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What arguments are there for and against the claim that by 1914, revolution in Russia was

effectively inevitable?
From the outset, it seemed as if revolution in Russia was avoidable – the economic situation
in Russia had improved somewhat and there were significantly fewer strikes than in 1905,
the Tsar had the Kulaks on his side as he had given them government loans to buy land, and
the introduction of the October Manifesto had appeased the people for a while as it granted
them new civil rights, such as the freedom of speech and worship.
Yet, there were several fundamental problems with the system of governance in Russia that
by 1914, revolution was effectively inevitable. The Tsar still maintained autocratic rule, which
meant that he had total control over Russia and there were no limits to his powers. Although
he had a cabinet of ministers to help in the process of law-making, these ministers primarily
belonged to the aristocracy. However, there was a paradigm shift in the attitudes of the
middle class of Russia at that time; they began to seek a more representative government
that would allow them to have a say in how the country was run, which would also grant
them some form of political power and other rights they currently did not possess.
Furthermore, as all decisions had to be approved by the Tsar and could not be challenged,
these decisions took a very long time to be made, which hindered the war effort in Russia at
that time. This, in turn, led to a manpower shortage in Russia as most men were away
fighting at the war, which led to the increase in prices of food and resources and ultimately
resulted in inflation and acute unemployment, contributing to the people’s discontent and
resentment with the autocratic regime in Russia. Also, as the Tsar was an autocratic ruler, it
was important to have a competent leader who would be able to best govern the country.
Unfortunately, the Tsar proved to be rather incompetent. Instead of seizing the opportunity
to introduce and act upon the reforms and changes that would improve the lives of the
people through the introduction of the October Manifesto, he continued to put his own
interests above those of his country. For instance, the Tsar refused to allow the Duma to pass
laws that would have helped to appease the people, simply because he did not believe in
democracy, and the Duma was eventually dissolved by the Tsar’s army. Likewise, this
contributed to dissatisfaction among the people as they regarded him as a leader who failed
to deliver on his promises.
Ultimately, the argument that, by 1914, revolution in Russia was effectively inevitable, is
more convincing than the argument trying to prove otherwise.