The first world wa was the main cause of the March revolution?
Yes, I agree with the statement - The first world wa was the main cause of the March revolution? introduction. I think that the war was the key factor of the revolution as it caused so many problems, however there were other causes. I will examine the other causes later.
First of all the war was going fine, people thought that winning the war would make the Tsar a hero and improve his image and reputation. Then, things started to go downhill, the war was being fought badly and considering the fact that he was leading the army, most of the things were blamed on him and thus ruined his image. This made the people of Russia very angry and cracked their morale causing a meltdown in the hearts of the Russians, making their support for the country fall. This was one of the key factors involving the war that caused the March revolution.
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Also on the war front there was a huge crisis. Not only were they badly equipped and poorly led but they also had cracked morale after resisting all the constant defeats. This may have caused the war to have been fought badly and may also have been a contribution to the anger which caused the revolution.
Thirdly, because of all the trains delivering food to the army and because of the conscription of men to the army they took almost 15 million men from the farms which left them in desperate positions without men to work and causing the agricultural production to fall leading to food shortages all over Russia and inflation occurred causing prices to rise, making the Russians more angry and unsettled then ever. This was another key factor of the March revolution.
And because of the Tsar going away to the army, he had to leave his wife Alexandra, Tsarina of Russia in charge. This led to two key factors of the revolution. Firstly the fact that the filthy, unhygienic and despicable Rasputin hanging around the palace which also leads of to two factors of the revolution, which was that the Tsarina was having an affair with Rasputin and the fact that Rasputin was said to be advising the Tsar also gave the Russians something to be angry about because if what rumours said were true then the Russian military was being defeated because of the advise he was giving to the Tsar and which was being used in the army. Anyway, coming back to the other key factor; the Tsarina of Russia, who was very crowd-fearing, withdrawn and rarely seen outside adding to the fact that she was German, gave off the impression that she was in league with the German army. These were very important factors in the war that may have led to the March revolution.
On the other hand World War One was the short term cause and I am now going to look at the long term causes of the revolution, which consisted of broken promises, scandals about the autocracy, behavioural changes in the organisation of Russia.
So beginning with the broken promises and to make a story short it happened like this: The peasants lived a rough life; although all around them Russia was growing and industrializing. The peasants however had working poverty and poor living conditions, and thus wanted a better life. Also was a wealthier much more educated middle class who wanted a say in the government. The Tsars autocracy was very badly organised and it had caused problems and differences between people and the government.
The Tsarist system was a system which allowed the Tsar to have complete control over Russia AND the Russian Orthodox Church. But one of the main things that made the Russians very angry was that they never had a say in anything and were not allowed to do so even the highly intellectual and rather wealthy middle class. But the only people who had any say in the government were the bureaucrats and officials which angered them even more and made them think that the Tsar did not give any thought to their opinions. Considering the fact that 90% of the population were extremely poor and living in poverty the conditions did not improve.
So the social democratic party was formed in 1898 and attracted many peasants although it split and formed into the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks and they both followed the teachings of Karl Marx, although they both had a different approach to this. The Bolsheviks which were led by Lenin and they wanted to deter the Tsarist system to bring fairness to everyone but in a disorganised and boisterous way. Whereas the Mensheviks whom were led by Trotsky decided to take a more organised a peaceful deterrence to the Tsarist system. These systems lowered the Tsars image when the Russians saw these people peacefully demonstrating and the Tsar doing nothing about it, angered the Russians more.
Then came another incident when a group of around 200,000people led by Father Gapon peacefully demonstrated for the Tsar to improve the working conditions. But the Tsar was not in St. Petersburg and they were blocked any entry to the palace by troops. Fighting occurred and many were killed and even though official figures put the number at 96 in actual fact hundreds were killed. This was one of the behavioural changes in the organisation of the tsar and his government. It was one of the incidents that really set off the Russians with anger at these innocent deaths.
And also scandals were flying around about the Tsarina and Rasputin having an affair because the despicable Rasputin was always hovering among the palace and apparently violating the Tsarina and her daughters. But in reality he was at first only there to cure the Tsar and Tsarina’s son Tsarevich Alexis from the life-threatening disease Haemophilia and was mistakenly put down to the latter, but then he was advising the Tsar on how to run the army.
So, to conclude, I can say that the main cause of March revolution was the war but I can honestly can say that even if the war didn’t happen the revolution would still have happened, maybe even worse so because it would have had a chance to build up over time and make the Russians even more angrier. And I can also say that the First World War would have made the recurring problems even worse AND created new ones.