Change in Russia Following the 1917 Revolution

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The Russian Socialist Party, the Bolsheviks brought about dramatic changes in Russian society following the 1917 Revolution. They took advantage of the unique time and place and once they had gained control of Russia they were willing to go to any lengths to ensure they remained in power and their Socialist ideals were put into action.

The social organisation in Russia was an unjust system of autocracy, resulting in a majority of discontent. Russian society consisted of large amounts of peasants who owned a small amount of the land but made up the greatest proportion of the population. Socialism, and thus the Bolsheviks, was seen as a great attraction as dramatic change was what the majority wanted to see to change this unfair social structure. Under Marxism, for a socialist state to be implemented a Revolution must take place; there must be a dramatic change in leadership and direction in a short space of time. Karl Marx's ideal of an egalitarian socialist state where wealth and resources were divided equally appealed to the Russian masses. In March 1917, the Tsar was forced to abdicate and a Provisional Government and Soviet were established to govern the country. However they did not promise what the people wanted to hear – the Bolsheviks promised what they would not, raising their own popularity in Russia. There were many opposition groups based around Marx's ideas of socialism during this time, although the Bolsheviks were unique. They knew what appealed to society, and their tightly-knit units meant they were equipped for what was to come, all they had to do was wait until the time was right to stage a takeover.

As a result of the war the Russian social climate was a mess, winter was approaching and there was a shortage of food, soldiers were deserting the front, and peasants were grabbing land. The people desperately wanted it to end. Lenin returned to Russia to promote the ideas of the Bolshevik Party in what was known as the 'April Theses' which...
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