ShareImagine if you - and only you, one person - were faced with trying to sort out the the present situation in Afghanistan and the recent conflict in Iraq , together with all that happened in Serbia and Bosnia a couple of decades ago, and on top of that you were personally responsible for the well-being of 180 million people from different cultures in one of the largest empires on earth, and in the middle of a time of great change through industrialization and the speed of advances in technology...oh and you also had a son, whom you loved very deeply, who was seriously ill and a wife who was badly treated by your own family, and that same family had, for the most part, decided not to support you...Well, that is a little of what the 'weak' and 'ignorant' Tsar Nicholas faced every day. It wasn't his choice. He would have liked to have lived a simple life on a Dacha somewhere, caring for his family and spending his time outdoors, but he had been saddled with this responsibility and with more moral courage than any of his contemporaries he tried to rise to that challenge.In 1913, while King George V (who is never described as 'weak' or 'ignorant') shot over 1000 pheasants in one day for 'sport' or pored over his precious stamp that had cost him over £1000, and while Kaiser Wilhelm strutted around in his uniforms, laughing too loudly and playing at being a king, the weak Tsar, Nicholas, who frittered his life away in luxury, was spending all day and most of the night trying to resolve the crisis in the Balkans. He wrote to the Kings of Bulgaria and Serbia, offering to arbitrate between them and even when 'Foxy Ferdinand' of Bulgaria, refused to listen and sent his troops into a disastrous campaign, Nicholas had the foresight to realize that if the Bulgarians were humiliated by their defeat, it would lead to resentment and future carnage. Nicholas successfully persuaded his ally, Serbia, to relinquish some of their gains to Bulgaria. Meanwhile, he was faced with the problems of German interests in Persia (Iran) and trying to maintain the balance of power to prevent the outbreak of war.