To What Extent do you Agree with the View that the end of Tsarism was due to the First World War? The Impact of the First World War on Russia and the Tsar was immense. The Russian ‘Steamroller’ suffered disastrous losses at Tannenburg and the Masurian Lakes not to mention the ruinous affect of the war on home Russian soil. The war exacerbated the frustrations of Russian Civilians as the loss of young men working in the country was sorely felt. Food was scarce and prices soared.
This was terribly inconsiderate of the military as the other 82% of the nation was left to starve as the military was the government’s top priority. This led to extreme cases of hunger across Russia which soon became famine. Food shortages were at their worst in the towns and cities, Petrograd suffered particularly badly due to the remoteness from the food-producing regions. Secondly, transportation was a key pre- existing war condition; it was the disruption of the transport system rather than the decline in food production that was the major cause Russia’s wartime shortages. The attempt to transport millions of troops and masses of supplies to the war fronts created unbearable pressure on the Russian transport system, and it bucked under the pressure.
This meant that the Russian agriculture was poor and the remaining farms used outdated methods and had no advancements for a while, due to illiteracy and such. This was a problem for Russia, as they were losing income and the economy was
Alexander was hopelessly out of touch with the emerging realities of a modern Russia. For example, agriculture was exploited as a source of export earnings; this helped cause a series of famines, especially in 1891. This made him hugely unpopular as he took grain from the people in an attempt to make money and improve the economy. Due to his slow intelligence and lack of experience, Alexander forgot the fundamental rule of keeping his people happy and instead chose to supress them. He did not realise that, following Alexander II’s emancipation of the serfs in 1861, he could not return to a state of rigid autocracy when the serfs had already had some freedom.
The military leadership was terrible and the Tsar took it upon himself to have the role of personal command in 1915 (as told to him by Rasputin). This had put a great strain on Russia. Transport dislocation occurred because of fuel shortages, which made it hard to send troops and food to the front. Because of this neither the military nor the civilians had enough food to eat. Revolution occurred because of the rise of the opposition, which consisted of the army, protestors and civilians.
Tsarina Alexandra was influenced by Gregori Rasputin, an unpopular and scruffy “holy” man, who was supposedly controlling her son’s haemophilia condition. Nicholas’s decisions at the Eastern Front caused the country's military failures; by 1917 over 1,300,000 men had been killed in battle, 4,200,000 wounded and 2,417,000 had been captured by the enemy. First World War had a disastrous impact on the Russian economy; food was in short supply and this led to rising prices. By January 1917 the price of commodities in Petrograd had increased by six times. In an attempt to increase their wages, industrial workers went on strike.
History: Russia (Notes) Why was Russia a hard country to govern before 1905? • As Russia is equivalent to one sixth of the entire world, Russia would have been hard to govern in this sense because there would be a lot of citizens to control. • Citizens of all different nationalities may disagree with the governing of Russia and plan a rebellion. • When trying to pass new laws, Russia would have been hard to govern in this sense due to the lack of technology; and with an extortionate amount of people inhabiting Russia, legislation may have been a very long process and people could have been wrongly arrested for various things due to miscommunications. • Many different religions due to many different nationalities inhabiting Russia, this could have caused religious disputes, conflict and perhaps religious wars.
According to Murrell (1998) “Food shortages, the tsar’s weak leadership, and Russia’s disastrous performance in World War I heightened unrest”. During World War I Russia had overstretched herself and Russia’s economy could not meet the need of both the soldiers sent out and the people at home. In Russia there was a shortage of food and fuel as the railway carried military supplies for the army instead of supplies for cities (J.E Abbot and others, 1981, p.1059, 1060 and 1141). Although Russian forces on the front of the war were loyal, soldiers behind the lines were growing discontent as they realized they would be sent to the front, probably killed, and by 1916 nearly all educated Russians opposed the czar. (World Book, 2008 Edition, p. 553 Volume 16 Q-R).
They were losing to a nation very few had heard of and it was humiliating. However, many of the defeats to the Russian military occurred after the Revolution had started, not causing its outbreak, but merely adding to the opposition to autocratic rule by the Tsar and prolonging the Revolution. The Russo-Japanese War brought economic problems for Russia, and this therefore meant there was a significant lack of money to solve any other problems present Russia, hence partly being responsible for the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution. The war costed an extreme amount of money. As it resulted in failure no money could be gained from the invaded territories.
The reactionary reign of Alexander III led to a tightening of government control and the persecution of minority groups, such as Jews, within the Empire. Another long-term cause of the 1905 Revolution was the worsening conditions of both peasants and urban workers. The famines in 1897, 1898 and 1901 had led to shortage and distress in the countryside. Living and working conditions in Russia’s industrial towns were no better. Workers worked in poorly ventilated factories for long hours and little pay.