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How Far Do You Agree That The Most Important Cause Of The Revolution In February 1917 Was The Great War

1334 words - 6 pages

AS History
How far do you agree that the most important cause of the revolution in February 1917 was the Great War?
The February revolution which occurred in 1917 was the result of several causes, one of which being World War 1; in my opinion, it was the most important trigger. The Great War was the cause of Russia becoming financially dependent on Britain and France, decreasing the prestige the Tsar once held. Russia was unable to sustain its wealth due to the extreme costs the War brought: Anger rose within the people and with 85% of the army containing surfs that were losing their loyalty towards the Tsar, a revolution was inevitable.
The war encouraged the breakdown of the autocratic ...view middle of the document...

The poor conditions the army had to face due to the mistakes the Tsar had made because of his lack of leadership, only aided the revolutionaries in their determination and stirred rebellious behaviour.
December in 1916 was not a successful month for the Tsar, as Russia suffered terribly from the attacks from Germany - 1.6 million soldiers died, 3.9 million wounded, and 2.4 million had been taken prisoner. Considering that during 1914, the country had militarized 5.3 million men (only 9% of the population), and the drastic change from this small percentage to the 15.3 million men in 1916 who were having military service experience, suggests that Russia was in dire need of more people to maintain their loyalty towards the Tsar in order to win the war- especially as the vast majority of the army consisted of peasants. The transformation of Russia within just 2 years was massive, with the cost of fighting the war and maintaining the now-large armed force creating a huge strain on the Tsar and Government. Furthermore, more problems arose when the National Budget rose; the country had to other option than to borrow money and take loans from France and Britain. Despite doing this, the Russian government still had to print excess money in order to pay for the war; however this only led to inflation, which enhanced the anger of the serfs, creating more chance for rebellion. Additionally, with the prices rising over 200% between August 1914 and December 1916, it brought about an enormous increase of pressure and fury towards the Tsar – creating the most significant cause for Revolution.
Economically, Russia was affected deeply by the War as the loss of agricultural workers and horses - which had been required to fight and be used to aid the army-was great, which resulted in food shortages in the cities. Strain was created on the production of food, which was heightened with the takeover of the railway lines by the army: pressure within the towns grew. The shortage of food led to the Russian home front facing a major economic crisis during the winters of 1916 and 1917: in 1916, Moscow received only 300 wagons of grain per month, a drastic decrease from the 2200 wagons they received in 1914. This crisis caused a huge loss of life, lack of morale, and domestic support for the Tsar was lessened due to the military humiliations. The Russian troops were underfed because of the lack of provisions, along with being underequipped. Within the towns and cities, rations were a must, food was scarce as it was needed elsewhere, and inflation was only increasing the crisis. The impact on...

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