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The problems and fall of the Tsarist Regime in Russia 1900-1917

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  • Category: Problems

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It is correct that the Tsarist regime collapsed in 1917 but it wasn’t due to the fact of the failure of the First World War. Yes that was a cause to the downfall of the Tsarist regime but there were many other long and short factors, which contributed to this. Even though Russia’s industry had increased it put a strain on the country it still lacked economically. As Russia was such a big country it should have been doing much better than it did and this was reflected by smaller countries such as Britain and Germany doing much better than them in industry.

All the food went to the front line of the army and so there became a shortage of food for the Russians at home. Most peasants were conscripted to the army so this meant there were little farmers and so less food was produced. Now many factories were closed because of the shortage of coal and industrial materials. This therefore meant people were unemployed and cold because of little fuel. Prices of goods increased and wages barely increased. Although economy was doing better than it had been the people higher than the workers hadn’t took their opinions into account.

Even though the Tsar had appointed his chief minister as Stolypin not everyone benefited from his ideas. Stolypin though if he increased the standard of living for the Russian peasant they would be less likely to support Revolutionary groups. He encouraged them to buy land so they could use modern farming techniques. Although 2 million bought land lots of other peasants i. e. the poorer peasants couldn’t benefit by this, as they couldn’t afford the land. Farming became highly inefficient and crops remained fewer per acre than other western countries such as Britain.

As factories were closed lots of industrial workers were now unemployed and the people that were still employed still had extremely low wages and appalling living conditions. People’s views weren’t being heard at all through the Duma. The Tsar still didn’t want to share his power but only decided to do it a little bit because he wanted people to leave him alone and stop having strikes and protests. The Tsar only had one successful advisor Stolypin but he was assassinated even though the Tsar was going to sack him anyway.

Stolypin was very clever so this reflected badly upon the Tsar. The Tsar liked to be surrounded by thick people because he wasn’t quite bright himself so this meant he would be seen as superior and intelligent. He didn’t run the country very well and only answered very small problems. In 1915 he abandoned the role of running the country and took control of the army. The army had already been doing terribly and the Tsar made a big mistake by controlling the army, this mistake was a big cause to the collapse of the Tsarist Regime as this lead to many other problems.

He wasn’t an able commander and soon the armies fell apart and were heavily defeated. Being head of the army he was now totally responsible and people therefore blamed him for the armies failure. This caused unrest in Russia and many people were very angry. As the Tsar was now in control of the army he had to leave someone to deal with the day-to-day issues of running the country? The Tsar chose his wife the Tsarina. This also was a very big mistake. Many people mistrusted the Tsarina because of her German background and she had a very close relationship with Rasputin.

Rasputin was often seen drunk and was had affairs with people from court. The Tsarina messed up the running of the country and couldn’t work with the Duma. She replaced the able ministers with ministers who could do what they wanted or they were friends of Rasputin. Rasputin highly influenced the Tsarina, as that’s why the Duma ended up full of Rasputin’s friends. As the Tsarina changed all the ministers that meant there was no one to organize fuel, food and other essential supplies the cities required. Rasputin wasn’t an efficient leader and corruption grew in court.

Most of the army was filled with conscripted peasants and at the beginning every one was enthusiastic with the thought of defending their country. But they were badly led and treated by the aristocrat officers. They lacked the basics i. e. rifles ammunition, artillery and shells. Some didn’t even have boots and weather conditions were bitterly cold. This was because the army was poorly supplied by the industries back in the cities. Many soldiers were angry with the Tsar controlling the army and many of them turned towards supporting the revolutionary Bolshevik Party.

In March 1917 the situation had now become desperate and people were very angry. The workers wanted political chances as well as food and fuel. On March the 7th 40,000 workers went on strike for higher wages and the next day was ” International Women’s day” and thousands of women joined the protests. In the following few days thousands more joined in the protest demanding food, fuel, better conditions and a new parliament. The Tsar wanted the demonstration to be put down by force.

But on March 17th many soldiers refused to fire on the crowds and some regiments joined in and shot their officers. People had had enough of the war and the way they were treated. Overall without the war, these things would have carried on getting more and more out of control because the main trigger of the Russian 1917 revolution was the strikes and Nicholas’s behaviour. To make a judgment I don’t agree that the Tsarist regime collapsed in 1917 due to its failure in the First World War because there were many causes already that were starting to over boil.

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