Since revolutions are complex social and political upheavals, historians who write about them are bound to differ on the most basic questions--causes, revolutionary aims, impact on the society, political outcome, and even the time span of the revolution itself. In the case of the Russian Revolution, the starting-point presents no problem: almost everyone takes it to be the "February Revolution" of 1917, which led to the abdication of Nicholas II and the formation of the Provisional Government. But when did the Russian Revolution end? Was it all over by October 1917, when the Bolsheviks took power? Or did the end of the Revolution come with the Bolsheviks' victory in the Civil War in 1920? Was Stalin's "revolution from above" part of the Russian Revolution? Or should we take the view that the Revolution continued throughout the lifetime of the Soviet state?
Russian Revolution, one of the major events that shaped world's future, overnight destroyed the existing society and replaced it with world's most radical social experiment ever seen. Although Russian Revolution is usually acknowledged as one revolution, it in fact consists of two different revolutions. The second one is called the Bolshevik Revolution.
Causes of Russian Revolution:
• Dissatisfaction with Existing Conditions:
The conditions in Russia were not optimistic. Not only was food scarce, the people were forced to pay heavy taxes and the gap between the peasants and the nobles was widening every day. Some people were also dissatisfied with the Tsar's autocratic rule and wanted him out to be replaced with a more democratic rule. Some felt that other powers were progressing faster than they were and that the Tsar should adopt some of their thinking. Moreover, of course, there were the communists, like the two groups, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. • Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War:
Russia took on Japan in 1904, when Japan competed with them for Manchuria and Korea. The Russians were optimistic; as they were sure, their vast superiority of numbers would easily defeat the tiny Japan. But this was not to be. Japan, with their advanced technology destroyed the Russian Army, armed with their "primitive" weapons as compared to the Asians. This defeat was a great humiliation for Russia.
The people lost confidence in the Tsar and the military. Russia, all along priding itself on military excellence, suddenly defeated by Japan. • Bloody Sunday:
On Sunday, 22nd January 1905, more than 200 000 workers, led by a priest of the church by the name of Father Gapon, took part in a peaceful demonstration in St. Petersburg (later known as Petrograd, and then Leningrad). They proceeded to the Winter Palace to present a petition to the Tsar regarding better working conditions, medical benefits and more freedom. They also wanted a parliament, or a Duma, to represent their views. The unarmed demonstrators were shot at by the Tsar's troops. There were many outbursts after that. Troops mutinied, peasants rose up and strikes emerged, all demanding that the Tsar create a Duma and more freedom. In the October Manifesto, the Tsar decided to form a Duma and allow more freedom of speech. This was the Tsar's real chance to improve people's lives by implementing reforms and increasing work condition standards. He could have employed the Duma well to gain him support and yet keep the people happy at the same time. Instead, he made a big mess out of everything. There were four Dumas within the span of 1906 and 1917, and the first three were changed due to the Tsar's selfishness and hunger for power. All four Dumas were powerless and did not really represent the people at all. • Rasputin:
So who IS Rasputin?
Well, the story starts off with Alexis, Tsar Nicholas II's son. He suffered from haemophilia, where his blood was unable to clot after bleeding due to a lack of platelets in the blood. Rasputin claimed to...
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