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The Russian Revolution

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The Russian Revolution consisted of a series of events in colonial Russia that eventually concluded in the year 1917, with the establishment of RussiaÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s soviet state, otherwise known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR. Russian socialists and their relationship to war played a major role in setting the stage for revolution. The Russian Revolution is known collectively as two wars fought for consecutively ending in triumph for Russia. The first revolution strived to cause the downfall of the autocratic colonial monarchy, beginning with a revolt in February of 1917. While the second, strived to effect and improve change in economic, political, and social relationships in Russian culture; it is often called the Bolshevik, or October Revolution. These two wars culminate to the Russian Revolution, a determining factor in Russian history and civilization.

In order to uncover the many underlying causes of the Russian Revolution, one must understand the complete history of RussiaÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s past. For many centuries, authoritarian czarist regimes ruled over the country, leaving a majority of the population under severe and utter poverty. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many social movements were designed to overthrow the oppressive Russian government were conducted by students, peasants, workers, and even members of nobility. In 1917 these events resulted in the fall of the czarist government and the establishment of the Bolshevik Party, a radical offshoot of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. The immediate cause of the February Revolution was the collapse of the czarist regime under the strain and damage of World War I. The war served as a direct cause to the revolution due to the backward economic condition of the country, making the country incapable to sustain the war effort against powerful, industrialized Germany. On the other hand, Russian manpower seemed virtually inexhaustible. However, Russian industry lacked the capacity to equip and supply fifteen million men who were being sent into war. Factories were few and insufficiently productive, and the railroad networks were insufficient. Because of this, Russian casualties were greater than any other country had ever sustained in any previous war.

In the beginning all but one small group within the Social Democratic Party supported the war, because of this, the government received much aid in the war effort from voluntary committees, including representatives of business and labor. The Revolution of 1917 grew out of a rising sign of food and salary strikes in Petrograd. Gatherings and protests in which the key slogan was a demand for bread were held, supported by the ninety thousand men and women on strike in the national capital. Encounters with the police were numerous, but the workers repudiated to disband and continued to reside in the streets. Apprehension gradually amplified but no casualties resulted. As the days progressed, the mobsÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦ chants became bolder Ð'ÐŽÐ'§Down with the war!Ð'ÐŽÐ'Ё and Ð'ÐŽÐ'§Down with autocracy!Ð'ÐŽÐ'Ё

On February 27 a provisional committee of the Duma, a body of people in place to protect the rights of the lower and middle classes, announced that it would handle restoration of order.

The provisional committee formed the Provisional Government and demanded the immediate resignation of the czar. Nicholas was forced to resign on March 2. After the success of the Provisional Government in Petrograd the Revolution spread throughout the country. The following timeline of the Russian Revolution will depict the highlights and events that occurred throughout Russia from 1905 through 1924.

Timeline (1905 Ð'ÐŽV1924)

*Courtesy of: (


Ð'„Ð'« January Ð'ÐŽV Bloody Sunday

Tsarist troops open fire on a peaceful demonstration

of workers in Saint Petersburg

Ð'„Ð'« October

General Strike sweeps Russia, which ends

when the Tsar promises a constitution

Ð'„Ð'« December

In response to the suppression of the Saint Petersburg Soviet, the Moscow Soviet organizes a catastrophic revolt that the government represses after 5 days


Ð'„Ð'« The promised parliament, the Duma, is dissolved when it produces an anti- government majority even though elected on a narrow franchise

1911 Ð'ÐŽV 1914

Ð'„Ð'« A new wave of workers unrest ends with the outbreak of the First World War


Ð'„Ð'« February

After several days of demonstration in Petrograd the government ordered troops to open fire. The Tsar abdicates when he hears that Moscow too has joined the Revolution. An agreement is reached between the Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional Government headed by Lvov.

Ð'„Ð'« March

Abolition of the death penalty

Ð'„Ð'« April

Milyukov note. Milyukov tells allies that war aims unchanged.

The April Days, Opposition to the Foreign Minister boils over due to his refusal to renounce annexations

Ð'„Ð'« May

Milyukov resigns. Members of the Mensheviks and the Socialist Revolutionaries join the government.

Ð'„Ð'« June

First All- Russia Congress of Workers



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