Russia's Entry Into the First World War
· Since the Russo-Japanese war, Russia's foreign policy was mainly
defensive. It joined an alliance with Britain and France to safeguard
itself against the Central Powers.
· The Central Powers were Germany and Austria-Hungary, since A-H and
Serbia were at odds this put Russia as the defender of Serbia in a
· When Serbian Nationalists assassinated Franz Ferdinand, it was
impossible for Russia to avoid going to war as it had a duty to help
Serbia once A-H declared war on them. Then they also had to worry
about Germany, A-H's ally.
· This meant the only option for Russia was to fully mobilise in
preparation for a European war. On the 30th July, Russia began to
mobilise and by August the 4th Russia was at war with the Central
Russia at War
· Although at first Nicholas had doubts about going to war, by the
time it has started he was fully behind it. It heightened his position
in the country and he became a symbol of national resistance.
· Also most of the parties pledged allegiance to the national war
struggle instead of concentrating on their policies, except for Lenin
for course who condemned "the imperialist war" but he was called a
traitor and fled to neutral Switzerland.
· If the war had gone well for Russia the Bolsheviks probably wouldn't
have survived. Lucky for the Lenin, the war went badly for Russia not
only because of the poorly organised Army and incompetent government
but also because of it weak economy.
· Going to war puts great strain on a country's economy as there is
greater demand for everything, and the longer the war lasts the
greater this strain. It is good to remember that all 6 countries
involved were facing the same kind of strain and only 2 out of the 6
empires survived the war.
· This strain proved too much for Russia and by 1917 the war proved to