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What happened in February 1917 and why did Nicholas abdicate

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Introduction

What happened in February 1917 and why did Nicholas abdicate? 1) Already suffering from the lack of food, the Okhrana report states that further unrest from the proletariat especially was caused by: the prohibition of all labour meetings; the closing down of trade unions; the persecution of men taking an active part in the sick benefit funds and the suspension of labour newspapers. 2) Rodzyanko was the president of the duma, and he warned Nicholas on the 14th February that "serious outbreaks of unrest" were inevitable, and that the tsar should trust no one near him, as "there is not one honest man in your entourage; all the decent people have either been dismissed or have left." 3) 9th January 1917: the Worker's group (of the war industries committee) in Petrograd issue a call for all worker's to strike in memory of the victims of Bloody Sunday. 140,000 respond. 14th February: strike organised by same people on day of the reconvening of the Duma to protest for more radical change in the government. The arrest of the leader of this group, Protopopov meant that the demonstration was called off. However, 90,000 strikers still turned up. ...read more.

Middle

they called for the end of the war and a new government. Nicholas, away at the front was unaware of the seriousness of the situation and ordered that order be reinstated by military force. Cossack troops fired into the crowds in a dark reminder of how troops had shot at women and children on Bloody Sunday. Order was restored in the sense that the crowds were dispersed, but the mutiny of a small group of soldiers at the Petrograd garrison was merely an ominous foreshadowing of what was about to come. 9) Kahbolov found responding to Nicholas' command to restore order as difficult as along with the complete insubordination of his own troops, other militia and the Police were either too busy fighting each other or siding with the demonstrators. 10) On 26th February the situation became even more serious as all but a thousand of the Petrograd's garrison of 150,000 troops deserted to join in with the protests; this made the situation in the city more dangerous as well as seriously depleting the front line of men to fight under general Ivanov. 11) On the 27th February the mutinous soldiers joined with the striking workers and all hell broke loose: prisoners were released from the Peter and Paul fortress; the Ministry of the interior was sacked; the Okhrana headquarters were overrun; The Winter Palace was occupied and arsenals were seized. ...read more.

Conclusion

18) It was in Pskov that Nicholas met up with some of his leading generals and representatives of the old Duma. They advised him not to return to Petrograd saying the situation had become so serious that the act would be both futile and dangerous. Along with Rodzyanko, they advised him to abdicate his throne, which the masses were crying out for, so that the monarchy would have a chance of survival. This they hoped would prevent a full-scale revolution. 19) Deciding to renounce his son Alexei as his successor due to his haemophilia, Nicholas appointed his brother, the Grand Duke Michael instead. He hoped with him removed and with his brother in his place, the monarchy would remain intact. 20) By default then, the Provisional Committee renamed "Provisional Government' became responsible for governing all of Russia. The Petrograd Soviet remained in the background however as the unofficial voice of the striking workers, a mighty group in number. 21) The Provisional Government represented the propertied classes, and was populated with ministers who wished to usher in a government modelled on the European constitutionalism. They wished to improve the lot of the people of Russia. The Petrograd Soviet on the other hand represented the striking workers and had left wing tendencies. Their primary interest at the start was to ensure that the Provisional Government noticed the proletariat. ...read more.

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