Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in 1917?

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Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in 1917?
In this essay I will analyse a combination of reasons on how the Bolsheviks came to power and discuss events such as the February and October revolutions, the fall of the Tsarist rule and the Provisional government.
In 1900 Russia was a great empire ruled by the Tsar Nicholas II. He was an autocrat, this meant there was no parliament to limit his power alongside his own secret police; the okhrana, they would censor all books and newspapers. During the period until 1916, Russia had no form of income tax. As a result the Tsar raised money to maintain his regime by taxing the produce of the peasant farmers. The burden of taxation was so great that periodic riots broke out. The okhrana couldn’t cope with the opposition of the tsar and when riots broke out, the Cossacks broke up the mobs. 85% of the population were peasants. They lived with no rights, no freedom and no land of their own until 1861, when Tsar Alexander II, abolished serfdom and allowed them to own the land on which they grew crops on. However, they had to pay redemption payments over the next forty-nine years and only when they paid all instalments would the land become their personal property. Life was hard for peasants; diseases and malnutrition were very common and so the tsarist government grew unpopular. Nicholas II’s failure to give into the demands of the people was the main reason he lost his autocracy. The peasants felt betrayed by the Tsar and wanted political change. The 1905 revolution, Bloody Sunday, was an event with grave consequences for the Tsarist regime, as the disregard for ordinary people shown by the reaction of the authorities undermined support for the state. The Tsar’s troops opened fire on demonstrators who protested to improve working conditions and fairer wages. The opposition grew to Tsarist rule but the revolution ended when the tsar promised a Duma. The Tsar’s betrayal of parliamentary democracy led to widespread

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