Saturday, July 16, 2011
Monarch Profile: Tsar Nicholas II, Part IV -The Revolution
The Tsar sacked a number of ministers and his army commander and decided to take command of the war effort himself. His wife and daughters worked as nurses and civilians formed organizations to help sustain and support the troops. Leftists gained more power in government and the Tsar dissolved the Duma, not out of any desire for oppression, but to put aside political squabbling to devote the entire strength of the nation to winning the war. He had nothing but pride in his brave soldiers, knowing what difficulties and deficiencies they had to overcome and Nicholas was nothing if not a loyal friend and ally. Even when things were going very badly for Russia he refused any suggestion of a separate peace. After all his army and people had suffered he was committed to fighting on and to settle for nothing less than total victory over the Central Powers. However, even as the situation at the front grew worse and worse with German forces overrunning Poland and the Austrians retaking the territory lost to them earlier on, the “progressive” leftist elements in Russia continued to put their own ambition ahead of the nation.
The revolutionaries did not care about the war effort, the people, the country or anything else but taking power for themselves. They had assassinated anyone who showed the slightest promise in making Russia more efficient and productive, their control of the labor unions enabled them, on several occasions, to carry out general strikes that brought virtually all industry in Russia to an absolute stand-still. Think about how that had to effect the country as a whole going forward. The Tsar had even given in to demand after demand but they always wanted more, because what they wanted was total power and whenever they did not get their way they held another strike and what little industry and infrastructure Russia had came to a dead stop. Considering all of this, it is really a wonder Russia held out as long as she did. Even while the war was raging and there were defeats at the front and privation at home the leftists continued to bog down the government by their efforts to take power until the Duma was again prorogued.
To be concluded in Part V