In the time leading up to the revolution of 1917, the country had success in their wars. The wars were, The Crimean War (1854-56),The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), and The Russo-Turkish War (1877-78). These took a lot from the country, including manpower and tax dollars. Russia suffered defeat in the end, except against Turkey. This series of war caused great discomfort among the people and caused problems in the country's economy and government.
World War One had a big impact on the starting of the revolution. The military had a terrible leader and was worse when it came to their equipment. The Russians losing in Masurian Lakes and Tannenberg led to them losing the strength of their government, 200,000 men, and the support from their military. 15 million men from farms had to be used for battle, which meant they couldn’t produce and ship food to the cities. This led to food shortages and prices of food rising, which created anger and riots in Russian cities. The winter of 1916-17 made everything even worse and led to famine in the cities.
Nicholas the Tsar took personal command of the military which made things worse for the Russians and he was blamed for losing the battles. He abandoned his leadership after the backlash and let the Tsarina be in charge. She was not up for the task though, because she let Rasputin run the government. The Tsarina was German so many people were losing trust and thought that she wanted the Germans to win. By February, 1917, the government was in the middle of the crisis, and the Tsar didn’t do anything. On March 8th of 1917, there were riots throughout the city about the unsuccessful wars and the food shortages. On March 12th, 1917, the military joined the riots and abandoned the Tsar. The government had completely lost control over the country.