An Overview • The Tsar • The political system • The structure of society • Industrialisation and living and working conditions • The Revolutionaries • The impact of World War I
The Causes of the February Revolution 1917:The Tsar • Dissolution of the Duma – isolated from educated and middle classes. • Commander in Chief of Army – now held personally responsible for defeats • Tsarina and Rasputin – massively unpopular. • No lessons learnt from the 1905 Revolution. • Is was weighed down by 300 years of history – he could not see the way out beyond his belief in autocratic rule
The Causes of the February Revolution 1917:The political system • Autocracy – not willing/able to share power • Out of step with development of democracy across Europe • Conditions perfect for the development of communism • Majority of people had no say in the running of the country • No social mobility
The Causes of the February Revolution 1917:The structure of society • Top 1% of population owned 95% of the wealth. • Unfair distribution of power and wealth. • 80% of population were peasants. • Growing industrial working class (proletariat). • Growing middle class (bourgeoisie).
The Causes of the February Revolution 1917:Industrialisation • Russia was rapidly developing moving from an agricultural to industrial economy. • Massive demographic change – population moved to the cities • Industrialization – poor pay, poor conditions, over crowding in factories and housing • Provided the crowds for revolutionaries to agitate.
The Causes of the February Revolution 1917:The Revolutionaries • Increase in industrial unrest – strikes and food riots in Petrograd. • Women and disaffected soldiers • Members of the Petrograd Soviet return to try and organize discontent. • Limited role in the actual events. Most demonstrations economic not political. • Trotsky claimed workers had been “educated” by the works of Lenin.
The Causes of the February Revolution 1917:The Impact of World War I • Russia not prepared for war and over confident of military strength. • Lack of enough industry to support a mechanized/industrial war. Reliant on imports. • War caused shortages of fuel, food and other essential supplies • Conditions in countryside, towns, cities and the army were intolerable. • Poor transport infrastructure. • Tsar as Commander • Tsar was a man out of depth and out of time.