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Tsar Nicholas II

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Question- How far can it be argued that the Tsar was able to control Russia before 1905 through the effective use of fear?
Intro-
Tsar Nicholas II came to the throne in 1894, he was an autocrat which meant he had complete power and didn’t have to consult anyone else before he made important decisions. He was not elected he felt like he had a right to rule as he believed he had been given the position by God himself. Anyone who questioned his power was sentenced without trial and many ended up being exiled to Siberia. This essay will argue the factors of how the Tsar kept control of Russia through fear by using the Okhrana and Cossacks but also other factors that contributed like the Russian Orthodox church, Russification and the Tsars politics
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They censored all newspapers and books, before anything was published it had to be sent to the government for approval, this happened because the Tsar wanted to make sure any information publicized was not opposing the Tsar in anyway so any content the Okhrana felt was dangerous towards Nicholas himself or his position as Tsar was banned. The Okhrana would use surveillance and informers to spy on the people of Russia and political groups. If anyone was to be found with any anti-tsarist material or heard speaking badly about the Tsar they could be executed or exiled to Siberia. Historian Orlando Figes says “No subject of the tsar regardless of his rank or class, could sleep securely in his bed in the knowledge that his house would to be subject to a search or he himself to arrest”. When the Okhrana could not cope the Cossacks were brought in. Fear was a great factor to contributing to the Tsar keeping control of Russia. The Tsar and his government believed that with having such a large empire to keep under control they needed an immense army to deal with any rebellions or uprisings, they maintained around a one and a half million troops to control the empire.(History course notes M Hughes and C Hume). The most brutal and fierce were the Cossacks, they were armed with sharp sabres. The Cossacks specialized in breaking up large mobs by butchering anyone who did not run away fast…show more content…
The Tsar took orders from no one and did not care about the populations views, he was head of the church meaning he would always have it on his side and paid priests for their propaganda. The Okhrana would censor and eliminate anything that posed a threat towards Nicholas or his position. When this did not work he relied on the fierce Cossacks to deal with
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