Russian revolution without WWI?

July 22nd, 2010  
Jeff Simmons

Topic: Russian revolution without WWI?

Would the Russians have deposed Tsar Nicholas II and turned to communism without the wide-ranging economic and political implications of World War One?

Possibly. The seeds of revolution were actually planted in 1905, nine years before the outbreak of the Great War. General dissatisfaction with the government -- centered largely in St. Petersburg -- led to massive strikes, peasant unrest, terrorism, military mutinies and assassinations of government leaders. Workers demanded freedom of speech, press and religion, as well as a nationally-elected legislative body. Tsar Nicholas (probably one of the most inept leaders of the time) initially agreed to the demands...with certain limitations, of course. However, thousands of revolutionaries were executed and many more imprisoned. The workers' demands more or less went out the window, creating an even deeper hatred of the tsar than before.

Of course, the war caused shortages of everything from food to coal for heating homes, not to mention one military foul-up after another and the loss of millions of lives. But aside from the war, the issues remained the same. And the Russian people were fearful of Rasputin's influence on the government. This was a major issue, and led to his infamous assassination by military leaders. By then, the revolution was at hand.

So...Did it take World War One to create the Soviet Union, or would other factors (like Rasputin) have inevitably led to the end of the Russian monarchy?
July 22nd, 2010  
I think the revolution would have happened sooner or later with our with out WW1. There is so long you can badly treat the baulk of the population and expect them to take it.
July 22nd, 2010  
Jeff Simmons

Topic: although...

Although, LeEnfield, the Russians have historically tolerated serious beatings by their own government (both before and after 1917) without resorting to revolutions to change things.
August 21st, 2010  
I saw a show on the History Channel that said the building of the Trans Siberian Railway almost bankrupted Russia and caused a lot of hardship for the people. It was finished in 1913 and was the most money ever spent in Russia except for WW1.

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