How Important Was the Bolshevik Threat to Tsardom in the Reign of Nicholas Ii?

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Gareth Parker How important was the Bolshevik threat to Tsardom in the reign of Nicholas II? The threat to Tsardom is complex and needs to be understood from different viewpoints. Initial examination of the Bolsheviks is vital from formation to the growing strength of revolutionaries such as Lenin and Trotsky and their influence on the downfall of Tsarism. Nicholas II was key to his own demise, not only his poor leadership but also his alienation from his own people and the average Russians way of life. There can be no ignoring the effect that World War I had on Russia, with the crippling affects of a major war and the resulting breakdown of infrastructure within the Russian Empire. From 1903 when the Bolsheviks were formed a rising threat had emerged to Tsardom, The Marxist intellectual Vladimir Lenin was emerging as an influential light in the revolutionary movement. His earlier pamphlet entitled ‘What is to be done?’ outlined his need for more organisation, discipline, and leadership within the socialist parties. His idea of having a tight-knit exclusive organisation of professional revolutionaries showed he had the coherent theories to be a real threat to Tsarism. According to Alan Wood, Lenin described the 1905 revolution as a ‘dress rehearsal’. Although he was not involved, Lenin saw the weaknesses of Tsardom and developed the Bolshevik party with a future plan to overthrow Nicholas II. Even though Lenin and most of the hierarchy of the Bolshevik party were exiled a majority of the time, they still had influence in Russia. As described by Anthony Wood, ever since 1905 Lenin had been talking and writing about the establishment of a ‘revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and poor peasantry’ There are a number of historians who believe Lenin was not a threat as he was exiled for too long and was out of touch with the revolutionaries back
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