Causes of the 1917 russian revolution

Essay by DazfellaUniversity, Master'sA-, November 2002

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The revolution of March 1917 wasn't just a sudden event that happened and was planned over night, there were many causes, long and short term that finally brought out the peoples strength.

There were many long-term reasons for the Russian people being dissatisfied. The people weren't being governed properly. This was because Russia was full of many different races and social classes and it was a very large empire, almost twice the size of China! If any riots were taking place a long way from St Petersburg, (the capital), it would be very difficult for the Tsar and his forces to reach them and control them in time. To try and solve the great problem of its size, an enormous railway was built. It starts in St Petersburg in the northwest and finishes in southeast Russia in Vladivostock. It was called the Trans-Siberian railway.

The largest social class in Russia at this time were the poor.

80% were peasants and 4% were urban workers. Until 1861 the peasants had been serfs owned by masters, but they had been freed and allocated a share of land, which they could buy using money loaned from the government. Poverty was very easy to recognise. Bare feet, tatty, dirty clothes, filthy skin and housed in small thatched cottages. Peasants had very few possessions and usually quite a large family to feed. A horse would probably be the only working help and would be fed with straw from the roof in the winter. The roads were dirt tracks with no pavements and their beds were thin sacks. Peasants were ill, weak and hungry. There was hardly enough food to go round; water was dirty making disease spread quickly.

The main problem for peasants was land. There was just not enough to go round. The loans...