Why the Tsar Fell From Power in 1917

Why the Tsar Fell From Power in 1917

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Why the Tsar Fell From Power in 1917

On March 2nd 1917 the Tsar agreed to abdicate, this was the
accumulation of a series of factors associated with the Tsarist
Russian society. All workers, middle classes, aristocrats and even
some of the Tsars oldest and most faithful supporters were starting to
resent the system they were under. Famines, inflation, strikes and
incisive rumors all took their toll on the populace. The icing on the
cake came in the form of the extremist feelings of anger the army felt
towards Nicholas I, and their withdrawal of support for him. Here are
some of the events that led up to the 1917 revolution in more detail.

In August 1915, the Tsar left Petrograd to command the Russian army.
He therefore received the blame personally for all their defeats and
lost control of his troops as he left Rasputin and the Tsarina to rule
Russia. His army also consisted of millions of poor, starving peasants
with bad equipment, poor supplies of rifles and ammunition. In 1916,
two million soldiers were killed or seriously wounded, and one third
of a million taken prisoner and the civilian population were
horrified. They considered the Tsar irresponsible for taking over the
army and held him responsible for everything; as a result more
conflicts between the people were started.

The Tsarina and Gregory Rasputin were other figures that played a
significant part in causing the Russian revolution. They were both
very unpopular with the country. Rasputin was a monk in the Russian
Orthodox Church and had increasing importance and influence on the
Tsar as he helped cure Alexei of haemophilia. Rasputin made a mockery
of the Royal Family and the people of Russia despised him for his
rebellious background and the rumours surrounding him about heavy
drinking and his influence on woman. The Tsar was so taken in by him;
he left Rasputin and the Tsarina to rule Russia during the First World
War. The people did not trust either of them, because the Tsarina was
German they thought she would deliberately rule Russia badly so Russia

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would lose the war and Germany win. Even though this chaotic situation
would have challenged the best of leaders, the Tsarina and Rasputin
made it worse. They dismissed able ministers, replacing them with
hopeless ones and wild rumours began to spread about Tsarina and
Rasputin being lovers. The situation was on the verge of breaking
point and had almost spelt the end of the Tsarist regime.The tsar
might also have come across as a traitor for cavorting with the enemy.
Anyone who is thought to have betrayed their own country is not
exactly going to be wanted to rule.

The Russian economy was also a problem that helped contribute to the
Russian revolution. Nearly 90% of people were peasants and most were
poverty stricken. They worked with the most basic tools. Half the
farming land belonged to 300,000 landowners but the other half was
shared with 15 million peasant families. This outraged the people and
the economy was in tatters. Industry was also a big failure, there
were large numbers of poor landless peasants who worked long hours
with low wages and lived in appalling slums. The Tsar did not seem to
have any concern for them and seemed to focus on the higher-class
people. In addition, people starved, not because of shortage of food,
but the fact that most of it was left to rot on the railway track or
in the trains during transit. The war made things worse there were
severe food shortages in the year leading up to the 1917 Revolution,
There was not enough food at too high a price. The prices of goods
were rising with the low wages staying the same. The situation was
approaching breaking point and the Russians felt the Tsar was doing
nothing to stop it. The people couldn't rely on him to make it better,
so they started rioting in the hope of improving their conditions.

The Russian army consisted of millions of peasants but they had bad
equipment to fight with. By December 1915, more than one third of all
men of the working age had been recruited into the army of fifteen
million troops. By 1916, peasants were being asked to bring pitchforks
with them when they were called up for their service. Not
surprisingly, Russian casualties were very high. In 1916, two million
soldiers were killed or seriously wounded and one third were taken
prisoner. Soldiers saw their comrades as they were being slaughtered
in a futile manner - officers were blamed and it was severely
disturbing and unjust. Consequently, when these people were being
recruited to fight in the war, the unemployment rate in the cities
increased and factories were desperate for workers. Wages got lower
and lower so the factory owners could afford to employ them and more
and more strikes broke out. In December 1916, workers in Petrograd
starved due to lack of workers - Russia was in chaos. Not only the
soldiers but also the civilian population became angry.

The Tsar's fall from power was due to his poor leadership and control
of his country. He made many vital mistakes when ruling his country
and everyone lost trust in him and stopped supporting him. Strikes had
risen to epidemic proportions. Discontented with the war, meager pay
and criminal working conditions, and with no Cossacks to stop them
this time, Russia began to implode. This is not a picture of
fragmented incidents, but a series of closely intertwined factors. All
this could have been put to a halt by a competent leader. That was why
the tsar abdicated he had lost absolutely everyone's support even the
Duma the generals and some of his most loyal supporters.
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