How Far Was Nicholas Ii Responsible for His Own Downfall in February 1917?

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The Romanov dynasty dated back to the early 1600s. It cannot be denied that Tsar Nicholas II’s military failures and poor political decisions were one of the largest parts in the downfall of autocracy as a political system. From the beginning, it was clear that Nicholas was not well suited as Tsar of Russia. For autocracy to function, it needed clear direction from the autocrat. The disposition that Nicholas brought to the role of Tsar (he was incredibly close to his family) led to huge flaws in his leadership skills. He would rather spend time with family than deal with any government matters, often leaving his ministers in control to make decisions. Nicholas was inexperienced and easily influenced, and lacked the authority to lead effectively, especially given the unstable social and economic nature of the time, such as the Lena Goldfields incident of 1912, and the bread riots in the cities, mainly Petrograd in 1917. Possibly the worst mistake that the Tsar made was appointing himself Commander in Chief of the Russian military in 1915, as he became personally responsible for any defeat in World War One. Since Russia performed poorly against nations like Germany, the people of Russia felt let down, and all sense of pride was lost. However, it was not just the Russian people who felt let down by the Tsar’s actions; after 1916, desertions within the military became more common, in some cases the soldiers would stop and turn around trains so they could get back to the cities from the Front. As mutiny became more frequent, military soldiers and officials were beginning to join in with protests in the cities they returned to. Nicholas’ lack of leadership skills meant that when faced with conflict in the past, he relied upon the army to restore order. Without the military, Nicholas could no longer assert his authority upon the people of Russia. With the Tsar’s
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