The Russian revolution was caused by the continual breakdown of the governments in Russia and the incompetence and authoritarian views of its czars. Their failures as leaders included policies that either pleased or benefited the people. By the end of the nineteenth century, Russia's economy, government, military, and social organization was at an extreme decline. Russia had become the least advanced of the major European nations in terms of political and social development. There was no parliament, and no middle class. The Church, officers, and other important people and institutions were firmly against social progress. The terrible defeat of Russia in the Crimean War in 1855 and 1856 exposed weaknesses of Russia's various organizations.
The road to the Russian Revolution began with the end of the Crimean War in 1855. The government's continued half-hearted attempts to reform Russian society, combined with its resolute refusal to compromise on any matter of power and control put Russia on a course toward revolt. Had any one of those attempts at reform been genuine, history would have turned out quite differently; however, as we know, the Russian Revolution occurred in 1917. .
The Revolution of 1905, a precursor to the definitive revolution to come, introduced some measure of constitutional government into Russia. The worker population increased and Russia's few major cities namely, St. Petersburg and Moscow swelled with overcrowding. With low wages, poor working conditions, and no representative voice, strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the capital on and off for years. After periodic repression, the government could barely hold.
This situation was made worse by the onset of World War I. Russia's backward position relative to the West, its lack of arms, poor training, and corruption in the high levels of government and the army translated into such military losses that Tsar Nicholas II decided to take direct control of the .