Nicholas 2, how much was he responsible for Russia's downfall

Essay by millayHigh School, 11th gradeA-, May 2004

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· Nicholas 2 was responsible for his own downfall. Discuss with reference to the period 1905-1917.

Nicholas 2 was responsible for Russia's downfall. But World War 1 also contributed to the overthrow of Tsarism and Nicholas himself.

Nicholas 2 was in great responsible for Russia's downfall through his ignorance towards the Russian society. Nicholas never could draw the line between 'reform' and 'reaction'. By the end of 1916, war, inflation, shortages of fuel and food, appalling housing conditions and a serious transport crisis had reduced Russia's working class to despair. At the beginning of the twentieth century, virtually all sections of Russian society were in uproar. Although peasants had been liberated from serfdom, the peasants were left with less land than they felt they should own, while the nobles still had their large estates. Anger and uproar was also common among industrial workers. These were the workers that would normally live in the cities.

The rapid growth of industrialization had created a new urban labour force whose living and working conditions were very poor, this that the Tsar Nicholas chose to ignore. Strikes and protests became frequent, and mostly led to clashes and fights between workers and police or troops.

There were small minority groups who were normally called 'intelligentsia', the intelligentsia were a group of more educated Russians who were aware of the bad situation Russia really was in and they opposed Tsarism. As the un-popularity of the Tsar rose, Nicholas tried to do things to improve his popularity such as involve himself in a war with Japan in 1904. This of course was a backfire as the failure of Russia's un-prepared military, just proved how un-suitable Nicholas was for the job as Tsar, and also proved the opposition's criticisms of the Tsar's government was correct. This eventually led...