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

Was the February Revolution more a collapse from within?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine the view that the February Revolution of 1917 was not 'an overthrow from without, but a collapse from within' In February 1917 300 years of Romanov rule in Russia came to an end with Nicholas II abdicating his throne. In contrast with the Soviet view of these events that emphasise the role of revolutionary groups, namely the Bolsheviks, in ending the regime, it must be remembered that the long term weaknesses evident in the regime had made it incredibly vulnerable to the additional strains imposed by the First World War. As such the collapse from within could have occurred, but the overthrow may have been delayed without the pressures of WWI. As had been seen in the attempts at revolution in 1905, Russia had a number of inherent weaknesses that could have resulted in a collapse from within. Firstly, any man would have had difficulty in ruling a country of 126 million people, of over 20 different nationalities. With over 6000 miles in the Empire, St Petersburg was actually closer to New York than the South Eastern city of Vladivostock and this made communication and feelings of unity very difficult to achieve. ...read more.

Middle

At this point the Tsar's concessions in the form of the October Manifesto enabled him and the regime to survive - the collapse from within was not apparent at this stage. Although Liberal historians emphasise the impact of WWI, it would be wrong to agree as they do, that Russia had been making solid progress from the beginning of the twentieth century. The Dumas, although a clear step forward that pleased some Liberals, in comparison with the previous Imperial Council, did lead to some feeling betrayed with the publication of the Fundamental Laws. To support the Liberal view that reforms were introduced pre WWI; peasants were permitted to leave the land and could try new agricultural techniques; trade unions had been legalised and educational reform was introduced. However, Nicholas was deeply suspicious of the policies introduced by Stolypin. Some had been far too liberal for the reactionary Tsar and following Stolypin's assassination, Nicholas reasserted his overall control. A situation that all opposition groups were unhappy with. This dissatisfaction could have resulted in all groups being thrown together, all be it reluctantly, as they had done before in 1905. ...read more.

Conclusion

At least half of the Petrograd soldiers made a conscious decision for political change. This class had provided most of the army officers and had suffered directly from the military failures. Their landed estates were dropping in value and they had been given no role in running the country. Any reasons they had for supporting the regime had disappeared. WWI placed significant strain on the government, forcing all potential opposition groups together. Although the pressure from without was significant the responsibility must also be placed on Nicholas' shoulders. In agreement with the Liberal school of thought much of the blame for the collapse of the regime must lie with him. He had been urged on many occasions to make compromises with the Duma long before 1917 and if he had appointed a government acceptable to moderate opinion, the regime could have been saved, in the short term, at least. His firm belief in Russian autocracy made any compromise impossible and perhaps a more flexible man could have amended his principles in the given circumstances. For Nicholas II, 300 years of history, his upbringing and personality prevented him from making that imaginative leap and thus prompted a collapse from within. ...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 International History, 1945-1991 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 International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Causes of WWI.

    They built networks of trenches that ran 500 miles. The First Battle of the Marne was the war's first major turning point. German army has almost reached its objective Paris in accordance with the Schlieffen Plan, but the Battle of the Marne stopped the movement of Germans in the west.

  2. Khrushchev's attempts at modernisation.

    peasants to sell a portion of their crops for their own profit. Both policies were aimed at improving efficiency and modernising the economy by removing the Stalinist emphasis on central planning and encouraging both peasants and managers to do things on their own initiative and not expect to be always waiting around for orders.

  1. Why was there a revolution in Feburary 1917?

    She often did not tell the truth and made out that everything was fine. In fact by late 1916 the situation was desperate. In February 1917 workers in Petrograd began to go on strike. A mounting wave of food and wage strikes in Petrograd followed.

  2. Why did tsarism collapse?

    The path to war began in June 1914. Gavrilo Princip a member of a secret Serbian terrorist group, dedicated to independence for the South Slav people from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, called the Black Hand organisation assassinated the archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife in Sarajevo.

  1. Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?

    In 1973 East and West Germany joined the UN. (19) Throughout this period the West had more and more access to the Eastern bloc and the people of the communist countries were influenced by these ideas. This was a further blow to communist rule and another factor in the downfall of communism.

  2. American History.

    The Choctaws were moved first, then the Creeks. - Finally the Cherokees [who were divided - some wanted to give up and exchange their land for western land, most didn't want to give up] were marched by military escort

  1. How Stable Was the Tsarist Autocracy in 1914?

    of living was horrifically low, but from the more economically rational and dynamic peasant (a fact the liberals never associated with the peasant). Mass disturbance evidence of Soviet historians, according to Revisionists is at best shaky, and those findings were based on unreliable evidence and sources.

  2. After the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the world ...

    Kaplan begins his article by referring to the cities in West Africa, in which crime is generating from the instability politics and social life generates crime among young generations. Generations who Kaplan describes as "loose molecules in a very unstable social fluid that was clearly on the verge of igniting."6

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