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Causes of the February 1917 revolution

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Was the Great War the most important cause of the February 1917 revolution? During the period of 1905 to 1917 in Russia many changes occurred, which ultimately led to the falling of the Tsar Nicholas the second's reign. As these changes occurred, the stability of the Tsar as ruler became questionable. He began to lose the support of his people and the country seemed to be falling deeper and deeper into crisis. Chain events from 1905 to 1917 combined were enough for the Russian society to look elsewhere for a new leader to govern their country in a better way. Poverty became severe and working conditions worsened, so much so that the Russian citizens no longer worried about disrespecting their powerful leader. They understood fully that their situation could not get any worse and they were willing to fight for a change, causing the Russian revolution to occur and the Tsar to be abandoned. There are many causes as to why there was a revolution and the Great War was one of the main factors. ...read more.


A short term cause could be Rasputin (and Tsarina), Rasputin was a holy man from Siberia who believed that religious ecstasy came through your sense and they were said to involve themselves in practices that 'stretched their senses' including flogging themselves to endure intense pain and sexual acts with questionable methods. He was said to be friend to the royal family and one of his lovers apparently included the Tsarina. The Tsar's son, Alexis, was a haemophiliac and in 1907 it was feared that Alexis was dying so Rasputin was called in as a 'healer'. Shortly after his visit Alexis began to recover leaving the Tsarina to believe God had sent Rasputin to save her son. However, the Tsar and Tsarina's association with Rasputin did not do them any good as society saw this as completely scandalous, the Tsar supported his wife and this brought him in direct contact with the Duma. When the Tsar went to war in 1914 the problem grew worse as Rasputin was seen to have increasing influence over the Tsarina and political decisions that were made, the whole of Russia obviously saw this which made the people extremely angry towards the Tsar and his reign. ...read more.


In mid-1915 Nicholas made the disastrous decision to take direct command of the Russian armies. From then on, every military failure was directly associated with him. It also left the government in the hands of the Tsar's wife, the Tsarina, and the monk, Rasputin. As the Tsarina was half-German the Russian people believed that she was trying to ruin Russia from within, this caused wide spread panic amongst the people. The war effort caused economic chaos in Russia. By February 1917, people in the towns were starving and freezing. This was another short term cause for the revolution, as the war was worsening conditions and the lack of food, living conditions began to plummet and working conditions were beginning to go the same way. Overall it is easy to see that many of the changes that happened which caused such anger from the Russian people was due to the Great War, such as lack of food, poor working condition and poor living conditions. So from looking at all the causes, trigger causes, short term causes and long term causes, it can be seen that the Great War was the most important cause of the February 1917 revolution in Russia. ...read more.

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