Russia : 1917


A Brief               

Russia suffered heavily during the First World War and placed an extreme stress on the weak government of Russia and its economy. This resulted in heavy scarcities and starvation. This mishandling and let-downs of the war turned people and its soldiers against the Tsar. The Tsar’s idea of taking individual command of the army was considered as the reason for the defeats in the battle and the people openly blamed the Tsar for the defeat. Tsar lost control of the streets and then the soldiers and lastly the Duma which resulted in his forced relinquishment of the throne on 15th March 1917.

The February Revolution

People rebelled on the streets of Russia in March 1917 and the soldiers joined them in the riots. They were later joined by the members of the Duma and the pressure on the Tsar forced him to resign.

World War I- The Cause for the French Revolution

  • Russia had weakened in all fronts and this weakness of Russia was the reason for the collapse of monarchy.
  • The First World War was the other main external reason. The Russian army did not have a good commander as there were led by the Tsar and the army did not have proper equipment to fight the war.
  • Russians were badly defeated at Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes and they lost 200,000 men. When the morale of the army took a dip, they turned their anger against the Tsar.
  • The war took away 15 million men from the farms to the battlefield and the agriculture was badly affected.
  • The trains that brought food to the cities had to be utilised for the war. Because of this there was shortage of food and prices increased which resulted in anger and turmoil in the capital, Petrograd.
  • To add to this, the winter of 1916-17 was bad which resulted in severe food shortages and there was starvation in the cities.

Tsar as the Cause of French Revolution

  • Tsar’s mistake included his taking personal command of the army which did not aid the war effort and he was primarily responsible for the defeats.
  • The Tsar appointed the Tsarina to be in charge of the war and she was considered as useless.
  • She allowed Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin to run the government. Rasputin was a Russian spiritual and self-proclaimed holy man who was very friendly with the Tsar family.
  • Since Tsarina was a German, there were rumors that she was trying to aid Germany win the war.
  • With all these confusions, the government was in utter commotion and by February 1917 and Nicholas lost control of everything and had to abdicate.

The Army’s Inaction

There were riots in the capital, Petrograd, on March 8th, 1917. The causes for the riots were shortage of food and the war. On 12th March the army left the Tsar and the soldiers revolted and refuse to control the riots. Ultimately the government lost control of the country. On 13th March the members of Duma went and met the Tsar, Nicholas, to tell him to resign.

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