The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty
Monday, October 15 , 2012
1. Nicholas II
“The Twelve” by Aleksandr Blok
St. Petersburg- Petrograd
In 1913 Romanov Dynasty celebrated 300 anniversary. The empire grew
large and strong. However, the empire was still quite medieval and outdated.
Everything was “backwards”. Largest nation with biggest army, under the rule of
Nicholas II (r. 1894-1917).
Nicholas II came to throne in 1894 upon the death of his father. He was
unsuited to be emperor of a failing empire. He was a man of simple pleasures; not
particularly interested in the world around him. Most agree Nicholas II was an
honest and decent man. He was faithful to his wife, and respected his family.
Considered the Russian empire to be a family heirloom and his goal was to pass the
empire down to his son. He thought that his people loved him. Nicholas II was very
indecisive because he never wanted to upset anyone. His advisors began to decline
in quality as his reign went on. His wife, empress Alexandra Fedorova was a German
princess. She encouraged him to be a firm/strong ruler.
Sergei Witte was a political force who dominated the government at the
beginning of Nicholas II’s rule. Looked to Germany as a model for governmental
success. During the first years of Nicholas II’s reign, Russia experienced the largest
growth rate ever (8% per annum). Proletariat- peasants moving to many cities to get better lives. Out of the
entire population, there weren’t many workers (3 million out of 170 million= 2%).
Fewer than 2% of Nicholas II’s citizens were workers. St. Petersburg/Moscow was
the base for workers, as well as the center for the government. Workers began to
become more literate and they became more involved in the government.
Russo-Japanese war was a humiliation for Russia. Pressure for change in
government grew leading to revolu