The Russian Revolution of 1917

Topics: Vladimir Lenin, October Revolution, Leon Trotsky Pages: 3 (975 words) Published: October 13, 2013
The Russian Revolution of 1917 was one of the most significant events in the 20th century. It completely changed the government and outlook on life in the very large country of Russia. The events of the revolution were a direct result of the growing conflict in World War I, but the significance of an empire collapsing and a people rising up extends beyond the war effort.  In 1914, Russia entered the war with much vigor. However, their enthusiasm was not enough to sustain them and the army suffered many casualties and loss of artillery supplies. Russia lacked mobilization skills to counter its losses, but more importantly it lacked good leadership. Tsar Nicholas II (r. 1894 – 1917) had complete control over the bureaucracy and the army. He refused to share his power and the masses began to question his leadership. In the summer of 1915, the Duma (parliament), demanded a government with democratic values and which responded to the people’s needs. Later that year, however, Nicholas dissolved the Duma and went to the war front. His leaving was detrimental. The government was taken over by Tsarina Alexandra and her unique counterpart, Rasputin. Alexandra was a very strong-willed woman, who disliked parliaments and supported absolutism. She attempted to rule absolutely in her husband’s absence by dismissing and electing officials on a whim. Her favorite official, Rasputin, which means "Degenerate", was a Siberian preacher. He belonged to a sect that mixed sexual orgies with religion and he had mysterious healing powers. As a result of rumors of the two being lovers, Rasputin was murdered in December 1916 by three aristocrats. In the cities, food shortages continued to rise and the morale of the people fell. Riots broke out on March 8, 1917 in the city of Petrograd. (The Julian calendar that Russia used at the time was 13 days behind the western, Gregorian, calendar. Therefore, some date the riot on February 24th.) It was started by women demanding more bread, but...
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