REVOLUTION Essay, Research Paper

Before the war.

Before the war, there were lots of problems

which led up to the revolution and we call them

the long term causes. The peasants working and

living conditions were very bad but the

government made it even worse by its own

policies. Russia needed to develop its industries,

so that it was a modern agricultural country

instead of a backward one and also to remain in

an important military power. To aid this dilemma

the government invested in enormous amounts of

money in improving Russia?s industries. Where

did most of this money come from? From the

pockets of the people in Russia!

To do this, the peasants had to pay huge taxes

not only on grain but on nearly all everyday items

such as alcohol and salt! Nevertheless, the

workers? wages still stayed very low and did not

increase much at all as the government wanted

to squeeze the people for every penny they could

get to put into industrial development. Soon later,

all seemed well, iron and steel industries grew

rapidly but then thousands of workers lost their

jobs. This was a cause for strikes and rebellions

against managers and the government. Also,

things were not going very well in the country

side. As if being taxed for all you were worth

wasn?t enough, there were very bad harvests for

a couple of years so now they were starving as

well! To return the favour, the peasants became

violent and started to burn landlords? houses.

Then the Tzar went to war with Japan which he

thought would make the public believe in the

government again. However, it backfired on him

and caused all the same problems again but by a

greater degree. That really infuriated the people!

Leading up to the war the peasants and workers

still had:

*Inadequate clothing

*Insufficient and unhealthy food

*Long, hard hours at work

*Inadequate housing/shelter

*Self-made entertainment

*Impoverished standard of life

*Very low quality of life

*Age of death-early 20’s-30’s.

These were the huge differences in the quality of

life between the rich and the poor as the rich


*More than adequate clothing

*More than adequate food

*Lived on rising and unearned income

*Entertainment was provided for them

*Excellent standard of life

*More than excellent quality of life

*Age of death-late 50’s, 60’s and above

In these years leading up to the war, as you can

see, the living standard of the peasants and

workers did not improve as so they were forced

to rise up against these massive inadequacies!!

Politically, Russia was very unstable as the

people had lost a lot of respect for the

government and the Tzar. When the Tzar started

to use the Dumas people began to wonder

whether they would have any real power. By the

Dumas first meeting it was clear. They could not

pass laws, they could not appoint ministers and

they could not control finance in such important

areas as defence. Was there much point in them

if the Tzar did not like what they were doing or

proposing to do, he could dissolve them?? So, no.

In my opinion the peoples views were not being

heard through the Dumas. There are lots of

opinions as whether the Tzar was fit to rule

Russia. In my opinion, the Tzar was not fit to rule

Russia but this was by no means his own fault.

He was taught as a soldier and he was not taught

to act and behave like a king so it was his

statesmanship that was at fault, not him himself!!

The War.

The war did not only effect the army but the

people at home. Food was getting short, all the

male peasants had to be taken off to the army so

only women and invalids were left to tend the

farms, shops .etc. All the working trains were

being put to use for the war effort so food was

not getting through from other places. Nearly all

unnecessary factories in the cities were closed

so that furthed in another massive

unemployment. People were not getting coal and

wood to burn because the coal industries were

shut down so the people were freezing as well.

Not only that but the prices were rising as well

because of the shortages! Wages were not going

up, workers had to work longer hours, and

Vodka had stopped being made during the war

so the people now had nothing to drown their

sorrows in!! There was a greater poverty all

round, a loss in confidence in the government

and there was no end to the awful news about

the terrible deaths and casualties from far at the

front lines!

Nicholas II made two very large and obvious

mistakes. The first was that he made himself

head of the armed forces so when anything went

wrong the people and soldiers blamed him as he

was the head. What he should have done was

make a General the head so that if anything did

go wrong he would be blamed and not him. Then

he could have sacked that General and given the

job to another person! His second mistake was

that when he went away to fight in the war he

left his wife in charge of the country and she was

German and they were fighting the Germans so

that was a unfortunate mistake. She did not

know how to rule any more than he did so the

government just carried on as they were doing


The Tzarina was then involved with Rasputin as

he had (supposedly) saved her sons life, twice.

She was a very religious woman and was

convinced that Rasputin had been sent by God to

save her son. Rasputin then became a close

friend of the royal family. Their relationship

shocked even the highest level of government

and society and their reputations suffered from


The Revolution.

By March 1917 the situation had become

desperate and there was a serious mood of

discontent. The workers wanted political

changes as well as food and fuel. Tens of

thousands of workers were going on strike and

even the women joined in as it was International

Women?s Day . They were demanding food, fuel,

better conditions and a better government.

On the 12 March, soldiers refused to fire on

crowds, some regiments shot their officers and

joined in the demonstrations. They had had

enough of the war and the way they were being

treated! The soldiers joined the strikers and the

women in the streets marched to the Duma to

demand that they take control of the government.

I think that this was a major turning point. In my

opinion it would have taken a much longer time

to overthrow the government without the soldiers

joining in!!


In my opinion, most of the above issues are long

term causes, the short term ones were about the

lack of equipment and hospital facilities, the

incompetence of the officers, inadequate armour,

weapons .etc., the massive loss of life and the

25% desertions!! In my opinion, it was not the

Tzar?s fault intentionally to be a bad leader. It

was his predecessors who did not train him

properly. If they had really cared about what was

to happen after they had died they would have

done something about bringing up proper

leaders. I think that they were very careless

about choosing leaders but I also feel very sorry

for the Tzar, it was NOT his fault!!