The End of an Era

On March 25th, 1917 the Russian monarchy waved a final white flag when Tsar Nicholas II abdicated his throne. He was given little choice; revolutionary mobs were practically on his doorstep, and with a war going on abroad lasting civil unrest at home would have made victory impossible. Therefore, Nicholas declared his reasoning to the people, stating “we have thought that we owed to our people the close union and organization of all its forces for the realization of a rapid victory”.

He states that he did not wish to be away from his son, probably at least in part due to Tsarevich Alexei’s young age and haemophilia. Instead, he chose to pass the weight of the crown on to his brother Mikhail, who in turn was convinced to give the power over to a provisional government rather than taking up the throne.

So, who is to blame for the end of the Romanov house, which had ruled Russia for over 200 years? Did the fault lie with Nicholas II alone? Was it the result of a series of choices made over many decades and generations of rulers? Or was it an inevitable shift that happened in the population of Russia, which no Tsar, no matter how wise or powerful, could have stood against?

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