Meet “Nicholas the Bloody”

S.J. Duncan-Clark, History’s Greatest War: A Pictorial Narrative(U.S.: E.T. Townshend, 1919), 177.

This picture depicts Tsar Nicholas II surrounded by his family in 1919. Nicholas II had little to no knowledge on how to govern or how to deal with any foreign or domestic affairs. Often, Nicholas II would overlook the aspirations of his people and referred to them as senseless dreamers.  This combination of political ineptitude and stubbornness of his belief in aristocratic powers did not end well for the Russian people. I believe that Tsar Nicholas II had the greatest impact in the revolutions of February and October, 1917 due to the political crisis that came along with him being in powers which as a consequence took the Russian Empire from being one of the greatest great powers throughout the world to economic and military collapse.

When Tsar Nicholas II came into power it was a turning point for the history of Russia. A turning point in which fell the wrong direction. Nicholas II, otherwise known as Nicholas the Bloody, due to his involvement and oversight in Khodynka Tragedy, anti-Semitic pogroms, Bloody Sunday, the suppression of the 1905 Revolution, the execution of political opponents and responsibility for the Russo-Japanese War all contributed to the long term stresses of the war and revolutions. For the most part, I think that the February and October revolutions were inevitable but with proper leadership throughout Russia I think the outcome could have been greatly minimized instead of seeing some millions of Russians dying throughout his reign. Having a rather lack luster leadership can lead to great stresses, a lack of confidence by its people, and overall maliciousness towards political leadership.

Hardship after hardship occurred under the rule of Nicholas the Bloody that by February of 1917 the people of Russia have had enough. Riots broke out onto the break in St. Petersburg while Nicholas II was out of town in Mogilev. By this time the Duma had turned on him and prevented him from boarding a train back to his home to resume leadership. Shortly after, the Duma elected there own provisional committee and Nicholas had lost full control of the people he once reigned over. He had little to no choice but to relinquish his throne from the monarchy but by then countless damage had already begun and a snowball effect was occurring.


4 thoughts on “Meet “Nicholas the Bloody””

  1. I also wrote about Nicholas II. I thought it was great that you inserted a picture! It makes the blog visually appealing. I thought the following sentence demonstrated his main downfall that led to the turning point of the Russian empire: “This combination of political ineptitude and stubbornness of his belief in aristocratic powers did not end well for the Russian people.” The revolutions were inevitable, but I agree that the casualties could have been minimized. Great post! I loved reading to learn more about him.

  2. This is a great post! I have always thought that leadership can alter the course of history. In that vein, I agree with Nhi, in her comment above, that the revolutions were inevitable, but that Nicholas II certainly could have done something to limit the number of casualties. Clearly his nickname ‘Nicholas the Bloody” is a justifiable one. I also really appreciated after your mention of his nickname giving a list of events that he was apart of, it was a great way to show all that he had done, or rather didn’t do for the good of the people we was reigning over.

    1. Definitely agree on the nickname. I’m also struck, though, by the disconnect between that moniker and the photograph of the Victorian family man. By all accounts, Nicholas was a reluctant ruler, with little enthusiasm for the challenges of governing.

  3. I like the inclusion of the family photo, its humanizing for someone associated with violence against the people he ruled. Russia would flip flop between great monarchs and terrible monarchs. Unfortunately, Nicholas II fell into the latter category. I agree that the revolutions were inevitable and that under more capable leadership they would have been less violent. Good post!

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