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

The collapse of the autocracy in February 1917 signified the end product of the interaction of multiple factors relating to both domestic and foreign issues. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The collapse of the autocracy in February 1917 signified the end product of the interaction of multiple factors relating to both domestic and foreign issues. The traditional historiographical view of a rapid insurrection catching the autocracy by surprise is increasingly called into question - Hasegawa sees the abdication of Nicholas II as the product of disillusionment with the war being translated into popular protest1. The experience of 1905 left workers and soldiers more prepared for rebellion and the long - term factor of war accentuated the domestic problems in Russia. The pressure created by the war rendered the autocracy vulnerable, hence the unrest from the 23rd of February onwards had such an impact. It was ultimately however the loss of military discipline and loyalty in Petrograd, coupled with liberals' decisions and autocratic choice, which caused the regime to fall, not as a result of previous unrest, but a fear of what rebellion may be still to come. This fear was what dictated the nature of the revolution. It was this combination of long and short - term factors that caused the Russian autocracy to fall. It is pertinent to tackle this issue in a chronological form, beginning in 1915 / '16. One must however bear in mind that unrest in Petrograd, almost irrespective of the rest of Russia, was enough to cause the collapse of autocracy. ...read more.

Middle

Nicholas often did not have the full picture, and this made shrewd responses near impossible. There was however a good deal of blame to be directed at Nicholas, who failed to appreciate the domestic situation, or the folly of his taking symbolic control of what was already a sinking ship of a war effort10. It is in this context that the growing urban unrest must be seen. Russia was trapped in a war it could not afford to leave, as allied loans were staving off economic collapse. Russia could not socially afford to continue, however, as peasants became opposed to a regime requisitioning grain, and the industrial sphere became increasingly frustrated by the lack of regular food deliveries or industrial war materials. Russia was not equipped economically, industrially or socially to compete in a military capacity with the industrial powerhouses it fought with, and against. The war thus provides the backdrop to the unrest, a general climate in which being opposed to the war, and increasingly the Tsar and his government, was seen as acceptable. The war, accordingly, has to be seen as a key reason in the fall of the autocracy. Without the domestic unrest that increasingly accompanied it however, it would not have been enough to topple the regime. ...read more.

Conclusion

While the problems of war, and the February strike movement provided the context in which a drive for abdication was viable, it was the actions of the Tsar and his family which ultimately signalled the end of the autocracy. 1 Hasegawa, T, 'The Problem of Power in the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia' in Canadian Slavonic Papers, 1972; 14ii p.611 2 Burdzhalov, KN, Russia's Second Revolution: The February 1917 Uprising in Petrograd, 1987, USA, p.18 3 ibid., p.19 4 ibid., p.21 5 Read, C, From Tsar to Soviets, the Russian People and Their Revolution, 1996, London, p.38 - 39 6 Westwood, JN, Endurance and Endeavour: Russian History 1812 - 1992, 4th ed., 1993, Oxford, p.226 - 227 7 Burzhalov, Russia's Second Revolution, p.72 - 73 8 Read, C, From Tsar to Soviets, the Russian People and Their Revolution, 1996, London, p.35 9 Diakin, VS, 'The Leadership Crisis in Russia on the Eve of the February Revolution', in Soviet Studies in History, 1984;23, (1), p.13 10 ibid., p.12 11 Hasegawa, p.613 12 Smith, SA, 'Petersburg in 1917: The View from Below, in Kaiser, DH (ed.), revolution in russia, 1917 The View from Below, 1987, Cambridge p.62 13Longley, DA, 'The Mezhraionka, The Bolsheviks and International Women's Day. In Response to Michael Melancon', in Soviet Studies 1989; 41 p.632 - 633 14Hasegawa, p.613 15 Kerensky, A, 'Why the Russian Monarchy Fell', in Slavonic and East European Review, 1930; 8 (24) p.497 ...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)

    Source B then goes on to say how the soldiers had mutinied, who were mostly peasants in uniform. With no method of control in Petrograd the Tsar was unable to stop the demonstrations. Revolution was now inevitable. Source D helps support the evidence given in Source B, by giving us the truth before the soldiers mutinied.

  2. How convincing is the argument that WW1 was the main factor in the collapse ...

    However, this argument seems unconvincing in explaining the collapse of Tsarism. Whilst this incident unavoidably added to the people's distrust of the Tsar, it contributed little to the instability that led to the February revolution. Due to the repressive and domineering nature of the government and increasing distrust in the

  1. Why did the Tsarist regime fall in 1917?

    This was not good, as ordinary Russians believed that a dirty, ragged tramp was controlling their country. This is well illustrated by source G, as it shows the Tsar and Tsarina in the palms of Rasputin's hands - as if he was their master.

  2. Why does the Tsar abdicate in 1917?

    Resistance to the Progressive Bloc caused the Tsar to be alienated of any support. Even if the peasants, workers, soldiers were not cared for, it was a political mistake to discard the advice of liberal intellectuals, it simply took the net and support away from the autocratic structure, already weak and crumbling from the inside.

  1. Explain Rasputin's contribution to the collapse of Tsarism.

    She did not have much help, as the Tsar was autocratic, and the Duma did not have much power. Another point is that the Tsar may have made the army even worse because he did not respect them. It was mainly made up of peasants, so they may not have been completely loyal because the Tsar treated them very badly.

  2. The fall of Tsarism in Russia.

    The statistics in source A show that in comparison to other leading countries, Russia's production of various resources was very poor. Russia had the least quantity of coal and pig iron production in the table. In these two areas, Russia has significantly less than any other of the great powers.

  1. Which of the following views best explain the fall of Tsarism of Russia? ...

    The problem would have been resolved if the zemstvos were asked to co-operate with the Tsar. However, the Tsar resented to that as he did not like the zemstvos, due to their demand for reforms in the past. This shows that because of the Tsar's lack of co-operation the army

  2. How and why did the Bolsheviks seize power in 1917?

    By 1917, he had lost this. Other factors resulting from the war was the decline in support from the peasants, workers, and ethnic minorities. Whole villages were wiped out from the war losses, leaving widows and children that received no state war pensions.

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