Before 1917,Russia was the largest country under one empire. However, on July 17th, atapproximately 1 a.m.
, the Romanov family was murdered at a mansion in the cityof Ekaterinburg. The Russian Revolution was caused by the effects of thepublic opinion of the Romanov family. The tsar wasconsidered by some, the symbol of Russia’s failing or the power they weretrying to get rid of. There was very little experience in government and therevolution was triggered by the poor decision making of the Tsar. Being one of the most seminal events duringthe 20th century it continues to be in the minds of people who live there andstill provokes a terrible fascination today. However, while the Romanov’spolitical position was finished in Russia, the story of the Tsar that causedthe Revolution continues to be thought of by many. First, one of the initial problems withthe Romanov family was that the Tsar was considered by many a symbol ofRussia’s failings or the power that they were trying to get rid of. ThroughoutRussian history, Russia was always thought to be a force to be reckoned with,with an impenetrable army.
While the Tsar was ruling the Russian army, Russiahad endured many defeats, some of which affected the soldiers quite harshly. Anexample of this is, “The fall ofTsarism is the psychological effect of WW1 on returning soldiers … This isbecause the Russian’s suffered a series of defeats… this damaged Russianprestige so much that the frontline subsequently collapsed” (Bos,2018). As the Russians began to lose more battles, the Tsar began to lose hisfollowers. People began to lose family members and soldiers were treated verypoorly.
There were drastic supply problems which created suspicion among thepeople that the loss of battles was due to the fact that the soldiers weren’tsupplied properly and were guided without any professional background becausethe Tsar had no form of formal military training. Suspicion began to arise amongthe Russian people because they had no faith in Nicholas. Aside from thebattlefield his wife wasn’t doing much better with the people back in Russia.An example of this is, “Withno experience at all in politics Alexandra managed to wreak havoc withingovernment. It was a disaster and was surely the turning point for the all thehorror that would unravel towards the end of the war” (Biography, 2016). Aswell, many Russians and troops were left exposed to political indecisionresulting in loss of food shelter and munitions. This shows that afterNicholas left his German wife, the TsarinaAlexandra to govern it was in a time of political instability, making it a verypoor decision.
Firstly, she wasn’t liked because she was suspicious to Russiansbecause of her German roots. As well, she was viewed as a weak leader whom iseasily misguided. This was a widely thought about issue because of theinfluence of her confidant Rasputin. This caused a large amount of rumors about his relationship with theTsarina, especially as he oversaw constant ministerial changes. This was shownwhen Trotsky said that the Tsar is simply, “not fit to run a village postoffice” (Biography, 2016) This was said after the Russians had lost theRusso- Japanese war. This shows that the loss of this war was arguably thegreatest incident that lead to the revolution of 1905 because of itssignificance and how it affected the public opinion of the Romanov family.
Thisdefeat was humiliating as it was the first time that a European nation had lostto an Asian one. “It exposed Russia’s inept military and bureaucracy. Theloss acted as a catalyst to the revolution, however the immediate cause was anevent called Black Sunday, when a peaceful march of 150,000 St Petersburgworkers hoping to bring a petition to the Tsar were shot by Cossack troops killingan estimated 1,000 people” (Batra, 2015). This was the last time the Tsarwas called the ‘Father of the People’ which destroyed the myth that Godsappointed the Tsar. As well, he was a symbol of failure to Russian’s because hehad managed to destroy Russian prestige in a very short period of time.
Another contribution to the pooropinion of the Tsar was that there was very little experience in government. Even before he came intopower the Tsar knew he was not prepared to rule over Russia. Shortly after hecame into power the Tsar wrote in 1894, “I am not prepared to be the Tsar.I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling.”(Batra, 2015). This shows the very littleexperience that Nicholas II had. An example of this is after he had become theTsar, he decided to fire his uncle, Nicolai, as commander-in-chief.
After manydefeats, he led the army very poorly. However, it was not surprising to thepeople because he had no experience whatsoever. This only raised tensions in the army, and undermined Nicholas II.
Thedefeats made it easy to argue that his removal was a way to secure victory forRussia. People quickly started to realize the Tsar was far from suitable tohold the Russian throne and that something had to be done to secure Russia’sreputation. An example of this is, “None of themilitary decisions made between his assumption of command and his abdication in1916 owed anything to his input. Instead, familiarity bred neglect. The tsarwas no longer a figure of awe and mystery” (Tutor, 2016). This proves thatRussia’s strong reputation was slowly getting weaker.
Nicholas’ reputation ledcountries to believe that it was a good time to take advantage of Russia’svulnerability at the time. Specifically, to the French and British governments,it was deemed as a good opportunity to battle the tsar’s government. One of theFrench General Staff stated, “One key to the salvation of France lay inimmediately setting the Russian colossus in motion” (Massie, 1967). While the Tsar was taking care of war measureshe left his wife authority over Russian government, this proved to be a poordecision as she had just as little experience as him with a very bad reputationfrom the people. This frustrated theRussian’s because they were not only being misled on the battlefields butmislead in their own country as well, due to extreme lack of experience. Manybelieved that Alexandra would complete the devastation of the Russian’s.
Thishad proven to be the last straw for the Russians as it also bothered the peoplethat a woman was in charge, let alone a German- born one. Her bad reputationjust added to the conflict in Russia because it was believed that Alexandra wasused to help Germany while backstabbing Russia. Lastly, many incidents that the Tsar may have neglected to think aboutor miscalculated were conducted poorly. “Nicholas was raised inthe Imperial Family where monarchs wielded power over, but didn’t talk to,their subjects. Unless it was opportune, rulers rarely looked at the living andworking conditions of the ruled” (Bos, 2018).
This suggests that had theTsar talked to his subjects, he would haveunderstood the desperation of the poor and had he visited some of thefactories, he would have seen the terrible conditions and could havepotentially altered the way things were going in Russia. Tsar Nicholas wasknown to be a stubborn man. Stuck in his ways, the Russians felt there was noroom for change in Russia for as long as the Tsar was in charge. For example, “Byinsisting on old ways of the past, he wrote himself out of a place in thefuture” (Massie, 1967).
Thisshows that if he had tried to make improvements to the Russian Empire therewould have been a bright new Empire for Russia to grow into. Some reasons thisfailed to happen was because he failed to grasp that his country and he neededsome measure of change. As well, he didn’t realize that the Russian system wasbeginning to take a toll.
Lastly, once the impulse of radical change hadstarted he was ineffective in trying to stop it. “To celebrate his marriage to Alexandra, Nicholasheld a customary banquet for his subjects. This traditional wedding feastturned into a stampeding mass of humanity as people – trying to grab morsels offood – crushed each other” (Cox, 2017). After the banquet wasfinished many people died, and Nicholas wascriticized for not canceling plans to attend a celebratory ball in his honor.His uncles encouraged him to attend the ball, because they felt it would berude not to attend.
It was unprofessional and not appropriate for a man likethe Tsar to throw such a banquet without thinking about the repercussions thisevent may have, therefore; it left a very bad impression on the Tsar by hispeople. Russia has been forever changed since the revolution. The Tsar had apublic opinion that was negative by most which led to the Revolution. Hispersonality and weak-minded nature created complications for him because heneglected to notice and attempt to fix many situations thoughtfully. Hissolutions to “fixing” Russia made it so much more noticeable that he had verylittle previous experience in government and in fact made things worse. This inturn meant that he was a constant symbol of Russia’s failings which led tovulnerability throughout Russia. AfterLenin’s government secured power, its first major goal was to get Russia outof the War.
After his Decree on Peace, Lenin sent out diplomatic notescalling for everyone to stop fighting immediately if they did not want Russiato seek a separate peace. The effort was ignored, however; on December 15,Russia signed an armistice with Germany and Austria. In the peace, Leninconsented to give up most of Russia’s territorial gains. Eventually, theSoviets would regain these territories at the end of World War II.
However,Russia remains a communist country with arguably more issues now than everbefore. References Bibliography Batra, V.(2015, November).
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(2018, January 17). Nicholas ll Abdicates. Retrieved fromAwesomestories.com: https://www.
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