Trotsky Described War as the ‘Locomotive of History’. How Far Can It Be Argued That Change in Russia in the Period 1855-1964 Was Caused Only by Involvement in Wars?

1759 Words8 Pages
Trotsky described war as the ‘locomotive of history’. How far can it be argued that change in Russia in the period 1855-1964 was caused only by involvement in wars? During this period the biggest change that happened was the move from Tsarist autocracy to communist dictatorship as well as the short lived provisional government, which was a form of democracy. Furthermore there were changes to economic policy, which had a great impact on society. The wars that occurred did bring change but were not the only causes of change. World War One bought the most transformation as it ended Tsarist rule and contributed to the failings of the provisional government. The Crimean war and the Russo-Japanese war both bought significant changes but acted as more of a catalyst to the developments rather than being the sole cause. Furthermore the wars that were won often bought very little change to Russia such as the Russo-Turkish war. 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. After these developments Nicholas’s actions were poor and had decisive consequences. He had made himself commander of the army after initial defeats and had dissolved the Duma after the creation of the Progressive Bloc. This made him responsible for the
Open Document