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Which of the following factors was the most important in the collapse of Tsarist Russia in 1917?”

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Introduction

"Which of the following factors was the most important in the collapse of Tsarist Russia in 1917?" a)Russian Society b)Nicholas II's Personality and Beliefs c)The 1905 Revolution d)The First World War Discuss all four topics before making your conclusion. Russia was a very unique country. It was huge and one of the last countries to use an autocratic system of government. However under the autocratic skin of the country laid terrible troubles. Troubles and problems that would continue to well up until they exploded. Starving people, poor conditions, hatred and opposition were included in this boiling cauldron. The cauldron did spill over in 1917. The public had a chance to avenge and revolt. But what caused the breakdown of a once powerful and mighty nation to one of poverty and revolt? That is what I intend to find out. Russia had a huge area and an equally huge amount of people living inside it. Russia was so large a country that it would take at least a week to cross it whole by rail and it is so big that the sun rises in the east at the same time as it sets in the west. In this huge country only 5% of the country was suitable for farm land and this left Russia as a very poor country, with food often being hard to find. Russia in 1900 was a very large empire that was ruled by an autocratic Tsar. The Tsar was in command of some 125 million people. However many of these weren't even Russian and many spoke Russian as their second language. In fact only some 40% spoke Russian as their native language. Russians tended to live on the areas that were suitable for farming and so they often lived in very overcrowded areas. Most Russian people were peasants. In fact four out of every five citizens was a peasant. ...read more.

Middle

The Russian people saw this as the fact that they were just suffering at the hands of the Tsar. In fact the reason that Nicholas wanted to go to war was to have a quick decisive victory and therefore make people drop the criticism on his government. The complete opposite of this was to happen however. Working conditions, terrible before with the war were now even more horrific. Food supplies ran out, workers found themselves out of jobs and thus the supply of materials and weapons ran exceptionally low. The Russo-Japanese war was not the only reason that people took as a signal for the time for revolution. On Sunday the 22nd January 1905 there was an event that was to spark off the revolution. Father Gapon, the St Petersburg priest that had quoted on how poor the working conditions were held a demonstration with 200000 workers and their families to try and get better working conditions. They aimed to have a peaceful protest outside the Tsars Winter Palace to try and persuade him to improve the conditions in the factories, workers living conditions and to withdraw form Japan. However when the demonstrators arrived at the palace the Tsar was out. He escaped the capital whilst the trouble was brewing. Scuffles broke out between he demonstrators and the security forces. The soldiers then aimed low and opened fire. In the ensuing chaos some 500 marchers were killed and thousands injured. This massacre became known as Bloody Sunday. As the news of the attack spread throughout Russia people started to revolt against the system. Hundreds of government officials were murdered and the Tsars uncle was killed in a terrorist bomb attack. The Tsar, who was already beginning to lose command of his country had just been plunged into a situation of full revolt. In June of 1905 the crew of the Battleship Potemkin, which was the pride of Russia's Black Sea fleet threw the officers overboard and took command of the ship. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many of them were suffering consequences of the war such as food shortages and supply shortages. The fact that there was a huge amount of poverty and poor working conditions that this partly contributed to caused Bloody Sunday which eventually led to the 1905 Revolution. This showed that the Tsar could face serious opposition that were bent on getting what they wanted. Although this was a victory for Nicholas it warned him of the future and the fact that the Duma was set up. This made Stolypin Prime Minister and when he was shot it made Rasputin become a minister advising the Tsar and Tsarina in and pre war. The above is just a small example of how all of these things can be linked together. Out of all of the reasons that have been given for the break-up of the Tsarist system then not one seems to stand out as being the most major one. People may have not liked the Tsar and wanted him out because of what revolutionary group the were in, they may have not liked the conditions that they had o live in while he had his palaces or they may have not seen the point of endless Russians being used as cannon fodder to the German army. Whatever reason people may have had for not liking the Tsar then there would have been other reasons interlinked. The four reasons that were given in the title did all contribute to the final breakdown of the Russian autocratic system but what they didn't do was stand out in a ranking order as to which was the most important. Therefore I think that the reason why the Tsarist system broke down was a mixture of all of the reasons and that not one can be justified as the most important. What is for sure however was the fact that there was a huge reform after the First World War. It was caused by all of these factors and it led a new way in Russian society up until only a few decades ago. That of communism. Chris Chantry 11DF 28/04/07 ...read more.

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