• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The importance of the First World War as a turning point in the development of Russian history has been vastly exaggerated. How far do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The importance of the First World War as a turning point in the development of Russian history has been vastly exaggerated. How far do you agree with this statement? The First World War was a significant turning point as resulted in the end of three hundred years of Tsarist rule and also led to the world's first communist government. Politically the impact was huge but to evaluate its importance as a turning point in the development of Russian history it needs assessing in terms of its economic and social impacts as well. It also needs evaluating against other key turning points such as the Emancipation edict of 1861, the 1905 revolution, Stalin's rule in the 1920's and also Khrushchev's destalinisation era. As mentioned above the First World War resulted in massive political change. As the patriotism declined due to losses at Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes the Russian population came out against the Tsar who was leading the war at the front. In similar conditions to the 1905 revolution which was in response to the failures of the Russo Jap War the people revolted against the Tsar with strikes and peasant uprisings. The main difference between the two occasions was that the army was on the Tsars side in 1905 but this time they helped lead the revolt with the Duma. ...read more.

Middle

Stolypin's attempt created the richer Kulak class whereas Khrushchev's Virgin Land Campaign had success at the start but by 1960 all the soil had eroded and production was very low. Overall these economic developments had little impact and it was Stalin's five year plans that had the greatest impact in the development of Russian history and therefore on economic terms the First World War has been over exaggerated. Social impacts caused by the World War include the loss of millions of lives, food shortages and a lower standard of living. Over one and a half million people died fighting for Russia in the war and another two million people were captured or seriously injured. This meant that there was a huge fall in Russian population and this made it harder to increase productive capacity back to what it was previously at. There was also a very high ratio of women compared to men which meant that birth rates were low in the next few years. Food shortages were an issue as grain requisition started during the war and continued under Lenin until 1921 when the civil war ended. These impacts are very limited in nature. This contrasts massively with other times during the period. The 1861 emancipation should have been a massive social change. ...read more.

Conclusion

officially but Lenin always had the final say, it was his interpretation of marxism that people followed - NEP was his policy which was largely unpopular and Treaty of Brest Litovsk was his idea Stalin did too - using the cult of personality Next paragraph - Communists more autocratic than Tsars Had more control - totalitarian - due to centralisation - e.g collectivisation - enabled greater control of peasants. Grain requisitioning under Lenin and Stalin - something Tsars would never have dreamt of enforcing - too invasive. But the Communists had greater control over the countryside and the factories More repressive and more successful in being so: Secret police stronger than ever under Lenin and Stalin, great purges Ohkrana small, Cheka large Gulag existed under Stalin and Krushchev (and lenin???) Better at exiling, under Tsars people just came back - Stalin and Lenin did! But under the Communists they eliminated them Better at dealing with opposition - Stalin so paranoid that he assassinated any potential threat - Kirov, Trotsky - but Tsars did not eliminate many potential threats Conclusion Partly agree with the view - but it is not as black and white - Tsars whilst they did show periods in which they were ineffective autocrats, did maintain power quite well considering the size of Russia. However compared to the Communists they were not very effective. Communists much better....... ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Assess the economic, social and political consequences of the collectivisation of Russian agriculture in ...

    countryside and eliminate the class of the kulaks (Millar 1982 p63), and as the majority of the Soviet Union had become collectivised so early on in the collectivisation process, this can be seen as a success for Stalin. Furthermore, collectivisation was not only used to defeat any "peasant obstructionism", but

  2. Role of Women Under Stalin

    He exploited women as breeders to populate his new regime and provide home comforts for the men of his nation. He was not concerned with the rape of Russian women already traumatized by Nazi concentration camps and neither did he take action when the women in his own camps were mistreated in the same ways.

  1. The Russian Revolution of October 1917 was potentially the most politically formative event of ...

    be settled in the world without the intervention of Germany and the German Emperor"9 which emphasises both the egotistical nature and insecurities that have been described of the Kaiser, and blamed on his withered arm by many historians. The Kaiser's erratic and ill-informed actions led to the failure of the

  2. How far was the First World War responsible for the downfall of the Romanovs ...

    This started a chain reaction of strikes within the city of St Petersburg. By 25th of February Petrograd was paralysed by outbreaks of strikes from political anti-tsar protests to general outcry against food shortages, the attempts to disperse the workers were held back by the sympathy of the army for

  1. Free essay

    In what ways can the Second World War (1939-1945) be regarded as the turning ...

    The United Nations (UN) was therefore established in 1945. The UN made considerable improvements over the League of Nations. For example, the UN did not require a unanimous vote for decision making. Its specialized agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank were the international organizations which lasted until now and had great success.

  2. Success of Daniel O'Connell's Catholic Emancipation Campaign

    This was a big factor in O'Connell's campaign for the passing of Catholic Emancipation and played a pivotal role. Mac Donagh claimed "The Catholic Association spearheaded constitutional developments especially the process of parliament becoming responsive to organised public opinion." The aim of the new Association was "to adopt al such

  1. How secure was the Tsars power up to 1904

    as in Great Britain. More serious was the threat of social revolutionaries. Such revolutionaries, often violent, wanted to take over land from the nobles and re-distribute them to the peasants. They assassinated officials and Okhrana agents and started to gain wide support in both urban and rural areas.

  2. How far can the impact of the depression be seen as a key turning ...

    called the Triple Entente.*** This aggressive form of diplomacy was called Weltpolitik (World Policy) and was a huge turning point from Bismarck, but arguably was a step back to Germany?s former intentions rather than a step in a new direction- it put emphasis on overseas colonization, the creation of the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work