What was the Russian society on the eve of February revolution of 1917? Historians looked for
of the Reason of February revolution of 1917 everywhere: and in decline of economy, and in class contradictions, and in military defeats. But it turns out that it is not all making the begun process of decline of the Russian Empire especially as these problems were not so sharp as they were represented by late historians. On the contrary, the country prospered and grew rich, and P. A. Stolypin`s reforms prepared the country for new and new changes. But everything is not as simple as there is a wish. Fast take-off always adjoins to falling. Happens so that the country is not ready to such fast take-off and success. Society is not able to cope with a situation. The wealth which came from nowhere turns the head. Too early success can dump from legs. Russia at the beginning of the 20th century reached very high position among the western countries, even America did not play then the leading role.
At the beginning of the century in the Russian sky the whole group of outstanding writers and poets lit up: A. P. Chekhov, L. N. Tolstoy, Z. N. Gippius, D. M. Merezhkovsky, A. Bely, A. A. Blok, M. I. Tsvetaeva and many others. The Russian theater, the Russian ballet admired many.
In 1914 World War I began. The Russian generals entered war as if effortlessly. A. I. Denikin in the memoirs “ Sketches of the Russian Distemper “ remembers slyshanny to them conversation of the period of mobilization in Dragomirov`s apartment, one of authoritative generals:
“ Submitted the telegram: approach of war with Germany … There came serious silence …
- As you think how many war will continue? - someone asked Dragomirov.
- Four months … “.
Failures at the front during World War I were, but hardly they were as catastrophic as they were represented in later literature. It is not necessary to speak about decomposition of army. Of course, it was not the best army of that time, but also not the worst. During this period the whole constellation of the best generals lit up in the Russian sky: L. G Kornilov, A. I. Denikin, V. M. Alekseev, Krymov, Brusilov … However, these people constantly were at enmity among themselves, did not trust each other. The last circumstance will also play a fatal role in defeat of White army in civil war.
Since the beginning of war public life changed a little. Meetings were held, meetings, theaters, universities were crowded. Masonic lodges did not stop the activity. In 1913 - 1914 the Military box of the Great East of the people of Russia among which members V. Brachyov calls many prominent generals and politicians of that time opened.
War, appear, did not exist. Society boozed and had fun for days on end.
L. D. Trotsky reports that speculation of all types and stock market game reached apogee. “ Enormous fortunes arose from bloody " foam;. Z. N. Gippius who was sharply feeling a situation in 1916 in the diary will note: “ Russia - very big madhouse “.
The close girlfriend Aleksandra Fyodorovna A .a. Vyrubova notes that during one season so many suits were not ordered and so many diamonds, as during a season of 1915 - 1916 were not bought. The country grew rich, and, appear, never reached such prosperity. Nicholas II sincerely rejoiced that more and more peasants bore the savings in Country bank.
Since the beginning of war, the sovereign with the spouse diligent helped wounded and the disadvantaged. They visited many cities, were in infirmaries.
A. A. Vyrubova considers that introduction of the Prohibition was one of the most outstanding reforms of Nicholas II of the period of World War I. But it is only the ceremonial party of a portrait. The matter is that with introduction of the Prohibition the income from wine monopoly disappeared. Allies refused the currency credits. Grain export was other source of the income of the Russian Empire, but with closing of a way through Bosphorus and with it problems began.
Here - that the opposition also became more active. Political blackmail of the imperial government went both from the outside, and from within. The grand duke Nicolay Nikolaevich who became since 1914 was one of the most active opponents of the tsar. Supreme Commander Russian army.
Such figures as A. I. Guchkov, the prince Lviv, Milyukov, A. F. Kerensky, Rodzyanko and other were distinguished from leaders of opposition. Simple and kind, similar in internal qualities to Paul I averted from itself more and more the Russian society which was eager for actions. Even rumors went that the tsar was even accustomed to drinking some medicine which dulled its abilities. Most of all got to the queen. She was considered as the German spy. L. D. Trotsky notes that Nicholas II was inclined to a separate peace with Germany though it there can be only rumors too.
In the immediate environment of the emperor the idea of palace revolution which especially sharply rose after Rasputin (Grigory Novykh`s) murder ripened.
Accident came nearer inevitably. Russia which made jump forward in the development in 1907 - 1914 partly thanks to Stolypin`s reforms did not manage to manage to drive. Reforms of a state system were necessary, and it concerned, first of all, the Russian monarchy. Nicholas II did not manage to pick up competently ministers, and “ games “ in the State Duma were failure. All ideas of Stolypin did not find realization only from - that the Russian state system was not ready to them. Here then - that fully decomposition forces which ruined the Russian Empire also began to work.