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Why did the Tsarist autocracy collapse in 1917 ?

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The first World War was a war that was fought outside Europe as well as in Europe. In Russia, the war was initially popular and people rallied around Tsar Nicholas II. As the war continued, the star refused to consult the main parties in the Duma. Support from all sides became thin. Anti-German sentiments became high and St. Petersburg (Which was a German name) was renamed as Petrograd. The Tsarina Alexandra’s German origins and poor advisors, especially a monk called Rasputin, made the autocracy unpopular. The defeats in the war ware shocking and demoralising. Russian armies lost badly. There were about 7 million casualties by 1917 and almost 3 million refugees. The situation discredited the government and the Tsar. The war also had a severe impact on industry and contributed to the food shortage in the country. The people were rioting as bread and flour became scarce. There was resentment all over the country. The Imperial Russian army was the largest armed force in the world. It came to be known as the ‘Russian steam roller’. When this army shifted it loyalty and began supporting the revolutionaries. Tsarist power collapsed.

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