How Significant Was War in Changing the Nature of Russian Government Between 1855-1918?

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How significant was war in changing the nature of Russian Government between 1855-1918? Trotsky’s famous quote: ‘War is the locomotive of change’ is relevant to Russian government between 1855-1918 due to the initiation of many turning points and reforms, as well as repressions, potentially as a result of war. However, it is questioned whether these were just natural developments in Russian society rather than results of war. One area of Russian government on which war had a significant impact on was repression and liberalization. The Crimean war (1853-6) proved a struggle for Russia as they faced inferior opponents, alike to the Russo-Turkish and Japanese wars. All three of these wars ended with Russia in a worse economic position than before, with loss of land. This caused anger and unrest amongst the Russian citizens as it illustrated the backwardness of Russian economy and society, leading to the Tsar Alexander 2nd introducing reforms and changes in an attempt to modernize Russia. The emancipation of the serfs in 1861 was an important reform as it forced change upon local government and coerced with the creation of the Zemstva. These reforms made a significant change to the government as a weakened sense of autocracy replaced the traditional span of control the Tsar ruled over, due to freedom of serfs which ultimately creates opposition. Further consequences of war faced by the government can be illustrated in the assassination of Alexander 2nd and the severe social unrest following the Russo-Japanese war. These protests are suggested to be the beginning point of the 1905 revolution. This caused extreme damage to the government as it questioned the strength of leadership and citizens became more and more critical, eventually leading to further reforms and the initiation of changing the way Russian government was formatted. However, it can be argued that
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