How far was WW1 the main cause of the fall of the Romanovs in February 1917?
Tsar Nicholas II was the head of the Romanov family who had ruled Russia for five generations from 1613 to 1762. When Nicholas had inherited the throne he married Alexandra Fyodorovna of Hesse, who was from Germany. They had five children together, but their popularity was starting to fall by 1914. When there was the outbreak of the war, the Russian people criticised Alexandra’s German heritage and Nicholas’s failure to treat Russia’s social, political and economic problems caused further discontent among the Russian people. In 1905, Nicholas made himself Commander of the Russian Military and left Petrograd for his new military headquarters on the war front. Because he had left, the Tsarina Alexandra was left to rule. Her most trusted advisor was a faith healer called Grigori Rasputin. Because of him, Alexandra became very paranoid and appointed and dismissed government officials at her own personal choice. Russia had 4 different Prime Ministers who were appointed in 16 months and their policies all varied from repressive to oppressive. Rasputin was murdered in 1916 by some of his opponents, and Alexandra who was left alone to rule tightened her grip on authority over the Russian people. While this was happening, World War 1 was not going well for Nicholas, who had still not won a large battle which he could tell the people about. This meant that most of the Russian moral had gone and the war effort had lost all of its momentum first gained. Also the severe winter did not help, it meant that there was a shortage of food for all classes of people, and the means of transport were disabled. The anarchy in Petrograd was finally brought to the attention of Nicholas, but only a limited amount because the reports were censored. It was not until he tried to return to Petrograd that he realized how many strikes there were and how critical they were to Russia. This was just like the Tsar’s...
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