The End of the Romanov Dynasty

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade May 2006

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Why was there a revolution in February?

The February Revolution of 1917 was the beginning of the Russian Revolution that lasted through to October. Although the causes were numerous, ranging from political to economic, it was the consequence of a combination of situations and events. This revolution resulted in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and was the first stage in the Russian Revolution, leading to the October Revolution where Lenin takes complete control of the country.

The first and underlying cause of the February revolution was the condition Russia was in. Russia was facing a lot of problems and was a very weak country. They went to war with Japan in 1904. To everyone's surprise, the Russians lost to Japan. The reasons why Russia lost to Japan were foreshadowing of the causes of the Russian Revolution. The Japanese surprise attacked Port Arthur, the Russians were not prepared and it took them a fair amount of time to respond.

The trans-Siberian railway was just finished but supplies had to travel thousands of miles through treacherous land to get to the soldiers. Those in power were incompetent, hated one another and were constantly arguing. They kept changing their strategies until finally the Russian Commander of Port Arthur surrendered to the Japanese, before consulting his officers, even though they were stocked with plenty of food and weapon and capable of holding out for longer. Even though the Russian army had 100,000 more people and only half as many casualties, victory was for the Japanese. The Russo-Japanese War left Russia's deep water navy and army devastated. The war also resulted in the Russian Revolution of 1905 and this popular discontent with the government was carried on. But the public was not only displeased with the outcome of the war, they had other reasons...