The Fall of Czar Nicholas’ Government in Russia

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Reflecting on history reveals the disheartening truth that governments often fail to anticipate their own downfall while in power. Governments, like innocent children, can be easily influenced and eventually deteriorate, even if they were once strong. Corruption, whether driven by financial gain or poor leadership, commonly occurs in collapsed governments and is evident in most cases. However, there are also other factors unrelated to corruption that lead to government collapse such as the death of a ruler, defeat in war (or multiple wars), or even a popular uprising.

Government collapse has significant effects on politics, economy, and society. This can be observed in the collapse of Czar Nicholas Sis’s government, leading to the formation of the U.S.S.R., and the fall of Raze Papilla’s government, resulting in the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. These collapses occurred due to unique historical circumstances and brought about distinct changes.

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When Czar Nicholas II assumed power in 1894, he continued the autocratic rule that had dominated Russia for over thirty years. In order to modernize and catch up with other nations, Czar Nicholas II implemented industrialization tactics such as creating more factories and increasing steel production. Although these endeavors contributed to Russia’s industrial expansion, they also gave rise to new problems like terrible working conditions, low wages, and the exploitation of child labor. Moreover, the government banned trade unions which further fueled discontent among workers and bolstered revolutionary sentiments.

Amidst a time of numerous revolutionary factions, one faction arose that specifically addressed the challenges experienced by the middle class. This particular group adhered to Karl Marx’s teachings and advocated for the working class rising up to form a new government under the proletariat’s leadership. Eventually, this faction divided into two groups: radicals and moderates. The Czar’s diminishing authority became evident in three significant conflicts which ultimately resulted in his dethronement.

During the Russo-Japanese war, Russia violated agreements with Japan and faced an attack at Port Arthur in Manchuria. The casualties suffered by Russian soldiers had a negative impact on Czar Nicholas’ reputation. On January 22, 1905, approximately 200,000 workers gathered peacefully outside the czar’s palace to express their grievances about unjust working conditions. Tragically, the soldiers were ordered by the czar’s generals to open fire on the protesting crowd.

Following World War I, a large number of individuals were injured and many lost their lives, leaving those who survived filled with anger. This rage was intensified by the belief held by numerous Russians that their country had suffered immense losses in terms of both finances and human lives. Despite these sentiments, Czar Nicolas II disregarded the wishes of his people and thrust Russia into a war they did not wish to partake in. Consequently, the nation faced severe repercussions, including exorbitant expenses which resulted in food shortages. These scarcities only served to deepen the discontent felt by the Russian populace.

In March of 1917, protests erupted throughout Russia as women primarily expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of bread and fuel. Eventually, these events forced Czar Nicholas II to relinquish his throne, signifying an end to the three-century-long reign of Romano over Russia.

The resignation of Czar Nicholas II caused economic and political chaos in Russia. The absence of a new government resulted in power struggles among different factions. Ultimately, the Bolsheviks emerged victorious in the civil war against the White Shirts, which consisted of diverse political groups. This triumph established Vladimir Lenin as Russia’s leader.

Lenin achieved what the Czar could not: he ensured provisions for the peasant class by seizing land from wealthier supporters and redistributing it among the peasants. He honored his promises and granted workers control over factories. Once in full power, Lenin introduced a new economic plan called the New Economic Policy (NEAP), which resembled a scaled-down version of capitalism. Under this policy, farmers who produced surplus food had the choice to offer it to the government.

Linen’s government held control over banks and major industries, but permitted smaller businesses and factories to function without interruption. Alongside economic alterations, the Bolshevik leadership implemented political reforms. Lenin partitioned Russia into self-governing republics that were answerable to the central government for effective administration. This newly established country was named the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R). Furthermore, the Bolshevik Party underwent a conversion and adopted the title Communist Party, inspired by Karl Marx’s seminal text, the Communist Manifesto.

After the constitution was drafted, it became clear that Lenin had taken on the role of a dictator instead of representing the working class. This issue was not only seen in influential nations like the U.S.S.R but also appeared in former empires such as ancient Persia or present-day Iran. Reza Pahlavi, who was previously known as the Shah or King of Iran, gained his position in a similar way to Czar Nicholas II of Russia. Despite being personally affiliated with Sunni Islam, Reza governed over a majority Shiite population in Iran. The Shah was a secular leader who formed stronger connections with the United States and embraced their customs.

Many strict Muslims in the country were angered because the introduction of new secular ideas contradicted the teachings of Islam, which they followed strictly. As a result of their opposition to western ways, Ayatollahs emerged as religious leaders. Papilla implemented reforms such as constructing skyscrapers and introducing foreign banks, as well as granting women more rights by banning the Shadow. These actions infuriated fundamentalists as they were seen as violating Islamic teachings.

The population’s anger led to strikes and violent riots in 1978, causing the Shah to flee Iran again. The US had previously reinstated him as the leader. Consequently, more radical Islamic fundamentalists took over the country. This power transition resulted in significant social and political changes in Iran, such as the rise of the Psalmists and the official renaming of Iran as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Under this Islamic government, anti-secular leaders held power based on literal interpretations of the Quran. The mullahs, or Quern teachers, had all the real political authority. However, the changes implemented were primarily social in nature. Numerous rights previously granted to women by the former Shah were revoked. Now, rather than banning the wearing of the Shadow (a garment worn to partially cover a woman’s face), it became mandatory for women to wear it at all times outside their homes. Additionally, unmarried men and women were prohibited from socializing.

According to the Quern, gambling and alcohol were strictly prohibited, and the Shah’s efforts to introduce a western lifestyle into Iran were also banned. This included the closure of universities due to their western influence. Additionally, all forms of western influence, including books, movies, and music, were forbidden. Iran’s economic growth heavily relied on oil production, a dependence that still exists today. Governments can change, sometimes for the better, but occasionally power falls into the wrong hands.

Although corruption is always a catalyst for rebellion, many individuals rebel simply to escape the oppressive leadership they have endured or due to their religious beliefs. The desire for freedom from these governments led to the downfall of both Czarist Russia and Assist Iran. Both regimes were subjected to numerous grievances, with the U.S.S.R even transitioning from a communist union to a democratic state. Throughout history, governments have collapsed, resulting in various political, economic, and social transformations.

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The Fall of Czar Nicholas’ Government in Russia. (2018, Jan 27). Retrieved from

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