• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent did Nicholas II's style of autocracy differ from that of his father and grandfather?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent did Nicholas II's style of autocracy differ from that of his father and grandfather? Historians have often described Tsar Nicholas II as the most inept Russian leader. He was viewed by many as indecisive and ill equipped to fulfil autocracy successfully. However, he did have fundamental strengths such as his belief in family values. When compared to his father and his grandfather, many see his reign as inferior to theirs. Alexander II, known as "Tsar Liberator", beckoned in an age of reform. In comparison, Alexander III encouraged counter-reform. Nicholas' reign included both of these features and it is debated to what extent his seemingly incompetent reign differed from that of his ancestors. One key area, which decided their style of autocracy, is that of reform. All three Tsars had experience of it and handled it in very different ways. Nicholas lacked domestic policies. He sought industrial expansion and modernisation and the establishment of a secure financial base but expansion, which would ensure a stable climate, which was conservative, agrarian and dominated by the nobility. ...read more.

Middle

His father was a devout autocrat and refused to devolve any power to any other person or assembly than himself. His grandfather, although a fervent reformist and keen moderniser, also did little to involve a national assembly. Although the Duma was conceived in his reign, it was granted very little power and much authority remained with the Tsar and nobility. In this principle, Nicholas II's style of autocracy was different from his father and grandfather since he was the only Tsar to, although not willingly, concede to a form of democracy. Another key area of autocracy was personality. Nicholas was not meant to become Tsar. He had only ascended after the sudden death of his brother and so had not received the training to become an effective leader. He was renowned for his indecisiveness and his unwillingness to engage in politics. He lacked organisational skills and was inherently stubborn, which would ultimately prove to be his downfall. He preferred to spend time with his family and his ailing son and took little active role in his government. ...read more.

Conclusion

He also encouraged investment in industry and the economy. Russia was greatly strengthened by his influence. Unlike his successors, his reign was one of reform and change as opposed to backward repression. He also encouraged mistrust due to his relationship with Rasputin. However, much of this was due to the influence of his wife, Alexandra. She was also oppressive and is to have encouraged the massacre on Bloody Sunday and Rasputin's presence at court. In conclusion, although cursed by circumstance and enemies not of his own making, Nicholas II's reign was not wholly different from that of his father and grandfather. He encompasses ideals of his father, in his support of Russification, pogroms and the general maintenance of the Slavic way of life. He also attempted reform through Witte and encouraged industrial expansion and financial improvements, in the spirit of his grandfather. However, the concept that all three Tsars have in common is their support of the system of autocracy and it was only Nicholas, the last Tsar, who would ever see a partial democracy in Russia. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Was Nicholas II responsible for his own downfall?

    5 star(s)

    It was a huge mistake for Nicholas to leave the country to fight in World War I. After Stolypin had restored the Tsars authority and his harsh punishments had cut revolutionaries he was assassinated, some people believed that his assassination may have something to do with his criticism of Rasputin.

  2. 'To What Extent Did Tsar Alexander III's Reign Mark A Major Change From That ...

    Not only this, but the actions of the 'People's Will' had hardened Tsar Alexander III's resolve that any attempts at reform were dangerous and could only affect the stability of the monarchy. He had seen the proof for himself, that the introduction of reform could only entertain criticism and opposition to the Tsarist regime.

  1. Tsar Nicholas II

    Also there would have been fewer ideas given on how to improve the attitude of the people living in Russia and to help the country to evolve. Also the laws created will have suited the Tsar as he runs the and everything that would affect the Tsar badly in any

  2. The blance sheet for russia.

    General Golovin reported on his negotiations with Winston Churchill in May 1919 concerning continued British military intervention as follows: "The question of giving armed support was for him the most difficult one; the reason for this was the opposition of the British working class to armed intervention´┐Ż" Mutinies in the

  1. "Alexander III bequeathed Nicholas II a revolution" (Trotsky) Discuss

    the realization of this ideal by forcing the Russian language and Russian schools on his German, Polish and other non-Russian subjects by fostering Eastern Orthodoxy at the expense of other confessions, by persecuting the Jews and by destroying the trace of German, Polish and Swedish institutions.

  2. To what extent was the constitution in 1905 a fig leaf over the autocracy ...

    Even though in November the Tsar attempted to ease the agrarian situation by canceling all redemption payments for the peasants in order to "preserve peace", the Manifesto never once touched upon the subject of the terrible conditions of Russia. Nicholas II wrote in his diary on December 19th: "Through all these horrible days, I constantly met Witte.

  1. How valid is the view that the reign of Alexander II achieved nothing of ...

    This, although not overly harsh since they had to be paid for 49 years so serfs were secure in the knowledge that their lands would safely be passed on to their children, did have flaws - if a "bread-winning" family member fell ill or died and the family fell behind

  2. How valid is the view that the reign of, Alexander II achieved nothing of ...

    Running contrary to the normal authoritarian principles of tsarism, democratically-elected assemblies were formed in the countryside to give ordinary people a limited influence in the administration of their respective area. These assemblies were called zemstva, and were responsible for the conduct of local affairs with relation to education, transport, health, public welfare and the local economy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work