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The First Revolution In Russia Was Followed So Soon By A Second One.

1256 words - 5 pages

Why was the first Revolution in Russia followed so soon by a second one?Actually the February Revolution in 1917 had been a collapse of tsardom from within rather than an overthrow from outside. The war, intensifying all the problems from which Russia had traditionally suffered, had played an important role for the fall of the traditional regime. But the decisive reason was that unlike to 1905 revolution, the leadership elite was on the people´s side, which enabled the February Revolution to succeed. Like Chris Read said: "Only by looking beyond the streets and considering the activities of the elite can we really understand why the monarchy fell. In 1905, in the face of the revolutionary threat, the elite had, when it mattered, fallen into line behind the autocracy. This is the crucial difference. In 1917 most of the elite abandoned the monarch"( The decline of Tsarism, Warwick History Video, 1987).Now we have to ask us for which reasons there had been another revolution only 9 months later?During February 1917, it were the liberals who seized power through forming a "Provisional Govenment", dominated by Kadet and Octobrist leaders. However, they thus took responsibility for a burden of problems left by the Tsar: War, a deteriorating economic situation, peasant demand for land redistribution, and national minority demands for independence. In addition, they faced a huge opposition, the soviets, who held the real power.It is known that the tsar left the Russian economy bankrupt. Therefore only the war-credits and supplies Russia received from the allies during the war made it possible for Russia to survive. But soldiers were ingreasingly unwilling to fight. People were getting more and more disaffected as they saw no end of deaths and casualties, hunger and deprivation. At this time Russia had gone beyond a point where it could fight a successful war. The situation was hopeless. However, in June 1917, the Provisional Government launched a major offensive against Germany, hoping the population would reunite and become willing to support the government for patriotic reasons. Finally the offensive badly failed, and a lot of military mutinies broke out. Hence, the general situation in Russia worsened and the government´s popularity decreased.The peasantry wanted their age-old aspirations of getting land to become true. But the liberals hesitated: They saw themselves blocked by its own suppoters, the propertied class, which were unwilling to give up their land. Moreover, the Kadets were opposed to state regulation of the economy for ideological reasons. Consequently, the peasants seized land, ignoring the higher institutions( June 1917: 700 complaints concerning illegal attacks upon landed property- July: 1100). It is to say that they organised life on the countryside independently of the government-" The goals, methods, and rhythms of peasant actions during 1917 were their own"( Acton). So the governments failure to cope with peasant...

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