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Russian History Essay

1303 words - 6 pages

Long Response
A) Tsar Nicholas’ leadership inadequacies were the sole reason for his downfall.
Assess the accuracy of this statement.

Tsar Nicholas’ forced abdication on the 2nd of March 1917 was solely the result of his leadership inadequacies during his reign from 1894-1917. In addition Industrialisation, the October Manifesto and World War One (WW1) all played a vital role in the downfall of the Romanov Dynasty. The Tsar’s inadequacies included his need to rule autocratically, have total control over the country and to make self-centred decisions about how Russia was governed.

When Tsar Nicholas was coroneted in 1894 Russia’s economy was mostly centred on agriculture, although it ...view middle of the document...

They were led by Father Gapon a Russian Orthodox Priest and a working class leader to present the Tsar with a petition that asked for civil liberties, universal suffrage and a constituent assembly. They believed that he would be there to meet them and he would find a resolve to their sufferings. However, the Tsar was forewarned about the march and moved to his home in St Peters, meaning the protesters were met with soldiers instead. The Tsar being a staunch supporter of autocracy gave orders for the procession to be stopped. The soldiers issued the order, but instead they kept coming. The soldiers panicked and fired into the crowd killing around 200 innocent civilians and wounding another 800 . This day became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’. Again, the Tsar had made a terrible decision resulting in innocent death, this ruined his reputation, and strengthened the doubts that his people had about his leadership capabilities to find a solution to their problems.

The Tsar now realised that he had to find a solution to the problems that his country was presenting to him or he would be made to abdicate the throne. Russia was in a gridlock, a general strike had been going on for nine months, and the country was going nowhere. The Tsar realised he had to something quickly. In the October Manifesto on the 17 of October 1905 he announced the creation of a duma, which is an elected parliament for Russia, with the power to make laws . This could be elected on the basis of universal male suffrage. He also allowed in his October Manifesto the freedom of speech which was previously illegal. The decision to introduce a duma gained a lot of support from his people especially among the Liberals and the Octobrists. However, the Tsar having inadequate leadership qualities and a staunch supporter of autocracy he could not bear to have some of his power taken from him, so he introduced the Fundamental Laws in 1906.

Introducing the duma and allowing the freedom of speech, among other reforms, should have gained long term support for the Tsar. However the establishment of the Fundamental Laws in 1906 still allowed the Tsar to rule autocratically, this led to distrust in the Tsar because he had mislead the people into thinking that he had no control of the duma. The Fundamental Laws allowed the Nicholas ll to dismiss the duma and announce new elections whenever he wished, continue to choose and dismiss his ministers and declare new laws alone at any time that he announced a state of emergency or whenever the duma was not in session . Even before the first duma had even met, Nicholas ll had demonstrated to his people his unwillingness to allow the duma any real power. The first duma only lasted two and half months before it was dismissed by the Tsar. The dismissal of the first duma showed the people of Russia just how...

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