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

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Introduction

What were the causes of the Russian Revolution in March 1917? There were many causes to explain the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in March 1917. Some of these can be defined as long term causes as their origin goes way back to pre-revolutionary times. Others are short-term reasons or even immediate effects, which act as the last spark, to bring the tense situation out of control. In this essay I will be looking at some of these long and short-term causes in more detail. The long term causes lead back to the time between the end of the 1905 revolution and the beginning of the war. What they are can be summarized as the economic, social and political problems within Russia. Economic causes are probably the most obvious. There was an unbearable poverty amongst a large amount of peasants. The poorer, non-land-owning peasants have lost their jobs shortly after the 1905 revolution due to the new creation of a middle, land-owning class. Furthermore the farming methods were still old fashioned and life barely rose above the starvation level. ...read more.

Middle

Owing to the lack of food prices went sky high and even a piece of bread became unaffordable for many workers. To make matters worse many factories closed down resulting high unemployment. The workers who kept their job were asked to work longer hours for lower wages. Due to the war working conditions were worse than ever and the moral of many people was very low. It seemed as though the longer Russia stayed in the war, the more Russians' hopes vanished and the lower the chance for a victory got. As the situation got worse the Russians lost confidence in the Government and the Tsar. They blamed him for the dreadful circumstances they were in. However is was not only the people back at home who's moral sunk. At the Russian front matters did not seem to improve. By 1914 over 1 million soldiers were killed, wounded or taken as prisoners. This number had risen to eight million by March 1917. They blamed their officers whom, in their opinion, showed sympathy for the Germans. On top of the crisis situation Russia was in already the Tsar made a terrible mistake. ...read more.

Conclusion

With it on his side the Tsar still had the required backup. However, when he sent the soldiers to shoot the protesting crowds an important change of sides took place. The soldiers refused to shoot at the people and instead, shot their officers, and joined in the demonstration themselves. They had had enough of the war and the conditions they were in. This made the demonstration of 1917 different from anything that had happened before because for the first time the Tsar had to fight against his own army. As a conclusion I suggest that the war was the main cause of the Russian Revolution. It is the origin of all the further problems that were facing Russia at the time. If there had not been a war then perhaps the Tsar could have concentrated on the co-operation with the Duma and could have resulted changes for the better in Russia. However we cannot be certain that this would have been the case. It is possible that no changes would have occurred and in that case the Revolution might have taken place anyhow. In my opinion the war was like a catalyst which speeded up the outcome of all these crisis and problems in Russia. By Ruth Krestin 4F ...read more.

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