Russia: Tsar Nicholas the Second

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In the reign of Nicholas II the autocracy, which ruled Russia, allowed him to have complete power over the country with no one to limit any extremes he may take. It was impossible for Nicholas to govern the whole Russian empire by himself, so he created civil servants to assist him in the affairs. Nicholas did not allow people to question or undermine his authority and to make sure this didn't happen he created the Okhrana or secret police. The Russian Orthodox Church also assisted the Tsar in maintaining loyalty and respect for the autocracy as the Russian society had great respect for their religion.

Nicholas II came into power in October 1894. The day after his father Alexander the Third died. Upon becoming ruler he stated "What is going to happen to me, to all Russia? I am not ready to be the Tsar. I never wanted to become one". Nicholas's first attitude towards ruling 130 million Russians was anything but confident and positive. However in January 1895 he had changed his attitude stating, "I shall preserve the principle of autocracy just as firmly as my late unforgettable father preserved it".

Nicholas used his autocratic power to its full advantages. He was able to make new laws without any consultation between ministers and advisers. He could also change taxes and do whatever he liked. Anyone who disagreed or acted against him would be sacked. Political parties were illegal and there was no parliament as the Tsar was unwilling to share power with anyone. His ministers were individually responsible to him and rarely met as a group to discuss policies.

Thousands of civil servants were employed by Nicholas to run the affairs of his vast empire. They were like most people throughout Russia at the time, underpaid and many accepted bribes from the people to get by, making the service corrupt. The service collected taxes from the people and made sure that the decisions made by Nicholas were carried out. The civil service was split into four different...
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