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Account for the Collapse of Tsarism in February 1917

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Essay title: Account for the Collapse of Tsarism in February 1917

ACCOUNT FOR THE COLLAPSE OF TSARISM IN FEBRUARY 1917

In February 1917 the outdated Tsarism in Russia finally collapsed. The Romanov dynasty had oppressively ruled Russia for three centuries. The Tsars were absolute monarchs believing they held divine right to rule, and although Russia went through many changes both socially and economically they were never prepared to modernise themselves, relinquishing any political power. The difficulties which came about through the Great War coupled with many longer term problems proved to be too much for this old aristocratic system's survival and so led to the abrupt end of Tsarism. It is necessary to examine some of Russia's long term and early twentieth century problems to understand the reasons for this sudden downfall.

Russia in the mid-nineteenth century was very backward compared with the rest of Europe. Her economy was overwhelmingly agricultural and over eighty percent of her people were poor peasants scraping an existence from the land. Russia's immense size and geography and poor road and railways infrastructure coupled with her very harsh climate, rendering waterways frozen for most of the year, meant that there were many problems

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