1917 February Revolution and abdication of the Tsar
By 1917, Russia had reached a crisis situation. As detailed above, WW1 had taken a heavy toll on Russia both in terms of manpower, moral and indeed economic circumstances. On the 23rd of February, many gathered in Petrograd streets for International Women’s day. However, the Tsar, 500 miles away in Mogilev at the front was warned by 3 groups- The Okhrana, the Chairman of the Duma (Mikhail Rodzianko) and the British Ambassador, Sir George Buchanan. Okhrana reports stated that “We are on the eve of great events, in comparison to which 1905 was but a toy” (Okhrana in Malone pg 92). Rodzianko warned that “there is not a single honest or reliable man left in your entourage.....the greatest upheavals may be expected” (Page 93 Malone) Buchanan: “only a small portion of the army can be counted on to defend the dynasty” (Malone page 93) However these warnings were countered by Alexandra who told the Tsar in a letter that the uprisings were merely a “hooligan movement” and blamed the troubles on the Duma. Figes “the revolution started in the Bread queues” The growing strikes and unrest culminated and by 25th February striking workers had grown to 240,000 in number. Then the soldiers began to join the protesters and by 27th February they had control of the entire city of Petrograd. Despite dismissing warnings from Rodzianko as “More rubbish from that fat pig” (Malone) the Tsar ignored the developments and only decided to take action on the 1st of March, anointing a Provisional Government and attempting to return by train, which was prevented by Railway workers who prevented his return. He abdicated on the 2nd of March to his brother, Grand Duke Mikhail who promptly abdicated within 24 hours. He was advised to abdicate by the Generals and the Duma. Pipes “The collapse of Tsarism, while not improbable, was certainly not inevitable” Figes “The refusal of the Tsarist regime to concede reforms turned what should have...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document