How Important Is The Character And Personality Of Nicholas Ii To An Understanding Of The Reasons For The February Revolution?

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How important is the character and personality of Nicholas II to an understanding of the reasons for the February Revolution? There are many reasons for the February Revolution of 1917, the character and personality of a Tsar who was conservative and nervous in the position that he felt, God had wanted him to take, is just one. Other factors include the feelings of hostility that arose after the revolution of 1905, growths of parties within Russia, including the ideas of both the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, and of course the war of 1914 and the hardships it brought to the Russian people. The view of some historians is that the revolution of 1917 was spontaneous, but when considering the conditions of the majority of Russian people during this revolutionary period, one must see that this cannot be the case, the country was ripe for change… and for revolution. This essay will aim to examine each factor in turn, before coming to a solid conclusion on the main reasons for the revolution in Russia, in 1917. When Nicholas came to the throne in 1894, he - like the other Tsars before him - felt that he was only Tsar because God wanted him to be one. There were no political parties allowed, and the only other politicians working with the Tsar were the council of ministers which was made up of the Russian nobility. The same year, Tsar Nicholas married Alexandra, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and a German princess. She was despised by the Russian people because of the way she advised her husband on government matters and because of her devotion to Rasputin who ‘cured‘ her son of haemophilia. Alexandra was a strong woman and she easily influenced the Tsar. Richard Pipes once wrote, “without her influence, Nicholas might have yielded to public pressure and agreed to play the role of a ceremonial monarch, which could have avoided the
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