(Original post by aj262)
Do some reading? Use your notes? You've planned what you need to do, why not do it rather than getting other people to do it for you.
true i guess was just looking for guidance, it was a rather daunting question, care to assess what i have written so far?
On 15th March 1917, Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate from his position as Emperor of Russia, highlighting the end of 304 years of Romanov reign. Nevertheless, the abdication can be seen as the outcome of factors building from the 19th Century. Considering that the Russian empire was a sixth of the earth’s land mass at the time and housed multiple nationalities, it is a reasonable assessment to judge the task ruling Russia as an absolute monarch simply too difficult a task emphasising that the end of Tsarism was an inevitable outcome. However, it is important to contemplate that the abdication of Nicholas II was a fervour impassioned from the bottom up, the bottom that were the least well to do and therefore had the most to begrudge. Much of this could’ve been restrained with liberal reforms to attach Russia, a nation with a self-belief of a World leading power, to the economic and social progression encapsulating much of Europe at the time.
A clear failure which can be accredited to the Tsars throughout this period was the disaster in not addressing the economic backwardness precluding the possibilities progression. Alexander I, whom ascended to throne on March 1801, although seen as a liberal Tsar was more in favour of foreign affairs than that of his own country. His defeat of Napoleon hailed himself as the `Saviour of Europe`, and provided the necessary prowess for Russia to remain a major European power for the rest of the Century. However, the retention of Serfdom doomed the possibilities of economic growth whilst much of Europe began to reap rewards of the Industrial Revolution. However, it can be seen that the illusion of Russia as a great power provided the mist to obscure the reality of an in efficient government and country suffering from economic backwardness. The Crimean War did much to tarnish Russia self-belief, and sparked Alexander II and liberal politicians such as Milyutin to create the Emancipation Manifesto published March 1861, unlike Alexander II’s father, Nicholas I whom feared reform in the dread of provoking a reaction from Landowners. It was this act that has seen Alexander II be commemorated as the `Tsar Liberator`, however deeper analysis shows flaws in the published manifesto. Eric Wolf highlights ` In many localities the peasants refused to believe that the manifesto was genuine. There were troubles, and troops had to be called in to disperse the angry crowds`. More importantly however, the hope of the manifesto sparking economic progression dwindled; many household serfs gained freedom but no land. Serfs that gained land was forced to pay such high redemption tax that the revenue left after paying the tax left serfs struggling to survive. Whilst state owned serfs were emancipated more successfully in 1866, the shortcomings of the initial manifesto did little to push any economic expansion. Peasantry which culminated to 80% of Russia’s population were poorly utilised, to the extent that Mir’s created in the aftermath of the manifesto dictated little argument to grow proficiently, as Land was constantly redistributed. The importance to note here is that the failures of the Tsars highlighted provoked much opposition; due to lack of economic reform disillusioning the growing middle class and nobility; to the peasantry who had little or lacked land. The failure to address these issues, but more importantly the failure to unite Russia in a state of optimistic reform gave reason for anti-Tsar fervour to simmer and expand; early examples can be seen from the Decembrist Revolt; highlighting a long term cause in the abdication of Nicholas II.
The Tsar’s failure to use economic progression to unify Russia can be seen as one example of the autocratic governing of Russia’s mby ixture of reactionary and liberal reforms which consequently provoked much opposition and held Russian back. Opposition to the autocratic nature of the Tsarist Regime was provoked to a consequence under rule of Alexander II; culminating in the Decembrist Revolt; however this causation was a result from `the Tsar Liberators` reactionary reforms which took place for his change in ideology following revolutions in Spain, Naples and Portugal furthered by a mutiny from the Northern Society (revolutionist hoping for a Constitutional monarch) in St Petersburg. Previously more Liberal reforms were attached to Alexander I sentiment in relation which saw the founding of Universities such as Dorpat and also saw the ascension of Speransky, often seen as the `father of Russian Liberalism` as Alexander’s close advisor. These differences in ideologies and hence the tangible actions of Alexander are characterized by Farmer who describes his reign `as a period of liberal intent followed by a period of severe repression`. The culmination of his reign, including the tough measures and harsh conditions exposed to the army during Napoleonic wars, provoked an angered revolt on 14th December 1825, following a succession debacle the Northern Society (made up of young idealistic army officers and nobles and led by Pavel Pestel); who had already sworn allegiance to Alexander I’s oldest brother Constantine vowed not to take the oath for their new Tsar; assembled on Senate square amassing to 3,000 men. They refused to swear allegiance to the new Tsar, instigating loyalty to Constantine and Constitution. Whilst Nicholas alongside 10,000 troops and artillery fire crushed the revolt, it was a poor omen for the beginning of his reign; however more importantly historians have argued that in fact the within the Decembrist revolt lay the foundations for the latter revolutions and end of Tsarism. Ronald Suny highlights that there was not an `economic class divide in the Marxist sense` but `a generalised division of Russia based on contemporary attitudes`. Unlike other revolutions from the bottom up, were peasantry or proletariat suffer from harsh living conditions hence revolt; in this case it was Tsarist autocracy provoking sentiment against the Tsar. These horizontal divisions through the fragments of societies, which cluster at later dates, can be seen as far more terminal to the Tsarist reign; reforms and legislation were now less than the demands being pursued from the crystallised factions, now pursuing revolutions. The failure to appease the opposition initially, as seen during the Decembrist Revolt, led to the creation of revolutionary groups; who to succeed would require the end of Tsarism, making the actions of Nicholas II’s abdication amount of when and not if.