The Great WarThe Build-up to the FebruaryRevolution of 1917
Good morning Year 12!As you read this I am probably in quite some pain waiting for myswollen foot to be x-rayed! (Millie will explain!)Many apologies for not being there this morning as I know time ispressing… this is the first one I’ve missed all year so I’m sure you canforgive me Anyway, what do you need to do?• Have a go at the task on slide 4 – organise the events and find adate for each (there is a printed copy in my room somewhere)• Read through the slides on Russia’s involvement in the Great Warand make notes• Highlight any examples of war/individuals/opposition etc.causing social/economic change in Russia.• Do a little background research on why on earth Russia arefighting in WWI if you’re not sure.CONTINUE ON NEXT SLIDE
• Make a list of questions of anything you are not sure about. Ifyou have no questions for me I’ll assume you know everythingand I will demand your answers to my questions when I’m back(hopefully Thursday)… make sense?• Watch the Rasputin doc on YouTube and make some notes (he’sa good example of an individual causing change).• Read the mini-chapter on WWI in your little red book and add toyour notes!• Update your timelinesBingo! That should be enough to keep you busyFor those students who missed stuff last week (Tamara I’m lookingat you) – follow the most recent link on the Twitter for all therecent PowerPoints. Work your way through them and ask theothers if you are unsure – it will be good revision for you all!See you soon and email/tweet with any questions!
How manyof these canyou date?What orderdo they goin?• Nicholas II becomes Tsar• Russo-Japanese War• October Manifesto• Trans-Siberian Railway opened• Narodniks go to the Peasantry• Assassination of Alex II• Lena Goldfields Massacre• Bolsheviks and Mensheviks split• World War I begins• Bloody Sunday• Great Famine• Emancipation of the Serfs• Petyr Stolypin becomes PrimeMinister• Crimean War
So far… So Russia1. Russia – an introduction2. The Crimean War3. Alexander II – Reform4. Opponents of Alex II and Alex III5. Alexander III & Industrialisation6. Russo-Japanese war 19057. Revolution of 19058. Nicholas II, Stolypin and Russia on the eve of war9. World War 110. Revolutions of 191711. The Russian Civil War / Lenin12. Rise of Stalin13. Five Year Plans, Collectivisation and the Great Terror14. World War Two15. Last Years of StalinQuestionTo what extent did warprovide a catalyst forchange in Russia between1853-1953?
• How do youthink theRussianpeople wouldrespond towar?
• Russia enteredWW1 due to acomplex web ofalliances• Russiadefending herfellow Slavs inthe Balkansstrengthenedcommitment ofRussian people.
• The outbreak of war brought a genuine but fragileunity to Russia• Russians were traditionally loyal to the state andmany anticipated victory.• Strikes and civil unrest ceased as did criticisms ofthe government• People fell to their knees and sang ‘God Bless theTsar.’
Was the optimism justified?• Industrial and agricultural productivity had not increased inRussia as much as in other nations.• GDP in Russia was below Germany and Austria-Hungary• Russia did hold the eastern front-line for three years againsta industrially superior war machine.• Defeats in Crimea and Russo-Japanese War cast doubts onmilitary capability• Revolution of 1905 and previous defeats encouraged neighboursto pursue interests in the Balkans (Russia shown as weak)• Nicholas II and generals did not want war in 1914. they knewGermany was stronger – army reforms not due until 1917-18• Tsarist regime did not want to be humiliated on the worldstage and chose political considerations over military caution.
How disastrous was Russia’sperformance?• Russia had huge manpower butwere ineffectually led andsupplied.• Supplies improved by 1916 butthe damage had been done.• Some success was enjoyed againstAustria and even the Germans(Brusilov offensive 1916)• Victory was likely to go to thecountry whose home front heldout the longest due to the natureof WW1 warfare.• Initial optimism soon gave way toconcern and despair• Supplies did not get through to thecities due to poorcommunications and prioritygiven to the military
Crisis of the Regime• Attempts to reform the taxation and administrative systemfailed.• Borrowing and printing money led to rapid inflation• Economic, financial and military problems destroyedunity of ruling group. (Tsar, ministers, Duma.)• Tsar – seen to rely heavily on wife and Rasputin – tookcharge of army in 1915.• Historians tend to downplay the influence of Rasputin –but was harmful to the Tsars reputation. P. 82-83• Duma – dominated by liberals calling for a govt. basedmore on popular support.• Tsar refused to listen – lost support of upper classes,liberals and intelligentsia who wanted increased war roles.• Nicholas II believed strongly in the Triple Entente andwould not make a separate peace with Germany.• Working classes became increasingly militant, organisedand opposed to the war (and how it was conducted)• Radical revolutionary movements beginning to haveinvolvement .• War weariness and declining morale reduceeffectiveness of army.• Nicholas II increasingly regarded as an obstacle tosuccess.
Summary• War offered a chance for nationalunity.• ‘Civil society’ was being created outof an emergency.• Initial Russian enthusiasm for thewar soon evaporated.• Army was ill-prepared for a longstruggle – inadequately trained,poorly supplied and led, successivedefeats.• Economic crisis during war -inflation, communications disruptedand conscription created labourshortages.• Nick II reputation sullied by defeat,he took command of armed forces.Empress being German did not help,corruption and treachery in court?• War industry committees could notsolve problems.• Strikes, growing discontent with war.• Tsar and family under influence ofRasputin,• Aristocracy given limited role byTsar and were afraid of collapse.• Russia was not ready in 1914 but by1916 the state was controllingtransport, industry, food and fueldistribution.• Revolution in February 1917changed everything….