chapter  2
13 Pages

The creation of the Soviet state

Tsarism fell because of military reverses and war weariness, social strains sharpened by economic dislocation and incompetence, and the failure to create a government in which the Duma and the people could have faith. The influence of the drunken debauchee Grigorii Rasputin on the court further discredited the monarchy. The war acted as a catalyst, bringing out the underlying social and political tensions. Nicholas II’s weak and vacillating character only exacerbated the political crisis at the heart of the Russian polity and thwarted the development of rational administration. Rather than making possible the consolidation of constitutional government, however, the removal of Tsarism only unleashed the social conflicts that had precipitated the revolution. After a mere eight months Russia’s first experiment with democracy under the Provisional Government was brutally terminated by the Bolshevik seizure of power and the country was launched on a profound socialist experiment.