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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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)

    Another way Nicholas could have restored his country is to give into the workers wants, but he knew if he did he would have another battle on his hands with the upper class. Nicholas II abdicated the throne on 2nd March 1917, I my opinion, because he no longer had

  2. What caused the 1917 Russian Revolution.

    The Soviet Party was one of the two first governments after the fall of 'Autocratic Russia'. On the 26th of February, soldiers and workers came face to face. Some troops fired on order, killing a number of workers. Other soldiers mutinied.

  1. What were the causes of the Russian Revolution in March 1917?

    However, then there was an industrial slump in 1902, which caused thousands of the new workers to lose their jobs. Strikes and demonstration broke out in many cities. To make matters worse, disaster struck in the countryside. There were poor harvests in 1900 and 1902.

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

    This caused uproar among the Elite and the Duma because a peasant looked as if he had control over the tsar's decrees. Their anger boiled over in December 1916 when Prince Yusupov, a relation of the tsar, murdered Rasputin. This is very significant because it shows how infuriated the royal family were with the situation.

  1. Why did the Tsarist regime fall in 1917?

    In source D, it says "How glad I am that I need no longer attend to those tiresome interviews and sign those everlasting documents!" This shows that the Tsar could have tended to Russia's problems, but he couldn't be bothered, and would rather "Read, walk, and spend time with [his] children".

  2. The Russian Revolution 1917

    The following were equally important reasons for why the Bolsheviks were able to take over the Russian government in November 1917: -Leadership of Lenin -Role of Luck -Bolshevik Policies and Propaganda -The weakness' of the opposition Explain how far you agree with this statement.

  1. Long and short-term causes contributed to the March 1917 Revolution.

    their systems in the sixteen hundreds, the Russian people began to see how well it worked. Britain changed its system in the 1600 and then France in the1700; many were surprised how long it last in Russia. The social structure of Russia made it difficult for the 84% of Russians

  2. "Why did the Tsar survive the revolution of 1905 but not that of March ...

    The need for Russia to modernize and industrialize added to the Russian involvement in World War One and the October Manifesto, specifically the pledge to grant Freedom of Speech resulted in the February 1917 revolution. The January 22nd 1905 revolution, or "Bloody Sunday", was mainly a protest aimed at enforcing change.

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