Source 1: “The daily work of a monarch he found intolerably boring. He could not stand listening long or seriously to ministers’ reports, or reading them.” Written by Kerensky in 1934. Kerensky was the leader of the government which took over when the Tsar abdicated in 1917.
Source 3: “Nicholas II was not fit to run a village post office.” Said by an unknown cabinet minister
Source 4: “He never had an opinion of his own … always agreeing with the judgement of the last person he spoke to.” By Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich
Source 8: “Nicholas would sooner spend time with his family than deal with governmental affairs. [He] could be cruel and merciless. He would not stand for opposition. His answer was always the same – violence.” From a modern GCSE school textbook.
Source 11: Nicholas was “even more poorly prepared than his father for the burdens of kingship. Nicholas had no knowledge of the world of men, of politics or government to help him make the weighty decisions that in the Russian system the Tsar alone must make.” From H. Rogger, Russia in the Age of Modernisation and Revolution, 1983
Source 13: “Nicholas’ problem was that he could understand many points of view and wavered between them … his personality meant that he was not very good at exercising it.” From Nicholas II, Emperor of All the Russians, by Dominic Lieven, 1994.
Source 2: “His ancestors did not pass on to him one quality which would have made him capable of governing an empire.” Written by Trotsky in 1932. Trotsky was one of the revolutionaries who overthrew the Tsar in 1917.
Source 9: “He kept saying … that he was wholly unfit to reign … And yet Nicky’s unfitness was by no means his fault. He had intelligence, he had faith and courage and he was wholly ignorant about governmental matters. Nicky had been trained as a soldier. He should have been taught statesmanship, and he was not.” From the private diary of the Tsar’s sister, the Grand