Russian revolution of 1917 is one of the most important events of the modern era. Russian revolution profoundly shaped the history of 20th century.
Rex A Wade, a well-professed historian states the collapse of the Soviet Union has made it easier to put the revolution into better historical perspective. RR was described in mainly political terms and primarily as the history of political parties and individual leaders, Lenin and Bolshevik party most of all.
Russian revolution is said to be a pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917.
February October (as per the Gregorian calendar)
February revolution 1917 had done minor reforms like it dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and he was overthrown for establishment of social democratic government known as the Mensheviks but the October revolution 1917 did major reforms for the Russian people.
The Social Democrats party in Russia was the father of the organization from which Bolsheviks and Mensheviks originated. Bolshevisks mean the majority faction and Mensheviks mean the minority faction of the SDLP.
BOLSHEVIKS and MENSHEVIKS were in conflict with each other because their differences in ideologies. Bolsheviks believed in the fundamental form of govt. whereas Mensheviks were the social liberals.
The non-implementation of the October manifesto (1905) was the reason for February revolution 1917. The revolution was of peasants and workers against the Tsar because the land reforms failed by 1911. The welfare programme of the workers was not good enough to take away their grievances.
February revolution 1917 led to the formation of provisional government. General Kornilow attempted to overthrow provisional govt. at the Petrograd with military takeover.
This frightened Kerensky (the leader of the Mensheviks) and he asks for help from the Bolsheviks, the red guards (small army of Bolsheviks) defeated the Kornilow’s coup.
After the Kornilow affair, Bolsheviks became very famous. Kerensky freed many Bolsheviks leaders from prison and supplied arms to many revolutionary groups.
Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks’s party. He arrived at Petrogard from Europe. He was a man of charismatic personality. He gave speeches and wrote about Soviet ideology. He also formed Military Revolutionary Council. On May 1917 he passed the order that the Soviet Army was under the Lenin’s control. He claimed out in public that Bolsheviks was the only legitimate govt.
On October 24th Lenin met 12 other party leaders. Bolsheviks took up crucial positions in the city, such as the main telephone and telegraph offices, banks, railroads, post offices and major bridges.
SA Smith says that the failures of the provisional government led to the October Revolution where the Bolsheviks did a coup and overthrew the government.
On October 25th every key building in St. Peterburg was under Bolshevik control. Kerensky runs away from Russia and Lenin declares Bolsheviks win.
Rex A Wade says that the October Revolution in particular was seen as a political seizure of power planned and engineered by Lenin, largely discovered from its broader political, social and cultural content.
Impacts or significance of RR:
- End of despotism of tsar:
It ended autocracy of Tsar Nicholas and let do the establishment of peoples’ government. There were no more divine rights with the tsar.
- Russia became a communist country:
First time in the history of the world any country became a communist country. Idea of Marx of classless society was concretized and ideas of communism came into practice (were taking the structure of the government).
- Nationalization or Collectivization farming:
Nationalization of resources took place where everything belonged to the government and was not in the hands of any individual. There was abolition of private property. All the banks, land, industries were now owned by the government (but all the people of Russia didn’t like it and this pushed Russia towards the civil war).
- Russia became secular state:
The role of church in politics was abolished (nobody like Rasputin can come and influence the politics now).
Marx says religion is like an opium and is made by the capitalists.
- Equality established:
For the first time in the world both social and economic equality was given to the people, till that time it was nowhere, neither in America nor in France.
- Spread of communism:
After 1917, communism spreads to other parts of the world.
- It facilitated the end of WW1:
This happened due to the signing of Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by Lenin, war came to an end just after 8 months of signing this Treaty.
The planned reforms of Lenin turned out to be successful and he got major support from the people of Russia. This revolution raised Russia as a world power. The proletariat emerged in Russia, which opposed capitalism. As a result, the establishment of a classless society was encouraged in various countries of the world.