Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!
Print

History

Long-term causes of the Russian Revolution

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  1. Next

The Romanov dynasty had lasted 300 years but Nicholas II, who ascended the throne in 1894, turned out to be the last tsar [Tsar: Russian monarch. ] of Russia. How did such an ancient monarchy collapse so spectacularly?

Summary

February or March - October or November? The Russian calendar was 13 days behind the rest of the world, so its February Revolution actually took place in March, and what was called the October Revolution happened in November!

This fact, of course, gives a clue as to why the Romanov dynasty fell in 1917 - it was out of date. In comparison, Italy and Spain had modernised their calendars in 1582!

All the institutions that supported the monarchy - such as the Church, the nobility and the faithful loyalty of the peasants - came from the Middle Ages.

Meanwhile, new, modern forces were threatening the monarchy such as the middle class, an industrial working class and Marxism.

In 1894, Nicholas II was an autocrat. He ruled alone and unquestioned, but he had a weak personality, and his power was increasingly based on the military might of the Cossacks [Cossacks: Peasants from southern Russia who were renowned for their military skill - they were later employed by the Tsar. ] and on the Okhrana (the secret police). These were two-edged strengths - they kept him in power, but they made him increasingly unpopular.

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  1. Next

Back to Russia/USSR 1905 - 1941 index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.