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To what extent was the February 1917 Russian revolution inevitable after the 1905 revolution?

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Introduction

To what extent was the February 1917 revolution inevitable after the 1905 revolution? The February 1917 Revolution was one of the defining moments in Russian history, it was the culmination of years of class struggle and the forming of new ideals. The February Revolution was genuinely perceived as the start of a new Russia, this hope was in marked contrast to the subdued elevation of the results of the 1905 Revolution, which were seen as considerably watered-down in comparison to original expectations. The 1905 Revolution was, in essence, an economic revolution; those who marched on Bloody Sunday wanted better working conditions, not the end of Romanov Rule. It was just 12 years later that the mood had changed completely, from wanting better conditions to a concerted effort to rid Russia of an autocracy obsessed with self-preservation. Arguably, the 1905 Revolution added to the thirst for change, however it was other factors also which lead to a Revolution, which was always inevitable because those within the revolution had always sought a system without Tsarist rule. ...read more.

Middle

The major cause for frustration was the Duma, which had originally promised so much but was in the end just a rubber stamp for the Tsar. The people had revolted in 1905 for economic reasons but with the emergence of more radical socialists and more freedom of the press the people were able to make the real link between political incompetence and the economic hardships they faced. The 1905 Revolution provided the basis for change; the Tsar could have taken the opportunity to grant the people a representative assembly, it was however in his nature to preserve the autocracy, the change occurred in the people, they no longer wanted to live under a man described as 'not fit to run a village post office', the people forced the agenda and forced the revolution. The February 1917 Revolution did not happen because of a single event like the 1905 Revolution, the cumulative effect of years of neglect of its people, decades of poor economic policy and a willing to enter into conflicts in which it had no real interest brought about the destruction of the Tsardom. ...read more.

Conclusion

The war was a particularly major factor in the emergence of the revolution and its leaders, obviously socialists were dead against the war but at first a wave of nationalism swept the country as the first months went well for Russia. However, as the war dragged on the people of St. Petersburg, in particular, felt the full affects of food shortages, the victories dried up as well as the Russian army had equipment shortages and desertion was rife. The systematic neglect of its peoples and the apparent inability to take the countries needs into account ensured that the Revolution was close at hand. The February 1917 Revolution gave a platform for the Russian people to have a government in which their views were respected. The 1905 revolution obviously was a factor in the inaction of a revolution in February 1917 but the inevitability of the event can really be seen at the continuation of a Total War, which drained the Russian people and their tolerance for a government, which showed no respect for its peoples. Martin Fox 24/02/03 AKM ...read more.

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