The End of Tsarist Russia:The March to World War I and Revolution
Russia’s involvement in World War I is often explained from the Western perspective, with very little, if any, consideration of the Russian viewpoint. The collapse of the Ottoman empire set the stage for a struggle for control over the Balkans and the adjoining sea routes between Russia and Germany, the two collossal powers of the day in Europe. Russia entered the war against the perceived German expansionism in a conflict that would, ironically, lead to the end of all empires on the continent.
Regardless of the outcome of the war, Dominic Lieven suggests that with the rapid pace of globalization, industrialization, and the spread of literacy, Russia’s ruling elite was already facing the insurmountable challenges of conflicting cultural identities and social upheavals.