The Impact of World War I on Russia's Economy and Society

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When the war started, the British Prime Minister said that the First World War was a 'modern war,' which meant that it wasn't all about the soldiers. The government also played an important role in keeping people at home happy. This was useful in maintaining support for the Tsar and the war, as it encouraged people to produce enough resources for the country and contribute to the war effort.

However, the Tsar did not share the same attitude. During the war, government expenditure increased, leading to inflation in Russia. But this was not the only cause of inflation. The Tsar decided to ban all alcohol production to keep soldiers sober, which significantly reduced the country's income as vodka was a major source of revenue. Additionally, foreign trade suffered due to strained relations with other countries, such as Germany, which had previously contributed to Russia's economy through exports.

To address these challenges, the government resorted to printing more paper money, further exacerbating inflation. However, this was not the only problem. Russia also faced shortages in basic items due to the breakdown of the railway system. With only a single rail and coal running out, the transportation of goods became increasingly difficult. Moreover, the majority of grain produced in the country was allocated to the frontlines, leaving only 20% for the cities. As prices continued to rise, people became less motivated to produce, leading to a decline in productivity.

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