During the First World War, many factors contributed to the Tsar’s downfall which also played a major role in the lead up to the February Revolution, 1917; such as the difficult living conditions, the role of the Tsarina and Rasputin, military failures and the failure to make political reforms. Many ideas, motives and events caused the loss in the Tsar’s popularity. I think the most important factor that lead to the Tsar’s downfall was because of the role of the Tsarina and Rasputin taking charge of the government. Throughout, I will use the intentional mode as it is the best way to explain the Tsar’s downfall.
One reason why the Tsar had a loss in popularity during the First World War is because of the military failures highlighted by the unreadiness of the Russian army. War highlighted the weaknesses and conditions of the armed forces which included the poor conditions that soldiers fought in, food shortages and low morale. Russian soldiers particularly experienced atrocious conditions at war, including armaments shortages. Russia had suffered from heavy defeats and the drastic numbers of Russians killed during the war which led to disillusionment and anger about the way the Tsar and the government were conducting the war. With the Tsar gone out to the front line in 1915 with the intention of creating a sense of pride for the nation, he was held personally responsible for defeats such as the defeat by Germany in 1915; turning their full weight of its power against Russia by launching a series of offensives against the Russian army. The Russians were beaten and large areas of Russian territory were overrun. This meant that Tsardom collapsed as it did not have the support of either soldier due to the poor treatment of Russian soldiers at war because of a lack of preparation. Therefore these events created further unpopularity for the Tsar as it caused humiliation. Due to the tsar being out to fight during the war, this led on to Tsarina and Rasputin taking over which created more tension and unpopularity for the Tsar.
Moreover, one of the main reasons why the Tsar had a loss in popularity during the First World War is because of the roles of Tsarina and Rasputin. The Tsar’s absence led to his wife gaining a greater degree of power which many did not agree upon for many reasons such as the fact that Tsarina Alexandra came from Germany therefore led to unpopularity as at the time of war, Germany was their largest rivals. Scandals started to rise, accusing her being a secret German agent which led to many disliking her despite her having being deeply religious qualities, adapting to the Orthodox Church, and her sincere efforts to make Russia her adopted country. During the First World War, Alexandra made poor decisions and intentions that led the Tsar into losing popularity. In addition, Tsarina Alexandra had the intention to invite Rasputin (also known as the ‘Mad Monk’) to help cure her son from haemophilia which he proved that he was able to help with his condition. Also down to Rasputin’s’ strong religious beliefs that he was sent by God, this convinced them that he could be trusted. However, to the Russian people, Rasputin symbolised everything that was wrong with imperial government. The court and the imperial family became objects of ridicule, to be despised.
Another factor that contributed to the Tsar’s decrease in popularity was because of his lack of ability to handle the economy during World War One. There was a potential growth in