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Impacts of WWI

Modern History (Year 12) - Internal Divisions and Crises

Ben Whitten

Russian Economy

  • Russian workers and peasants in the 1905 revolution were unhappy; late industrialisation, outdated agricultural techniques and transport, rigid social structure

  • WWI economic issues; two years of war brought all issues back to the surface and deepened economic issues

    • Labour shortage on peasant land

    • Reduced food production

    • Near total collapse of industry

    • Lack of weapons, ammunition and supplies to frontlines

    • Breakdown of transport infrastructure, limiting troop movement and supply movement between cities and battlefields

  • Government response; printed more money leading to hyperinflation, leaving money worse

Russian Society

  • Society became disillusioned with a war they were losing

  • Peasants couldn’t produce enough food for themselves or Russia, workers launched massive strikes and soldiers were tired of sacrificing land and lives for nothing

  • Resulting anti-war sentiment threatened social stability and fighting capacity

Russian Politics

  • The Tsar’s decision to control the army in 1915 caused the political sphere to suffer

  • The Tsar abandoning his homefront for the war meant that Tsarina Alexandra stood in

  • Tsarina Alexandra grew close with the mystic Rasputin who was believed to be manipulating the government; the royal family quickly lost its credibility

  • Tsar seen as directly responsible for Russia’s failing military and his poor leadership and strategy became attached to his reputation

  • Soldiers lost faith in the commanders leading to mass mutiny and desertion

  • WWI exacerbated the issues that existed in Russia prior to the 1905 Revolution

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