The February Revolution

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The February Revolution 1917

The February Revolution in 1917 marked the end of the Tsardom and long-ruling Romanov dynasty. There are many long-term and short-term causes which led to the overthrow of monarchy in Russia. Long-term causes can include weaknesses of the Russian monarchy, failure of having strong armed forces, agricultural backwardness and late industrialization. First World War, Tsar Nicholas II mistakes, growing peasants unrest, bad harvest, food shortages, famine and growing political opposition can be regarded as short-term causes which determined the downfall of the Tsardom. The Revolution in February and abdication of Nicholas II led to the creation of the Provisional Government led by Prince Lvov.

1. Weaknesses of the Russian monarchy:
* A failure to match the military strength of European Great Powers * A failure to solve the widespread peasant poverty
* A failure to achieve successful industrialization
* A failure to address any social, economic and political reforms (refusing up to 1905 to share any of its power with its subject) 2. Failure of having strong armed forces:
* Russia’s backwardness exposed during the Crimean War 1854-56 * Armed forces humiliated by British and French
* Lack of industrialization influenced backwardness of Russia’s military strength, could not compete with the Great Powers * Defeat by Japan 1904-05
* People disappointed
3. Agricultural backwardness:
* Despite of personal freedom 1861 by Alexander II “Tsar- Liberator” rural poverty remained * Chronic land shortage
* Rapidly growing peasant population
* Very low literacy rate
* The burden of redemption payments
4. Late industrialization:
* Industrial workers only 1% of Russia’s population
* Fall further behind rapidly industrializing countries like USA, UK and Germany * 1890s attempt to catch up with the West and retain great military power status * Coal...
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