Romanov Crest

1917 Russian Revolution

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The 1917 Russian Revolution consisted of a series of revolution that followed Russia’s entrance into World War II. Tsar Nicholas II saw the war against Germany as a chance to restore Russia’s image after the humiliation it faced from losing the Russo-Japanese war. His decision had the opposite effect on the population as he’d hoped however because the country was sick of war and the economic and social ramifications it created. The collapse of Russia now became an inevitability because it’s industrial and agricultural resources could not sustain their armyin another war. By the time Germany invaded Poland, the Romanov Dynasty had come to end as a result of the February Revolution and Russia was controlled by the Provisional Government under Aleksandr Kerensky’s hand. Not long after the Provisional Government came into power, were they overthrown during the October Revolution that left all the country’s power to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

February Revolution

The revolution that broke out on February 23rd 1917 was a culmination event of over a century’s worth of civil and military unrest towards the Tsarist Government that came to fruition over the country’s involvement in World War II. Tsar Nicholas II, nicknamed “Bloody Nicholas” for the Kodynka Tragedy, Bloody Sunday, and anti-Semitic porgroms that took place during his reign, began his downfall when he lead his country to East Prussia in 1914. The Battle of Tannenburg that followed suit, which was the Russian Army’s first engagement with Germany, lead to 120,000 casualties for Russia alone and was only the first of many losses and setbacks the army would face during their time at war. As untrained troops were sent to their certain death, morale reached an all time low on the home-front that ultimately lead to the revolution in February/March (Gregorian/Julian).
Tsar Nicholas II

The numerous amounts of city-wide demonstrations that began in early February in Petrograd, known today as St. Petersburg, broke out during the International Women’s Day Festival as women factory and industrial workers protested food shortages, poor working conditions, and the economic and social ramifications the war was creating for the Russian people. They were later joined by the men and by the following day, almost every worker from every industry was on strike in the capital city. Tsar Nicolas II ordered for police and military intervention during this demonstration buthis pleas went unanswered. The troops instead chose to side with the hungry strikers and showed that they were no longer loyal to their Tsar and, after the Fourth Duma refused to suspend its sessions on February 27th/March 12th, Tsar Nicolas’ II reign was finally over.

Faced with no other options, Tsar Nicolas II decided to abdicate his throne, leaving his power in the hands of his brother Michael who, without his desired acceptance from the Duma, chose to resign from his position. Succeeding the end of the Tsarist government, all the power of Russia was passed off to the Duma, or members of the Imperial Parliament, who then formed the Russian Provisional Government.

Kornilov Affair

Under Aleksandr Kerensky’s leadership, the Provisional Government did nothing to alleviate the economic and social distress stemming from the populace. As the German army advanced further
Aleksandr Kerensky
Aleksandr Kerensky
northwest, Russia delved deeper into it’s chaos; said best by the words of the Kadet Party leader Pavel Miliukov “Chaos in the army, chaos in foreign policy, chaos in industry, and chaos in the nationalist questions:. Pure chaos made General Lavr Korinlov’s promotion to Supreme Commander of the Russian armed forces in the summer of 1917 come as a relief to the general public. They hoped that their new leader would bring an end to the country’s losing streak overseas due his outspoken support for order, discipline, and structure. Kornilov held the Petrograd Societyresponsible for the lack of discipline in the army, which he believed was the cause of poor performance amongst the troops. This resulted in Kornilov and his associates demanding for the reintroduction of the death penalty along the front lines. Lavr Kornilov also came to the conclusion that the Provisional Government would come of no assistance to his future plans of dissolving the Soviet, therefore they were unworthy of remaining in existence. “The Savage Division”, lead by General Krymov under Kornilov’s orders, were a band of loyal troops that were mobilized to Petrograd in an attempt to murder Prime Minister Kerensky and overthrow his government. Kornilov’s plans, however, were thwarted when workers and soldiers in defense of the revolution halted the train that was carrying the troops while they were en route to the capital. By August 31st, Kornilov and several of his associates were under arrest and Krymov had committed suicide. The Bolsheviks were the main victor of this affair as the country became more open towards Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s injunction for the soviets to assume “all power” after the Provincial Government was compromised.

Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Provisional Government

First led by Prince Georgi Lvov, a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party, who was then succeeded by socialist Aleksandr Kerensky, the provisional government gave the Russian people new hope for their beloved country. However, this elation period for the Russians would be short-lived as Prime Minister Kerensky launched a new offensive plan against Germany instead of withdrawing from the war all together. This decision weakened the support he received from the people of Russia and caused the country’s inflation to reach 700%, crippling strikes to break out in June of 1917, and severe food shortages to continue on their widespread attack. As the government grew weaker, they became more susceptible to opposing forces including left wing’s Petrograd Soviet, and right wing’s Bolshevik supporters. This competition over authority came to an end after the provisional government became unable to supply their people and their army with what they needed, and was therefore overthrown during the October Revolution. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, well-known Marxist revolutionary, led the Bolsheviks to power as his fight for peace, land, and bread won over public support.

Gregorian/Julian Calendars
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar or the Christian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named. The Gregorian calendar is the more common calendar used by many countries around the world with the exception of Berber people of North Africa, and on Mount Athos and other small parts of the world, whom are on
Pope Gregory XIII
Pope Gregory XIII
the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is the new version of the Julian calendar as up to Pope Gregory’s time, and the lunar cycle integrated into one new creation. The Gregorian calendar modified the Julian calendar's regular cycle of leap years. Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100; the centurial years that are exactly divisible by 400 are still leap years. For example, the year 1900 is not a leap year; the year 2000 is a leap year. In addition to the change in the mean length of the calendar year from 365.25 days to 365.2425 days, the Gregorian calendar also dealt with the past accumulated difference between the
Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
se lengths which was 10.8 minutes. Between AD 325 (when the Roman Catholic Church thought the First Council of Nicaea had fixed the vernal equinox on 21 March), and the time of Gregory's edict in 1582, the vernal equinox had moved backward in the calendar, until it was occurring on about 11 March, 10 days earlier. The Gregorian calendar therefore began by dropping 10 calendar days, to revert to the previous date of the vernal equinox.

The Julian calendar however, is an innovation of the Roman calendar, which was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, and came into force in 45 BC. It has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months, and a leap day is added to February every four years. Hence the Julian year is on average 365.25 days long. The extra 11 minutes per year in the Julian calendar caused the Gregorian calendar to gain about three days every four centuries, with regard to the equinox times and the seasons, making them occur earlier. The Julian calendar had many flaws that were recognized by Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius, who proposed the idea of a new calendar to the Pope (at the time, Pope Gregory). The Roman Catholic Church and Protestant churches have replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar, but the Orthodox Church (with the exception of Estonia and Finland) still use the Julian calendar for calculating the dates of moveable feasts. Some Orthodox churches have adopted the Revised Julian calendar for the observance of fixed feasts-, while other Orthodox churches retain the Julian calendar for all purposes.

October Revolution

Under Kerensky, a young and popular lawyer and a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party agreed to join the new cabinet (the "bourgeois" Provisional Government), and became an increasingly central figure in the government, eventually taking leadership of the Provisional Government. As minister of war and later Prime Minister, Kerensky promoted freedom of speech, released thousands of political prisoners, did his very best to continue the war effort and even organised another offensive (which, however, was no more successful than its predecessors).

The October Revolution was led by Vladimir Lenin and was based upon Lenin's writing on the ideas of Karl Marx, a political ideology often known as Marxism-Leninism. It marked the beginning of
Bolshevik Red Army March
Bolshevik Red Army March
the spread of communism in the twentieth century. It was far less sporadic than the revolution of February and came about as the result of deliberate planning and coordinated activity to that end. On November 7th 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin led his leftist revolutionaries in a revolt against the ineffective Provisional Government (Russia was still using the Julian Calendar at the time, so period references show a October 25th date). The October revolution ended the phase of the revolution instigated in February, replacing Russia's short-lived provisional parliamentary government with government by soviets, local councils elected by bodies of workers and peasants. Liberal and monarchist forces, loosely organized into the White Army, immediately went to war against the Bolsheviks' Red Army. When it became clear that the Bolsheviks had little support outside of the industrialized areas of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, they barred non-Bolsheviks from membership in the soviets. Other socialists revolted and called for "a third Russian revolution." The most notable instances were the Tambov rebellion , 1919–1921, and the Kronstadt rebellion in March 1921. These movements, which made a wide range of demands and lacked effective coordination, were eventually defeated along with the White Army during the Civil War.

The October Revolution pertained to the confliction between governing parties or armies, the Bolshevik Red Army and the White Army. October 24th was the date decided upon, and on that day troops loyal to the Bolsheviks took up crucial positions in the city, such as the main telephone and telegraph offices, banks, railroad stations, post offices, and major bridges. Guards commissioned by the Provisional Government, who had got wind of the plot, fled or surrendered without a fight. By the 25th October every key building in St. Petersburg was under Bolshevik control, except the Winter Palace where Kerensky and the other Ministers were holed up with a small guard. The evening of that day Kerensky fled the Palace by car, never to return to Russia. On the 26th the Palace was taken with barely a shot fired, and Lenin's October Revolution had been achieved with the bare minimum of drama or bloodshed.

Important Questions

Kerensky’s provisional government was ineffective and did not benefit society as a whole in Russia. In our opinion, the Bolshevik government led by Vladimir Lenin was definitely better for the average Russian because his party supported the people of Russia and its society. The Bolshevik Party led his leftist people to form order and control in Russia, the real start and spread of communism. This party allowed the people of Russia to decide what they wanted and how they wanted it. The Bolshevik Propaganda did lead the public into believing that the October Revolution was a glorious event and we do believe that it wasa “glorious event” because it was the overrun of the useless provisional government which horribly ruled Russia. The October Revolution was in fact a propaganda grab in which the people were led to believe it was a good thing and we agree.


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