'Not an overthrow from without, but a collapse from within' Consider this verdict on the February Revolution of 1917
The revolution began with a strike of industrial workers in St Petersburg, inflamed by rumours of food-shortages. The protesters ignored the police, the military forces were sent in, and these mutinied, joining the workers. The Tsar ordered the duma to close, it defied him, and met with the Soviet. Respected army commanders persuaded the Tsar to abdicate, and members of the old duma and soviets formed the Dual Authority, ending the Tsar Dynasty. It could be argued this was a collapse from within due to the weaknesses of the Tsar and the Tsarist system. However, external factors such as the economic problems Russia was facing, urbanisation of the working classes and the actions of revolutionaries also had an effect. To answer this question it is necessary to evaluate the impacts of different factors.
From the 1890s rapid growth of industry had caused widespread urbanisation, this was a good thing in that it brought more capital into the country and meant that some people were earning a regular salary for the first time. However, the urban workers had unrealistically high expectations of urban life. The cities could not cope with the demand for housing and sanitation. The workers had no rights and were living in poor conditions, they were thus very dissatisfied. They heard of political developments in other countries, and wanted to bring about change. As time continued the working class grew and united for change, this became an increasing problem for the Tsar, with no easy solutions.
Many people in urban areas joined the new revolutionary parties, and these parties gained in strength. During the war their actions were limited as many of their leaders were exiled. The main action...