‘Brushed aside the hand that was offered them’ this was said by Milyukov, Kadet leader. It can be argued that the most important reason of the cause of the 1917 revolution was the tsar’s political failings, where he lost his last opportunity of saving the Romanov dynasty. However in this essay one will argue that the economic problems caused be World War 1 was the most important; looking at the food shortages, transport problems and inflation.
One will also discuss World War 1’s political problems; the tsar’s long absences, Rasputin and Alexandra’s felt hatred from the public and wide-spread strikes. Finally, one will discuss the spark of the revolution when the tsar ‘brushed away’ his supporters, turning them against him. Overall in this essay one will argue the economic problems caused by World War 1 were the most significant cause of the 1917 revolution. In this paragraph one will argue that the economic problems caused from World War 1 were the most significant in causing the 1917 revolution.
This can be deduced by the food shortages Russia went through during the war. For example the military took over horses and fertilisers; consequently this made it difficult for the average peasant to sustain agriculture. This was made worse by the 15million peasants that were fighting in the war. Therefore in Russia bread rationing in Petrograd in 1917 only received a ? of what they needed and Moscow only a 1/3. This can also be shown by the most important problem caused by the war; transport problems.
For example, Russia attempted to transport millions of troops and supplies which caused unbearable pressures. Consequently, there large signalling system which the railway depended broke down. Thus there were blocked lines, trains left stranded and a lack of coal. As a result the trains stranded added to the strenuous food problem as food was rotting in the trains. Also, by 1916 575 stations were no longer capable of handling cargo; as a result the overload of boxes of undistributed goods at Archangel started sinking into the ground.
This can also be shown by inflation. All of Russia’s past successes and reaching financial stability before the war was destroyed. For example government spending increased from 4million to 30million consequently taxes increased for everyone else. Furthermore, gold standard was abandoned, in the short term this was successful in paying wages, but in the long term made money practically worthless. As a result of inflation between 1914-16 average earnings double while food and fuel prices quadrupled.
Overall in this paragraph one has argued that the economic problems of World War 1 were the most significant, but most important were the transport problems as Russia had felt it to be such a success in the past but, now it was useless ad making food shortages a lot worse. In this paragraph one will argue that the political problems caused by the war were significant in causing the 1917 revolution. the tsar’s leadership wasn’t in Petrograd fully as he took over personal command of Russia armed forces in 1915 consequently he left his wife Alexandra in charge along with her ‘friend’ Rasputin.
The government was Rasputin as some ‘dirty’ ‘mad monk’ and they felt that Alexandra was a ‘German woman’ spying for Germany. Consequently, the tsar’s reputation decreased further as the government fell into increasing disrepute. Also, international women’s day on the 23rd February enhanced the wide-spread disorder. As there were thousands of women on the streets to join protests which were demanding food and an end to the war. As a result on the 25th Petrograd was paralysed by city-wide strikes which began at the Putilov works.
The attempts by authorities to disperse the workers were hampered with the growing sympathy among the police for the demonstrators. In this paragraph one has shown that the tsar made the wrong choices leaving the country under the control of Rasputin and his wife as it led to destruction within the city, however one could argue that if the army were making successes the population still in Russia wouldn’t be in such riots, however the army were failing for example, they had disastrous defeat in the battle of Tannenburg.
In this paragraph one will argue that the tsar’s political failings were the spark of the 1917 revolution. The tsar dismissed the urgings that he replaces his incompetent cabinet with a ‘ministry of national confidence’ with its members drawn from the duma, though the tsar rejected this. Consequently his rejection destroyed his last opportunity he would have of retaining the support of the politically progressive parties, Milyukov stated he had ‘brushed away the hand that was offered them’. As a result of being denied a voice in national policy 236 of 422 duma deputies formed the ‘progressive bloc’.
However the bloc didn’t directly challenge the tsar they offered help by persuading him to make some concessions, however the tsar didn’t budge. Consequently the progressive bloc became the focal point of political resistance, whom were originally the tsar’s main supporters. In this paragraph one has argued that the tsar’s short sightedness in realising the bloc was there to help not be an enemy was his last chance of saving his dynasty. In conclusion one has argued that the food shortages were significant as it affected everyone socially and psychologically.
So people were worried about looking after their families and making a living. Also, the transport problem were very important as it added to the distress the public were going through and made it clear to them all the successes in transport previously was a waste of money and time as made the shortages in food a lot worse as well. Inflation added to the problems of making food even higher in price and wages lower so socially peasants and proletariat were discontent. However one has argued that the tsar’s blindness in accepting help from the progressive bloc was the spark to the revolution, as his own followers went against him.