How important was the Bolshevik threat to Tsardom during the reign of Nicholas II

Essay by Jakehopes93B, November 2014

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To discover the importance of the Bolshevik threat to Tsardom during the reign of Nicholas II, all other revolutionary oppositions and their activity between 1894 and 1917 need to be identified with use of primary and secondary sources. An introduction to Nicholas II, the oppositions, a brief description of the Bolshevik background and their tactics will be discussed.

Nicholas II was the last Russian Tsar, the eldest son of Tsar Alexander III and born near St Petersburg on 18th of May 1868. Nicholas succeeded his father in 1894 with little experience of government (Lynch, 1992). Nicholas; according to Figes (1996:8) "emulated his tranquil piety, which it was said to have given him the conviction to rule Russia through his own religious conscience" as well as this, Tonge (2013) states that Nicholas, despite the growing revolution decided to maintain the Autocratic system, he then provides evidence with a statement from Nicholas II himself saying "Maintain the principle of autocracy just as firmly and unflinchingly as it was preserved by my unforgettable dead father."

However Figes (1996:20) quotes "Nicholas had not been blessed with either his father's strength of character or his intelligence." The consequences under Alexander III followed onto the reign of Nicholas II resulting in the oppositions becoming much more organized; with politics being discussed and formed underground (Lynch, 1992). Figes (1996:18) claims that after Alexander's death; Nicholas burst into tears and sobbed expressing that he wasn't up to the role of tsar, he did however overcome this and pursued to create some level of reform 'The Duma', although this seems to have been only a strategy to strengthen his own powers. Nicholas did not have any intentions of giving 'The Duma' power. According to Figes (1996:215) "He could dissolve the Duma, and did so twice when...