The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia occurred on November 7, 1917, when troops headed by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin ousted Alexander Kerensky's interim government. The temporary administration took control following the February Revolution, which ended in the collapse of the Russian monarchy in March 1917. Kerensky had been named prime minister just three days before the overthrow of his government.
The new government set up a "Provisional Committee of the Army and Navy" to coordinate military affairs with revolutionary factions in Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg). On April 2, this body declared itself the only legal authority in Russia and announced the creation of a "Provisional Government." It was this body that issued the October Manifesto, announcing the formation of the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" (USSR) on December 17, 1917.
The Bolsheviks emerged as the most powerful party in the union after the October Revolution, but they were not the only one. Other socialist parties also gained support among the workers and peasants. The first issue of their newspaper, Izvestia, appeared on January 5, 1918. They called for nationalization of land and factories and an eight-hour workday. However, the other parties were not able to come together to form a single government team. This left the door open for the Bolsheviks to claim leadership of the revolution against both the Russians and the Germans.
The Russian Revolution, commonly known as the Russian Revolution of 1917, consisted of two revolutions in 1917, the first of which destroyed the imperial government in February (February, New Style) and the second of which installed the Bolsheviks in power in October (November). During the 1917 Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin was the leader of the Communist Party. In March, Lenin returned from hiding to become the supreme commander of the armed forces and then the premier minister of Russia. In April, the Congress of Soviets voted to make Lenin the country's new president. In May, Russia entered into a civil war that would last until 1922 when the Red Army under Lenin defeated the White Army led by General Anton Denikin.
Russia was a great power when the revolution began, but by 1925 it had been reduced to third-rate status. The revolution itself was not spontaneous but rather the result of long planning by Lenin and others. Among other things, the Russians had experienced food shortages during the previous years of World War I (1914-18), so they were ready to listen to someone who could offer help. Also, there was widespread anger against the imperial government for its involvement in the war and for other problems. Finally, the Russians felt humiliated by the peace treaties with Germany and Austria-Hungary. These treaties included provisions by which Russia lost land it had taken in wars against those countries. By removing the tsar from power and establishing a republic, the revolutionaries hoped to start over with a clean slate.
Lenin during the 1917 Russian Revolution. Getty Images/Photos.com/PhotoObjects.
It started with a series of protests known as the Russian Revolution of 1905. This revolution began on November 7th, 1905 when industrial workers across Russia went on strike to protest against the death penalty for people who attacked officers of the police force or robbed banks. Workers took control of factories in many cities including Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg), but the army forced them back into their pits. The leaders of the strike were Alexander Izvolsky and Anatoly Macaronov, members of the Duma (the Russian Parliament).
After this defeat, the leaders of the strike decided to go underground and set up small groups of revolutionaries who would then carry out acts of sabotage at key points in the system to show workers that there was another way beyond obedience to the authorities. In April 1906, these groups merged under the leadership of Nikolai Lenin (no relation to Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, who later became known as "Lenin") to form the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP).
In 1907, Alexander III was assassinated and his successor Nicholas II announced that he would do things differently.
After creating their own party in 1912, the Bolsheviks seized power during the Russian Republic's October Revolution in November 1917, deposing the Provisional Government of Alexander Kerensky, and went on to become the sole ruling party in the succeeding Soviet Russia and, eventually, the Soviet Union.
The Bolshevik Revolution began on November 7, 1917 when Vladimir Lenin declared from Switzerland that the time was right for a revolutionary uprising against the government of Russia. At first, the Bolsheviks were defeated by the army of the Russian Republic and by other left-wing groups who saw them as an illegal coup. However, in 1918, with support from soldiers angry at the continuation of war crimes by the Provisional Government, the Bolsheviks won control over most of Russia. They established their own government based on workers' councils and executed many members of the former government.
After Lenin's death in January 1924, Joseph Stalin became the new leader of the Bolsheviks. In 1928, he created a new constitution that abolished freedom of speech, religion, and press; all economic activity except that related to state security; and allowed for up to three consecutive terms of office. These measures made it possible for Stalin to remain in power indefinitely. More than 100,000 people were killed during Stalin's rule.
In 1955, Nikita Khrushchev rose to power within the Communist Party. He introduced some reforms but was forced out in 1964 after accusing Stalin of mass murder.
After the Tsar was deposed in the February Revolution of 1917 and a Provisional Government was founded, he returned to Russia to play a key part in the October Revolution, in which the Bolsheviks destroyed the new authority. After being captured by the White Army, he was tried and executed for treason.
Bolshevik means "majority rule." In April 1917, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) and five colleagues drafted a revolutionary manifesto that called for a democratic socialist state ruled by the working class. The following month, they formed their own political party and began organizing workers into militias to capture government buildings from which to launch a revolution.
The Bolsheviks seized power on November 7, 1917, after large-scale demonstrations throughout Russia demanding an end to World War I and the creation of a democratic society. The newly appointed president of Russia, Alexander Kerensky, was obliged to flee to Finland because he could not control the Bolsheviks. Lenin then became prime minister. He immediately started negotiations with other countries in order to obtain support against the German Empire, but these efforts were unsuccessful. Germany's ally, the Ottoman Empire, fell to British and French forces in late 1918, so Lenin turned his attention toward Europe.