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Choose any reason and explain how it contributed to the downfall of the Tsar in March, 1917. You do not have to restrict your answer to just the chosen reason if other factors are relevant.

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Introduction

GCSE History Coursework Russia, 1905 - 1917, The Causes of Revolutionary Change Q1. Choose any reason and explain how it contributed to the downfall of the Tsar in March, 1917. You do not have to restrict your answer to just the chosen reason if other factors are relevant. I believe that there wasn't a single factor that led to the downfall of the Tsar, but several factors were inter-related. I think that the Tsar becoming Commander-in-Chief was the first stage towards his downfall. The Tsar leaving Petrograd in 1915 to go to be Commander-in-Chief was a big factor in his downfall. When the Tsar had gone, he left the Tsarina Alexandra, and Rasputin to rule the country. The Russian people did not like either the Tsarina or Rasputin for several reasons. The Tsarina was a German, and the Russian people thought that she was a spy, and was secretly helping the opposition. The German people greatly disliked Rasputin, especially the aristocracy, because Rasputin was from Siberia, and was born a peasant. The aristocracy also heavily disliked him, because he had cured the Tsar's son, Alexis. Once he had performed this 'miracle', he became highly thought of by the Royal Family, as Alexis was in a very serious state, and was thought to be dying. He was known to be a heavy drinker, and a flirtatious womaniser. ...read more.

Middle

By this time, the Tsar thought that if he took over as Commander-in-Chief of the army, then they would not do so badly against the Germans. The actual reason why the Russian army was regularly losing to the Germans was not all down to bad leadership, but was due to the lack of weapons that the Russian army had in their possession. The lack of weapons became so bad, that they had to go into battle with wooden rifle, and were told to capture arms from the opposition. When the Tsar became Commander-in-Chief, nothing was going to change, they would still be poorly supplied with food, ammunition, weaponry and other essentials that are needed to fight a war successfully. Once the Tsar became Commander-in-Chief of the army, he led the Russian army into war, and still suffered heavy military defeats. Now the Tsar had no excuse, no scapegoat was there to take the blame for the lack of military successes. The Russian people now began to realise that there was no one else to blame for all these military defeats, but the Tsar himself. Now, as the Russians suffered more and more military defeats, and the German army were continuously advancing, more and more territory was lost, but this wasn't just normal territory, it was productive territory. Most of Russia is not very good for farming, and it is hard to transport goods across such vast a country. ...read more.

Conclusion

Once he became Commander-in-Chief, he left his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra in charge of the country along with Rasputin, who he had met due to the circumstances that surrounded the condition of the heir to the throne, Alexis. Once these two were in charge of the army, the Tsar was still on the front, and was suffering heavy military defeats against Germany. As the Russian army were defeated again and again, they lost more and more productive territory to the Germans. Due to the loss of this productive territory, there became a shortage of food, as less was now being produced. As less food was being produced, less food reached the cities, so it was in higher demand, as people were lacking it. Due to the lack of food in the cities, the price of it rose steeply. Due to the rise in food prices, the Tsarina and Rasputin thought that they could solve the problem by simply printing more paper money. They did this, which did stabilise the economy for a short time, but as more and more money was produced, the currency became so devalued, that it became almost worthless. The enormous rise in inflation meant that the army, and the people in the cities were all starving. This led to the Bread Riots in February 1917. The people of Petrograd marched through the streets, arguing that they are not able to feed themselves. As a result of this, the Tsar doesn't know what to do, so he abdicates his throne. His downfall was now complete. Pratik Vats 10T ...read more.

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