Russian Revolution 1917 Essay

This essay has a total of 2805 words and 11 pages.

Russian Revolution 1917

Depth Study B: Russia, 1905-1941
Assignment A: Objectives 1 and 2
Here are some of the causes of the Russian Revolution in March 1917:
~Failures in the War
~The mutiny in the Army
~The Tsarina and Rasputin
~Food Shortages
~Strikes
PREFACE:
In 1904 The Tsar of Russia (Nicholas II) embarked on a war with Japan, hoping for a quick
and glorious victory that would unite the country, decrease support for the Tsar’s
opponents and gain control over Korea and Manchuria. Unfortunately for the Tsar, the
Japanese were well prepared, both industrially and military. The Japanese crushed the
Russian army and destroyed most of it’s fleet. Damaged both militarily and
industrially, Russia had to sign a peace treaty. In 1905 the Tsar crushed the attempted
revolution using the army that was loyal to him. In 1914, Russia entered the WWI,
unprepared in any way it suffered countless losses and therefore all the problems that
existed increased and new problems occurred.

1) FOOD SHORTAGES
Food shortages frustrated the people and soldiers more and more as prices were rising
dramatically. Food shortages were a result of two main reasons. One was that
Russia’s population was around 130 million (and growing) at that time there fore a
lot of food was needed to support such a large population, even though Russia was large
enough to easily fit that amount of population, `most of it’s farm land was
unsuitable for farming`1, this shows that farm land often became overcrowded and farmers
demanded more land. Russian farmers were `using ancient farming techniques`2 so one farmer
had very little land and he used ancient farming techniques and so this dramatically
minimized his productivity. `The population had increased by 50 per cent between 1860 and
1897 and was still growing fast`3 this shows how rapidly the population grew, there fore
creating larger food shortages as the amount of farmland stayed the same but the amount of
people it had to feed increased greatly.

The other reason was transporting the crop once it was harvested. ` The USA could fit into
Russia two and a half times and over and Britain nearly 100 times`4, the problem with
transportation was that the railroads were very often the only way to transport large
amounts of goods as Russia’s conditions often made roads impassable. `By 1900 Russia
had only as many miles of track as Britain`5 and Britain was 100 times smaller. This meant
that there were very large delays of delivering food and most of it rotted before even
reaching town. The only way of transporting goods from the industrial West to the
unfarmable East was the Trans Siberian Express, which took more than a week to complete
its journey from Moscow to Vladivostok.

During the WWI (which started in 1914), Food Shortages increased greatly because more
strikes begun demanding an end to the war. Strikes of course caused food shortages as
peasants began striking and not producing any food. Also more soldiers were needed to join
the army and so the factory workers were taken to fight and peasants left the countryside
to seek better jobs in factories so fewer farmers were left to grow food. Another very
important reason that caused an increase in food shortage was that ` the Russian railway
system was being used to carry supplies to the war front and so trains carrying food to
the cities had been reduced`1so more delays in food delivery had been caused, so nor the
people, nor the soldiers were being properly fed. Even though Russia got help from Britain
and France, the goods were delivered into ports which froze in the winter and so the aid
piled up at see and none of it could reach the population. Not only was there little food
for the people, prices for food rose dramatically and very few could actually afford to
eat what was produced.

Food Shortages were a serious cause of the revolution because they could be linked to each
one of the causes on the list because the reasons that they led to, led to other, serious
causes.

Food Shortages linked with
1) Strikes:
2) Failures in the war:
3) Tsarina and Rasputin:
4) Mutiny in the Army
Food shortages led to Strikes as people were underfed, so demanded bread, more strikes
were forming as people demanded an end to the War because of the heavy losses which could
be blamed on the ill feeding of the soldiers and the strikes that paralyzed industry,
therefore the army had no recourses being produced for the fighting, also many soldiers
got fed up of being ill treated and so many soldiers deserted from the Army and this led
to more Failures as there were less men to fight. The Failures in the war could then
partly share the blame for the Tsarina and Rasputin, who were left in charge of the
country as the Tsar left to take control of the Army thinking he could do better, not only
did the losses increase, but the Tsarina and Rasputin created chaos on the home front as
they displaced able ministers with hopeless ones. This caused distrust to the Tsar and led
to more strikes, as people wanted the German Tsarina to be put down, people also thought
that the Tsarina and Rasputin had an affair and that the Tsarina was under great influence
by the Rasputin and so the people began distrusting them and demanding them to be brought
down. Failures in the war lead to the mutiny in the army as the troops began doubting the
Tsar, as they were being underfed and ill equipped and so blamed this on the Tsar as they
thought he left bad leaders in charge of Russia, they also died without the chance of
victory against the Central Powers and so began to mutiny. Food Shortages were to be
blamed for the Mutiny in the Army as soldiers got fed up of going to battle hungry, and
ill equipped as food shortages created strikes that paralyzed the production of munitions.
The troops had no chance of victory against the well equipped Germans and Austrians.

2) A long-term reason is a reason that was going on for a very long time and so it was
building up tension for a long time

A short-term reason is one that either strengthened dramatically during the war or it developed during the war.
a) Failures in the War:
This was a reason that only developed in the WWI, however the Failures against the
Japanese in 1904-1905 were bad memories that created some doubts about the government.
This was a Short Term cause of the revolution as the main Failures that contributed to the
revolution were from 1914-1917. There were two main reasons for the Failures in 1917, one
was that the Army was very poorly equipped and the other was that it had careless and
incapable of victory commanders.

`The War started well for Russia but the generals were careless`1 and also in August 1915
the Tsar took personal command of the army and `he was not a particularly able
commander`2. As well as the Army being badly led:

`The Minister of War, General Sukhomlinov,
did not think much of modern methods of war.
He and his generals’ favorite weapon was the
Bayonet. Their preferred method of attack was
to storm enemy positions and destroy them in
hand-to-hand combat. Against the machine guns
Continues for 6 more pages >>




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