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Problems in WWI in Russia?

Problems in WWI in Russia????

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  • 9 years ago
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    WWI amplified many of the existing problems in Russia.

    The workers in the cities worked very long hours - up to 14 hours a day, six days a week, for very little pay, and many lived in dormitories as house building had not kept pace with demand. The peasants could not plough, sow or bring in the harvests as the young men were off fighting in the war. And they were still heavily in debt after the emancipation of the serfs - they had to buy their freedom over 50 years, and many were still serfs. The situation in the countryside caused problems in the cities - they were starving, and in the army - the peasants in uniform wanted to get back to their villages to help with the farming - this was especially true in the spring and autumn, the ploughing and harvest seasons.

    The Tsar took personal command of the army after its terrible start to the war. Unfortunately he was as inept as a military leader as he was a political leader, and many blamed him for Russia's disastrous campaigns.

    Politically the country had been radicalised for many years because of the Tsar, serfdom, lack of political representation, rapid industrialisation and political oppression. This, coupled with Bolshevik agitation in the factories and in the army made Russia ripe for revolution in 1917.

    When the Tsar fell - due to the February Revolution (really an unorganised bread strike that spiralled out of control), the new, Provisional Government refused to withdraw from the war, and the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin - since 1903 - seemed to offer a solution to the mess the country was in. They promised "Bread, Land and Peace" - just what the workers and the peasant army wanted, and they also demanded "All power to the soviets" - soviets were councils, they began to appear all over the country, running everything from city districts to factories and battalions in the army. Again, they Bolsheviks hit a nerve, and the idea appealed to many Russians.

    See:

    The October Revolution by Roy Medvedev

    http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subjec...

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