Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated a hundred years ago today, bringing to an end three centuries of Romanov rule. In this extract from his History of the Russian Revolution, Trotsky describes the final days of Imperial Russia. Incompetent, vain, and almost comically ignorant of the historic events unfolding around it, the Tsarist regime fell, in Trotsky's words, "like rotten fruit."
Skobelev Square during the February Revolution, by A.M. Gerasimov. Open Source.
The dynasty fell by shaking, like rotten fruit, before the revolution even had time to approach its first problems. Our portrayal of the old ruling class would remain incomplete if we did not try to show how the monarchy met the hour of its fall.