The Reign of Tsar Nicholas II


Mostly continuation of Alexander III's policies

1894 - 1902

Russo-Japanese War

February 1904 - September 1905

Russia's eastern expansion conflicted with Japanese territorial ambitions, resulting in the Russo-Japanese War. After a Japanese surprise attack, the Russian Far East fleet was destroyed. Nicholas II decided to send his Baltic fleet, which after a 9 month journey was also destroyed. It took great losses before Nicholas II admitted defeat, and in the Treaty of Portsmouth Japan gained a lot of territory.

1905 Revolution

January 1905 - June 1907

Following the defeat in the Russo-Japanese war, revolution broke out.

Bloody Sunday

22 January 1905

120'000 workers, led by priest George Gapon, march peacefully through St. Petersburg to deliver a petition to Nicholas II. Nicholas II had left St. Petersburg, and his ministers decided to bring in extra troops to reinforce the garrison. The troops open fire against the crowd, and many are killed.

Russia declares war on Austro-Hungary

1 August 1914


Hague peace conference

May 1899

Proposed by Nicholas II.

Anti-Jewish Pogroms

1903 - 1906

Nicholas II and the Orthodox Church officially condemned the pogroms. However, privately Nicholas II expressed admiration for the mobs.

First Duma

April 1906 - June 1906

Second Duma

February 1907 - June 1907

Anglo-Russian Convention

August 1907

Third Duma

November 1907 - June 1912

Fourth Duma

November 1912 - 1917


Restoration of the gold standard


By Minister of Finance, Sergei Witte. Completed a series of financial reforms initiated 15 years earlier.

Nobel Peace Prize Nomination


Nicholas II was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for taking the initiative for the Hague peace conference.

Trans-Siberian railway nearly completed


The railway still required large amounts of work, but it helped Russians trade in the Far East.




Russian historian Edward Radzinsky argues that many pogroms were incited by the authorities and the secret police, the Okhrana.