Essay plan. To what extent was the First World War responsible for the downfall of the Romanovs in 1917?

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* World war one was not the sole cause of the revolution; it was a trigger that affected the timing of the revolution in 1917 as it exacerbated problems that already existed.

* Such problems were limited constitutional change, the shortcomings of Stolypin’s reforms, and the negative side affects of industrialisation, mass protest and the limitations of Tsar Nicholas II.

Paragraph 1 – Limited constitutional change

* The Tsar continued to reinstate his autocratic rule by ignoring his people’s desires, such as the upper class and lower class, and promising to reform but progressed with minimal improvement. Limited constitutional change caused the Russian people to become distrusting of the Tsar and resort to a revolution to change the government’s policies themselves in order for Russia to become a more democratic state.

* An example of limited constitutional change is the October manifesto that was introduced on the 30th of October 1905, prompted by the 1905 revolution Bloody Sunday.

* The working class and peasants had appealed to the Tsar concerning his superannuated form of government. Requesting for a share in representative government along with improved working conditions.

* The October manifesto produced addressed these concerns, with a promise of free citizenship and no rule to be passed without the agreement of a state duma.

* However, despite the Duma being permitted to exist, their powers were restricted to such a great extent that the Duma didn’t have any significant impact upon the government. Nicholas did this by issuing a set of Fundamental laws on the 23rd of April 1906, the eve of the opening of the first Duma.

* The Fundamental laws only reinforced the Tsar’s autocratic power and disengaged any potential government reform of Parliament by seizing its power.
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* Nicholas’s half hearted idea of reform was not intended to satisfy the people’s desire for a share in representative government but to only safeguard his position as Tsar.

* This started to become evident to the people when the third Duma (1907-1912) was more conservative as the Tsar had replaced members who seemed critical of his government.

* The third Duma consisted of only 45 seats for the kadels.

* The First World War put strain on the constitution as Russia required an efficient government organisation, however the Tsar wouldn’t allow anyone ...

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