Assess the Reasons for the February Revolution.

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Although there were uprisings before the revolution, and attempts at change, the revolution of February 1917 was significant and different because of the huge range of opposition and the speed at which it became a full blown revolution. It occurred between 18th February, and 4th March, and resulted in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, due to the loss of support from his own elites, who abandoned him and urged him to abdicate. It can be attributed to various different factors: Nicholas himself and the failure to reform politically, the middle class, the working class, the peasantry, the situation of Russia both on the eve of and during the First World War, and the revolutionary parties, to name a few.

Nicholas II himself is the most important factor in the outbreak of the February revolution, as he was indecisive, a quality a ruler cannot have and hope to succeed. He believed in upholding the Autocracy of Russia at any cost, a view embedded in him by Pobedonostsev. He was also Anti-semitic, a quality which is why he did nothing about attacks by the black hundreds or the like, and this is also why many Jews joined the revolutionary parties. Nicholas also appointed many bad ministers, who actually worsened the situation, rather than keeping the better ministers such as Stolypin and Witte, who had aimed to reform Russia, instead dismissing them. He refused to grant political reforms such as those demanded in the 1905 revolution. His government’s failure to politically reform also led to problems. They promised reforms that weren’t carried out, didn’t pass reforms that could have been extremely helpful to Russia’s situation. They also didn’t accept ideas such as liberal freedoms, and Stolypin’s own reforms soon proved to be too little, too late. Nicholas’ Failure to reform due to his conservatism, as well as his government’s failure, proved to be its downfall. Lack of reform left the working classes in poor conditions, which let Socialism grow rapidly, with the...
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