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"What caused the Russian people to act in such a radical manner as to overthrow the Romanov Dynasty in February - March 1917?"

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Introduction

Modern History Essay "What caused the Russian people to act in such a radical manner as to overthrow the Romanov Dynasty in February - March 1917?" The Russian Revolution of February - March 1917 might have been the most justified revolution in history. The abdication of the Tsar finally gave the Russian people a voice in society. Prior to this event, people had suffered unimaginable hardships due to their corrupt and incompetent rulers. Their leader, the Tsar, all but destroyed the economy, starved the people, sent poorly led peasants into battle to be slaughtered and allowed incompetent people run the nation. The public attitude towards the Tsar and the system of an autocratic monarchical government changed dramatically during the early twentieth century. Prior to the revolution, the Russian people were strongly influenced by the Orthodox Church and faithfully believed that the Tsar was chosen by God to rule Russia. Russia was the most autocratic nation in Europe, primarily because the people obeyed the Tsar's commands out of fear of god. "The emperor of all the Russia's is an autocratic and unlimited monarch. God himself commands that his supreme power be obeyed, out of conscience as well as fear. (Armstrong, P. People and Power: Russia, 1993). Several events occurred during the reign of Nicholas II, which made the people of Russia question the ruling and power of the Tsar. ...read more.

Middle

Even if you had money, there was still no food to be had. The government made desperate attempts to fix prices and halt inflation, all of which failed and worsened the situation by creating a huge black market and widespread shortages of goods. By 1916 peasants began to hoard their harvests for better times. This caused a lack of food in the cities where most of the food was taken. The rail systems also contributed to the lack of food in the cities. Between 1914 and 1916, rail traffic increased from 235,000,000 to 348,000,000 passengers and freight increased from 13,826,000,000 pounds to 17,228,000,000 pounds (Bradley, J. The Russian Revolution, 1988). Rail systems could not cope. The army, civilian passengers and freight clogged the rails and slowed the supply of food to major cities. This caused bread riots in Petrograd and widespread famine across Russia. The critical food shortages that occurred in the early 1900s, particularly during the demands of World War I, caused an outrage amongst Russian peasants and workers. With the growing difficulty of the agrarian life in the late 1800s and the rapid rise of industrialisation in large towns, there was a massive population movement from rural to urban regions. The living and working conditions in the towns and cities were no better than the country. The average wages of factory workers were extremely low, hours were long, and working conditions were appalling as well as dangerous. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Russian Revolution, 1988). General Yavushkevich, the Stavka Chief of Staff, tried to reinvigorate the soldiers' motivation by proposing to the council of ministers that peasant soldiers who fought well should be rewarded with 25 acres of land. However, this idea was rejected. By 1917, soldiers under the influence of alcohol purchased on the black market were openly mutinous, attacking and sometimes killing their officers. Widespread civil disorders broke out in Warsaw where mutinous mobs ruined the city before running away in panic. A similar situation occurred in the capital, Petrograd, and officers could not be expected to suppress them. This was the most immediate cause of the Tsar's collapse. There were several social, economic and political factors which caused the Russian people to revolt against the Tsarist regime in February - March 1917. The country's poverty and late industrialisation caused economic struggles for most peasants and workers. It also resulted in critical shortages of food, fuel and other goods. Events such as the Russo-Japanese war and Bloody Sunday had an immediate impact on the people's faith in the Tsar and the political system by which they were forced to abide. The poor leadership, Russia's incompetent political figures and the social and economic impacts of Russia's involvement in World War I eventually resulted in a loss of civilian and military control and the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. The Russian Revolution of February -March 1917 had signified the end of the 300 year old Romanov Dynasty. ...read more.

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