Impact of the First World War (1914-1917)

Contributory factors before 1914

Tsar- indecisive, weak, unwilling to abandon autocracy, Not prepared to make concessions to representative government 

Political system- still largely an autocracy: repressive, often corrupt, outdated

Middle classes- Growing professional middle class, who wanted a greater role in national government 

Urban workers- alienated and disaffected. Strikes increasing

Peasants- still mainly poor, and hungry for more land. Class of hostile landless labourers developing

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Impact of War

  • Defeats hit morale of army. Soldiers increasingly reluctant to fight
  • Tsar's desicion to take control of army in September 1915 a major mistake- he was personally blamed for defeats. Disastrous efforts to run the country by Tsarina and Rasputin damaged his credibility further
  • Middle classes saw government as incompetent. Wanted a more representative government 
  • Devastating economic impact of war in the cities: inflation, unemployment, shortages of food, fuel, raw materials, etc.
  • Peasants hit by loss of sons in war and loss of animals to the army. Food production falling 
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End Result

Support for the Tsar eroding fast all levels by the end of 1916. The generals told the Tsar they would no longer support him. 

SPARK!!!!!!!!   = February Revolution

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