2. The February Revolution


- Immediate causes of the February Revolution, especially events in Petrograd - Abdication of Tsar - Setting up of Provisional Government.
Note by ShreyaDas, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by ShreyaDas about 10 years ago

Resource summary

Page 1

Events in PetrogradThe war took 15 million men from the farms and trains had to be used for the war (so they could not bring food to the cities) so there were food shortages and food prices rose, all of which created anger and unrest in PetrogradThe winter of 1916–17 was severe.   Food shortages got worse – there was a famine in the cities.- people were starving- long lines for food- riots started after rumors of even smaller amounts of bread- peasants refused to sell grain and protesters started demonstrations- riots banned by Tsar but responded to by even more violence- Duma suspended after notifying the Tsar of unrest- Tsar ordered for army to shoot on the crowds - they mutinied and many joined the demonstrations- revolutionaries took control of the Palace and closed off the railways = Tsar couldn't get back into Petrograd

- Tsar's train was diverted = Tsar couldn't get back in to Petrograd- Members of the Duma persuaded him to abdicate- Tsar was persuaded to abdicate and passed it onto his brother who refused = end of Romanov dynasty 


After Tsar abdicated, Duma took over the government and formed the Provisional Government led by Kerensky

Alexander KerenskyPrime Minister of Provisional GovernmentDeputy chairman of the Petrograd Soviet = bridge between the twomade two big mistakes:- didn't end the war- didn't give the peasants land

11  Weakness of Russia Underlay everything 1.  Russia had been humiliated in a war with Japan, 1904 (why?).2.  There were many nationalities, languages and religions (the only unity was the Romanov dynasty).3.  Russia was vast – 125 million people spread across Europe and Asia.   This made government difficult, especially because of poor communications – bad roads and few railways.4.  An out-of-date farming economy.   Most of the population were peasants who lived in the country and are under the control of the nobles.  5.  Russia was beginning to industrialise (eg Trans-Siberian railway, 1904).  Towns/ factories were starting to grow up.   -  worker poverty and poor living conditions – which created a large workforce, disaffected and concentrated in Petrograd, the capital.   - Also a small wealthier middle class were beginning to want a say in the government.6.  Tsar Nicholas was an autocrat –  Nicholas carried out all the business of government alone, without even a secretary, an impossible load   He was a weak Tsar.   At first he refused to compromise then, in the crisis of 1917, failed to act.7.  There was opposition to the government from: The Kadets - middle classes and liberal landowners who wanted Russia to have a Parliament like England. Social Revolutionaries (wanted a peasant revolution, and to take all the land from the nobles). The Communists (followers of Karl Marx), who were divided into the moderate Mensheviks (wanted Communism without a revolution) and the extremist Bolsheviks  (wanted a violent proletarian revolution). After 1900, there were many assassinations and protests (eg Bloody Sunday, 1905 and the murder of Prime Minister Stolypin in 1911). 2  World War IThe First World War  was the key factor.  - The army was badly led and poorly equipped.   - Russian defeats at Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes – the Russians lost 200,000 men – lost the government the support of the army.  - war took 15 million men from farms --- trains had to be used for the war (so they could not bring food to the cities) - there were food shortages and food prices rose = anger and unrest in PetrogradThe winter of 1916–17 was severe.   - Food shortages got worse – there was a famine in the cities.  3  Tsar’s Mistakes - Tsar took personal command of the army  – did not help the war effort and meant he was blamed for the defeats.   - left the Tsarina in charge.  - She was incompetent (she let Rasputin run the government), - (because she was a German) rumours circulated that she was trying to help Germany to win.By February 1917 the government was in chaos.Finally, in the crisis, Nicholas went to pieces and failed to do anything    4   Army abandoned the Tsar - On 8 March 1917, there were riots in Petrograd about the food shortages and the war.- On 12 March the Army abandoned the Tsar – the soldiers mutinied and refused to put down the riots.   The government lost control of the country.  5   Duma abandoned the Tsar - On 13 March members of the Duma went to Nicholas to tell him to abdicate. 

Immediate Causes of the February Revolution

Abdication of the Tsar

Setting up of Provisional Government

Long-term Causes of the February Revolution

Show full summary Hide full summary


4. Civil War
Weimar Revision
Tom Mitchell
Conferences of the Cold War
Alina A
Bay of Pigs Invasion : April 1961
Alina A
Hitler and the Nazi Party (1919-23)
Adam Collinge
The Berlin Crisis
Alina A
History - Treaty of Versailles
Weimar Germany 1919: The Spartacists and the constitution
Chris Clayton
Germany 1918-39
Cam Burke
Olivia Andrews
Hitler's rise to Chancellorship Jan '33
Simon Hinds