Nikolai and the Abdication

The language used in Nikolai II’s abdication says quite a bit about the man himself. Though he led Russia through a period of strife and turmoil, he uses clever writing and unclear statements to try to avoid being blamed for any of Russia’s issues.

Right from the start, Nikolai is trying to throw blame off of himself by saying, “We” before using his actual name. This promotes the idea that he was not solely responsible for the strife of the Russian people. Following this, in the second paragraph he says, “…it pleased God to send Russia a further painful trial.” when referring to the February Revolution and the unhappiness of the Russian people. He uses this sentence immediately after he spoke of Russia struggling against a powerful enemy in a bloody war, associating the nation of Russia struggling militarily against a hated foe with the “internal troubles” that had begun in Russia. This clearly throws the blame onto the revolution that is forcing his abdication.

Next, he states that the people must, “…conduct [the war] at all costs to a victorious end.” This subtly implies that if the people continue to do that which he began, they will be victorious, and it also implies that the losses that incurred in the war are not due to his leadership or decisions. He continues this by saying that, “The cruel enemy is making his last efforts and the moment is near when our valiant Army… will finally overthrow the enemy.” This clearly implies that Russia is not struggling in the war at all; instead, it tells the reader that the Russian military is nearing victory and that the war will be won because of the leadership of Nikolai.

These are some of the many examples of deceptive language that Nikolai uses in his abdication letter so that he may absolve himself of blame and escape from punishment by the Russian people.

2 thoughts on “Nikolai and the Abdication

  1. I agree, it seems to me like this article is just an attempt by Nicholas II to rally support and to win the sympathy of the Russian people. At this point, since he’s stepping down, he probably just wants peace, and since he’s losing power, a peaceful Russia is in his best interests.

  2. The specific wording in Nikolai’s abdication does sound as if he were blaming his own faults and negligence on multiple people rather than himself. He not only implies that it was a collective issue that eventually brought the nation down into great turmoil, but we must take into account the seriousness of the issues at the time, it took great effort to proceed with change in Russia and not one person could not have done this alone, it was a lack of aid to the tsar and a lack of assistance as well as cooperation.

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