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The “Great War” and Its Consequences Essay

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How did the First World War lead to revolution in Russia and the disintegration of several once-powerful empires? (The Earth and Its Peoples, 776)
The first World War, also known as the Great War or “the war to end all wars”, had a profound impact on the societies across the globe, especially the industrialized nations of Europe and the United States. At the start of the war, in 1914, Russia had a larger military than any nation in the world, albeit underequipped, and inadequately trained. More than anything else, Russia’s economy and national spirit were hit hard by the war. The Ottoman Empire was also devastated. Being in a fractured state politically, and hurting economically, it was ill prepared for true competition. It
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Instead of ending the state’s involvement in the war, this government launched a fresh offensive against Germany, which ultimately failed, increasing anti-governmental sentiment among the Russian people. Collectively, these events were known as “The February Revolution”, because of their occurrence in the Russian month of February.
Following this uprising, various socialist groups surfaced, with political views rooted in Marxist views – the main two being the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks were led by Vladimir Lenin, a radical who had spent most of his life abroad, studying socialist ideals and building a following. The Mensheviks, with a majority of workers and intellectuals, favored an electoral system with European-style reforms. When Lenin returned to Russia in 1917, the Bolsheviks were bolstered, in both quantity and motivation. The war was dragging on and the Russian public was frustrated and desperate. A power struggle developed between the provincial government and the Bolshevik party. This lasted for several months until Lenin and his supporters overthrew the government in Petrograd, capturing the Winter Palace, former home of the Russian monarchs.
After this “October Revolution”, civil war ensued for years between two factions: the Communist “Reds”, and their opposition, the “Whites”. Ultimately, the Reds maintained control, absorbing other nearby socialist states, including Georgia, the Ukraine, and
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