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Was the Russian 1917 February Revolution inevitable?

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Introduction

Was the 1917 revolution (February/March) inevitable? The Russian Revolution (February) in 1917 was a sequence of protests and revolts against the autocratic regime and the Tsar Nicholas II leading to his eventual downfall (and consequently of the Romanov dynasty). Russia was a backward and poor country bursting with peasants. Some historians argue that a revolution was inevitable due to Russia's conditions. On the other hand, others believe that the Tsarist regime is to blame because of a humiliating campaign in WWI and a catastrophic domestic policy. In this essay, I will asses if the 1917 revolution was really unavoidable by analyzing the build-up of events ensuing ultimately in a revolution. Before taking any conclusions, we must understand the occurrences that took place before 1917. Since the Crimean War in 1853, Russia faced any shameful defeats e.g. ...read more.

Middle

Perhaps one of the most important factors that led to the revolution was the Great War. WWI was a total war; this means that all sectors of the industry and economy were heavily focused in the War. The war was very unpopular in Russia: many families were dismantled; the soldiers had a low morale, and food became extremely scarce (hunger in cities was frequent). The work hours increased to cope with the demand of the war but the wages were kept the same leaving the peasantry discontent. Instead of leaving the war and trying to improve the situation in the homeland, the Tsar was stubborn and insisted in fruitless offensives against the Germans. The situation aggravated when the Tsar went to the front trying to boost the soldier's morale and to spring up patriotic feelings. ...read more.

Conclusion

The economy wasn't progressing, the war only infuriated the population and opposition was better organized. Based on Russia's backward past, one may argue that the revolution was destined to occur. Nonetheless, in my opinion, the revolution could have been stopped. Nicholas II was an inexperienced Tsar, unwilling to rule and somehow unaware of all the problems in the Russian society. Nicholas II made many errors in his ruling, the biggest of them being the pointless WWI. By continuing fighting, he was depriving the peasants of their basic needs. The peasants had always remained in 'anonymity' in the Russian hierarchy; they were excluded from politics and the economy. So who would they blame? The Tsar - this is why many historians consider the February 1917 revolution a popular revolution. All this major discontent in the country against the government culminated with the Revolution. Maybe if the approach by the Tsar had been different the revolution could have been delayed or even avoided. ...read more.

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