To what extent was the revolution of February/March 1917, in Russia, due to the nature of Tsarism and the policies of Nicholas II (1894-1917)?

Essay by frenchy88 March 2006

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Downloaded 24 times

Admittedly, many of the problems in Russia leading to revolution can be linked directly and indirectly to the nature of Tsarism and the effects it had imposed on the country, although the causes of the revolution are more complex than that. When the autocratic rule of Russia crumbled in the revolutions of 1917, it was due to the underlying causes rooted deep in the empire's history. These economic, social and political problems were reinforced mainly by the First World War (1914-1918), but also by the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05, that created and resulted in the same kind of problems and revolts in 1905. The policies imposed by Nicholas II, his predecessors and his ministers mostly served to aggravating the discontent of their people, thus causing the riots and strikes that lead to revolution in 1917.

The situation in Russia around the turn of the century was complicated and difficult to rule.

There was a huge diversity of ideologies and identities within the Empire, making it hard for the Tsar to keep his authority and control. The influence the two predecessors had had on the empire was contradictory; Alexander II as "the Tsar liberator", introducing many reforms, such as the Emancipation Edict, and Nicholas I, the "reactionary Tsar", with his counter-reforms. Tsar Alexander III, who was crowned Tsar in 1894, wanted to "uphold the principles of autocracy" like his father, meaning the three reactionary principles: autocracy, orthodoxy and nationalism. Tsar Nicholas II was a weak and indecisive leader, unable to delegate his tasks and generally cared too little for his people. One might argue that the only loyalty the Tsar had was due to the orthodox belief that he was chosen and guided by God himself, as Article One of the Fundamental Laws of the Empire state: "God himself commands that...