The first world war, 1914-1918

Mark Von Hagen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


The Russian Empire entered what became known as the First World War in the summer of 1914 as a Great Power on the Eurasian continent; four years later, the Russian Empire was no more. In its place was a Bolshevik rump state surrounded by a ring of hostile powers who shared some loyalty to the values of the Old Regime, or a conservative version of the Provisional Government. The notable exception to this was Menshevik-dominated Georgia in Transcaucasia, which pursued a moderate but socialist transformation of its society. Although all the Central European dynastic empires (Austria-Hungary, the Ottomans, Germany and Russia) failed to survive the suicidal war, what succeeded the Russian Empire, namely, the Soviet socialist state, was unlike any other successor regime. Many of the origins of that Soviet state, and the civil war that did so much to shape it, can be traced to the preceding world war: new political techniques and practices, the polarisation of mass politics, the militarisation of society and a social revolution that brought to power a new set of elites determined to transform society even further while in the midst of mobilising for its own war of self-defence against domestic and foreign enemies. The war demanded unprecedented mobilisation of society and economy against formidable enemies to the west and south. The industrial mobilisation alone triggered ‘a crisis in growth - a modernisation crisis in thin disguise’.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Russia: Volume III the Twentieth Century
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781139054096, 0521811449, 9780521811446
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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