The Russian Revolution


Background Information

When it comes to the Russian Revolution, know that it didn't happen overnight. In fact it took about 12 years to lead up to the change in 1917. Tsar Nicholas II being ruler was addicted to the power and unpopular amongst the people. His power was constantly questioned as Russia lost in WWI. Losing in WWI soldiers were poorly lead, had low resources, and soldiers lost hope of winning. An author says "The Tsar drew his advice and counsel from an inner circle of ministers, military officers, aristocrats and bishops - but too often they told Nicolas whatever he wished to hear, rather than what he should" (J.Llewellyn.) Citizens were fed up with Tsar and came together for a protest know as the "The Bloody Sunday," Tsar had his soldiers open fire on thousands of peaceful protesters in total killing about a thousand. Tsar afraid to lose his position made a legislative assembly called 'Duma' which gave people a voice in how their government was run. When citizen noticed that the Duma was no longer being taken seriously, they protested yet again.

The two major revolutions that changed Russia are, The February Revolution, and The October Revolution. The February Revolution quickly became a coup d'etat when the Russian army stood with the people against their oppressors. Tsar and his family were overthrown, murdered, and the Bolshevik party came into power.

Did Communism help Russia?

The Bolsheviks took over to become a communist country believing it would help Russia out of its rut. Lenin on April 25, 1921 introduced the “Tax In Kind policy" which meant a specific amount of food was to be collected from peasant farmers. Then distributed to amongst the people, yet had a flaw in their plan and realized it a little too late. As they tried feeding the peasants there wasn’t nearly enough food for all the people. Thus leaving the government astound on how to fix it. After this it came to Lenin’s attention that nothing could really be done to Russia, as Lenin said “all that could be changed was changed.” The only known thing left to do the Soviet Union had already done. Which was the taking of the private property from capitalist: farmland, factories, mills, railroads, banks, and other properties with no compensation." 6.

Since the “Tax In Kind policy” didn’t work, it was decided to give peasants the right to have their own fixed prices with tax. The decision mostly made to claim those who stood for “War Communism” which was supposed to make up Russia’s economy. Lenin saying “The peasants will now set to work on their farms with greater confidence and with a will, and that is the main thing.”6. Thus gave peasants the freedom to produce and sell for profit, for if they were under the “War Communism” they wouldn’t be able to do.

The peasants made up more than half the population and would be considered the “New Economic Policy.” Lenin wanted to put in place the New Economic Policy for the reason that Bolsheviks made a mistake trying to enforce communism when the goal was to use capitalism “as a kind of bridge between the petty bourgeoisie economic policy and the Communist economic policy.” 6. However it seemed nothing could help Russia with it’s food shortages which caused malnutrition, disease, and death. Which took a toll on the working class and peasants. And as Galza says “ ...the New Economic Policy was more of a “strategical retreat” than anything else. It definitely would not be a permanent thing, but just a way of relieving Russia from the burdens which War Communism had produced and, instead, replacing the procedures of food requisitioning and nationalization of agricultural land with a sort of free-market economy with the allowance of private business.” Thus showing Russia being a communist country was temporary and to complicated to enforce given Russia's state of being at the time.


1. Fitzpatrick, Sheila. ¨The Russian Revolution.¨Google Books. The Russian Revolution of 1917. Web. 21 Sept.2015.

The following website leads you to a book written about the Russian Revolution that is very informative and gives a deeper understanding of the topic. I would say it's valuable and reliable if cited. It does however have a limitation because of copy writes; the reader may only access certain chunks of the book. It's also valuable because it connects important figures to the way they contributed to the change.

2. Sullivan, Nate. ¨Russian Revolution: Timeline, Cause and Effects.¨ Web.19 Sept.2015.

It is a teaching/study website and has both videos and text that provide useful information. With this website a reader can watch the video and connect everything they read. It is a useful source but it has it's limitations. Like the book it only gives the reader some information without having to sign up and becoming a member. I found it useful because it gave the context and then a simplified version in the video.

3. J. Llewellyn, “Russian Revolution” at Alpha History,, 2014, accessed,9.19.15.

This website really emphasizes on the government and how the people's rights were not being met. Explaining the five key points of the Russian Revolution. Also providing a background of Russian Revolution. The limitation that I would point out is that it had no pictures connecting to events; which made my part a little harder, having to look for another source.

4. "The Bolshevik October Revolution- Photo Essays." Time. Time Inc. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.

The pictures that the website provided are valuable, show events during the Russian Revolution, and provide context with them. Although this website provided me with pictures it has a limitation on information and doesn't explain what is going on the picture. They assume the reader is already familiar with the event and who the subjects are; the limitation is that they weren't detailed enough and were limited with information.

5. Meissner, Daniel J."The Russian Revolution of 1917." The Russian Revolution of 1917. Web.23 Sept. 2015.

This website emphasizes on the ruling making it very clear who took care of the people and their rights. Going into depth when the Tsar family was put out and when the Bolshevik arose taking power. This source is valuable because it can help one clarify confusion of the ruling and the amount of time the spent in government. Showing no limitations.

6.Glaza, H. M. (2009). "Lenin's New Economic Policy: What it was and how it Changed the Soviet Union." Student Pulse, 1(11). Retrieved from

This website gives more of a behind the scenes look and quotes Lenin on his beliefs of how communism was supposed to help Russia. How Lenin talks about how the improvement had to happen with the peasants because they were the majority. It proves to be a valuable source. It gives detailed responses for each point. One limitations is that it briefly describes "War Communism." Since everything in that article has to do with war communism I feel they should describe it better.