The Russian Revolution arose as a result of the ravages of World War I. In February and March 1917, a popular revolt prompted Tsar Nicholas II's resignation and the establishment of a temporary administration. This administration, which maintained Russia in the war, was destroyed eight months later by extreme socialists. A new government under Vladimir Lenin was formed, and it soon began to build its own army. Russia became a communist state.
World War I also had an impact on Russia's economy. Industry suffered great damage from military action and from shortages of materials and labor. When the war ended, these problems had not been solved.
Another effect was that Russia lost many of its best citizens when they were killed or injured. Over 700,000 Russians died just in the first year of the war. Another 1 million people were wounded or sickened. Many important leaders of the country were killed during this time, including the Emperor Nicholas II, his wife, Empress Alexandra, their son, the Czar Paul, and many others.
After the war ended, there was chaos in Russia because everyone wanted to take part of the huge national budget. There were protests and strikes all over the country. The old government was unable to control them so it was replaced by a new one led by Vladimir Lenin. He planned to destroy the old government like he did in 1917 and create a new Communist state instead.
The Russian Revolution was precipitated by World War I. This is due to the fact that the scenario produced by the war in Russia suggested that a revolution was practically unavoidable. The Central Powers' advances and a lack of armaments were the primary reasons for Russia's withdrawal from the war. After the October Revolution, Russia entered into new relations with Germany and Austria-Hungary; these states now became the main enemies of the new Soviet government.
World War I had a devastating impact on Russia. Total casualties are estimated at 70 million people, including 6 million soldiers. Russia was forced to withdraw from parts of its empire (e.g., Eastern Europe).
Russia suffered major economic losses because of the war. It also caused political chaos - the Bolsheviks seized power after the October Revolution in 1917.
Russia would suffer greatly as a result of World War One. When World War One broke out in August 1914, Russia rallied patriotically around Nicholas II. By the end of 1917, the Bolsheviks, headed by Lenin, had gained control of Russia's main cities and imposed communist government in the territories they controlled. The new government declared its intention to destroy the monarchy and establish a socialist state.
In fact, the October Revolution was just a part of a much larger process that was happening in Europe at the time. Communist parties were growing in strength across Germany and France, and they wanted to get rid of their monarchies too. So many people think Communism will save humanity from war and want prosperity for all, but Communism is only good for overthrowing one king or dictator at a time. Once you have one country with communism, it's easy for others to follow.
After the Russian Revolution, other countries in Europe began to collapse under the weight of communism. In 1989, Czech citizens voted in a democratic referendum to preserve their system of democracy rather than become communist like the rest of Eastern Europe. This led to the fall of the Soviet Union and the creation of independent nations once again.
All in all, World War One was a disaster for Russia. Their economy collapsed, there was mass starvation, and so many people died that there were more casualties than soldiers. The monarchy was also destroyed, which meant there was no leader able to stop the communists from taking over.
Russia's internal economy had crumbled by the start of 1917, and both food and fuel were critically limited in Russian cities. This sparked the February Revolution, an uprising that resulted in the tsar's resignation and, by the end of 1917, the creation of a socialist government in Russia. The new government issued its own currency, called the rouble, which became worthless overnight. The war effort also collapsed: soldiers went home because there was no money to pay them; factories closed because they needed capital investment but had no source of revenue; and food supplies ran out as millions of people were forced into starvation.
The Russian government's decision to continue fighting after January 1918 was based on two factors: first, the influence of the imperial family; and second, the desire to prove that Russia was not finished yet.
The Romanovs were exiled to Siberia where most were executed or died from starvation or disease. The last one, Nicholas II, was killed along with his wife and children.
Of the many questions surrounding the fate of the royal family, nobody knows for sure what happened to their bodies. Some historians think they were murdered by revolutionaries who wanted to hide evidence of their crimes; others believe they were taken to Moscow and placed in a tomb with other Russian rulers. But whatever happened to the royal family, their deaths ended any hope of reconciliation between the Russian people and the monarchy.
Russia withdrew from World War I when the Bolsheviks, who had promised the Russian people "peace, land, and bread," overthrew the interim government. Tsar Nicholas was forced to resign in March 1917 when this interim administration, led by moderates, took power. The new rulers declared their intention to end the war but were unable to do so before they were overthrown by a Bolshevik coup d'état.
The new leaders continued the war until November 1918, when Germany accepted its defeat at the hands of the Allies. With the war over, both countries wanted nothing more to do with it. Russia was in need of money and help rebuilding its country after the devastation of four years of warfare, while Germany needed time to recover from its own destruction and emerge as a strong nation once again.
At the peace conference that followed the war, the two nations used their positions on the Allied and German sides to negotiate favorable terms for themselves. Russia received much of what it wanted from the Germans, including land it needed for ethnic Russians expelled from other countries during the war. Germany got back the Baltic states it had lost to Russia during the conflict. These are now countries within Europe: Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Russia also agreed to withdraw from parts of Belgium and France it had occupied during the war.
The treaty that ended the war was called the Treaty of Versailles.