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Why did tsarism collapse?

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Introduction

Why did tsarism collapse? The fall of Nicholas II is one of the great defining events of history and would have global consequences for the next seventy or more so years. It is often believed that the last Tsar, following an unsuccessful and sometimes bloody reign , was responsible for his own downfall by leading his country into a extended and ineffective war against a more powerful and better-equipped enemy in the form of the central powers Germany and Austria and Hungary. Nicholas's unfounded belief that this was a winnable war and his conviction that the majority of Russia stood by his side on the issue would lead his country into a period revolt not seen for a decade or possible ever and culminate in his abdication as Tsar, and the end of the monarchy in 1917. However, while the end of the monarchy did indeed occur during war time was this merely a coincidence and was an absolute monarch who fought against limitations of his God given power doomed to eventually fall following the growth ever more politicised and organised urban working class or was, following the establishment of a reasonably successful Duma. Russia forging a path towards modern democracy which was upset during a bloody and drawn out war, the reasons for fighting which the majority of the soldiers didn't understand. In the years leading up to the First World War, Russia was in a period of transformation. ...read more.

Middle

A retreat some 250 miles in places back into Russian territory forced by an aggressive enemy and a lack of artillery and men further dampened the spirits of the officers and their troops. The knowledge of this shortage caused Russian producers, most of the military equipment was at this time coming from foreign manufacturers, to demand a share of the production. In order to achieve this certain organisations were established and lobbied on behalf of the original manufacturer. They were successful and this success was caused by the alliance between the generals and the industrialists in the Duma who were kicking up a considerable stink concerning conditions noted above producing an economic-military-political alliance of respectable Russia that foreshadowed the Provisional Government. However, many producers then failed to deliver after being given sizeable advances and those that did produced munitions which were way overpriced. This saw a massive increase in profits in industry which caused investment but failed to trickle down to the workers pay packet. The role of women increased during the war years as they filled the posts their men left as they went to war. As events show women were no less shy of protest than their husbands. In October 1915 violent protests, made up mainly of women occurred in the town of Bogorodsk and were broken up by armed Cossack forces who fired into the crowd. ...read more.

Conclusion

Firstly, in society while there was discontent from the working masses it must be noted that following 1905 until 1910 incidences of strikes were falling to minor levels and following 1910 while unrest did grow this can be seen as growing with the population of these new industrial cities whose workers often looked to the peasant way of doing things to solve their grievances. In the political sphere things were beginning to settle following the creation of the third Duma which, while it was right wing and reactionary, did push for peasant rights and further democratic power. The economy which was still recovering from Crimea was further damaged by the Japanese conflict but had the ability to recover and develop with foreign investment which would be forthcoming due to Russia's massive labour force and raw materials. The army was beginning to take more and more of its officers from the non-noble classes and as a result was beginning to resemble a more western model rather than the noble sanctuary it had been fourty years earlier. The war threw all these progressions into turmoil as an under prepared empire took on a highly professional adversary. It is impossible to know whether given ten more years of peace Russia would have developed into a democracy organically but it is doubtful whether revolution would have come so easily as it did during the hurricane of events of 1917. ...read more.

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