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Russia and World War I

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Discuss the developments in Russia on the eve of World War I and after the war began. Identify what limited political and economic progress had been made before the war and show the impact of the war on the people and the government.

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Russia was in a state of flux in the decades leading up to World War I. Some steps toward more freedom and democracy had taken place as early as 1861 when Czar Alexander II freed the Russian serfs and instituted some limited political reforms. These however were the only major reforms undertaken up to the early 1900's. In 1904 Russia was defeated by the Japanese, a defeat that was more humiliating than it was consequential in national political terms. This defeat did cause unrest amongst the people though and a general feeling was that the rich lifestyle of the czars was weakening the country as a whole.

In 1905 Nicholas II was forced to undertake some reforms after a failed popular ...

Solution Summary

Trace developments in Russia on the eve of World War and during the conflict.