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Why was there a revolution in March 1917?

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Why was there a revolution in March 1917? Russia was a very backward country compared with the other European countries. There were few factories before 1890 and there had been little industrial development in Russia. By 1990, however, many peasants were leaving the countryside to work in the towns and industry made twice as much in 1990 as in 1890. This meant that towns like Moscow and StPetersburg grew up quickly. In these towns grew slums where the working class, that had previously not existed at all, lived. The increased population of the towns meant there was more pressure on Russia's farmers to produce more food, which could not be done with the medieval farming methods still in use. In other words Russia was in the middle of an industrial revolution when the Tsar was forced to abdicate in 1917. All other European countries had been through the same process, but without such a drastic side effect. Whereas in England and France the government had changed to accommodate the needs of the new social order, in Russia these changes had been used as an excuse to get rid of the Tsar. Therefore, it was largely the Tsar's inadequacy as a ruler and the mistakes he made that led to a revolution in 1917. ...read more.


In it the proletariat and the peasants were highly under-represented. Even so the Tsar failed to accept it as a governing body and it was only by the time of the fourth Duma that he begun to work with it. After 1905, life did begin to change in Russia and a key figure responsible for these changes was Stolypin, the Prime Minister appointed by the Tsar. He used the army to exert the Tsar's power in the countryside by setting up military courts that could sentence and hang a person on the spot. The hangman's noose became known as Stolypin's necktie. The terror this caused was heightened by the still-active Okhrana that had many informers. People were required to carry internal passports and travellers to register with the police of the area they were staying in. In 1911, Stolypin affected changes in the countryside to make agriculture more productive. Peasants could buy land from their neighbours with money borrowed from a peasant's bank set up by Stolypin. The aim in this was to create a wealthy class of peasants loyal to the government, kulaks. 15% took up this offer and Stolypin's theory appeared to have worked with record harvests in 1913. The poorer peasants became labourers or factory workers. ...read more.


Instead of shooting at the crowds, they shot at their officers. The Tsar had lost the support of the army. The Tsar could not survive revolution this time. He had lost the support of the army that had been very important to him in keeping control by suppressing any opposition. Underneath him the people had always been divided into different political factions but this time only a portion of the aristocracy supported him. On 15 March, the railway workers did not allow the Tsar's train into Petrograd. Certain army officials entered the Tsar's compartment to ask him to abdicate but the Tsar had already decided to do this in favour of his brother as his son's medical condition meant that there would be added difficulty to his ruling. However, Russia had had enough of the Tsars. Some people think that abdication was the biggest mistake of all as it meant certain ruination for the Romanovs. The 1917 revolution was the result of a combination of factors. In the short term, the First World War was an important cause, but there was a growing dissatisfaction with the Tsarist regime and the economic and social hardships it caused, that nearly boiled over in 1905. Everything that ever happened or did not happen in Russia could be shown as a reason for it but what made it so significant was what happened after the overthrowing of the Tsar with the Provisional Government and Lenin. Sheera Suner ...read more.

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