Following the sudden death of his father Czar Alexander II, Nicholas II becomes ruler and is crowned Czar in 1896. He continued to rule by autocracy leading to an unhappy response from citizens.
This marked the beginning of the violent phase of the Russian Revolution. Workers and peasants no longer felt constrained by the law, and protest marches and strikes erupted throughout the empire in 1905. Near the Winter Palace the marchers found their way barred by thousands of armed troops. From there, sparked the massacre that we have come to know as "Bloody Sunday".
At first, the war in 1914 saw a huge boost in Russian nationalism encouraging support for the Czar. This was seen as a welcome relief to the constant protests the Czar had faced before. However, they were not successful as they were met by fully industrialized German forces while they barely had any weapons to fight with.