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Asked by Liam

How did ww1 help to bring about the russian revolution?

Hi Liam! So ww1 was a catalyst for the Revolution for a couple of reasons 1) Tsar Nicholas II appointed himself commander in chief of the military while having minimal experience or expertise. This meant that the many military failures experienced by Russia could be directly blamed on him, lowering people's confidence in him as a ruler. HE still claimed divine right to rule which only made his failures more glaring to the people. 2) While he was away Tsarina Alexandra was left in charge. She didn't have the people's favor as it was as she was german and rumors flew about that she was a spy. She had the job of appointing ministers to help her manage the country, however, she purposefully appointed unsuitable candidates so as to lower the risk of her husband's authority being undermined. This lead to ministers changing frequently in what is referred to as a Ministerial leapfrog in which she got through 4 prime ministers, 5 ministers of the interior, and 3 ministers of war all in the period of 16 months, This meant the work of the government ground to a halt. Plus she also kept Rasputin close ( the mad monk) who had an alarming amount of influence over her decisions to the point where people believed they were having an affair 3)Financial stability was completely shot because of the war. Borrowing increased from 4 million roubles to 30 million and taxation increased, despite this Russia still didn't have the funds it needed. The gold standard was abandoned causing rapid hyper inflation which paid workers in short term but made money worthless long term. Between 1914-16 wages had doubled while the price of food and fuel quadrupled 4- Food shortages were really affecting the people. Because of requisitioning not just of farming men but also of horses and transportation trains ,much of russia was bordering on famine for most of 1915. Because of the inflation ,whatever food the peasants were growing, they didn't want to sell because trading was now unprofitable . This lead to berad rationing being announced on valentines day which acted as a trigger for most of the events that followed leading up o the revolution eg the women day march. 5) Many men deserted the army due to the fact that they were ill prepared and ill supplied eg there would be one rifle between 2 men as well as their military failures like the german offensive. When they deserted they travelled home and spread the word of how incompetent the tsar was. Hope this helps!

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Rida Hasan
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