Long-Term and Immediate Factors That Led to the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty

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Assess the long-term and immediate factors that led to the fall of the Romanov Dynasty.

With over a century of military and civil discontent the Romanov Dynasty was bound to fall sooner or later. The fall of the Romanov Dynasty was a result of long-term causes including Tsar Alexander’s inability to satisfy his people and Tsar Nicholas II’s inability to rule to throne all together. The collapse was also an outcome of immediate causes; the effects of World War One on Russia and the 1917 revolution. All long-term and immediate cause played a crucial role in stirring the nation until Russia was clearly overdue to be overthrown. The eventual growth of extreme dislike toward the Romanov dynasty was stimulated by Tsar Alexander II and his inability to satisfy the Russian people that resulted in the assassination of this Tsar. After Russia’s defeat in the Crimean War, Alexander II began his rule with a series of reforms to liberalize and modernize the archaic body of Russia, some including the emancipation of serfs and the elimination of corporal punishment. At this stage, Alexander was pleasing his people however, once his authority was challenged, he turned repressive, and responded by strongly opposing movements for political reform. After all, the Tsar’s reforms and promises did not erase the discontent felt by the Russians and most certainly did not strengthen the Romanov Dynasty as was planned. The assassination of the Tsar in 1881 was a result of this unrest and such an event highlighted the discontent amongst Russian society and hence was a long-term cause to the eventual decline of the Romanov Dynasty.

Nicholas Romanov was appointed as Tsar of Russia in 1894 and during his rule his fatal flaw was to address the concerns of Russia. Tsar Nicholas II was a conservative leader and possessed few of the skills that were vital to effectively rule the huge Russian population. He ruled Russia as an autocrat with his fantasy of absolute power rather than delegating power to other ministers such as Stolypin. The Tsar ignored peasants and their need for better working conditions. As a result rapid industrialisation began to cause urban discontent in the cities with terrible living conditions. The development of a revolutionary atmosphere was caused by the increasing hardships endured by Russian people and the public hatred for Nicholas II and the Russian regime. Nicholas appeared oblivious to the revolutionary unrest in Russia at this stage and did nothing to help those who wanted changed life conditions. Furthermore, Nicholas’ ineptitude as Tsar was one of the long-term causes, later resulting to the immediate causes for the downfall of the Romanov Dynasty. The Tsar’s decision to enter war with Japan and the results from this manifestly highlighted the government’s weaknesses and the bordering of the fall of Tsardom. The Russo-Japanese War 1904 was a series of defeats on Russia’s part due to their ill-equipped, badly armed and poorly trained troops. Russia’s defeat was the initial exposure of Russia’s military weaknesses as well as the unsuitable role of the Nicholas II in making military decisions. The economic and social outcomes from the war triggered the discontent of the Russian public toward the Tsar and his regime. Hence, this was event out of other factors that eventually lead the Romanov dynasty to fall. The 1905 revolution was the first visible way that illustrated Russia’s discontent and finally took off the Tsar’s blindfold, making him realise his people were unhappy with him. Caused from the events of Bloody Sunday where a peaceful march was turned into a bloody massacre the revolution of 1905 took place. This event saw Tsar Nicholas no longer known as the ‘little father’ but instead he became known as ‘Bloody Nicholas’. The people responded to such an event with nine months of strikes, peasant revolts, mutinies in the army and navy and the formation of organised groups demanding change and reform. The...
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