Roots of Russian Revolution
The Russian revolution was caused by the continual breakdown of the governments in Russia and the incompetency and authoritarian views of it's czars. Their failures as leaders included policies that neither pleased nor benefitted the people. By the end of the nineteenth century, Russia's economy, government, military, and social organization was at an extreme decline. Russia had become the least advanced of the major European nations in terms of political and social development. There was no parliament, and no middle class. The Church, officers, and other important people and institutions were firmly against social progress. The disastrous defeat of Russia in the Crimean War in 1855 and 1856 exposed weaknesses of Russia's various organizations.
For the first few decades of the 1800's, Russia's outlook was brighter under Alexander I, who was relatively liberal. He became more reactionary however, and following his death, a group of young army officers tried to overturn the Czardom. This was called the Decembrist Revolt. The next czar, Nicholas, was a die hard authoritarian. The Administrative system continued to decay regardless of his iron fisted rule. The gap between the rich and the poorer continued to widen. Over five hundred peasant revolts
took place during his reign.
Alexander II, who took the throne in 1855 tried to avert revolt by attempting reform. In 1861 he freed the serfs and gave them expectations of free land allotments. But to their surprise, and anger, they were only given the opportunity to share it as members of a village commune(mir). In addition, the mir had to pay back the government for the land over a period of 49 years with interest. Alexander also formed a series of elected local councils that gave districts restricted jurisdiction of certain aspects of life. He too became more...