The Bolshevik threat to Tsardom during the reign of Nicholas II wasn't as important as other threats from other political parties, the war and as Nicholas was to himself. The beginning of World War I signalled the beginning of the end of the Romanov dynasty. On August 2 1914 Tsar Nicholas II issued a formal proclamation of hostilities towards Germany at the Winter Palace to a crowd of thousands of cheering Russians in Palace Square. The Tsar abdicated the Russian throne three years later and the causes and the effects of his abdication were both numerous and large. Some believe the Tsar lacked integrity, others say Alexandra and Rasputin were to blame; still others blame the dismantling of the Duma and the harsh rule of the government.
1918 In 1917, Russia had been in political turmoil with support for the war and the Tsar dwindling. Under intense pressure Tsar Nicholas II abdicated in March and a provisional government formed under Alexander Kerensky, pledging to continue fighting the Germans on the Eastern Front. The Western allies had been shipping supplies to Russia since the beginning of the war, through the ports of Archangel, Murmansk and Vladivostok. Following the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917, the Americans also began providing support. Political and social unrest increased however, with the revolutionary Bolsheviks gaining widespread support.
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.
To understand and identify the aspects of the totalitarian system in both countries it's important to consider both countries history. On November the 11th 1918 Germany agreed to signed the Armistice. After Germany was forced to accept Versailles agreement by accepting guilt for WW 1. As a consequence the German people were demotivated and had no confidence in the new liberal democratic Weimar government and international forces. This resulted in risings such as the Spartacist rising where communists fuelled by the success of the Russian revolution almost occupied nearly every major city in Germany.
During the period 1905 – 1917 in Russia, numerous political and social alterations occurred. These ultimately led to the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II on March 2nd 1917 along with the falling of the Romanov Dynasty whom has ruled Russia for 3 centuries. Chain events of poor political actions from the 1904 – 1917 combined to influence the decisions of the Russian society. As these changes occurred, the people of Russia began to question the Tsar as the ruler, which led to lose of support from workers, peasants and the military. Despite the key cause of the February revolution was sparked by Russia’s involvement in World War I, it wasn’t the only factor in the regime.
How important is the character and personality of Nicholas II to an understanding of the reasons for the February Revolution? There are many reasons for the February Revolution of 1917, the character and personality of a Tsar who was conservative and nervous in the position that he felt, God had wanted him to take, is just one. Other factors include the feelings of hostility that arose after the revolution of 1905, growths of parties within Russia, including the ideas of both the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, and of course the war of 1914 and the hardships it brought to the Russian people. The view of some historians is that the revolution of 1917 was spontaneous, but when considering the conditions of the majority of Russian people during this revolutionary period, one must see that this cannot be the case, the country was ripe for change… and for revolution. This essay will aim to examine each factor in turn, before coming to a solid conclusion on the main reasons for the revolution in Russia, in 1917.
Nicholas II fell from power in February 1917, there are many reasons for the collapse of Tsarism but to what extent was World War 1 the most important reason? World War 1 seems to be the most contributing factor to why Tsarism collapsed in 1917; the huge effects and problems that the War had on Tsarism was able to overturn the monarchy, that before then, had never died. This is due to the impact of War on Russia’s Political state. In 1915 Nicholas II as Tsar toke power of the Russian army, this had a huge effect on the outcome of World War 1 on Russia. Despite this, the collapse of Tsarism could be blamed on different factors of Russia, such as the civilians; the percentage of peasantry in Russia was extremely high, not only the percentage but also the conditions of peasants was awful.
When war was declared in 1914, much of the Russian population rallied behind the Tsar and the monarchy in a wave of patriotism. However, the war weariness in the face of 'Total War' soon gripped the country, as the war exacerbated the domestic difficulties of Russia and highlighted the governments structural issues. Losses such as the 'Brusilov offensive' demoralised the army, which in turn weakened the standing of the Tsar and the faith the public placed in him. Poor organisation lead to major casualties, as by Christmas of 1916, 1.6 million soldiers were dead and 3.9 million were wounded with 2.4 million taken prisoner. This lack of organisation also lead to food shortages and issues with transport.
The term Russian Revolution includes not only one event or even process but a sequence of disruptive and strongly violent happenings which occurred more or less at the same time. It started as a rebellion of the most conservative elements in Russian society, dissatisfied with the Royal family and their connection to the self-styled monk Rasputin and the mismanagement of the decision in the war. But the riots were soon spread to the liberals who feared that of the monarchy remained as it was, the revolution would become inescapable. The Romanov dynasty had lasted over 300 years but Nicholas II, who ascended the throne in 1894, turned out to be the last tsar of Russia. How did such an ancient monarchy collapse so dramatically?
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.