The Russian Revolution
The Russian Revolution began with the abolition of the monarchy in the year 1917 and it ended in 1923 when Bolshevik of the Soviet Union was established. It was a period of social and political revolution throughout the Russian Empire.
The revolution was triggered by the February Revolution at the time of the First World War. This initial revolution began in Petrograd, which is currently Saint Petersburg. The revolution elicited because the Russian military faced heavy losses in the War and the Russian Army was on the verge of a mutiny. Amidst this chaos, the members of the Russian Parliament (Duma) took control of the nation and formed the Russian Provisional Government. The aristocrats and capitalists of the nation were all involved in this upheaval. Emperor Nicholas II abdicated his throne, and the army leaders felt they wouldn’t be able to suppress the revolution. A group known as Soviets that mainly composed of industrial working class and soldiers initially allowed the Provisional Government to rule but then insisted that they are given higher controls in the military.
This tiff resulted in a dual power in Russia where the state power was held by the Provisional Government while the Soviets had control of the middle and lower classes. Protests, mutinies, and strikes were common during this period. Several political and socialist organizations struggled to compete with the Soviets and the Duma. The Bolsheviks were amongst the main protestors and the group was led by Vladimir Lenin. With his group, he protested that Russia stops participating in the war and that the peasants be granted land. The Provisional Government, however, continued to partake in the war with Germany and the socialists along with Bolsheviks augmented their revolution. They formed the Red Guards, which would later be known as Red Army.
The protests led to the October Revolution of 1917. The rebellions which consisted of soldiers and workers were led by the Bolshevik in Petrograd, tumbled the Provincial government, and gave away all the power to the Soviets. The capital was then moved to Moscow. The Bolsheviks now had the support of the Soviets as they were the governing party and thus, they together formed a Federal Government which would reorganize the Russian Empire into a socialist state so that Soviet democracy could be practiced both globally and nationally. Soon the Bolshevik leaders signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918 and ended their participation in the war. Along with this, ‘Checka’ was established by the leaders. Checka was a group of personnel who functioned as secret police and made sure that all ‘enemies of the people’ would be punished.
Soon there was a civil war between the Bolsheviks and other revolutionaries. The former was referred to as Reds while the latter or the other revolutionaries were known as Whites. All rival socialists and Whites were defeated by the Reds over several years. The Bolsheviks then renamed themselves as the Communist Party. They established the power of the Soviets in many independent republics like Belarus, Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. In 1922 they unified all these republics under the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Petrograd, Moscow and many other cities witnessed major changes in the functioning of the government.
The Russian Revolution