However, although these factors were important in contributing to the decline of the Provisional Government, it was ultimately their internal decisions, one deciding to continue fighting in the war, that lead to the failure of it. Actions made by the Provisional Government towards the continuation in the war can be the seen as the main reason for their failure in 1917. Many within the Provisional Government believed that it was Russia’s duty to stay in the war, in particular, the foreign minister, Paul Milyukov, strongly believed that Russia’s future lay with victory over Germany. This sparked conflict between the Soviet and the Provisional Government, as the Soviet only accepted the continuation of war to stop Germany taking over, where as the the Provisional Government had other aims to claim territory. This clash of aims created trouble for the government, as in April 1917 demonstrations in Petrograd began to stop the war.
Causes of the Russian Revolution, Feb 1917 With a complex dynamic such as that of 1917 Russia there cannot be one single cause, we must examine whether it was the long term, medium term or short term causes that was the biggest catalyst in causing the revolution. The Tsarist Autocratic system had failed to industrialize Russia and prevented it from becoming a major European power. In 1905 the Russian people were not happy with every aspect of their life, which caused social unrest leading to a year of “revolution”. The war was not going well for Russia and with the Tsar in charge of the army, leaving the Tsarina to rule at home matters were only made worse. The War also had massive social and economic impacts on Russia that resulted in a strike that ended with a revolution.
Additionally there were developments that occurred without war, which illustrates that involvement in war was not the only cause for change. Therefore war was an important catalyst and factor to significant changes but was not the sole cause of change. The war that caused most change was Word War One due to its role in the February revolution in 1917 and the fall of the provisional government in the October revolution. The defeats of the war dwindled support from liberals and Octobrists for the Tsarist regime, which was further worsened by criticism from organisations including the Central War Industries committee and the union of Zemstva. This formed support and reason for the Progressive Bloc.
As it was them who started the protest which turned into a revolution and also they were the ones behind the mutiny of the troops. However, the military was having many problems such as the war was going horribly wrong with many casualties, poor commanding from officers and limited military resources and equipment. The peasants were doing the fighting and the dying. So this could be a small contributing factor to the fall of the Romanov's on several different reasons. Firstly the tsar did not help the peasants personally, but instead leave the burden to the prime ministers when they cannot rule like a democracy today.
Russian train infrastructure was relatively new and underdeveloped, when war broke out the rail lines were used to transport troops and supplies for war, food shortages in cities were afflicting the masses, this caused discontent at home. The decision of Tsar Nicholas II to lead his troops on the front line is a debateable one, however I believe that due to his lack in military training and knowledge on how to lead troops, coupled with the fact he left the Tsarina to rule in his absence with the assistance of Rasputin , that this decision was a terrible one. Tsar Nicholas II dismissed his uncle as the head of the military and made the fateful decision of leading his troops himself. He believed that his presence would inspire the troops, however his lack of military expertise proved disastrous for the Russian war efforts. The Tsar left his wife to rule in his stead with the aid of Rasputin who was an advisor to the Romanov family.
* Lost terriorty in Poland & Western Russia – PG were blamed for losses just like the Tsar was when took charge. * War made finical problems – Inflation still a problem and food shortages were high. * Russia expected these things to be stored out – PG short-lived because they were full of empty promises. Promised land reform to the peasants ( made up a large amount of the population , Bolshevik priority was to keep them on their side) no action was taken * Couldn’t guarantee food supplies as because soviet controlled the railways. * Political reform also promised political reform in an attempt to stop the revolutionaries but no action was taken.
During the revolution, members of the imperial parliament gained control of the country.The army leadership felt they did not have the means to suppress the revolution and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. It is argued that the social and economic factors were the most important catalyst and the main cause of the revolution. Others may argue that the military factors were the downfall and breaking point of the country. Although the military factors were important and did play a huge role, the social and economic factors were perhaps the more important reason. The military issues perhaps would not have escalated the way they did if it was not for existing social and economic problems at home.
This would lead to the army losing their faith in the Tsar which was extremely vital, for as long as the army remained loyal to the him, they were able to put down any threat of revolution however, the poor conditions eventually led to them refusing to fire upon rioters. For these reasons, the First World War contributed majorly to the downfall of Imperial Russia. After his downfall, the War became increasingly unpopular. Popular demands for peace were growing intense, especially within the army. The Provisional Government attempted to regain the support of both the Russian
Less than two weeks earlier, the prospect of such a dramatic outcome had seemed remote and unlikely. Strikes in Petrograd, the Russian capital, began on February 23rd and were accompanied by housewives' protests against wartime bread shortages. In the beginning, these events on the streets of the capital did not seem any more dangerous than previous demonstrations. However, the instability of February 1917 became potentially much more substantial when the troops of the Petrograd garrison were ordered to open fire on the demonstrators and refused. Some regiments revolted, turning their guns on their own officers rather than on the protesting civilians.
This is implying of course that the decision by Nicholas II to go to war against Germany and it’s allies in 1914 was wrong, but this is not the case. Russia actually had many reasons to risk war again; the war was weighed heavily in the allies favour as the combined forces of Great Britain, France and Russia were far stronger than that of Germany, Austria and Hungary. Russia was aware of it’s major failing though, it’s slow modernisation had left it trailing behind that of the other countries, and Russia would have to be prepared for the rapid social and economic change that a war brings. This was Russia’s best chance to modernise and not be left behind. Russia’s early hopes were soon dashed however.