Czar Nicholas II, Nikolai II Alexandrovich Romanov, known in the Russian Orthodox Church as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer, was the last Emperor of Russia, ruling from November 1, 1894 until his abdication on March 15, 1917. During his reign, he gave support to the economic and political reforms promoted by his prime ministers. He advocated modernization based on foreign loans and close ties with France, but resisted giving the Duma) major roles. Ultimately, progress was undermined by Nicholas' commitment to autocratic rule, strong aristocratic opposition and defeats sustained by the Russian military in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. By March 1917, public support for Nicholas had collapsed and he was forced to abdicate the throne, thereby ending the Romanov dynasty's 300-year rule of Russia.