It's important to note the effect of Bloody Sunday
mass psychology in the days leading up to the Revolution
. Throughout Russia, there existed a myth of the good tsar
, that while local officials and bureocrats and ministers might be corrupt and cruel, the tsar was fundamentally a good man who cared for his people- down to the least peasant
. Peasant folk tales
are full of stories of the tsar coming to the rescue, when no one else will. "If the tsar only knew", was a commonly heard phrase when Russians gathered to talk of the injustices in their communities, and in the government
as a whole. There was a feeling that the tsar was a good ruler who had been isolated
from his people by outside forces.
Curiously, Tsar Nicholas II seems to have believed this myth himself to a certain degree. Though a weak ruler prone to leaving affairs in the hands of others, and unwilling to contradict their words (old Russian Joke: "Who's the most powerful man in Russia?" Answer: "The last man to talk to the tsar!"), Nicholas felt that if he was free to rule as a good old fashioned Muscovite autocrat, he would soon have the country in order. Of course, he never got the chance.
Bloody Sunday went a long way towards dispensing with the myth of the good tsar. To the workers and peasants of WWI era Russia, it didn't matter if the tsar himself gave the orders or not. What mattered was that his personal troops had fired on "his" peasants, as they came to try and present him with a list of their troubles. Finally given the chance to see their troubles directly, the tsar had shot at them rather then hear their pleas and help them. Tsar Nicholas, his image already tarnished by things like his wife's support of Rasputin and the trampling of a number of supporters at his coronation, was forever marked in the public mind as a tsar who had sought the death of his own people, rather than hear their grievances. Bloody Sunday radicalized people who had previously felt that the monarchy could work alongside a constitutional or democratic system, and undoubtably hastened the demise of the tsar.>