November 10, 2014

What role did Rasputin play in the downfall of the Tsar?

Question by Girl: How Important of a role did Rasputin play in the downfall of the Tsar?
I need this for history and i’m really stuck, thank you

Quick answer:

Answer by Bilbo
Fairly significant in that popular opinion turned against the Tsarina because of her association with the Mad Monk. His hold on the family was because he could apparently manage Alexi’s haemophiliac condition. He was rather incidental in historic terms – the revolution would have happened with or without him, but it made despatching the royal family easier for the Bolshies.

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Comments

  1. chana devora says:

    Rasputin had nothing to do with the revolution and, in fact, had the Tsar followed his advice, the revolution could have been avoided. The revolution happened because the masses were severely oppressed.
    (1.) The Jews were confined to a ghetto, had no rights and were not even allowed an education and many occupations except in very small quotas. Their villages were regularly raided, they were tortured and slaughtered by the thousands. Rasputin had recommended that the Tsar give the Jews equal rights. He refused.
    (2.) The people were sick of the war with Germany and saw it as a work of the regime. They were hungry, there was a shortage of food and what little food there was had high black market prices. This created great discontent among the people. Rasputin recommended to the Tsar that he prioritize the shipment of food on the trains, rather than passengers or other items. The Tsar refused.
    (3.) When Russia was in its great retreat from the Germans, the Russian Army uprooted the scapegoats upon whom they blamed their defeats – the Jews and Russians of German descent – they were terrorized, forced from their villages (some hanged or shot), and the refugees were not welcome anywhere, forcing them to live in horrid conditions. Rasputin, according to all sources, was anti-war and anti-blood shed. He had advised the Tsar not to go to war and that it would signal the end of the Romanov Dynasty as well as the end of Russia.
    The Russians spent a century blaming their misfortunes on Rasputin when, in fact, his travels and associations with people of all levels of society gave him a broader view of Russia and her needs than most. His advice, even according to Alexandre Spiridovitch, the Chief of the Tsar's Secret Police, was full of common sense. But in Russia's rabidly anti-semitic high society, helping Jews (which Rasputin did on a regular basis), as well as helping the poor, was akin to treason. And so wild rumors were spread and published about him to discredit him. They did the same to the Jews. In fact, the newspapers cartoons of Rasputin and the way they depicted Jews have the same menacing look to them. Rasputin was a scapegoat for the aristocracy. He could have saved Russia. In fact, when Lenin came to power, he instituted many of the reforms Rasputin had suggested: he gave land to the peasants to farm, gave equality to the Jews, and made peace with Germany.

  2. Spellbound says:

    Rasputin had very little to do with the February, and even less to do with the October Revolution.
    The effect he had was to anger many nobles and to alienate some of the middle classes from the Tsarina and Tsar.

    However, the problems that Nicholas II faced were much more complex and deep rooted than the affairs of an itinerant priest at court.

    He needed to address the following problems:
    The cities were starving – this was because the peasants needed to bring in the harvests and to transport food to the cities were mostly in the army.
    The workers were poorly paid for very long hours, worked in harsh conditions and had very poor living conditions.
    The army was falling apart due to military defeats, poor leadership, infiltration of the army by political groups and the fact that the mainly peasant army wanted to return to their farms.
    The peasants were dissatisfied with the Emancipation of some 50 years earlier, which saw them take on 50 year redemption mortgages in order to buy their freedom – millions were indebted.
    And the intelligentsia and middle classes were dissatisfied with the lack of political representation.

    To solve the crisis that led to his abdication and the February Revolution he could have ensured that enough peasants were left to work the land – even raising city-living volunteers to go to help sow & bring in the harvests.
    He could have increased pay for the workers, with promises of better living and working conditions after the war ended.
    He could have sent his officer corps to Britain or France to learn how they were holding up the Germans – they would possibly be willing to send troops and advisors to help shore up the Russian front lines.
    He could have freed the peasants from their debt, and given them the land on which they worked.
    He could have offered a constitutional monarchy, perhaps following the British model, which would have placated the intelligentsia.

    In the end, he did none of these things, believing that as God made him Tsar, so he did not have to modernise Russia.

    Rasputin's role in all of this was minimal – he is a footnote in most academic books about the revolutions. No serious historian credits Rasputin with much involvement at all – Robert K Massie is a journalist, not a historian.

    See:
    The October Revolution by Roy Medvedev
    The Russian Revolution by Sheila Fitzpatrick http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSmarchR.hthttp://soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&ahttp://soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&a

  3. Heartshapedcandy says:

    Rasputin was a sympton and not a cause..because the tsar was a way from petrograd he couldnt take charge of the country because that is where he usually did, he was away from petrograd because he decided it was his duty to take control of the Russian Army in 1916. Anyway, as the Tsar was away he put his trust and power into his wife, Tsarina Alexandra..this wasnt the best descion made by him because she was of German Birth and many thought she was a german spy. So with Tsarina in power she had heard about Rasputin- he was very in with the ladies. She began to ask him how to run the country and what important descions she should make. So basically Rasputin was helping run the country, this allowed him to put his friends into important jobs as well. Whilst the Tsarina asked Rasputin for advice she was writing letters to the Tsar (about Rasptuin) who was away from Petrograd as i said above. These letters had on advice and ideas of Rasputin…as the months went on both the Tsar and the Tsarina had become dependant on Rasputin to help run the country..basically they were the puppets and Rasputin was the Puppetier. However Rasputin was assasinated in December 1916, his death did not change the ruling of Russia..as i said above, he was a sympton and not a cause, the damage to the Tsars ruling had already been done before Rasptuin came into the spotlight. After the 1905 Revolution the Tsars popularity just started to slowly decrease until his assassination in July 1917. I hope this helps you answer the question. Thats all i know about Rasptuin, i got an A* in my History GCSE last year but you might have wanted a different answer to mine :) hope it helps though :D

  4. The biographer, Robert K. Massie laid the entire revolution at the feet of Rasputin. I think this is utter nonsense. The problems of the Russian Tsarist system of government were so deep and endemic, and Nicholas so monumentally ill equipped to face its challenges, that ultimately, Rasputin doesn't really matter at all.

    Did he help? Of course not. Was he a lightning rod for the ills of Russia? Absolutely. But please note — he was merely a focal point, and had he not been there the system would have collapsed anyway.

    Consider… Over burdened taxation. No schools, no voting, no rights to speak of at all, a war that drags on and murders by the millions, food shortages, no fuel in winter, gross inequities in the social system. And a Tsar who cannot cope with any of it.

    Under these circumstances, what is one Siberian monk? Rasputin's role in the collapse of the Romanov dynasty is greatly exaggerated. He was a fly speck on the pages of Russian history, nothing more.

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