Assess the Difficulties Facing Russia’s Rulers in the Late 19th Century In the concluding decades of the 19th century, Russia was a great country. She was vast and wrapped up in mystery. Despite being seemingly great, there were many problems facing the Tsar’s of Russia. These came in the form of political, economic and social issues; some of which slotted into more than one category. The bureaucracy was meant to have been an area of major reform, however now it was posing a social and slight political problem. Peter I had made an attempt to modernise Russia by bringing in the civil service to a full scale. However, it was nepotism; a major problem throughout Russian society; that allowed people to get jobs. The better the family connections, the better the job. This, in turn, led to incompetence because being in a prosperous family did not necessarily mean that the person who had ‘bought’ the job was any good at it. It also meant that there was the possibility of corruptness, which was something that became more than just a possibility. It was the middle of the 19th century when the bureaucracy began to receive a majority of its criticism. It was said that the people working in the civil service were only looking out for themselves. They weren’t interested in helping their Tsar, the man chosen by God to lead their great nation, but in helping themselves become richer. This was also true in the army, so the nepotism and uncaring nature of the people doing these jobs meant Russia was failing politically, by having a weak civil service and an incompetent army, therefore being unable to succeed as a nation, both internally and externally, in war. Another problem that held Russia back from success and caused issues for the Tsar was the lack of entrepreneurialism. The absence of an effective banking system meant Russia was unable to raise a large amount of capital to fund entrepreneurs. The fact people were put off the idea of opening their own business or taking a risk with an idea meant that Russia was falling behind economically, thus meaning Russia’s inadequate agricultural system had to work harder, which wasn’t possible under the issue that not all land within Russia’s empire was of farming quality. If people had felt there was hope in starting a new business, Russia could have gained from the economic success of her people and their entrepreneurial ideas. The Tsar was the unlucky man who had to sort out these problems, and he would have been put under great strain to decide the best course of action in order to help Russia. The fact he had to deal with an incompetent civil service and a lazy army of autocrats sons meant he had to face the tough decision of whether to be a reforming Tsar or a reactionary Tsar. Many of the previous Tsar’s were reactionary. They left things how they were and refused to reform, even for the best of their country. They couldn’t understand that the lack of entrepreneurialism was a possible root for Russia’s economic problems. The Tsar needed to look past the end of his nose, and quite often he didn’t. Having a corrupt bureaucracy meant he could not control the way his people were treated. The social side of his problems stemmed from the mistreatment of his subjects, most of whom suffered the bullying ways of this incompetent lot. Their corrupt ways even prevented justice because it was part of the bureaucratic system. This alongside the fact that there were other problems for the Tsar meant it was often a difficult job, which would come to mean the end of the monarchy itself.
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