• 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. Tsar Nicholas II

    These four different groups all wanted different things and some groups such as the social Revolutionaries were willing to get these things using violence and terrorism. All four groups consisted of different classes of people which is why they all wanted different things.

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

    These policies were implemented by "May laws" which were extremely limiting to the Jews restricting them in many areas of Russian society such as voting in the Zemstva, entry to education and residency. However Russification was not on its own responsible for the rising tide of opposition in Russia.

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

    Where the Nihilists had attempted to bring a more democratic and liberal governing to Russia in the assassination they had inadvertently brought into rule a Tsar whose approach from the outset of his reign could have not have been more different.

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

    There were over 600 peasant riots when emancipation has taken place! Also, with the boom in population, arable land became scarce and in short-supply. Peasants often lost much more land than they gained and were worse-off than before emancipation. Nobles, whose land often surrounded that of peasant communities, often cut-off

  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. The blance sheet for russia.

    Either a way out is shown in time, or the moment will be lost. There is not enough time to experiment or for the workers to learn by trial and error. In a life and death situation, errors are paid for very dearly!

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

    Although a peasant bank was established to assist the peasants with their repayments, most got into debt at some stage. This often resulted in the loss of personal liberty, because only those serfs who kept up with their payments were allowed to venture outside their village.

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