n people began tobuild up the aggression for revolution. These feelings were developed upon
the social and economic trends that began to build under several rulers.
Tsars’ Alexander I, Alexander II and Nicholas II had many influences upon
the revolutionary feeling among their people. Their choices were the
building ground for Russian revolution.
Alexander began his reign with many high hopes. His largest goal was
to establish reform from above. After a military disaster, Alexander and
his ministers were forced to quickly begin the reforms. While he did begin
to adjust the society and attempt to modernize Russia, many of his attempts
were only half successful.His first reform was the freeing of the serfs.
Once slaves were liberated, they received approximately half of the land.
Despite this claim, land was priced very highly making it very difficult
for former slaves to purchase the land. Hence while they were technically
“free” they were still bound to the land. The angered the general
population. It was frustrating for the former serfs to be liberated and
yet still restricted in many ways. This feeling continued to build through
the years before erupting. Another halfhearted attempt at reform made by
Alexander II was the creation of the zemstvo. The zemstvo was an addition
to the local government.The assembly was to be elected by a three-class
system of towns, peasant villages and noble landowners. Such an idea
seemed to be a promising step toward popular participation. However, the
Russian people were soon disappointed. The zemstvo stayed under the
bureaucracy and the local nobility. The Russian people were once again
excluded from the electoral process in their towns. The people were
desperate for a chance to have a voice in their government. Continued
denial of this request would further aggravate the population. Not all of
Alexander’s reforms were social. Many reforms were economic as well. One
of the greatest economic reforms came with the development of railroads.
The establishment of railroads allowed greater power the agricultural
Russia. Now it was more possible for Russia to export more grain and thus
earn money for further modernization. This gave way to development and
strengthening the Russian military and greatly pleased the nationalists and
super patriots. However this mass modernization soon caused trouble for
many of the typical farmers. Eventually some would be replaced with larger
more powerful corporations’ and mechanical equipment, thus wiping out the
traditional family owned and operated farms.Once again the common people
suffered due to Alexander’s reforms. This was especially frustrating for
the Russian people because such reforms were intended to better Russia and
her people. These same people began to wonder if their needs would ever be
acknowledged. This question would remain silent until revolution exploded.
When Nicholas II began his reign, his people embraced him as a god.
However, as his reign continued the people would begin to disagree and
outright revolt against his choices. One of Nicholas’s primary goals was
to maintain the inheritance of royal power. To him this was the key to
Russia’s greatness. Unfortunately he focused more on his family than on
being the tsar that his people wanted. Nicholas failed to form a close
relationship with the Russian citizens’ in order to fight the war more
effectively. This failure proved to be a very large one. Without this
unification the people began to loose the desire to fight for their country
and tsar. Instead they wanted to fight against it. Nicholas also depended
on the old bureaucracy and distrusted the moderate Duma thus rejecting
popular involvement. This was also a large mistake. With such rejection
of the educated middle class, they become largely critical of the tsars
leadership. As the people began to doubt their leader they acknowledged
the consideration that someone else could possibly be more effective. Such
attitudes towards the tsar added to the building revolutionary feelings.
As Russian soldiers continued to fight in the continuing World War, their
morale began a steady decline. Artillery barrages used Russian supplies of
shells and ammunition. When compared to the German armies, the Russians
were far from well off. The better-prepared Germans caused the Russians
terrible losses. Despite the shock of defeat with a loss of over 2 million
casualties, Russia attempted to move towards mobilization to the home
front. Factories began producing more than twice as many supplies however
this still was not enough. The choice made by Nicholas to enter “total
war” was crippling Russia. The economy began to suffer greatly as their
factories now produced only war supplies and disregarded those necessary
supplies they had one been responsible for. Nicholas’ most fateful
decision concerning the war was that to travel to the front in order to
lead Russia’s armies. This decision left the Tsarina Alexandria to rule
Russia. Alexandria attempted to rule the way she had always urged her
husband to, absolutely. She constantly appointed and dismissed ministers.
After the assassination of her trusted yet sinister advisor, Rasputin,
Alexandria went into shock. Soon bread riots arose and spread to
factories. The tsar order to troops to quiet the revolts, however the
soldiers instead joined the common people.The Duma, once rejected by the
tsar, took control and declared a provisional government. In response
Nicholas abdicated his throne. The revolutionary feeling that had been
growing in Russia for so long finally erupted.
Revolution had been building among he Russian people for many years.
The social and economic trends that developed under Alexander I, Alexander
II and Nicholas continued to fuel the growing fire in the Russian people.
The common people were tired of being ignored and in became evident that
their only way of ending this was through revolution.