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How Far Was The First World War The Main Cause Of The Fall Of The Romanovs In 1917?

787 words - 4 pages

In the years leading up to the fall of the three hundred year old Romanov dynasty there was increasing tension building up in Russia. The failing of Russia in the war, the failings of the tsar and his decisions, and the social and economic situations in Russia all played a part in the fall. Still it is believed that the First World War had played the biggest part in the fall of the dynasty.
When the war first began in 1914 the tension between the Tsar and his people eased immensely from the extreme burst of patriotism. In the early stages of the war Russia’s efforts were met by success but by August 1914 Russia had started its decline. By the fall of 1915 Russian forces had been completely driven out of Poland and in September 1915 the Tsar decided to appoint himself as commander-in-chief of the Russian Army. This meant that the performance of the Russian Army now completely reflected back on Nicholas II himself. Not only was there trouble on the Eastern Front but the war was causing trouble on the home front as well. Russia’s National Budget rose eightfold between 1913-1916, financed out of higher taxes, loans and borrowing from allies Britain and France. In order to maintain the war effort the Russian government started to print more money causing inflation with prices rising over two hundred percent between August 1914 and Christmas 1916. The huge loss of life and military humiliations undermined domestic support and in 1917 Russian government was facing a massive crisis and you can see how this seriously took a toll on the Tsarist regime.
On the other hand there were other problems that effected the Romanov dynasty. After Russia’s removal from Poland the Tsar took it upon himself to become the new commander-in-chief, even though he was clearly unqualified to command a small military unit let alone an army of millions. From June to August 1916 the Russian forces launched their last major war offensive, The Brusilov Offensive. This was initially a success but by August the offensive had lost its momentum and the forces had to retreat. By 1916 the army was facing serious shortages of materials and morale with the main reasons for the fail being that the tsar was a bad commander-in-chief. But there was more...

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