The first point I will discuss is the economic grievances. In August 1914 Russia went to war. The news of the war became very popular throughout Russia and there were patriotic demonstration in support of the Tsar. The people of Russia began to hate Germany. The tsar even changed the name of St Petersburg to Petrograd because it sounded too much like a German name.
At the end of August 1914, two Russian armies attacked a single army of German troops. The Russian army should have been victorious but the Russian armies were badly led because the tsar failed to put the right people in charge. As the war continued through 1915 the Russian economy started to collapse. The first problem was the lack of workers. 15.5 million Men went into the army to fight and this caused most factories to close because there weren’t enough workers. The next problem was transport. Russia depended on the railways for food and materials, but there weren’t enough trains for both the army and the towns. Most people went hungry. The third problem was inflation. Russian money began to lose its value. And food prices were going up and people started to buy less food. In 1915 the tsar himself decided to take command of his armies. Because of the tsars absence the tsarina had to take charge of the government but she was completely under the influence of Rasputin. Rumours started floating around that Alexandra was a German spy and working to destroy Russia from within.
In St Petersburg nearly a million people went there in search of work. But they received terrible wages and had to live in overcrowded rooms. For most people the normal working day is 11 and half hours of work. The workers were unable to improve their conditions.
Until 1861 peasants had been serfs. The Tsar Alexander II freed the peasants from serfdom and allowed them to them to own the land on which they grew their food on. But they were told that the land that they grew their food on was to be given to the village commune that they lived in. They also had to pay for the land given to the commune with redemption payments for 49 years and once they had payed all of their money the land would officially become their own personal property. Being freed from serfdom didn’t improve the lives of the peasants. Each year the land was divided up and given to families according to their needs that year.
The tsar didn’t pay much attention to the wellbeing of his people. This brought about much discontent among the people. They started to get mad and this led to the 1905 revolution. The end the revolution saw the tsar making some last minute reforms.
The second point I will discuss is the political grievances. The tsar was an autocrat. He could make new laws, increase taxes and do whatever he wanted without consulting with anyone. He could get rid of any minister or advisor he didn’t like. The tsar didn’t like it when people questioned his authority and to make sure nobody did he made a secret police called the Okhrana. The Okhrana censored all books and newspapers and it spied on political groups and arrested people who spoke out against the government. Prisoners were tried by special courts with no juries and were put into exile in places like Siberia. Sometimes the Okhrana could not cope with people opposing the tsar and riots breaking out. Workers in factories went on strike and peasants would attack their landlords or tax collectors. When this happened the Cossacks went in and helped. Also the church helped because the priests of the Russian Orthodox Church taught the people to respect autocracy and be loyal to the tsar.
On the 17th of October 1905 the tsar introduced a Duma. This was meant to help the tsar rule and make laws. But the…