War was a very significant factor in causing change in Russia from 1856-1964 as it encouraged industrialisation through the emancipation of the serfs and also sparked a growth of opposition against the regime in power at the time, both under Tsarist control and later under Communism. However, it is also possible to argue that war wasn’t the most significant factor in causing change in Russia as there are other factors that shaped Russia throughout the period in question. During this period, there were many key individuals who were influential in how Russia was run, leaders such as Tsar Nicholas II who drafted the October Manifesto permitting free speech. Foreign influence may have also played a key role in the modernisation of Russia as it may have sparked many reforms in Russia as ‘westernisers’ insisted on the need to follow in the wake of Western civilization and imitate the Western socio-political system, civil society and culture. On the other hand, the factor that may challenge war as the most significant factor in changing Russia from 1856-1964 is opposition as it pressurised the regime to keep the population appeased and to achieve this, reform.
One way in which war caused change in Russia was that it sparked industrialisation and modernisation. Mostly military defeats in the early part of the period (1856-1917) encouraged reform, to improve the power of the Russian Army. After the defeat in the Crimea, the Russian Empire had been shown their imperial weakness. To combat this, new military reforms were sanctioned such as the reorganisation of conscription and improved officer training in 1864. This would have strengthened Russia’s military and caused modernisation in Russia as they were competing with the military might of the western powers they had fought in the Crimea. The Emancipation of the Serfs was a very significant reform as “serfdom prevented the growth of Russian Industry… It also prevented the introduction of modern methods of agriculture,” this suggests that even though the abolition of serfdom may have caused some problems in the short term it “… can be considered as the loosening of a chronic log jam,” as “improvements serfdom prevented were now not only possible but seen to be quite urgent.” War also caused industrialisation in Russia, during World War II, Russia’s production of materials increased massively and “steel production increased to pre-war levels in three years and higher than pre-war levels in five years,” which clearly shows that the Second World War initiated a post-war boom in Russia and production increased.
... and again throughout the 19 th century that Russia was well behind the times in both military and ... like to examine the Crimean war. This war was clearly the war that can be most associated with reform and change. It came during the ... many other factors as well as war all failed in their objective to achieve a better system of government for Russia. War showed time ...
Industrialisation and modernisation were not the only significant factors to be changed because of war. Opposition to the regime had begun to increase at the beginning of the 20th century; this may have been because of war. The successive humiliating defeats in the Crimea and in the Russo-Japanese War led to growing unrest amongst the Russian population and also disappointed Nationalist Russians who wanted imperialist expansion but the defeats “…limited Russia’s power in the Near East.” Defeat in the Crimea began showing public opposition to the Tsar’s policies and the defeat against the Japanese may have sparked the 1905 Revolution in Russia which led to the creation of the Dumas and the October Manifesto. Similarly, the First World War, which the Socialist Revolutionaries called “a bourgeois conflict,” once again showed flaws in Russia’s military, leading to growing unrest. Food shortages were also reported due to it being commandeered by troops and farmers also being conscripted into the army.
The Bolsheviks demand of Peace, Bread and Land, a rallying point with the end of the war at its centre, was key to the 1917 Revolutions in Russia. This revolution led to the ending of the Romanov Dynasty and the introduction of the Provisional Government. After the Bolsheviks had succeeded in taking power in October 1917, the negotiations at Brest-Litovsk led to the loss of the Ukraine – Russia’s Bread Basket – and also the “loss of 32% agricultural land and 54% of industrial concern.” This loss of land would have obviously led to unrest as the growth of Russia’s agriculture and industry would have been stunted. However, the Bolsheviks’ policies of industrialisation led to masses of peasants moving into the cities from the land. The mass and rapid industrialisation was a consequence of the end of war and the defeat of Tsarism. Under Stalinist Rule during World War II, opposition to Nazism developed the industrialisation of the country. Support grew for the war after The Red Army had successfully defended Stalingrad against Hitler’s forces, as it ignited patriotic response throughout Russia.
The United States and Soviet Union, the single most important rivalry of the twentieth century, started as a partnership. This irony was caused by the fact that the Germans were taking over Europe, which forced them in this relationship. Once Hitler was eliminated and Berlin destroyed, the tensions began rising. These two nations had completely opposite ideologies from the economic system to the ...
On the other hand, it may be argued that it was the presence and actions of certain key individuals that was the most significant factor in causing change in Russia. Firstly, under Alexander II, certain reforms were implemented that encouraged the Russian population to become educated, such as the University Statute Reform which increased the number of students in Russia from 3,600 to 10,000. This could have been a significant cause of change as Russian’s were increasingly educated and “therefore potentially more critical of, and dangerous to, Tsarism.” Another reform which may have been significant, due to the increase of opposition towards the regime, may have been Nicholas II’s October Manifesto, in 1905, which permitted free speech and the freedom of assembly. This reform is significant as it allowed the opposition and press to be more outspoken and radical due to their new civil liberties.
These reforms would have been important in causing change in Russia, but there were key individuals that caused change another way. Nicholas II was “weak in will” and therefore the revolution of 1917 was inevitable as opposition believed that it was possible. Nicholas II made fatal mistakes whilst he was Tsar; he took direct blame for military failures after he joined the front line of WWI in 1917, in which he left Russia in the hands of Tsarina Alexandra who was German, outraging the populace, leading to conspiracy theories being generated about the Tsarina and her good friend Grigory Rasputin, who “the Tsar’s cousin, Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich, and Vladimir Purishkevich, a member of parliament wished to get rid of [Rasputin] and his demonic influence.” These mistakes may have been a major factor in sparking the 1917 Revolution, as the opposition were appalled by the Tsar’s actions and in appointing Rasputin as the Tsarina’s main advisor. On the contrary, during Stalin’s ‘Rule of Terror,’ opposition was quelled and became less radical due to the fear of being sent to a work camp or being killed. This allowed Russia to progress industrially due to no radical opposition to the regime. “Her [Russia] industrial production has increased during this same period (1925-1935) approximately 3.5 times or 250%.” This clearly suggests that change occurred in Russia due to key individuals such as Stalin and the Tsars as without their influential rule, Russia wouldn’t have evolved into what it was in 1964.
Before the late 1900’s Russia was primarily an agrarian country with a government in the hands of the Tsarist regime however with the advent of the Industrial revolution in Russia changes happened within Russian society resulting in the creation of an Urban middle class. The result of the industrial revolution was that Russia underwent a rapid industrialization and urbanization wherein ...
However, foreign influence was also a significant factor in causing change in Russia from 1856-1964, as it is suggested that it sparked political and economic change. Foreign influence may have encouraged political and domestic reform such as in 1864, a New Judicial System was established, and adapted from the French system, to modernise the law and political system in Russia. This reform clearly shows that Russia was adapting some ideas from the western powers during the 19th Century. Also, foreign influence had a profound effect on the economic recovery of Russia after WWI and the Russian Civil War. After the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was established by Lenin to encourage economic and industrial prosperity in Russia. The NEP was adapted from the western ideology of State Capitalism, in which the economy was independently run to an extent in which the government had control over parts of the economy such as industry. Agricultural production increased vastly due to the NEP and also no agricultural surpluses were seized, which allowed farmers to sell more grain, “and therefore had an incentive to produce more grain.” However, the NEP can also be described as the reintroduction of the class system in Russia as “unemployment skyrocketed under the NEP and a wider gap was created between the classes.” Russia based many of its reforms as a competition of ideology, for example the production of Hydrogen Bomb in 1953 and the Space Race of 1961 in which Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, were mainly to show that the Soviet Union could compete with the USA during the Cold War. In this sense the Cold War, like conventional warfare, is a form of conflict that helped to shape of the Soviet Union in the period in question.
... atomic power and communistic government.The Cold War significantly changed the way foreign policy is administered today. The United States ... and America that became a strategic and political struggle that developed after World War II. It ... Russian tensions had evolved into a full-throttle push into the Cold War.The Cold War refers to the tensions that arose between Russia ...
Finally, the factor which would challenge war as the most significant in causing change in Russia is opposition. “At the turn of the century the autocracy of Russia was confronted with a series of student demonstrations, industrial strikes and peasant outbreaks, the unrest gave great encouragement to a variety of political aspirations.” This suggests that the Russian population was unhappy at the start of the 20th Century most likely due to numerous military defeats, the 1891 Famine and the autocracy. The Russian autocracy, until now, had been able to keep the opposition under control using ideas like the divine right of kings to maintain power in Russia however at the turn of the century, the Russian population turned against the autocratic regime and political parties such as the Liberals demanded a “limited monarchy answerable to a parliament,” in place which also defended “the interests of the labouring masses.”
The Kornilov Affair was also a very significant event as it showed the intentions of the Provisional Government and the intentions of Kornilov. The biggest beneficiary of the Kornilov Affair was the Bolshevik Party “who enjoyed a revival of support and strength in the wake of the attempted coup,”after the Bolshevik military had deterred Kornilov’s forces from Petrograd. Kerensky also released Bolshevik prisoners who had been arrested a few months earlier and his plea to the Petrograd Soviet had resulted in the rearmament of the Bolshevik Military which allowed them to succeed in their armed insurrection of Russia of October 1917. Opposition was also increased and became more radical through reforms such as the Zemstvo Act of 1890 which reduced the power of the Zemstvo, which in turn, reduced the power of the people by not permitting them to contribute to the running of Russia. Alex III’s military and domestic policy of trying to maintain absolute control of Russia by passing the Zemstvo Act, not allowing the proletariat to contribute to the governing of Russia, increasing opposition to the Tsar, as political parties such as the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks demanded the ideology of Russia be changed.
Russian Revolution The Russian Revolution did not happen overnight, and there were different stages that took place. There are so many small things that fit in to the bigger picture it is hard to put where and how the Russian Revolution started and ended. Russia was run backwards compared to all other countries in Western Europe. The peasants working and living conditions were very bad. The ...
In conclusion, the evidence shows that war was the most significant factor in causing change in Russia from 1856-1964. War sparked industrialisation and modernisation and led to growing unrest in Russia. The defeat in the Crimea triggered the abolition of serfdom which encouraged the growth of Russian industry and modernised Russian agriculture. Also, during WWI widespread food shortages occurred throughout Russia which went against the Bolshevik demand of Peace, Land, Bread. Opposition against the regime was also a significant factor in causing change in Russia as it threatened to overthrow the government, if changes were not made to appease the population. The Zemstvo Act of 1890 incited unrest in Russia as it reduced the power of the proletariat, and may have caused several student demonstrations and peasant outbreaks. The decisions made by key individuals were also a significant factor as their policies shaped Russia in this period, such as the University Statute reform of 1864, which may have made opposition more dangerous to the Tsar. The final factor which was significant in causing change in Russia during this period was foreign influence, as the ideology and power of the west would have had an impact on how Russia was managed to compete with them. The production of the Hydrogen Bomb (1953) and the Space Race (1961) show that Russia were willing to compete with the USA and others. However, the desire for peace, the end of war, conflict and associated famine in a largely backward agrarian state, was the major driver for reform, revolution and the rapid industrial, social and political change in Russia in this period.
The Russia Revolution was a true political revolution. By this I mean there was a fundamental change in the way leaders came into power and in the goals for the country. In theory, leadership changed from a monarchy to socialism. The goals for the country changed from ownership and control of wealth was by few to control by the proletariat (the workers). In reality the change of leadership and the ...
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[ 2 ]. J.N. Westwood – ‘Endurance and Endeavour Russia History 1812-2001’. (p.76)
[ 3 ]. Anthony Wood – ‘The Russian Revolution’ (p.12)
[ 4 ]. Oxley (p.21)
[ 5 ]. Leon Trotsky – ‘The Revolution Betrayed’ (p.7)
[ 6 ]. John Hite – ‘Tsarist Russia 1801-1917’ (p.28)
[ 7 ]. Jack Watson – ‘European History 1815-1941’ (p.215)
[ 8 ]. http://russiapedia.rt.com/prominent-russians/history-and-mythology/grigory-rasputin/
[ 9 ]. Leon Trotsky – ‘The Revolution Betrayed, What is the Soviet Union and where is it going?’ (p.7)
[ 10 ]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Economic_Policy#Policies
[ 11 ]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Economic_Policy#Policies
[ 12 ]. Anthony Wood – ‘The Russian Revolution’ (p.11)
[ 13 ]. ‘The Russian Revolution’ (p.12)
[ 14 ]. ‘The Russian Revolution’ (p.12)
[ 15 ]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kornilov_affair