The Russian Revolutions

Kale Fehr

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Background Information

1917, was a year of extreme political unrest in Russia. First, in March, the Czar era came to an end bringing with it a provisional government. A multitude of reasons caused for a revolt against the Czar Nicholas II. To fill the extremely large hole that the disposing of the Czar government left, a provisional government was put in place. A provisional government is put into situations when an emergency government is needed. Then in November the provisional government was overthrown by the radical Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin. All in all, the year of 1917 was not an easy one for the country of Russia, which would leave it on its way to a completely different government.
RUS233 - The Russian Revolution of 1917

The March Revolution

Sunday, March 4th 1917 at 12am


The March Revolution

In 1917, there were few supporters remaining of the Czar Nicholas the II. This caused a sort of domino effect leading to a radical change in government. There were two phases to the Russian Revolutions in 1917, the February Revolution and the October Revolution. The first of which being the February revolution. A failing economy ,corruption running throughout the government and the repeated dissolving of the Russian Parliament, the Duma, were all factors in the beginning of the February Revolution. But, the largest cause of the revolt was the horrendous participation of Russia in the first world war. Russia had the most casualties of any single country involved in World War I, and the economy was in even greater ruin because of the war efforts.

The October Revolution

Wednesday, Nov. 7th 1917 at 12am

Petrograd, Russia

The October Revolution

After the efforts of the people left the country with an interim government, there was still unrest in the air. With the provisional government not solving many of the issues that needed addressing, their was still a need for change in the country. This is called the October Revolution, because of Russia’s use of the Julian calendar,so although we call this the October Revolution, it actually occurred in February in Russia. What started as a protest for bread, ended up causing an entire revolution. With the backing of tons of workers the protester clashed with police, but stood their ground and eventually turned into extremely violent protests, with the destruction of police stations and other government buildings.

Wheel of Revolution

A revolution is impossible without a revolutionary situation; furthermore, not every revolutionary situation leads to revolution. ~Vladimir Lenin

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The very first portion of the wheel of revolution is an injustice. An injustice according to Oxford Dictionary is “ a lack of fairness or justice”. Now this fits what was happening in Russia at the time perfectly. With their extreme lack of food, government corruption and their horrible involvement in the first world war, the tension between the Czar Nicholas the second and the people of Russia was at a breaking point. As well, the extreme loss of life in the war made it clear to the people that Russia was no longer a military powerhouse in Europe. Finally, with the corruption in shambles there seemed to be little hope of Russia ever returning to its former self. These factors all led to an extreme amount of injustices’ taking place in Russia.

Peaceful and Violent Protests

The second and third parts of the wheel of revolution, Peaceful Protests and Violent Protests, are the ones that I find to be the most instrumental in a successful and efficient revolution. First, the peaceful protests came in the form of a demonstration for bread. This protest stemmed directly from the injustice of the lack of bread. The protests’ size were helped by the massive amount of striking workers, in the Petrograd (St. Petersburg). Before, the striking workers were specifically from the industrial sector, but eventually on March 10th the strike gained momentum when all of the workers in Petrograd joined in. As a result of these new found numbers, the strikes began to take a turn for the worse leading eventually to, Violent Protests. These protesters wrought destruction over Petrograd, including decimating many police stations throughout the capital. The day after this happened, March 11, the help of the army garrison that was stationed in Petrograd was enlisted. In some cases the garrison opened fire on the protesters, but they continued to protest. Eventually, the number of protesters overtook the garrison and on March 12th, many regiments of the garrison defected to the side of the protesters.

Moderate and Radical Changes in Power

Finally, Moderate Changes of power and Radical Changes of power take place. As a result of the march uprising the czarist government was abolished. When Nicholas II abdicated the throne he gave it to his brother, Michael, but Michael refused and at that time the czarist government's reign came to an end. After the czars left, a provisional government was put into place. A provisional government is “an emergency or interim government set up when a political void has been created by the collapse of a very large government.” But, the provisional government was extremely weak and eventually people began to grow upset, as the supposed “fix” was not working. Then from November 6th to the 7th Vladimir Lenin led the Bolsheviks’ against the provisional government. This is the Radical Change in power but, unlike the moderate change in power, hardly any blood was shed. Personally, I find this almost ironic and the moderate change in power was more violent than the radial change in power. The Bolsheviks took hold over many government buildings as well as other important strategic locations in Petrograd. Eventually, the Bolsheviks formed a new government which was led by Vladimir Lenin. The Bolsheviks consequently renamed themselves the Communist Party. All in all, the moderate changes in power and the radical changes in power are extremely obvious and follow the wheel of revolution almost exactly.

Connection to Wheel of Revolution

As you can infer from the information that I have already mentioned, the Russian Revolution follows the wheel of revolution remarkably well. First, there was an injustice; in this case the injustice was the unfair treatment of the people of Russia,their involvement in the first world war and a distinct lack of food. Next, came the peaceful protests; when a protest for bread started the anger from the many injustices that were committed by the tsar government was released. But, for the first few days the protests were mostly peaceful. But, after those couple of days the protests took a turn for the worse and became highly violent. Next, after the violent protests a provisional government was put in. This is an example of a moderate change in power. After a few months, another change in power occurred, which is when the bolsheviks revolted again and Lenin came into power. Therefore, the Russian Revolutions literally fit the wheel of revolution exactly. Perhaps, the reason that the Russian Revolution worked so well and efficiently was because they followed the wheel of revolution exactly.
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