Was the Tsar Responsible for his own Downfall

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Last updated: November 14, 2019

Up to 1917, the Tsar was becoming increasingly unpopular by the day. A continuous erosion of support for the Tsar was occurring due to many reasons. Each class of people had their own (and sometimes unique) reasons of why they no longer supported the Tsar. The reasons, outlined class by class are identified below:Grigory Rasputin was a man who was born into poverty. He was born a pleasant, raised a peasant and he died a peasant.

During his early adulthood he was a absolute bog-standard peasant – he would not wash, cut his hair, shave his beard, and he would get drunk every night and willingly sleep with prostitutes. But he was said to have special powers in healing sicknesses, and (something that never fails to raise an eyebrow) despite his unwashed unshaved appearance, he could sleep with more-or-less any woman he chose, regardless of appearance, class, age, or anything else.Prior to the downfall of the Tsar, the son of the Tsar fell ill. It was a disease that prevents your blood from clotting – so even a pinhole in your arm would not stop bleeding for many, many hours. His son was very very ill, and as a last resort, the Tsar asked Rasputin to help his son. This would have shocked the nation – because the Tsar regarded the peasants as and ‘inferior race’ compared to the humans.

It would be unheard of for a peasant to come within 100metres of the Tsar.Rasputin continued to mix with the royal family, (and rumours were circulating that Rasputin was mixing very well indeed with the Tsarina) but he still continued to be drunk and sleep with prostitutes. This disgusted the Nobility, but since Rasputin refuse to quit his daily habits, the Tsar had Rasputin murdered. Since the Tsar could well have owed Rasputin his son’s life, this move disgusted the rest of the nation.Another reason the nobility were continuing to dislike the Tsar was because they had just been knocked six days from Sunday in the war with Japan. Despite the Tsar’s attempt to boost moral by going to the front line in the war, they still lost miserably.The Army to had many a reason to continuously dislike the Tsar, but mostly because of the terrible defeats in World War I, and the loss to Japan in 1905.

A lot of the army were peasants and middle-class. The soldiers themselves, however, strongly disagreed with the class-separation, because the Tsar believed the peasants were an ‘inferior race.’ The soldiers did not share the Tsar’s goals.It wasn’t a fair ball game for the bourgeoisie when it came to politics, because the bourgeoisie had no political influence at all – and the bourgeoisie had had enough of it. They had come to the conclusion that Tsarist Russia was inefficient and useless.

The workers were denied economic, civil and political rights. Also, a lot of workers who went on the peaceful protest to the Tsar’s dwellings were ruthlessly gunned down, because the Tsar panicked, and thought he was in danger, despite the peasants having no chance whatsoever of becoming even close to the Tsar.The peasants detested their landlords (who were members of the nobility – that it what they most disliked) and wanted their own land. They were also unimpressed with the fact that they were regarded and treated as an inferior race.But it wasn’t just World War I that caused the downfall of the Tsar – before the Great War he had enough on his plate.

He may have gone down even if there was no war…Before the Great War, there was the war with Japan. During the course of this war, Russia had seven colours of the rainbow knocked out of them, so the usual post-war effects occur – famine, economic crash, inflation, poverty – all of this because of Russia’s poor industry and backward agriculture.But on the whole, the economic and political system was terrible. The Tsar failed to learn his lesson from 1905 – there was no expansion in political participation.

But after the Great War, the peasants had had enough and seized their land in an act of rebellion against the landlords. But despite this, they didn’t produce any more food – quite the opposite, infact, as there was a dramatic food shortage in Petrograd during this period. The peasant farmed about enough for themselves, and had no regard for anyone else. Any peasantry-rebellion leaders were shot if their position was proven. The whole of Russia was in a state of near-anarchy.

In the end, the Bourgeoisie were prepared to take risks, as they charged unarmed at policeman with weapons. One mistake the Tsar made was to place himself in direct control of the army (once again), in an attempt to boost moral – and guess what – it didn’t work. The Tsar had no military experience at all, and could not run an army efficiently.Another mistake was to leave the Tsarina in charge of Petrograd (now St Petersburg) – because the Tsarina was very deeply influenced by Rasputin.

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