The Russian Revolution happened all through 1917. It was not a sudden incident without any precedence. There were unrests and protests happening for almost a century. The Russian Revolution was very important because it threw out a system of governance and established one which was very new and unheard of till then. It was Marxism later called as communism or socialism.
Causes of the Russian Revolution
There were many causes for the Russian Revolution. The Tsars were the rulers who ruled Russia for many years. Over the years, the rulers weakened and stopped looking into the welfare of the people. Nicholas II was the final Tsar and it was this ruler who was overthrown. Nicholas II as a young boy was a witness to his grandfather being assassinated by terrorists. He also saw his father put down protests and revolts with a heavy hand and he followed the same kind of governance. He also stopped looking into the welfare of his people. He was more interested in getting his comforts and looking after his family. He believed that he was appointed by God to rule. This enraged the people and resulted in the revolution.
Another reason was the poverty. Russia was an agrarian land. But year after year the peasants were having very poor harvests and were on the verge of famine. When the rulers did not look into their concerns they were naturally angry. The army ravaged the lands of the peasants to take the lands for their families. It was situation where no one was happy. Industrialization was catching on slowly and the conditions of the workers were pathetic. The people other than aristocracy were suffering and they had enough of it.
Wars fought for many years in Russia affected its economy. Some of the wars were the following.
- The Crimean War from 1854 to 1856.
- The Russo-Turkish War from 1877 to 1878.
- The Russo-Japanese War from 1904 to 1905.
- The World War that started in 1914 and ended in 1918.
It was during the World War I that the Russian Revolution happened and the Russian troops were pulled from the war.
Vladimir Lenin was a strong supporter of Marxian socialism. He had witnessed his brother being killed when he rose against the king. So he made sure he would bring about a change and the idea of socialism appealed to him. He left for Finland on a self imposed exile but was planning for the overthrow of the Tsars. Nicholas II went away to be a part of the war and his queen began Alexandra and her assistant Rasputin ruled Russia with a total disregard for the parliament. Rasputin was killed and on March 8th 1917 riots broke out in Petrograd. It spread among all ranks of people including soldiers. Nicholas II soon gave in to this and established a council headed by Alexander Kerensky. They were opposed to the revolution and considered the war as a duty. The reforms that they tried to bring did not bring any effective change in the lives of the people. Lenin’s plan of armed uprising became successful on November 6th 1917.
Consequences of the Revolution
Lenin and his men took control of Russia. The first move was to pull out of the war. In 1918 the Royal family was killed. Land was nationalized. By 1920 Russia was stabilized and it emerged as another country. In the years to come it began to spread socialism and this was seen as an international threat. WWII happened; Russia became USSR and a super power. In 1991 there was a breakdown of the united soviet states.