Why did the Tsarist autocracy collapse in 1917
The Tsar’s autocracy collapsed on 1917 due to the interplay of many factors- social, economic and political.
The Russian state under Tsar Nicholas II was completely unsuited to the needs of modern times. The Tsar still believed in the autocratic absolute rights of the king.
The bureaucracy that the Tsar recruited was top heavy, inefficient and inflexible. Members were recruited on the basis of privileges and patronage, not on merit.
The hopes and efforts at gradual changes and democratic constitutional government after the Revolution of 1905 ended in disappointments and failure.
The peasants and workers who formed large section of the population were miserable, deprived and frustrated. The Tsar was totally ignorant, indifferent to their conditions and needs.
The Tsar had built a vast empire and imposed Russian language and culture on diverse nationalities.
The only people who supported the Tsar were the nobility and upper layers of the clergy and bureaucracy. The rest of the population was hostile to the Tsar.
Russia’s participation in World War I exposed the economic bankruptcy of the government and increased liabilities on the already impoverished population.
The liberal ideas of the west and growth of socialist ideology led to the formation of many socialist groups. These groups infused the workers and peasants with a revolutionary spirit.
The autocratic rule of the Tsar, decadence of royalty, demoralising effect of defeats in wars, governments indifference to loss of human lives, condition of soldiers, war’s effect on peasants and industry ultimately led to discredit of the government and brought about the end of Tsarist autocracy.