Why Did the Tsarist Regime Collapse in 1917?

1024 Words5 Pages
If Russia’s economy was relatively healthy in early 1914, how did it manage to be in such a sad state of affairs by 1917? There are many factors that contributed to this: the decision to go to war, the direction of the Russian war effort between 1914 and 1917, economic and social factors as well as political developments. So how did the Russian Empire manage to collapse so quickly? The answer lies in the changing nature of warfare after 1914, as well as the social and economic strains that a war of that magnitude imposes. 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. Russia’s best chance of victory came at the very beginning of the war when a large number of German troops were invading Belgium and France, but instead of ceasing this opportunity the Russian generals blundered into defeat after defeat. Russia’s dreams of a swift victory were all but crushed in the Tannenberg and Masurian disasters that set the stage for further defeats in 1915. The First World War was a new type of war, a war dominated by modern technology, technology that the Russians were struggling with. Meanwhile the Germans were making massive advancements in both new technology and it’s utilisation but also the strategic aspects of
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