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

How far was military defeat responsible for the fall (abdication) of the Tsar in Feb 1917?

Extracts from this document...


How Far Was Military Defeat Responsible For The Fall (Abdication) of the Tsar In Feb 1917? By 1917 Russia had been at War for three years and the strains on the both the army and the country itself were becoming more and more established as time went on and people were beginning to question the Tsar's rule. Previous to 1917 the Tsar had suffered many setbacks as ruler of Russia. The most significant of these were the economic and political problems prevalent in Russia, the prominence of revolutionary groups and their activities and the gradual loss of support for the Tsar. Further factors were the industrialisation of Russia, the 1905 revolution and the October Manifesto and creation of the State Duma. Some of these causes were long term, whilst others were fairly short term. However, it was the huge Military defeats suffered by Russia that set the 1917 Russian Revolution off. At the end of 1914 the Russian army had lost half a million men and they were running low on ammunition and arms. They also had problems with uniform and food. Desertion became more and more frequent and some soldiers even deliberately inflicted injury upon themselves so they could avoid military service. Nobody could understand why the Russian leaders had engaged the country in such a pointless war. ...read more.


This caused the speaker of the Duma (and the leader of the Conservative Octobrist party), Alexander Guchov publicly attacked the Tsar for allowing Rasputin to stay with them. This was a surprise because the Russians had never seen the Tsar openly criticised and he began to seem less god-like and more weak and frail. When the war started in 1914 it affected the Russian people in many ways. First of all it created immediate patriotism: the German named St Petersburg was changed to Petrograd and the German embassy was burnt down. However, by 1915 things had changed again. The army suffered heavy defeats and shortages of labour on the land began to arise due to men and horses being called up for the front. Therefore, the food and goods that people needed for every day life could not be acquired. Prices increased and in the city workers were forced to work long hours under hard conditions in order to maintain the war effort. Some of these things may have mattered less to the people if the war had gone well. The Tsar suspended the Duma and confidence was low. The shortage of supplies affected the Russian army as well, meaning that they were short of food, ammunition and arms and without sufficient clothing to protect them against the harsh winter weather. ...read more.


However, when added to the huge list of problems in Russia that the people blamed the Tsar for, it was yet another thing wrong with the Tsarist reign. If the military had been successful, then it may well have raised morale in Russia, meaning people would be less annoyed with the struggle at home but they weren't. However, a lot of the reason for the army being unsuccessful was due to the problems at home, such as the poor working conditions of the workers, so they may not have been working to their best efforts, therefore not producing as many arms as possible. Also, the incompetence of the Tsar meant that the army had a Commander who did not know what he was doing. Most of the problems could be traced back to the Tsar and the people of Russia finally realised this after they suffered military defeats, despite having believed that the Tsar was chosen by God and giving him an extremely high status for years. Therefore, I think that the Military defeats were immediately responsible for the defeat of the Tsar because they could be seen as the 'straw that broke the camel's back'. However, on their own they would not have caused nearly as much trouble as they did, but when put with the other factors they helped to increase the pressure on the Tsar, eventually causing him to abdicate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 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 GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Was Nicholas II Responsible for His Own Downfall? What can you learn from ...

    4 star(s)

    This source should be very accurate, as Durnovo would have an excellent view and understanding of the political situation. The memorandum states that if Russia did go to war and were defeated, a social revolution would be the probable outcome.

  2. Why did the Tsarist regime fall in 1917?

    This source however does tell us that large sections of the army did mutiny; as we know that the Tsar was forced to abdicate shortly after the mutiny of the army.

  1. The Factors which Lead to the Abdication of Tsar Nicholas in March 1917

    Furthermore the army was running low on basic equipment, some men had no boots and in other cases one rifle was shared between three! The army suffered food shortages and many soldiers went hungry. This resulted in the army, like many other groups, to turn against the Tsar.

  2. Why does the Tsar abdicate in 1917?

    While Pipes, argues that it was the rural attitudes that were circling the factories due to an influx of peasants into the workforce and political awareness was driving them to point out the flaws in the regime, other liberals, point out the famous phrase- "Revolutions start in bread queues".

  1. The fall of Tsarism in Russia.

    However the worst statistic was from June to September 1916 when the Brusilov Offensive took place and Russia lost a further one million men. Source E illustrates that the supporters of the Tsar have come from an elite class because they are mounted soldiers.

  2. Why was there a German revolution in 1918 and how far had it gone ...

    The Communist Revolution was crushed by the army, who were in support of the SPD in the sense that they were also terrified of the communists. The appointment of Ebert was an achievement gained from the revolution as he was a passionate democrat and was appointed as chancellor until free and democratic elections could be held.

  1. The blance sheet for russia.

    Again, this argument is entirely false. Without organisation - the trade unions and the party - the working class is only raw material for exploitation. This was already pointed out by Marx long ago. True, the proletariat possesses enormous power.

  2. Why did the tsar fall from power in 1917?

    Even though this chaotic situation would have challenged the best of leaders, the Tsarina and Rasputin made it worse.

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