Russia was a democratic society in 1914.
The Duma were a representative assembly, originally set up in 1905 as a concession by the Tsar. However, the Tsar made sure that the Duma had little power.
What were the Okhrana?
The secret police force of the Russian Empire.
The types of tanks used by the Russians in war.
The rules sworn to by the Tsar on his coronation.
Why was Russia difficult to rule in 1914?
It had a population of 125 million.
It spanned 8 time zones.
Most of the people were literate.
The contrast between rich and poor was great.
Industrialisation was slow and transport rudimentary.
All of the above!
Opposition groups to 's reign included:
- The Kadets ( Democrats) were a middle-class liberal party that wanted political change with the elected Duma gaining real power. However, their support was mostly to more wealthy and more people living in towns and cities.
- The Social Revolutionaries (SRs) wanted to seize power by . They had some support from the , as the plan was to take land from the and give it to them. However, it was difficult to the peasants, scattered as they were across large areas of land.
- The Democrats had support mostly from in the factories. They believe in the communist teachings of Karl Marx. However, in the party split into two groups - The Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks. The were the group who believed that revolution was possible, even if they did not have mass support, if it was plotted in and carried out ruthlessly. The leader of the Bolsheviks was .
What were the key problems faced by the Russian army on the front line during WWI?
- Poor quality of leadership
- Lack of supplies due to failure in distribution
- Wounded soldiers not being treated effectively
- Huge losses
- Too much equipment
- Death of commanders
When did the Tsar take over as commander-in-chief of the Russian Army?
The Duma reassembled in July 1915 due to Russia's early poor performance in the war.
The effects of the war were increasingly felt in the . There were food shortages, with prices rising by up to per cent over three years. Workers' wages only increased by per cent in the same period. Food was in short supply because much good farming land was occupied by the . In some areas there was a shortage of peasants to farm the land as so many ha been into the armies.
Also, transport was inefficiently organised. Engines an would be commandeere for moving troops or supplies, leaving food for the cities rotting in railway sidings. In 1917 only wagons of grain reached Moscow, compared to the 22,000 in . Many railway engineers had been called up to fight, leaving a shortage of people to carry out basic repairs to engines and trucks.
How did the Tsar's incompetence show during the war?
- His government couldn't supply the home front or the front line.
- The Zemstva's began to organise to fill the gaps in medical care.
- He would not work with the Progressive Bloc.
- He took control of the army leaving the Tsarina and Rasputin in charge.
- He did not continue with his religious responsibilities.
- He could not heal his son when a foreign mystic could.
By 1916, the Romanov family was very . Part of this was due to the defeats an hardships, leading to the of patriotism. But it was also due to the consequences of the Tsar going to the front. He left in charge, with the to advise her. Alexandra was already unpopular due to her background, but she was also very much under the influence of , a peasant from Siberia who claimed to be a holy man. In fact, he was a womaniser and was wrongly believed to be having an affair with Alexandra. His huge influence came from his power over Alexis' haemophillia - Alexis suffered internal bleeding,, Rasputin appeared to be able to stop it. Rasputin had almost hypnotic powers over Alexandra, who was naturally desperate to keep him at court and refused to listen to any criticism of him. Meanwhile, Rasputin influenced the government by 'recommending' changes in and getting his friends appointed to positions.
Leading (related to the royal family) detested Rasputin. In December , a group of them, led by Prince , killed him. It was, however, too late to save the monarchy.
What temperature was reached in Petrograd in the winter of 1916-17? (all temps in degrees celsius)
The February Revolution was an organised rebellion against the Tsar's government.
What did the people want in February 1917?
- An end to the war
- Political change (though no party was leading the revolt)
- Equal Rights
- More land for the Middle Classes and Nobility
In Petrograd, many people were starving to death. broke out and factory workers met in huge crowds in the streets. On 8 March, people were on strike in Petrograd, and there were demonstrations against the shortage of and fuel. Strikes spread, including the armaments works which employed people.
On succeeding days, large numbers of people were in the streets with slogans such as 'Down with the woman!' and 'Down with the '. Nicholas II ordered the army in Petrograd to crush the marchers and rioters. Increasingly, regiments to obey orders, and many of the officers . Petrograd was in the hands of a rioting mob.
What did Rodzianko do in desperation?
Telegraphed the Tsar
Took over the government by force
Fled with the help of the US Embassy
What did the workers do?
They organised themselves into a soviet (council).
They reluctantly formed the Provisional Government.
They stopped striking and went back to work.
The Tsar tried to return to Petrograd, but when he reached Pskov the railway line was blocked. His train was moved into a siding and he was persuaded by the Russian army commanders to abdicate on 15 March 1917.