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the feburary revolution

the feburary revolution - 1 Medoro Andrew Medoro Dr...

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Andrew Medoro Dr. Thurston History 206 3 October 2011 The February Revolution The Russian Revolution served as a turbulent period for the Russian people and served as a catalyst for absolutist communist reform throughout the entirety of the countryside. What began as a series of protests throughout several of the major cities ultimately resulted in mass military desertion, and the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. It can be argued that the causes for such rapid reform were a direct and immediate result of the military failures of World War I as well as the economic turmoil that existed throughout Russia. However these events are merely the byproduct of an archaic system of governance, one that lacks the modernization of many of the top tier Western European powers. The nation of Russia and its system of government has remained largely unchanged throughout the greater part of the past millennium. As a result of this, the citizens of Russia are left clamoring for reform. Unfortunately the Russian government still is governed under the authoritative regime of a Tsar. Russian society still holds true to the medieval policies of Feudal Europe, the people are largely left unrepresented and their well-being is left in the hands of an often ineffective monarch. “Not only was Nicholas’ government poorly run, but it gave little in the way of civil or other rights to the population, who were subjects, not citizens” (Wade 2). Such an outdated method of representation can leave a populace frustrated and clamoring for reform. However, there 1
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were attempts during the 19 th century to modernize the governing system of Russia. For instance Tsar Alexander II established several local councils, formally known as zemstvos. While on the surface appearing to be a step in the right direction for democratic reform, these councils were largely dominated by the Nobility and held little to no national power. “The Great Reforms of the 1860s, had allowed for the zemstovs, noble-dominated local elected councils…. However, the monarchs resolutely refused to share supreme political power” (Wade 2). While there certainly were attempts to reform Russian society, the old regime’s standards of limited peasant control and representation maintain steady, while the power largely still remains in the hands of the Upper Class Nobility and the Tsar.
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