When one attempts to answer the question of whether or not “ Tsar Nicholas was fit to rule Russia” one must consider three main points, his character, his attitudes, the problems facing Russia at the time and how he dealt with them. Essentially, Tsar didn’t have the emotional stability and desire to rule, that a ruler should possess and his neglecting of his country, would prove to eventually see an end to the Romanov dynasty in 1918.
To be a successful leader one must first posses the desire and emotional stability, two these are all qualities in which Tsar Nicholas ii did not possess. “ I am not prepared to become the Tsar. I never wanted to become one” He himself admits that he is incapable of ruling a country and doesn’t posses the qualities that a leader should essentially possess “ I know nothing of the business of ruling. I have no idea of even how to talk to ministers” Oct 1894 he states, implying that he is incompetent and unprepared to rule a country. The Romanov dynasty was one that followed an autocratic rule; leadership is as such kept within the family.
This matter alone introduces a number of issues, in that although a level of skill and experience can be passed on from father to son, there is no guarantee of leadership and success, as evident in Nicholas’s rule. An autocratic government will not offer much opportunity for change, challenge and the ability to assess performance. While there is ample reason to question the reliability of this source, an extract from Tsar Nicholas ii’ personal writings further reinforce “ I had a lot of papers to read which bored me to death because I would so much like to have more time to give to my beloved little soul Alix” from this we can see, that he would put his family before the needs or concerns of his country. He is more in tune with himself and his personal relationships, than in the business of leading. “ I had a lot of papers to red which bored me to death” he writes, suggesting that he doesn’t find the day-to-day work of the Tsar interesting, how can one rule a country when they do not have the sufficient skills or attitude of one in the first place
Russia suffered greatly under the rule of the tsars and was in severe repression, with tax rates more than doubling and annual average consumption of major cereals plummeting to their lowest. The decline in average land holding size suggests that as the rural population grew, the land was being redistributed into smaller portions and the people no longer had sufficient funds to sustain ownership of their land. The massive tax increase could’ve also contributed to overall deterioration of poverty in Russia at the time. Despite Russia’s growing population and its sheer size, The Annual Average Consumption of Major Cereals results saw Russia at the bottom of the list, with a total of 235. 2 kilograms being consumed, more than 200 kilograms lighter than Germany, France and Austria. We see the government expenditure rise from 12 million rubles (1871-90) to a massive 268 rubles (1901-6), although this sudden rise is indicative of change in Russia, the conditions for the Russian people continued worsen, suggesting that the government and nobilities were doing little in their power to trigger change in Russia and that they weren’t spending their money wisely.
It is evident from the sources provided that Tsar Nicholas ii was an unfit and unsuitable ruler of Russia, this is ultimately because he didn’t have the desire to rule, emotional stability or concern for his country, these key attributes that essentially all great leaders should possess.