Explain the Role of the First World War in the Decline and Fall of the Romanov Dynasty

Topics: Nicholas II of Russia, Russian Empire, World War I Pages: 5 (1946 words) Published: July 15, 2013
Explain the role of the First World War in the decline and fall of the Romanov Dynasty The role of the first world in the decline and fall of the Romanov Dynasty has been contended debated. Russia’s lack of resources and preparation can be seen to attribute to the fall of the dynasty as lack of items such as bread and coal ked to contention amongst Russia’s people. Also contributing was Tsar Nicholas II’s lack of military experience and ability to use military force to crush the civilian protests that were occurring in Petrograd, Russia’s capital city. The generals of the military along with the Duma used the protests to their advantage to force the abdication of the Tsar and strengthen Russia’s’ war effort. However, Russia’s turbulent past of political and social turmoil also contributed to the decline and fall of the Romanov Dynasty. The lack of preparation on Russia’s behalf before the First World War began was an integral factor leading to the decline and fall of the Romanov Dynasty. For a war on a large scale, that being the First World War Russia’s lack of preparation severely crippled its efforts in the war with as many of 1 million of its soldiers departing for the eastern front without necessities such as Rifles or boots. In the circumstances when soldiers were equipped with weapons they were often stuck without the necessary ammunition to fire them, this would foreshadow the humiliating losses Russia would suffer in the months to come with battles such as Tannenburg costing the Russian army as many as 230,000 dead soldiers and many more captured by the forces of the Kaiser. Russia’s second army under the command of General Rennenkampf executed a retreat after the demise of the other half of Russian forces and whilst this was skilful 1.5 million men met death on the eastern front, if not from the enemy then the crippling lack of food and starvation that faced most soldiers of the Russian army. The news of these defeats did not fall on deaf ears back in the cities of Russia causing great discontent amongst the proletariat and intelligentsia alike, Russia already had a poor war records with a humiliation during the Crimean war at the hands of the Turkish and the recent Russo-Japanese war in 1905 both disgraceful defeats on Russia’s behalf. With news now that these losses were being bettered on the eastern front it caused a questioning of Russia’s autocracy, the Dynasty of the Romanov family. The liberal school of thought on the fall of the Romanovs greatly highlights the significance of the First World War on the fall of the autocracy and believe if the war was averted so to would be the fall of the Romanovs. Therefore it can be safely asserted that the liberal school of thought elucidates that the lack of preparation by Russia in response to the First World War contributed greatly to the eclectic nature of the Romanov Dynasty and its eventual decline and fall. The lack of military experience by Tsar Nicholas II as well as the disobedience of the Russian military is more or less of significant importance to the decline and fall of the Romanov Dynasty. From an early age Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov was not groomed to be a traditional Tsar, his father Alexander III saw his son as a weak link to the Dynasty and unfit to rule because of his weak personality and mind, those of the liberal school of thought agree entirely with this stating “the weakness in the character of Nicholas... contributing to the fall of the Romanov Dynasty.” With little to no training in being the supreme autocrat of Russia it is a wonder that Tsar Nicholas thought it wise to personally take the role of the commader in chief with no military experience as well, for the Russian people this was a risky move seeing as how the last war Nicholas had spear-headed led to a loss of hundreds of kilometres of trans-siberian railway and the colony of Korea in the Russo-Japanese war. Thus upon the start of the First World War despite a surge of patriotism...
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