was focusing on internal issues. Led by Vladimir Lenin the Bolsheviks embarked on a campaign against the war. Using propaganda which focused on trying to turn the allied troops against their officers Lenin looked to inspire a socialist revolution. The Bolsheviks were also fueled by the poor conditions of the Russian Army. Nicholas II, in a letter to his wife Alexandra, admitted the obstacles that the Russian Army faced, "Again that cursed question of shortage of artillery and rifle ammunition - it stands in the way of an energetic advance." Czar Nicholas tried to deny the fact that his Army was in no condition to continue the fight. Lenin and the Bolsheviks used this information to gain
On the 20th October 1894 Nicholas II ascended the throne as tsar of Russia. He idolised the concept of continuing to rule Russia under the autocratic system, in the same way his father and predecessor Alexander III had done so. However, Nicholas lacked the qualities and characters of the autocratic style of leadership. The
Despite all the work Alexander II did toward reforming Russia, the “Era of Great Reforms” left one crucial aspect unaltered: the power of the emperor. The intentional neglect of this was what kept the reforms from realizing their true potential. This led to dissatisfaction, which encouraged repression, terror, and most importantly: revolution. The first was the Polish Rebellion, caused by the failure of Russian authorities to suppress Polish nationalism. Although the Poles failed, other minorities sprung up for their voice
the people’” but many others disagreed . They felt that he was manipulating the family. This only added to the discontent and secrecy surrounding the family. Many people did not like how isolated the family was, not only from everyday Russians, but also the aristocracy. This made Nicholas an incapable leader because he separated himself to a large extent from Russian society. His shyness added to the list of reasons why he was a bad leader for Russia which lead to the end of the Old Regime.
World War 1 was a total disaster for Russia. Their army was poorly led and poorly equipped, this resulted in humiliating defeats at the hands of Germany. Undersupplied workers and peasants were sent in to battle without boots, coats or weapons. In 1915, Nicholas II took personal command of the army. However the Tsar’s leadership abilities were poor. The Russian army deteriorated, there was huge shortages of ammunition, equipment and medical supplies. The railways grounded to a halt, there was no transportation of food or fuel. Soldiers, workers and peasants began to suffer. These events cost Russia dearly, they lost millions of soldiers, morale was low and the people wanted someone to blame. In the severe winter of 1916-1917, the people had already began to doubt the leadership
One resource used for this investigation was Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie, which describes the reign of Nicholas II. This source was published in 1967 in the United States, thus the book is a secondary source. Massie is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian whose work focuses on the Russian Romanovs. Massie’s alma mater includes Yale and Oxford University. The source is highly valuable in its extremely detailed and comprehensive research of nearly 600 pages, providing the thoughts of those in positions of power and interesting, insightful perspectives to the situation at the time. An analysis on connecting causes and effects are thorough and
Therefore, morale in Russia was not a reason why there was an outbreak of revolution in 1917. Nevertheless, the few military successes could not make up for the shocking casualty list revealed later on in wartime. Also, when the economic and military problems arose they could have been tolerable for the general public if they were encouraged by the people at the top such as the Tsar but no leadership was shown. Though this was a problem in Russia the morale in Russia was not too bad although people did begin to focus more on taking care of themselves because of the effects of the war on everyday life. On the other hand, the fact that central leadership was not being provided to the Russian public, criticisms began to be pointed directly at the Tsar. Nicholas failed in being commander-in-chief of the Russian armed services. He did not encourage war effort and did not prove to be the appropriate representative for the Russian people. In addition, the fact that he took on this important role meant that he was responsible for the wars consequences and the survival of Tsardom depended on military success. Due to the lack of success, Nicholas II was blamed and not his generals. This was a reason for the revolution in February 1917 to happen as it appeared to the citizens of Russia that they did not have a strong leader, also the tsarist system’s claim to the loyalty of the Russian people had been forfeited thus
The First World War became the Tsars worst nightmare. Russia joined the war in many ways to keep peoples minds of Russia’s backwardness and badly run government, and onto the war effort itself. But within the first year of the war people’s minds began to wander away from troop moral and toward the Tsar and his control.