The Assassination Of The Romanovs History Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
The assassination of the Russian Royal Family in 1918 brought to an end a three-century reign of the Romanov Dynasty. It allowed Russia to transition from a monarchy rule into a communist country. Although the Romanov’s undertook numerous reforms which had both positive and negative effects on Russia’s development, The Romanovs witnessed series of assassination but the monarchy was never eradicated. However, the Dynasty saw its last Tsar, Nicholas II, and the rest of the royal family, assassinated due to the unfavorable reforms that were undertaken by Nicolas II. This brought to an end the reign of the Romanov dynasty and contributed greatly to the collapse of the country.
Nicholas II who succeeded his father, Alexander III, in 1894 was somewhat a weak leader who was interested in having a family-oriented life but turned out to be an autocratic leader of Russia. “The Reigning tsar, Nicholas II, was a far more virtues man than many of his predecessors. He was also, unfortunately, far weaker and less capable than the best of them” (G. J. Meyer 56). Most of his reforms greatly destroyed the Russian Empire. First he wanted to gain some colonies for himself. In doing this he attacked Japan, hoping to win and take Japan as a colony. However, Nicholas was crushed and defeated by the Japanese army. In addition to this, Nicholas wanted to build the economy, but in order for him to achieve his objective, he denied the working class a
better wage and also cut down the working hours. However, prices of goods went extremely high, which made it impossible for the people to purchase their own goods. This reform actually collapsed the economy and paved way for civil unrest to appear throughout the Russian empire. A number of strike actions begun to take place. “Industrialism was finally reaching Russia and a working middle class was emerging. Nicholas II however did not want to allow workers to unite and form unions as they were elsewhere in the world. He created state approved unions and a strike by one of these groups helped illustrate Nicholas II’s poor ruling ability” (Romanov’s dynasty). “Paul Miliukov led a group called the Liberals, who opposed Nicholas II. Their main concern was to establish a constitutional monarchy (to take away power from the Tsar), a parliament that would be elected by everyone, a cabinet responsible to the parliament, freedom of speech and association, and for the peasantry to receive land”.
The Liberals were not successful in gaining governmental acceptance of their ideas. However, when the Revolution was reignited in 1917, the Revolutionaries had more support and the determination to accomplish their goals. During this time, because of World War I, there was hardly any food or fuel, and hard winters made for hard times. Nicholas II then attempted to appease the people with the introduction of a Constitution and the Duma, a parliament which would give the people more of a say in government, but it was too little and too late. The mounting pressures of World War I, combined with years of injustice, toppled the rule of Tsar Nicholas II in March 1917. Forced to abdicate, he was replaced by a Provisional Government committed to continuing the war.
Increasing losses at the front and the fear of a German advance on Moscow eroded what little support remained for the war and undermined the Provisional Government’s authority. “Capitalizing on this situation, the Germans secretly transported the exiled Vladimir Lenin in a sealed train from Switzerland to Russia in the hope he would enflame the turmoil. German expectations were realized on the night of November 6-7 when Lenin led the Bolsheviks in a successful attempt to grab the reigns of power in St. Petersburg”. Anti-Bolshevik forces (the White Russians) immediately took up arms to oust the Communist regime, and Russia was plunged into a brutal civil war. The following March the Communist regime signed a treaty with the Germans ending Russia’s participation in World War I.
In 1917, after Nicholas II had resigned as Tsar, the Imperial family was moved to Tsarskoye Selo and put under house arrest while the Bolsheviks were gaining power. Against this backdrop of political chaos, the Tsar and his family were initially kept as prisoners near St. Petersburg and then transported beyond the Ural Mountains, finally ending up in the town of Ekaterinburg in the spring of 1918. The seven members of the royal family and their small retinue were confined to the house of a local merchant which had been commandeered by the Bolsheviks for this purpose. Lenin, the leader of the Bolsheviks, eventually seized power after Nicholas’ resignation. “The moment Lenin stepped into power, he knew what he wanted” (Russia under Lenin)
On the night of July 17, 1918 the Romanovs were told to dress and were lead from their rooms to a small room in the basement. They were told to wait for the motorcars, which would be taking them to a safer place because the Bolshevik’s Army
was approaching. As they entered the basement, they were told to gather for a picture by Yurovsky, who, unbeknownst to them, was the head executioner. This photograph was to dissolve the rumors of the family’s death. Lenin gave the order for the execution of the Imperial family. This order was carried out by Yurovsky and other eleven armed men.
The assassination of Russia’s Royal Family was the result of political factors which led not only to the death of the tsar but also to the collapse of the Russian Empire. Nicholas II could have prevented the various reforms he undertook by just concentrating on his country and the best way to develop it. His involvement in imperialism caused a lot of harm to the country which directly affected the country’s economy. Additionally, his resignation as the Tsar of Russia affected him because powers that belonged to him were given to the Duma, which made him less powerful.
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