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The Extent To Which The March 1917 Revolution In Russia Was Caused By World War One

1355 words - 6 pages

The Extent to Which the March 1917 Revolution in Russia was Caused by World War One

In March 1917, a revolution arose in Russia after it had been
struggling with social, political and economical problems. Workers
began riots in the streets and soon after soldiers joined too. The
Tsar had lost all power over Russia, and on the 2nd of March, was
forced to abdicate on a train outside of Russia, not able to go back.
This essay will look at the involvement of WWI in causing the
revolution of 1917 since there were other factors too. World War 1
started in 1890, the year Russia joined the war, and ended in 1914.
Russia did not come out of it successful, unlike ...view middle of the document...

The numerous
deaths among officers led to the promotion of many middle class people
who were not very loyal to the Tsar or experienced. The discontent was
accentuated by the poor supply of equipment. In 1914, the soldiers
needed 18 million rifles but only received 7 million. Due to the
hunger and cold many soldiers just gave up and went back home to go
and work on land. This caused many problems at home too; people were
upset, hungry and poor. They lived in a very bad situation and so were
losing faith in the Tsar. They had believed that he was the only who
could help them but when he left to go to the war front they thought
he did not care about Russia anymore; also he left the Tsarina in
charge and the Russians did not like her: She was German so they
thought she was a spy and also they believed she had an affair with
Rasputin. Rasputin was not liked amongst the people; he was said to be
a drunk and, as Orlando Figes said “…it was not the influence of him
on the Tsar but rather how the people saw him.”

An other factor that made the Tsar unpopular when he left, was that an
attack he launched ended wrong- so with Russian defeat. Of course the
Tsar was blamed and in turn lost some of the support from the few
people that still believed in him. Before this, the people thought the
Tsar was just badly informed, now they just plainly blamed him.
Therefore the war caused a lot of problems: people were unhappy,
peasants got their own land back with out asking, soldiers deserted
the war front etc. but the war also caused a lot of economical
problems.

The economy was very bad during this period of time. Russian factories
moved production from consumer goods to ammunition for the army so
there was a shortage of primary goods. Also due to the lack of raw
materials a lot of factories had to close, leaving a lot of people
unemployed. The economic blockade by Germany led to peasants going
over to a subsistence economy, so only produced for themselves and
stopped producing goods for export to cities. The railway did not work
properly, so goods could not have been transported anyway. The Tsar
started not to care about the economy and just produced new rubbles
which made the economy even worse. This led to economical and
political discontent.

Although WWI played a role in the uprising of the 1917 revolution,
there were other factors as well which might have caused the
revolution. The end of the Tsar came suddenly but it was not
unexpected. There were a number of events that might have caused this.
On the 23rd of February a spontaneous and unplanned riot of 400 000
people took place in Petrograd; this riot was caused by the general
unhappiness with the Tsar and the war. The crisis grew when the troops
guarding the Putilov, instead of...

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