Analyze the long term and short term causes of the 1917 February/March Russian Revolution

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Analyze the long term and short term causes of the 1917 February/March Russian Revolution

The February Revolution of 1917 was first of the two revolutions in Russia in 1917, the revolution which began the transformation of the country. As an immediate result of this revolution, Tsar Nicholas II decided to abdicate, which lead to the end of the Romanov dynasty. The Tsar was immediately replaced by the provisional government and at the same time the Petrograd Soviet, which ruled alongside the Provisional Government. The revolution broke out very swiftly, but it did change Russia from its autocratic regime. The revolution is considered to be very spontaneous in terms of planning; however we cannot consider it completely spontaneous since there were significant causes for it – long-term causes in the rule of country and short term causes related to the WWI, which pulled the trigger towards the long existing gunpowder keg of autocracy.


The revolution and the fall of Tsar were expected due to the long term situation in Russia. The economic factors were one of the main factors which lead to the Revolution. In the period of 19th to 20th century Russia was a very backward agricultural country with a great misbalance of welfare in the society. The royal family, the noble part of the society and clergy owned most of the land fit for agriculture, but most of the peasants owned only between 3 to 10 acres of land and many of them had to earn their livelihood only with 2.5 acres or less. Peasants had to pay high prices for the rent of the land to their landlords and in addition the lack of proper tools for agriculture worsened the situation. The situation was also worsened by implements and methods of cultivation, which not too productive. All this stacked up created great dissatisfaction in the peasantry – millions of Russian people could not carry on this way, since many of them were starving.

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The poverty was spread further than the rural areas of the empire – the urban industrial sphere was also very backward and depended only on capital of foreign countries. The workers and laborers had to endure the most miserable working conditions in the factories of the cities. They worked 12 to 14 hours a day, received very low wages and no medical assistance in case of an accident while working. Trade unions were restricted and considered as a crime. The previous government did not do anything about the devastating situation in the factories and let millions of people live ...

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