What were the causes of the Russian Revolution

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many people use the word Russian Revolution to encompass the broad sweeping political changes throughout Russia in 1917, but there were two separate revolutions.  The most historians consider the first change the Russian Revolution and the second the Bolshevik Revolution.

There were many factors that led to the Russian Revolution.  The first cause, and one common in most revolutions, was dissatisfaction with the overall conditions in Russia.  There was an ever increasing gap between the upper and lower classes, starvation was rampant, a massive tax burden existed, government protests ended in massacres at the hands of the Tsar's troops, strikes were prevalent, and social order broke down.

Additionally a series of military defeats caused people to lose faith in the Tsar and the military.  Japan’s defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese war and the embarrassing display of the Russian army in World War I led to increasing calls for change in the country.