The causes of the First World War were various, but economic factors certainly played a major role in triggering the outbreak of the first widespread international conflict in modern times. Imperialistic rivalry had a multitude of political, social and economic dimensions, despite the Marxian notion that the economic base determined everything above it in the societal superstructure, and the Russian Empire was unquestionably a major player in the territorial machinations that led to war. Tsar Nicholas II had been somewhat ill equipped to helm the Russian state, especially at a time of national emergency, and the effects of the war on almost every aspect of Russian life were enormous.