Why was there a revolution in Russia in February 1917?

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade May 2006

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The revolution in Russia of February 1917 had successfully overthrown the Tsarist regime, which lasted for more than three hundred years. Even though the revolution in 1905 was often referred as the "dress" rehearsal" for the revolution of 1917, in fact, they did not have a lot in common. The most important causes of February Revolution in 1917 could be examined from the following aspects.

Politically, because of the weak personalities of Tsar Nicholas II, of which the whole system of Russian autocracy relied on, and his reliance on people around him, his inability to become a good Tsar was revealed, which induced the Revolution in 1917. Alexander III, the father of Nicholas II , did not give him enough training in state's affairs, and thus Nicholas II became, though charming, an ineffective and easily influenced ruler when a premature death fallen on Alexander III in 1894. Because of his incompetence, he often needed to rely on the people around him.

Two of the most influential figures to him were his tutor, Pobedonostsev, and his wife Alexandra. Pobedonostsev was a reactionary, who helped to reinforce the ideas of reforming was a threat to the autocracy in Nicholas. Nicholas was a believer in autocracy, which could be seen in his statement at his coronation, "I shall defend the principle of autocracy as unswervingly as my deceased father." Pobedonostsev's reinforcement only made Nicholas a firmer believer in autocracy. Being a firm believer in autocracy, Nicholas had little appetite for changes, but Russia at that time was in need of reform and changes. Therefore, his belief and inability made the government system slower than it could be. Furthermore, because of his insensitive and inability, he lost the loyalty from his people. For example at the coronation ceremony 1300 people were killed because...