On March 21, 1917, the Romanov imperial family was arrested. It would lead to their execution the following year and Nicholas II became ever-known as the last tsar to rule Russia.
Even though the Romanovs brought many changes and reforms to the country during their 300-year dynasty, making Russia a powerful empire, by the time Nicholas II came to the throne some considered him to be unfit for his post as tsar. Nicholas II was an autocratic ruler. The difference in lifestyles of the wealthy royals to that of the poor peasants was great. Mostly peasants criticized and demonstrated against him, but those who opposed were shot. With Russia’s defeat in World War One and a civil war uprising from the Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin, Nicholas II was forced by the Provisioning Government to abdicate.
He and his family were soon placed under house arrest at the Alexander Palace. Later they were exiled, first to Tobolsk where they were still treated with respect and consideration. Many sympathized with the former tsar and still believed in his supremacy. But it was when they were moved to Yekaterinburg that conditions became harder. The house was fenced, large boards covered the windows and the Romanovs were constantly guarded by Bolshevik soldiers who humiliated and insulted them. Maria, Nicholas’ daughter, writes in her diary during their captivity: “Everyone who comes into the house inspects our rooms . . . It's difficult to write about anything cheerful, because there's all too little cheerfulness here. On the other hand, God doesn't abandon us. The sun shines, the birds sing, and this morning we heard the bells sounding matins . . .” About a month after moving there, the entire imperial family was executed by firing squad in the basement of the house they lived in.