Why did the Tsarist autocracy collapse in 1917?

Question. Why did the Tsarist autocracy collapse in 1917?


The Tsarist autocracy collapsed in 1917 because of public mistrust and a growing dissatisfaction with the Tsar’s policies. The Tsar, Nicholas II imposed restrictions on political activity, changed voting laws and dismissed any questioning of or restrictions on his authority. At the beginning of the First World War, he did not consult the main parties in the Duma. Anti-German sentiments were gaining ground, and Tsarina Alexandra’s German origin, Rasputin and the German name of the city St.Petersburg did nothing to remedy the situation. The Russian army lost battles, but would destroy crops and dwellings on retreat. This led to the presence of 3 million refugees in Russia, which in turn worsened the conditions.

Industry was badly affected by the First World War. Imports were cut off due to German control of the Baltic sea. Industrial equipment started disintegrating and the railway lines were broken by 1916. Due to conscription, able-bodied men went to the army and this resulted in labour shortage. Riots in bread shops became a common sight. On 26 February, 1917, the government suspended the Duma. This was the last straw and put the Tsar’s regime in complete jeopardy. The Tsar was forced to abdicate on 2 March, 1917, thereby marking the end of his autocracy.

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