To what extent was the collapse of Tsarism due to the personal weakness of Nicholas II?
"[The Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II,] was very much a family man and a loving father to his children. But this all meant that he was far removed from his subjects, with little understanding of the outside world; he was ignorant… and he helped to isolate the monarchy from the whole of Russian society".In many ways, the Tsar was unsuitable as a ruler, especially of a country that was undergoing drastic changes. As a result of the social and economic changes that had occurred in the 1900's, the autocracy would have to deal with a growing working class, a change of interest in rising privileged and educated classes and the drifting unity of the upper elites who traditionally supported the Tsar. The autocratic government could no longer preform its traditional role if it were to keep up with changing Russian society. Yet the Tsar's personal weakness in failing to recognise the need for a change in government and reforms, helped to explain the eventual arrival of the revolution in 1917 and the loss of Tsarist support by virtually all the groups that made up the Russian Empire. Due to his weak character and political naivety, Nicholas II was forced to abdicate on 2nd March 1917. The Tsar was distracted from his work by family problems and his son’s haemophilia illness. The Tsar also chose to be influenced by the Tsarina, his wife, Alexandra, who in turn was influenced by Rasputin and thus, the Tsar tended to dismiss the advice given to him by his ministers, on the political situation in Russia and what they thought Nicholas should do. Despite that the personal weakness of the Tsar did contribute to the fall of the Tsarist government, it was not the only cause of the collapse. The industrial backwardness of Russia, poor transport and communication systems and the outbreak of WWI in Russia were also other causes of the collapse of the…