So I've got another paper for that history class. (I've actually had another in the meantime -- I missed one.) This one's on the causes of the Russian Revolution of 1917, as you may have gathered from the title of this post. Paper is below the fold.
In 1905, Russia had a revolution that had resulted in the creation of a Russian parliament. But following that revolution, the Czar was still in control of the country. During this time, communist parties began to form and organize.
Peter Stolypin, a minister for the Czar, attempted to build support for the monarchy by allowing greater economic freedom among the lower classes and pushing for industrialization. This built on the reforms two Czars back, when Alexander II ended serfdom. Stolypin was assassinated in 1911.
When World War I began, Russia was immediately involved, and Czar Nicholas II hoped that would result in nationalist solidarity. That solidarity never manifested, and the difficulty of the war only increased the general population's distrust.
That distrust was also fueled by the stories about Rasputin, a monk who had (a.) a very poor reputation, and (b.) close, public influence on the royal family. Rasputin would have been a massive PR problem even if he didn't have any real influence, because he served as a tangible example of the Czar's poor judgement. He was assassinated by several members of the nobility in 1916, but that didn't affect the distrust he had seeded in the Russian people.
In Feb/March of 1917, there were mass strikes, and the Czar attempted to suppress them using military force. That probably would have been a bad idea anyway, but the army were more sympathetic to the strikers than the Czar, and changed sides.
Resulting in a revolution.