December 26, 1952
Painting of the Decembrist Uprising https://kids.britannica.com/students/assembly/view/223122
Russian army officers and nobles revolted against Tsar Nicholas I's assumption of the throne after Constantine removed himself from the line of succession. Nicholas I executed or exiled dissenters after the 3,000 rebel soldiers were swiftly put down. It would serve as inspiration for future revolts under Nicholas II.
Painting of a Russian Raid on a Japanese Village. https://cdn.britannica.com/92/146492-050-48AA1512/Illustration-village-raid-Cossack-Korean-Russo-Japanese-War-1904.jpg
The Russo-Japanese War was fought during 1904 and 1905 over rival ambitions in Manchuria and Korea, in which Russia suffered a staggering defeat. Tsar Nicholas II refused to disengage from the war despite their significant loss, leading to an embarrassing peace.
January 22, 1905
Tsarist Soldiers Shooting Into a Fleeing Crowd, 1905. https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/bloody-sunday-1905/
On Bloody Sunday, tsarist soldiers in St. Petersburg shot into a crowd of unarmed civilians lead by controversial Orthodox priest Georgy Gapon, who was walking to the Winter Palace to deliver a petition to the tsar in January 1905, triggering the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution.
May 26, 1896
Coronization of Nicholas II
Tsar Nicholas II, 1905. https://www.history.com/news/romanov-family-murder-execution-reasons
Nicholas II takes over as czar and, during his reign, Imperial Russia went from being a huge economic superpower to an economic disaster.
Protesters Marching on the Peterhof Palace, 1905. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1905_Russian_Revolution
The 1905 Revolution was a save of political and social unrest directed at the tsarist government. Workers strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies drove this reform, eventually leading to constitutional reform in the October Manifesto that included the establishment of the State Duma, the multi-party system, and the Russian Constitution of 1906.
November 1, 1905
Tsar Nicholas II Meets Grigori Rasputin
Mystic Grigori Rasputin and his Followers, 1906. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/401453754260461168/
Nicholas II recorded in his diary of the day he first met Grigori Rasputin at the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg. He wrote that he and Alexandra had "made the acquaintance of a man of God - Grigory, from the Tobolsk province."
August 1, 1914
World War I
Tsar Nicholas II and his Troops, 1915. https://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/world-war-i/
The First World War erupted between Austria, Russia, and Germany that would eventually become one of the greatest conflicts in history driven by imperialism, nationalism, militarism, and alliances. Tsar Nicholas II went away to war, leaving his wife tsarina Alexandra Romanova in the hands of Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin acted as her personal adviser, and rumors began to spread surrounding his closeness to the tsarina.
December 30, 1916
The Assassination of Grigori Rasputin
Police Photograph of Rasputin's Body, 1917. https://allthatsinteresting.com/rasputin-death
On 30 December, 1916, Felix Yusupov and his co-conspirators, Vladimir Purishdevich and Dmitri Pavlovich, murdered Rasputin at Yusupov's home at Moika Palace in St. Petersburg. They claim that they first poisoned him, then shot him twice before finally drowning him in the river.
March 8, 1917
The February Revolution
Protesters Marching Once More on Peterhof Palace, 1917. https://www.historytoday.com/archive/february-revolution-1917.
Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate the throne by a revolt led by the elite. The monarchy is replaced by the Liberal Provisional Government in a loose alliance with Petrograd Soviet, with Alexander Kerensky as the leader of the new government.