October Revolution

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October Revolution, 1917

The major long term cause of the October Revolution 1917 was the workers and peasants dissatisfaction with the inequality and unfairness of Russia’s backward autocracy and the development of capitalism. A key short term cause was The Great War (1914-18) which Russia was lost, made people very upset, therefore they blamed the Tsar and wanted to overthrow him. Furthermore, the Marxist Lenin wanted a second revolution to occur for an opportunity to seize power with his organised party, the Bolsheviks, with the help of revolutionary workers, peasants and soldiers. Lenin was very clever in knowing what the people wanted creating his April Theses: ‘Peace Bread Land. The Provisional Government in Petrograd and the Petrograd Soviets Workers and Soldiers Council formed two centres of Power (Dual power). The most important consequence of the October Revolution was the Bolshevik Party declared a dictatorship and created the Red Terror where thousands of ordinary Russians died .The October revolution resulted in the Civil War and War Communism (1918-21). The New Economic Policy (1921) allowed communists to keep power.

The Provisional Government failed to meet the needs of the people. The peasantry demanded land but they failed to deliver on that demand. They were responsible for the military. The military lost all wars they had encountered throughout the years. Losing wars showed how unorganised the military was. Therefore, they fell apart. They failed to stop the Great War. They failed to approve the social revolution where workers control the factories as peasants seize land from nobles. The Constituent Assembly did not go as plan because they failed to hold elections. The people started not to believe in the Provisional Government due to the amount of failures whereas the Bolsheviks gained the support of the people. Therefore, the power of the Bolsheviks increases as the Provisional Government weakens and decreases its numbers of support.

A vital short term cause of the October Revolution was that Lenin knew what the people wanted in 1917: soldiers wanted peace as they had mutinied against the war against Germany and were returning home for land because land was already taken by the peasants on the countryside; peasants needed bread and workers as well as wanting land. Workers wanted control of the factories. He was absent during the February revolution because he fled from Petrograd and settled in Finland for the meantime due to the Tsar’s authority of arresting Bolshevik members. Lenin was the key to the second revolution because of his determination to gain power by using the people. The workers and peasants formed “masses”. They were very unhappy with the economic and political system of Russia therefore revolted against the system in the town centre of Petrograd to establish their aims but overall causing a revolution. Lenin deviously gathered these people together for his own particular reason, ‘seize power’ taking control and become a dictator. He was a liar and a hypocrite of luring the people by delivering them key messages “All power to the Soviets”. I believe that without Lenin and his big clever ideas he adopted from Karl Marx the Bolsheviks would have not gained so many supporters to cause the October Revolution.

Lenin turned Russian into a dictatorship system by the support of the Bolsheviks and his ‘two trusted agents’, Trotsky and Kamenev, “Trotsky was responsible for the technical side of the uprising and also for the political agitation among the masses of soldiers, sailors and workers…”. They wanted to overthrow the Provisional Government and succeeded. The Bolsheviks lured all the people to support their party and ideas which caused the Provisional government to have no supporters, “no support for the Provisional government” which took them out of power. Provisional Government had no support therefore they combined with the Petrograd Soviets and Soldiers Council to...
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