Why were the soviet leaders called Commisars instead of Ministers?
The Tsar and the Romanov dynasty were overthrown after the victory of the…
How many votes did the Bolsheviks got after the 1917 elections for the Constituent Assembly?
We know that Lenin was the leader, but who really did all the planning of the victorious October Revolution?
What was the main cause of the February Revolution of 1917?
Between February and October 1917, The Petrograd Soviet was initially controlled by...
No support for the Provisional Government" Who said it?
History will not forgive us if we do not assume power now! Who said it?
Which decision made the Provisional Government unpopular and contributed to the rise of the Bolsheviks?
Who became President of the Petrograd Soviet on September 25, 1917?
What are the main consequences of the October Revolution of 1917?
How many factory workers were in Russia before 1917?
Attention, must be devoted principally to raising the workers to the level of revolutionaries; it is not at all our task to descend to the level of the “working masses.” Who said it?
Which Tsarist institution took the role of the Provisional Government?
What was Lenin's conspirative name during his exile in Finland?
After returning to Russia, Leon Trotsky immediately joined the Bolsheviks?
Did Lenin had initially the full support of the Central Committee for the start of the Revolution?
What was the slogan of the Bolsheviks?
What was the main point of Lenin's April Theses?
Which Historical event is considered a source of inspiration for the Bolsheviks?
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Take this Russian Revolution Quiz and find out your knowledge level about one of the most important historical events of the 20th century.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a major turning point for Russia and the World.
It marked both the end of the 300-year-old Romanov dynasty and the beginning of a new era, more exactly a new political and social experiment, with major consequences for both Russia and the entire World: communism.
Before briefly presenting the chain of events of 1917, let’s attempt to answer two simple but very important questions: What were the causes of the Russian Revolution? Was the Revolution inevitable?
The main causes which led to the events of 1917 can be split into long-term and short-term causes.
The long-term causes were: the autocratic nature of the tsarist regime; social and political inequalities in Imperial Russia; lack of major political and economic reforms.
The short-term causes were: the entry of Russia into WWI; food shortages caused by the war economy; military disasters on the front which undermined the Tsarist regime.
Was the Revolution inevitable? The answer is probably. If after the Russian Revolution of 1905, Tsar Nicholas II accepted the fact that major economic and social reforms had to be introduced, most likely the majority of the Russian people would’ve never risen up in 1917 and attempted to overthrow the regime.
The second major mistake of Tsar Nicholas II was that on top of all the problems Russia had, he decided to enter WWI on the Allied side. The poor performance of the Russian armies between 1914-1917 would become the final nail in the coffin of Imperial Russia.
Military disasters in WWI, lack of major reforms, food shortages in major towns, and new radical groups(like the Bolsheviks) demanding major changes. All these factors combined contributed to the start of the Russian Revolution.
What we all know today as the Russian Revolution in 1917 actually refers to 2 separate revolutions that occurred in the same year, but they are connected.
The February revolution, which represents the spontaneous uprising of the people in Petrograd, ended with the Tsar’s abdication.
The victory of the February Revolution left many questions about the future leadership of Russia.
In the aftermath of the abdication of the Tsar, 2 major political forces started to compete for total political domination: The Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet.
Entering the scene are the Bolsheviks with their leaders: Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin; who long waited for this opportunity to seize power.
By using the Soviets as the pretext, Lenin and his followers orchestrated the October Revolution, which ended with the overthrow of the Provisional Government.
What we all know today as the October Revolution can be better defined as a very good orchestrated coup d’etat.
The victory of the October Revolution can be explained by the support of a significant part of the people, the inaction of the Provisional Government, and the inability of the Mensheviks and Right Social Revolutionaries to offer a real alternative to Bolshevism.
However, we choose to define the events from October(November 7 in the new calendar) the outcome cannot be contested.
From this moment, the Bolsheviks are in control of power. With the power now in their hands, Lenin and the Bolsheviks enacted their first major decrees that will radically transform Russia: “The Decree on Land” and the “Decree on Peace“. Other decrees and laws followed as well:
-nationalizations of all banks
-confiscation of the properties of the Orthodox Church
-8 hour working days were introduced
-nationalization of all private properties
-nationalization of all major industries
Under the guidance of Lenin, Trotsky, and later Stalin, Russia and later the USSR became the first socialist state in the world, with the ultimate ideological goal of achieving communism.
Off course, the path to total power for the communist was not without obstacles and violence.
The former Tsarist supporters and right-wing political parties tried to form a united front and fought hard against the communists in what we all know today as the Russian Civil War.
Under the energetic leadership of Leon Trotsky, the Red Army, which benefited from massive conscriptions, finally prevailed in 1922.
The victory in the Civil War marked the beginning of the consolidation of communism in the USSR which officially became the birthplace of the World Revolution.
Unfortunately for Lenin, the Great Leader and ideologist, he will not live enough to see all his dreams completed.
In the aftermath, Stalin, with the help of the Party members and through manipulation, ousted Trotsky, his biggest rival, and secured total domination.
For many members of the Communist Party, Trotsky seemed to be the obvious successor after Lenin.
Trotsky’s downfall can be best explained by underlining 2 causes: Stalin’s political abilities and Trotsky’s underestimating of his adversaries within the Party.
The consequences of Trotsky’s removal cannot be denied, Stalin now remains in charge not only with the Party and the State but also with the ideological path of communism worldwide.
It is one of the many popular what-if scenarios today: What would’ve happened if Trotsky won against Stalin? Could the historical timeline have been different?
The short answer would be yes, but not necessary for the better of the Soviet people and the world.
Coming back to the actual timeline of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union, with the total power finally secured, Stalin started an ambitious program to transform the USSR from a rural country into a major superpower. We all know today that Stalin’s ambition, though successful, proved to be very costly in terms of human lives.
You may wonder, why is the Russian Revolution important to the World? The Russian Revolution didn’t limit Russia, through the 20th Century many more countries will join the Communist cause.
The victory of the October Revolution became a source of inspiration for many other revolutionary movements who like the Bolsheviks, attempted to crush the imperialist tyranny and the capitalist system.
The socialist/communist system for at least half a century became an alternative to the capitalist world, popular for some, and hated by others.
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