Word Count: 1101Before the war.Before the war, there were lots of problemswhich led up to the revolution and we call themthe long term causes. The peasants working andliving conditions were very bad but thegovernment made it even worse by its ownpolicies. Russia needed to develop its industries,so that it was a modern agricultural countryinstead of a backward one and also to remain inan important military power. To aid this dilemmathe government invested in enormous amounts ofmoney in improving Russias industries. Wheredid most of this money come from? From thepockets of the people in Russia!To do this, the peasants had to pay huge taxesnot only on grain but on nearly all everyday itemssuch as alcohol and salt! Nevertheless, theworkers wages still stayed very low and did notincrease much at all as the government wantedto squeeze the people for every penny they couldget to put into industrial development. Soon later,all seemed well, iron and steel industries grewrapidly but then thousands of workers lost theirjobs.
This was a cause for strikes and rebellionsagainst managers and the government. Also,things were not going very well in the countryside. As if being taxed for all you were worthwasnt enough, there were very bad harvests fora couple of years so now they were starving aswell! To return the favour, the peasants becameviolent and started to burn landlords houses.Then the Tzar went to war with Japan which hethought would make the public believe in thegovernment again. However, it backfired on himand caused all the same problems again but by agreater degree. That really infuriated the people! Leading up to the war the peasants and workersstill had:*Inadequate clothing*Insufficient and unhealthy food*Long, hard hours at work*Inadequate housing/shelter*Self-made entertainment*Impoverished standard of life*Very low quality of life*Age of death-early 20’s-30’s.
These were the huge differences in the quality oflife between the rich and the poor as the richhad:*More than adequate clothing*More than adequate food*Lived on rising and unearned income*Entertainment was provided for them*Excellent standard of life*More than excellent quality of life*Age of death-late 50’s, 60’s and aboveIn these years leading up to the war, as you cansee, the living standard of the peasants andworkers did not improve as so they were forcedto rise up against these massive inadequacies!!Politically, Russia was very unstable as thepeople had lost a lot of respect for thegovernment and the Tzar. When the Tzar startedto use the Dumas people began to wonderwhether they would have any real power. By theDumas first meeting it was clear. They could notpass laws, they could not appoint ministers andthey could not control finance in such importantareas as defence.
Was there much point in themif the Tzar did not like what they were doing orproposing to do, he could dissolve them?? So, no.In my opinion the peoples views were not beingheard through the Dumas. There are lots ofopinions as whether the Tzar was fit to ruleRussia. In my opinion, the Tzar was not fit to ruleRussia but this was by no means his own fault.He was taught as a soldier and he was not taughtto act and behave like a king so it was hisstatesmanship that was at fault, not him himself!!The War. The war did not only effect the army but thepeople at home. Food was getting short, all themale peasants had to be taken off to the army soonly women and invalids were left to tend thefarms, shops .etc.
All the working trains werebeing put to use for the war effort so food wasnot getting through from other places. Nearly allunnecessary factories in the cities were closedso that furthed in another massiveunemployment. People were not getting coal andwood to burn because the coal industries wereshut down so the people were freezing as well.Not only that but the prices were rising as wellbecause of the shortages! Wages were not goingup, workers had to work longer hours, andVodka had stopped being made during the warso the people now had nothing to drown theirsorrows in!! There was a greater poverty allround, a loss in confidence in the governmentand there was no end to the awful news aboutthe terrible deaths and casualties from far at thefront lines!Nicholas II made two very large and obviousmistakes. The first was that he made himselfhead of the armed forces