How far was the Provisional Government responsible for its own downfall? The Provisional Government was put in power as a temporary measure after the February Revolution of 1917, in which the Tsar abdicated his throne on behalf of himself and his son. However, the Government only lasted until October of the same year, where the Bolsheviks overthrew them. Their downfall was due to several factors, some of which the Provisional Government themselves were principally responsible for. Firstly, the most pivotal factor that led to the Provisional Government being ousted from power was the fact that, against the masses wishes, they did not withdraw from World War I.
The 1905 revolution was extremely different from the 1917 March revolution in both what was demanded from the Tsar and also due to the size and support the Tsar had. Although there was a revolution in October 1917, the March 1917 revolution in Russia was the one resulting in the Tsar’s abdication and ultimately the end of Tsarism. The reason for the Tsar surviving the 1905 revolution is because of a number of reasons. Firstly, he issued an ‘October Manifesto’ which granted the peoples wishes as it gave them more power. The manifesto offered free speech, the right to form political parties and it created a “democratic” elected house of parliament – called a Duma.
The way in which the Tsarist government operated Russia during 1914-1917 is the major cause of the March Revolution of 1917. The Tsar’s decisions, the steadily declining economy, the negative impact of war on society, the unprepared military and the failures of the government leading up to the revolution are the five major aspects that led to the March Revolution. Russia joined the war with a sense of enthusiasm and excitement, but by 1917, the whole country was against the war and wanted nothing more than to get out of it, start rebuilding the country again and look towards a new brighter future. Once the Tsar was abdicated, the ball had started rolling and would not come to a halt until it was surrounded with a blanket of peace. One major aspect that contributed to the Tsarist governments path towards the March Revolution is the decisions that we made by Tsar Nicholas II during WWI.
How accurate is it to say that the growth of reformist groups in the years from 1881 was the main cause of the 1905 Revolution? The 1905 Revolution was the start of political change in Russia, unlike other major European powers of the time, Russia was being ruled by an autocratic government and any effective reforms would have had to been by ‘change from above’. However, the Tsar Alexander III and his son, Nicholas II were firm conservatives and this ideal route would not have happened. Resentment to the lack of change created the growth of reformist governments and caused a Revolution which catalysed the much needed change in Russia. There were many factors that created a base for the reformist groups to flourish at that time in Russia which in turn created a Revolution.
There were two views on the Tsarism regime, the Liberal theory where they believed things were getting better and the regime could have survived and the Marxist theory where they believed the Tsarist regime was outdated and could no longer work and the masses would rise up. Although these two views were debated amongst the people of Russia it was not what made the revolution inevitable, different factors such as the war, food shortages, working conditions, etc.... are what mad the revolution inevitable as they showed the Tsar’s weaknesses and made him vulnerable. The main reasons why it was inevitable that Russia would face a revolution in 1917 was the War. This was one of the main reasons as the Tsar was over ambitious once he got to the Front, he thought they could win the war which meant pro-longing the suffering back in Russia, as the people thought the war was dragging on and that they were unlikely to win, therefore even more soldiers would die leaving the women and children without husbands, fathers or brothers. This made the people more frustrated with the Tsar as 10 million soldiers had already died, therefore they did not want the suffering to go on longer if they were not going to win.
“It is more accurate to talk of a potential revolution which ran away into the sand than the genuine article” Before we can assess whether a ‘genuine’ revolution took place in 1918, or if held many promises and yet failed to deliver, we must look at the term ‘Revolution’. This often refers to a substantial change in power/structure that takes place within a short time span. Germany was in a vulnerable position, susceptible to change as the defeat in the war had shaken people’s faith in the government. There was undoubtedly political changes undergone in Germany but whether they fundamentally shook the German foundations of society can be seriously questioned. It can be argued that the ’Weimar Republic’ , the outcome of the revolution was a facade of the old authoritarian regime, carrying out change under false pretences of a democratic institution, with the Right Wing Conservatives still in control.
Jonathan Fenby argues that the revolution of 1912 brought great opportunity for the prospect of a turning point but the regimes that came directly after “lacked the tools with which to bring about the scale of change required”. The fall of the Qing impacted on a social, political and economic level, not always in a positive fashion but great decisive change nonetheless. Qing China was a time of great political and social repression. However there was some attempt within the Qing period to reform, for instance in the year 1905 the degree system was transformed, ending a thousand-year tradition. Examples like this and the introduction of provincial assemblies in 1909 indicates that social and political reform was happening under the Qing.
WW1 had the biggest effect on Russian Government policies from 1855-1964. How far do you agree? Alex Brader I believe that the Civil War had the biggest effect on Russian Government policies because of the change from an autocratic rule to a totalitarian rule. Tsarism was extremely resilient to the forces of change and under Lenin’s rule Labour was militarised which is a very drastic change. In contrast the Tsar weakened the Duma and a progressive bloc was formed.
Stalin had many calculated methods to achieve the power of Russia. As Lenin’s death came closer, Stalin had to act quickly in order to turn the situation into his advantage. After Lenin died, he had left his testament (Letter to the Party Committee) to the party. It clearly stated that Stalin should not be given the position as head of the party. Trotsky would be more suitable.
How significant was The Great War in explaining the revolutions of 1917? The Great War to a certain significance contributed to the revolutions of 1917 due to the fact that the war was the major trigger for both of the revolutions in the year 1917,also the aftermath of the war questioned the leadership in Russia, The Great war had shown the incompetence of the Tsar and the Provisional Government, both failed to meet Russia’s growing needs. The Great War had also worsened the already existing issues within Russia at this time for example, political unrest, social and economic problems Russia had already faced during this period of 1917. The Great War strongly contributed towards the February Revolution as this event in history was the key event which had really broke the camels back for the revolution to happen. The war had affected the trigger of the revolution by the weak army with a large lack of ammunition for their weapons, therefore they were unable to fight and fend for themselves, therefore Russia had to depend on the Allies such as Great Britain and France had to help them, also the tactics the Russians had used were very old fashioned therefore it had seemed they weren’t ready for war at all.