World War 1 started in 1914. It was fought between two main groups: the Triple Alliance which consisted of Germany, Italy and Austria. The second group were the Triple Entente which consisted of Russia, England and France. In the beginning, most Russian people responded patriotically, the only ones who didn’t were the members of the Duma and the socialists. During this war, Russia had the largest army; they were also the most undersupplied army. The Russian army supplied 5 million loyal soldiers into the war, but only 4.6 million of these soldiers were equipped with rifles. This had largely to do with the Tsar taking control of the army, but this was not a smart move on his behalf because of his lack of experience of leading an army. In this war Russia was fighting a 20th century enemy, with 19th century training and inadequate equipment. World War 1 was devastating for all countries involved none more so than Russia having lost over 4 million men in the first year alone.
While Nicholas II took personal command of his troops at the battlefront in July 1915, it meant that he had to leave someone in charge back in Russia, he chose his German born wife Alexandra. This proves pivotal to the decline and collapse of the Roman dynasty. She took over the responsibility for the day-by-day business of the government. The Tsar was isolated from meeting the demands of his people and increasing the political influence of his wife. The people off Russia were beginning to question the Tsar’s actions by appointing the Tsarina in charge, they did not like the decision to let one of their ‘enemies’ in charge of ruling their country and began to suspect her of being a traitor. Many of the Russian’s did not like Nicholas II because of his autocratic ways and when he left Alexandra in charge, nothing had changed. She was an adamant believer in autocracy and was opposed to any attempts at compromise. Many people did not believe that the Tsarina was ruling Russia by herself; they believed that Rasputin, a trusted member of the royal court for many years was influencing Alexandra’s every decision. Rasputin’s deceiving manner damaged the reputation of the Tsar, Tsarina and most of the Russian population began to lose faith in the Tsar’s judgement.
Another problem that led to the decline and collapse of the Romanov dynasty was that the Tsar failed to increase the support of the peasants. The peasants disliked the fact that it was the commune, not the individual that owned the land. Stolypin, the Prime Minister at this time had planned for agriculture reform in hope that it would succeed in ending these major causes of peasant discontent. His reforms were to include, that the peasants could now demand that their commune allocated them as individuals, peasants were now also able to demand this land as a single parcel rather than the strips in several different areas, and loans that the peasants received from the Peasant Land Bank would help peasants to buy additional land. Stolypin believed it would take about 20 years for his reforms to work. The least change of these reforms occurred in the central and south eastern areas where discontent was not threatening the Tsar’s authority. It seemed that Russia’s poorest peasants