Causes and Impacts of the Russian Revolution

Revolution in Russian

What roles did Trotsky, Lenin, and Kerensky play in the Bolshevik takeover?


The Bolsheviks were able to take over power because of the faults and mistakes of the Provisional Government. The Provisional Government was lacking in power and couldn't govern effectively right from the start and people were dissatisfied. The flaws in the government were made even worse because of Kerensky’s mistakes. Not only did the Provisional Government continue the war but Kerensky also launched a major offensive. When the army suffered heavy defeats this meant everyone blamed Kerensky and the government lost even more support particularly from the army.


Trotsky resigned as foreign commissar, turning the office over to Georgy Chicherin, and was immediately made commissar of war, theretofore a committee responsibility. As war commissar, Trotsky faced the formidable task of building a new Red Army out of the shambles of the old Russian army and preparing to defend the communist government against the imminent threats of civil war and foreign intervention.


Vladimir I. Lenin was a driving force behind the Russian Revolution of 1917 and became the first great dictator of the Soviet Union. He converted Russia from an imperial monarchy first to the rule of people by removing the Czar from the throne and abolition of feudal privileges. Then removed the mild socialists called Mensheviks and brought in his own brand of Bolshevism even with the bloodshed where required, assisted ably by his group, notably Stalin. He fired the imagination of the country's youth. He laid the foundation of one party rule and successfully withstood the onslaught of reactionary forces in the county.

Trotsky: Rise & Fall of a Revolutionary (II of VI)

How were women involved in the Russian Revolution?

In the beginning of the Russian Revolution there was a socialist movement that was taking place. It was just beginning but was becoming a very serious issue. Women were upset because they had no political or social voice when it came to what was going it. Because of this the women started to rebel, and left the factories to protest in the streets. On February 23rd 1917 there was an estimated 90,000 women protesting in the streets. The men began to hear the women and joined them to protest. Now there were 150,000 men and women in the streets that were protesting for all the same reasons. By February 25th there were no workers in the factory because of the protest. The city of Petrograd was basically shut down. Women began to be heard.

It became a big goal to women to have rights in social and political aspects, not only that but to socialize “woman's work.” That is exactly what they did. For the first time in history women had full equal political and social rights. Because of this women wanted better work . There were several centers that became open including, day care centers, laundry centers, and dining halls. Free abortion was also available on demand during this time.

From that day on there is now a International Women’s day every 8th of March, and it’s celebrated all around the world. The women of the Russian Revolution didn’t only affect the women in the revolution but woman's life following this revolution.

What steps did the Communists take to industrialize the Soviet Union?

The main impact to the industrialization of the Soviet Union was Stalin and his drive. During this time Stalin changed the culture of the time, recreating a new Russian nationalism, even forcing artists and writers to embrace “socialist realism.” Although these changes were just minor compared to the economic policies that the Russian people had to live with everyday. Stalin decided that he wanted his place to be saw as the industrial world power. Because of Lennon's government Russia pulled out of WWII.

Industrialization was the main component of Stalin’s revolution. All the leaders of the Bolshevik revolution understood the problem in starting a communist revolution in Russia. The country was not truly capitalist to become socialist, and communist. The transition from the old Russia to a truly communist state would require industrialization on a huge scale. According to Marxist theory, only through a modern industrialized economy could a true class be developed as Marx makes no mention of a peasant class. Marxist theory also says how, the need to industrialize was also a huge matter of self-defense. Stalin, either as a result of paranoia or a simple distrust of the capitalist West, assumed his country would have to fight for its survival. He presented the need to industrialize as a life or death struggle.

To what extent did the Stalinist regime respect the human rights of the various ethnic groups that lived within the Soviet Union?

In recent years, historians have gradually recognized that Stalin was personally responsible for the murder of more people than any other human being in the 20th century. Stalin took Lenin's system of slave labor camps and turned it into a vast secret empire in the depths of Siberia. Lenin chose to let millions starve to death in order to sustain his war effort, but Stalin went further by deliberately engineering famines on an even greater scale. Finally, Stalin crossed the one line that Lenin would not, by ordering the executions of fellow Communists on a massive scale. After Stalin crushed peasant resistance, the enormous death rate in the slave labor camps ensured that the number of inmates could not remain steady - unless more and more people were declared enemies of the people and sentenced to Siberia. Stalin claimed to find conspiracies and enemies everywhere. "Kulaks" were blamed for all agricultural failures, while "wreckers" bore responsibility for industrial disasters. Intellectuals, ethnic leaders, and officers in the military became targets. Anyone with contact with foreign countries could be easily declared a spy.

Stalin began to target fellow Communists, purging them for left deviations, right deviations, treason, and espionage. After Stalin was satisfied with the composition of the Communist Party, new waves of victims arose. Millions of Poles were sent to slave labor camps in 1939 when Stalin and Hitler divided Poland. In 1940, Stalin annexed the Baltic states and sent 2-4% of their populations to the slave camps. Stalin's slave empire lasted so long and went through so many waves of victims that one is left speechless. With a minimum of 5,000,000 slave laborers from 1931 to 1950, and a minimum death toll of 10% per year.