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§ 16. Russian Revolution (textbook)

§ 16. Russian Revolution

1. Causes, problems and periods of revolution

In the twentieth century. There was plenty ofrevolutions in various parts of the globe, but to further their vplyaomhistorical development of the world hardly any can compare with the Russianrevolution that broke out in 1917

Causesrevolution in Russia were: contradiction between backward political superstructure(Autocracy) and new social and economic relations, conflict betweenlabor and capital; unresolved agrarian question: the existence of landlordeconomy, a large part bezzemellya peasants unresolved nationalquestion; exacerbation of all problems of the Russian Empire as a result of unsuccessful participationin the First World War.

TasksRevolution in Russia were: Elimination of autocratic rule andtransition to parliamentary democracy, creating conditions for free developmentmarket; solving agricultural issues, social and political democratizationlife, guarantee of social rights of workers, providing freedeveloping nations that inhabited Russia, Russia's withdrawal from the war.

Periodization of Russian Revolution

February 23 - March 3, 1917 - fallmonarchy;

March - July 1917 - dual power;

July - October 1917 - Revolutionary crisis;

October 1917 - June 1918 -a dictatorship of the Bolsheviks;

June 1918 - March 1921 -Civil WarVictory of the Bolsheviks.


2. Start the revolution. The formation of the revolutionary government.The overthrow of the monarchy

February 23, 1917 (Old style) on Putylovskomufactory strike began. Gradually strike covered the main factories of Petrograd, andSaturday February 28 is 240 thousand striking workers. Strikes were causedlockouts due to labor conflict Putylovskomu plant deteriorationsupply of bread, the fall in real living standards. It wasspontaneous explosion of frustration nevyrishennistyu social problems thataccumulated.

Demonstration of soldiers duringthe February events


Noopposition parties, not governmental circles were not prepared for this turn of events.Trying to police as the king to suppress the workers only sharpenedsituation. And bringing the troops to conduct punitive operations causedresentment among the soldiers. February 27 Volyn regiment soldiers refusedshoot at demonstrators and passed on their side. The news of this rozletilasyacapital. Petrograd garrison moved to the side of the insurgent people.

28February to take part Petrograd caused from the front. Started streetfights. However, resistance to government forces has been broken, the rebels captured the keypoints of the city. For example the capital of similar events have occurred in Moscow.

While the streets revolution unfolded, leadersPolitical parties began to form political structures that had to takepower. Almost simultaneously formed two centers, trying to become the headrevolution. February 27 leftist parties (Mensheviks, SRs, anarchists. Bolsheviks andetc..) formed the executive committee of the Petrograd Council, headed by MenshevikM. Chheidze.

Committee MembersState Duma


The same day the State Duma, which is not obeyedsuspend the order of the king, formed the Committee of the State Duma. The main roleit played the Cadets, who once declared that take power into their ownhands, and offered to Nicholas II to abdicate. Demand Committeesupported the generals led by General Alekseev.

The victory of the revolution dependent on whose side goArmy and is happy once led the struggle for influence in the army garrison.

March 1, 1917 Executive Committee of the Petrograd Council issuedorder number 1, addressed the Petrograd garrison troops. According to him:

·   in the Army introduced elective soldiersCommittees;

·   Military representatives were elected toPetrograd Council;

·   Petrograd troops were subject onlyexcited by it;

·   guns kept in the soldiers' committees,delivery of its officers prohibited;

·   soldiers have the right to enjoyrights and freedoms of Russian citizens;

·   vvodylosya appeal to the higher ranks of soldiersonly "you".

Tosecure a presiding position Petrohrad council held a number of decisionsincluding:

·   was proclaimed an amnesty to political prisoners;

·   restored all political rights and freedomsrestricted in wartime;

·   agreed on the need forelections to the Constituent Assembly;

·   government put the army and electedcommanders.

Order number 1 Petrograd Council


TimCommittee leaders sometimes cared for the protection of the monarchy. They convincedthe need for the emperor to voluntarily abdicate in favor of his brotherMikhail Aleksandrovich. March 2 Emperor Nicholas II announced itsdecision about renunciation throne for himself and son. The text of the manifesto was signed on 3March 1917 Nicholas II and his family had to leave Russia and goto England. But the March 7 he was arrested.


Nicholas IIwith  family


Interim Committee of the State Duma, which passeddecision on the formation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government.

3 rd March 1917 published in the "Addressto citizens and comrades, the provisional government, declared such an action plan:

·   full and immediate amnesty;

·   political rights and freedoms for all citizens;

·   formed the abolition of all national andrestrictions;

·   work on organization and holding of direct,equal, secret, general elections to the Constituent Assembly;

·   deployment of elections to localgovernment;

·   Prohibition of military withdrawal from the capitalunits that participated in the revolutionary events.

Headedgovernment, which mainly consisted of cadets and members of other right-wing parties,Prince GE Lvov. Important role in the government played a PM Miliukov who took officeMinister of Foreign Affairs.

Givingconsent to the formation of the Provisional Government and the transfer of powers,Petrohrad council retained the right to maintain the government's To theextent that it will contribute to the revolution.

At noon, members held a secret meeting with high governmentPrince Mikhail Romanov. The issues his proclamationemperor. But Michael refused the crown, having transferred all power to the Interimgovernment. Thus the monarchy in Russia ceased to exist.

3. Diarchy

FormationCouncils and Provisional Government created a situation that called dual power. For powerworkers and soldiers was represented by councils and government liberalintellectuals, industrialists, landowners parts - in the interim government.

Power concentrated in the hands of the two governing bodies, whoseto each other were inconsistent and varied from rivalry tocooperation.

The reasons for the existence of dual power:

·   spontaneous social explosion;

·   lack of organization of political parties fortaking their power;

·   oddness actions of political parties asright and left camp.

Historicaldual power value was the fact that in Russia there was the possibility of peacefultransition from autocracy to a democratic republican system ofensure broad democracy for the people.

Overthrowmonarchy and the proclamation of democratic rights and freedoms, that is, solvingnational task revolution led to a split in the revolutionaryMotion: For some, the revolution has already ended (right and liberals), while for others itjust started (Socialists). The dominance in political lifesocialist parties determined the fate of the revolution. There occurredacute political struggle.

Onbeginning April 1917 Russian revolutionaries who were inemigrate back to Russia. Together with this group came the leaderBolsheviks - Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin). His arrival to Russiacontributed to governmental circles of Germany, who hoped that with the coming to powerBolsheviks of Russia will be signed peace signing those which repeatedlystated.

VI Lenin(Ulyanov)


Lenin was met by thousandsdemonstration on the square in front of Finland Station as one of the leaders of the revolution.He made a small speech, which ended with the words: "Long liveworld socialist revolution! "

The next day, Lenin made a report ontasks of the proletariat in this revolution "(more known under the name"April theses"). In it he put the main task of peaceful transitionthrough to the socialist stage of the revolution. This position was not immediately leaderby the majority of the members of his party.

4. Kvitneva the June crisis and the Provisional Government. FirstCongress of Soviets

RevolutionRussia caused concern in the state of Russia's allies in the war. So the countriesThe Entente sought clarity from the Provisional Government on the issue of continued participationRussia in the war. April 19 the newspaper published a note to Foreign MinisterMiliukov governments of the Entente, in which dealt that Russia will lead to warthe finish.

Thisnote sparked a wave of protests that led to the first government crisis. AroundMinister's resignation and Miliukov Huchkova (war minister) erupteddisputes, there were clashes supporters and opponents of the government. Finally, the crisiswas solved by the resignation of unpopular ministers and the introduction of the governmentrepresentatives of socialist parties.

InJune 1917 in Petrograd was 1 st Congress of Soviets. One of the mainissues discussed was the question of attitude to the council of the Provisional Government.A vivid episode in the congress was the Bolshevik leader Lenin's response toTsereteli Menshevik statement of no country in the party, which would be readyget their hands on political power and hence responsibility. It was thenfrom the audience heard the words of Lenin: "There is such a party." It was noperceived seriously.

Congress adopted the documents that provide a basisparliamentarism in Russia as well as the executive body elected councils -All-Russian Central Executive Committee of representatives of the Mensheviks,SRs, Bolsheviks and others.

Meanwhile, the country's escalating socio-economicsituation. The people demanded reforms and an end to war. In June 1917country, especially in the capital, a wave of protest demonstrations. Nazrivalanew governmental crisis. This time it managed to turn away, organizing offensiveat the front. However, this did not solve the problem, but only postponed it. Failurenew attack caused a tense political situation, which decidedCadets take in order to deprive the government cared for by councils and the Bolsheviks,that attempted to gain access to power.

5. The July crisis. Rise of the Bolsheviks

Cadets, considering the difficult situation, decided to createartificial political crisis, using the Ukrainian question. In particular,Cadets have opposed the agreement with the Ukrainian Central Rada, which hasdelegation led by Tsereteli, Kerensky, Tereshchenko. In protest, theysubmitted their resignation.

Meanwhile, the most radical members of the Bolshevik Partyare promoting anti-government armed speech. Some soldiers of Petrograd garrison with support workerswives tried to control the city and even learnedPeter and Paul Fortress. Considering premature uprising, Lenin took alleffort to guide the performance of the peaceful track and to avert this strike powerstructures of the Bolshevik Party as an organizer of the rebellion. July 4 wasorganized a peaceful demonstration under the slogan "All power to the Soviets." ButGovernment forces shot demonstration. Diarchy in Russia is finished.Bolshevikov were convicted as spies and traitors German interestsrevolution.

After the elimination of dual power, a new composition wasProvisional Government headed by A. Kerensky, announced that his "governmentSalvation Revolution.

Shooting Peacedemonstration - end of dual power


Meanwhile the internal situation in the countrycomplicated, social tensions grew in intensity. Since then sought to useas far right forces that saw the beginning of a dictatorship of the military asand extreme left. At the VI Congress of the Bolsheviks took a course to preparearmed insurrection to overthrow the Provisional Government and the seizure of politicalpower. The crisis in the country was growing.

6. General Kornilov Mutiny (August 1917)

Losses at the front, rampant violence and anarchy in the country,arbitrarily seizure of land by peasants, the workers, the requirements ofUkraine's autonomy, independence of Poland and Finland uprisingCentral Asia radicalizationArmy catastrophic decline in output, inflation, government paralysismanagement - all of which tended to establish the ruling circles of power"Strong hand" - the dictatorship.

Among the political forces that sought it, were right party.At a meeting with Kerensky his generals made it clear that war, iffurther hesitation Kerensky, will assume management of the state.

In August in Moscow a meeting of representativesindustrial and financial circles. In general it Л.Cornelius (chiefRussian troops) sent a draft proposal to restore order in Russia:establishment of martial law and putting the death penalty in the rear.

MeetingKornilov on Mykolayevskomu station in Moscow


Kerensky, who himself claimed the role of the dictator, nothurry to fulfill the recommendations of the general. Personal ambitions prevailed. 10August 1917 meeting between Kerensky and Kornilov, after whichGeneral decided to act independently. He sent an ultimatum to Kerenskytransfer of power and ordered the troops to advance on Petrograd.

Kerensky announced Kornilov a traitor and called on allrevolutionary forces to defend the revolution. In defense of the city created revkomy,workers' wives (Red Guard), which played a leading roleBolsheviks. In defense of the capital city and the garrison were Kronstadt sailors.Mutiny was suppressed and its leaders arrested.

7. Preparation and implementation of the Bolshevikcoup

Suppression of insurgency war is not politically stabilizedsituation. She started to increase the threat of radical left coup(Bolsheviks restored and expanded their influence in society and besidesreceived weapons during the crackdown on insurgency Kornilov).

There was the threat and the economic situation: closedenterprises, increased unemployment. Real wages in comparison with1913 decreased by half. Debt was doubled and the country16 billion gold rubles.

The worsening situation led to growing discontentgovernment policies. Unfolding strike movement. Peasant movement grew.In spring he seized 9 / 10 districts of the European part of Russia.

Under these conditions, the Provisional Government to raise its credibility, 1Russia declared a republic in September and ordered elections to the Constituent Assembly. Forstrengthening executive power created the Directory of five persons (Kerensky,Nikitin, Tereshchenko, Verderovskyy Admiral, General Verkhovsky).

September 14, 1917 Democratic started work meetingwhere was formed the Interim Council of the Republic - with featurespreparliaments - body before which the government had to report to the openingConstituent zbo-tion. Was elected a new government headed by Kerensky.

Socialist parties reacted differently to the newlybody. Part of the Bolsheviks led by Lenin, Leon Trotsky and his supportersannounced a boycott of the Democratic meeting.

Becoming the September 25 council chairman Petrograd, L. Trotskygot to widely promote their ideas on the transfer of power to the Soviets.

L. Trotsky (Bernstein)


Already starting from September 15 Lenin while in hiding, appealed toleadership and party members with letters about the necessity of immediate preparationarmed insurrection: "Take the power immediately," "Delay - Adeath.

From 5 toOctober 18, 1917 held several meetings RSDLP (b), whichdiscussing particular preparation uprising. For politicalleadership of the uprising created a special body - the Political Bureau. ButKamenev and Central Committee members Zinoviev opposed the decision of armed seizureBolsheviks in power transmission and its councils. They expressed their disagreement overNewspaper "New Life. This Provisional Government has been notifiedtraining of armed Bolsheviks speech.

16October to the immediate preparations for the uprising in Petrograd Council createdMilitary Revolutionary Committee. Its structure entered the Military RevolutionaryCenter RSDLP (b). IMC gradually established control over most ofunits garrison town.


Bolshevik pickets in the streetsPetrograd


Messagepreparation of the Bolshevik coup Kerensky convinced of the needBolsheviks seize the initiative. Faithful government troops tried to takecontrol the main city areas. However, the forces lacked. The requirement to Kerenskypreparliaments give it unlimited authority was rejected.

ForOctober 24-25 IMC troops attacked and captured the important objectsin the capital. Kerensky left Petrograd and departed to Pskov.

Storm the Winter Palace. Shot fromMovie Erenburg


In the morningOctober 25, 1917 meeting RSDLP (b) with Lenin.He demanded decisive action to seize the Winter Palace and the overthrow of the Provisionalgovernment. It was decided the composition of the new government. Also, Lenin wrote a proclamation "Tocitizens of Russia, where noted: "The Provisional Government overthrown, the power inhands of the Soviets. "He wanted to put 2-and Congress of Soviets with the fact the transferpower.

ProtectionWinter Palace


October 25 started 2 nd Congress of SovietsWorkers 'and Soldiers' Deputies. Among the 649 delegates 390 were Bolsheviks. While somedelegates advocated a peaceful solution of issues of power and against the armeduprising, detachments IMC about 2 am October 26 Provisional arrestgovernment.

Meanwhile, the Congress continued. After the announcement of the arrestProvisional Government proclamation was read, written by Lenin, the transfer of power toHand 2 nd Congress of Soviets.

At the evening meeting of the Congress Lenin spoke. Hedelegates proposed decrees on peace and on the ground.

Decree on Peace declared an immediate ceasefire at the front ofGermany, negotiations with warring parties, without making peaceannexations and indemnities.

Decree on the ground included the following:

·   nationalization and confiscation of alllandlords' land and their delivery to rural councils of deputies for equalizingdistribution (150 million acres of land);

·   implements the transfer of peasants and cattlelandlord estates (the amount of 3 million rubles.)

·   cancellation of debt amounting to farmers3 billion rubles.


Lenin's speech at the 2 nd with`driving tips


Congress chose the higher authorities: Russiancentral executive committee, which included the Bolsheviks and Left SRs, the CouncilPeople's Commissars, headed by Lenin. Left Socialist Revolutionaries in the government refused to sign.Was elected Chairman VTSVK L. Kamenev.

Mensheviksorganized a protest strike of railwaymen, which is led Vikzhel(Their union). The main strikers were demanding a government coalitionsocialist parties without Lenin. RSDLP (b) began negotiations withunion, that ended with a compromise. December 10, 1917 was formedcoalition government, which included five left-wing Socialist Revolutionaries. That left supportSRS saved the Bolsheviks from their loss of power.

Thus,result of the October Revolution and of the 2 nd Congress of Soviets was coming to power inRussia's radical left wing parties of the socialist camp. October Revolutioninitiated a tumultuous events that radically changed the social and economic lifecountry and had a huge impact on the world almost to the end.


Documents and materials

With the abdication of the throne ActNicholas II March 2, 1917

In these decisive days in the life of Russia we decided that ourDebt relief is the conscience of our people closer unity and cohesionPeople of all forces to achieve victory quicker and, in accordance with StateDuma, we recognized the blessing of the Russian state to abdicate and to withdraw from hissovereignty. Unwilling to part with our beloved son, we extendour legacy to our brother, our Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich andbless his accession to the throne of the Russian state.


Inquiries to document

1. Asargued his abdication of the throne Nicholas II?

2.Enter the text of the phrases that indicate an attempt to save the monarchy.


Decree on Peace. October 26 (8November) 1917


Workers 'and Peasants' Government? offers all the warring nationsand their governments to immediately begin negotiations on a fair and democraticpeace? without annexations and indemnities.

? If any nation is kept in the borders of this stateviolence  if her  contrary to the expressed desire on her part? notis entitled to a free vote in complete withdrawal of troops morestrong nation, resolve without any compulsion on the form of statethat this nation, joining its annexation is, that admiration andviolence.

? Government cancels the Last diplomacy, expressing their partfirm intention to negotiate quite openly before all the people, Gettingimmediately until the publication of secret treaties concluded or confirmedGovernment of the landlords and capitalists from February to October 25, 1917 ?

? Temporary workers and peasants' government is also drawn,particularly conscious to the most advanced workers three largest nations of mankind andStates participating in this war: Britain, France and Germany.

* * *

Bolshevik government encourages the workers of these countries"Resolute and comprehensive selfless vigorous activity" to helphim to successfully carry through to peace and at the same time the releaseworkers and exploited masses of the population from any bondage and anyoperation.


Inquiries to document

1. Whatbasic provisions of the decree?

2. Reasonfor it was accepted?

3. Whydecree contained a direct appeal to the largest population countries?


Questions and Tasks

1. Asdeveloped in Petrograd in February, March, 1917?

2.Find out the reasons and objectives of the revolution in Russia.

3. Whatdistinguish periods in the development of the Russian Revolution?

4. Whenhow and under what circumstances emerged authorities generated revolution?

5. Whatpolitical forces and strata of society relied Provisional Government andPetrohrad Help?

6. Thatthis dual power? Why is it called the period of the Russian Revolution?

7.Describe the crisis of the Provisional Government, their causes and ways out of them.

8. Whatrole of the Bolshevik Party and its leaders in the revolution?

9. Whyperformance of the Bolsheviks in July and in August, Kornilov revolt failed?

10. Whatdelay can be explained by the Provisional Government to implement the reforms?

11. Thatcontributed to the victory of the Bolshevik coup in October 1917?


Note the dates:

February 27, 1917- Start a revolution inRussia

March 2, 1917- FormationProvisional Government

August 1917- Mutiny GeneralKornilov

October 25, 1917- Bolshevikrevolution in Russia. 2 nd Congress of Soviets