Would Russian Revolution. Would The Revolution Still Have Occurred If World War One Didn T? Essay, Research Paper
The 1917 revolution in Russia was a true display of the people s anger. For years, the oppression that they suffered at the hands of the out-dated autocracy had left them with lots of energy to release, but with very little room to free it. The start of World War One was seen as a God-send for the Tsar, for it distracted the Russians from their incompetent ruler, and united them all against a common enemy: the Germans. However, Nicholas relief was short lived, for his failure in being a good head-of-state was more than over shadowed by his gross lack of military skills. The Russians anger boiled over when news of devastating defeats reached the city, and Tsar Nicholas 11 eventually abdicated from the throne, ending the country s autocratic rule. World War One was instrumental in the revolution s success, but if the war had not occurred, would the Romanovs still be ruling today?
First, let s see what facts would support this theory: Stolypin, who was Russia s Prime Minister during quite a volatile period, was keen on the idea of helping the people of his country, while still wanting to maintain the autocracy s rule. First off, he abolished the much hated redemption payments, which gave the emancipated serfs more freedom with their money and time. This was a genuine effort to please the peasants, thus hopefully reducing the probability of a revolution. Not only did he do this, about he also set up a clever plan to build a class of rich farmers, known as the Kulak class. These farmers would be there to quell any revolution ideas and tensions, thus eliminating the threat of any sort of uprising. This strategy was designed to tackle the revolution from its roots, instead of working from the top, all the way down to the bottom.
Russia had horrendous working conditions, which could often leave employees without the right number of fingers on their hands. To correct this, inspectors were given jurisdiction over factories. These people were there to see that the new standards in occupational safety were being observed. In 1912, the workers were offered their first insurance scheme, incase they lost any limbs in their firm s machines. All of this quelled the growing frustration among the workers, who d at last received the protection that they had needed for years.
The once formidable revolution parties, like the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, had lost their steam. Powerful leaders like Lenin were in exile from Russia, and to add insult to injury, most of the popular support that they had enjoyed earlier in the century was gone, as was their money. All of the above factors support the theory that the revolution would not have occurred if World War One hadn t either.
The major argument against this hypothesis was Nicholas 11, the man himself. He was an extremely stubborn leader who failed to understand the needs of his people (and the main reason he didn t understand was because he didn t want to). As demonstrated with his deft handling of the October Manifesto, Nicholas had a habit of giving the people only as much as was needed to keep them quiet. As soon as their noises died down, he d take it all away from them again. It would have taken years to undo the damage caused by Alexandra and Rasputin, and his conservative attitude to his ruling certainly didn t help to quell any of the revolutionary tensions among the Russians. That was all left up to Stolypin, who, despite being an intelligent and relatively caring person, still failed to give the people what they wanted.
Stolypin s much touted land reforms didn t get as far as he had wanted. The peasant population was increasing at too fast a rate for his Kulak class to properly develop, and this rapidly increasing population wasn t producing enough food to feed itself. Even though farm productivity was up, it wasn t rising quick enough to cope with the enormous consumer base. Russians were starving again. To vent off their anger at his failed promises, Stolypin was assassinated by revolution activists, while attending a theatre performance. A good balance between revolutionary and autocratic ruler, he was a man who perhaps, if given more power to play with and a longer life span, may have halted to events of 1917.
All up, I believe that the war did speed up the 1917 revolution, but that was all it did, speed it up. Even with the improvements, the Russians were very displeased with the way that their lived were being run, and it would only have been a matter of time before the Bolsheviks & the Mensheviks got their act together, and over-through the autocracy. I think it s safe to say that by the mid 1920 s, Nicholas would have made a large enough blunder, to ignite the fire of revolution for one final time.