Machiavellian Principles Applied to the Bolshevik Revolution

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Every defining moment in history can be looked with various opinions. Using Machiavellian principles to examine the most prominent moment in the twentieth century, the Bolshevik Revolution, is just one way. While Machiavelli writes a limited amount on how to deal with power struggles and war within your own country, they are nonetheless still applicable. Machiavelli's ideas can be easily applied to many parts of the year 1917 in Russian history by looking at where the past leaders failed, where the new leaders made right and outside influences.

The beginning of the Russian revolution, or Bolshevik revolution, is vital to the understanding of the event as a whole. The question is, "How did Nikolai Romanov fail?" Machiavelli attributes all failures of the state to failures of the prince, and it was no different in Nikolai II's case. In Chapter 19 of The Prince, Machiavelli states that the one thing a prince must avoid is the contempt of his people. Beginning on February 23rd (March 8th), 1917 factory workers in Petrograd started rioting for freedom and basic rights and against the old police state. The workers of Russia were fed up with the oppression under Romanov and grew to conspire against him and hate him. On the 26th (March 11th) Russian soldiers open-fired on the demonstrators, and then the soldiers rebelled and refused to shoot their fellow countrymen and women. Neither the civilians or the soldiers were loyal to him. The hate of his people towards himself led to his downfall and the collapse of the Russian Empire.

The February Revolution led to a series of unstable Provisional Governments. The first of these was headed by a moderate liberal, Georgi Lvov and the second was ran by Alexander Krensky. The Provisional Government knew that the Bolsheviks were going to strike. The reports of the Bolshevik's conspiracy in where always in Krensky's mind, but there was overwhelming dissent about the revolution. The government was so unstable that...
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