Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party known as the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party or the Russian Social Democratic Party, was a revolutionary socialist political party founded in Minsk, Belarus. Formed to unite the various revolutionary organizations of the Russian Empire into one party in 1898, the RSDLP split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks factions, with the Bolshevik faction becoming the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; the Interdistrictites, known as the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, were formed from this party. The RSDLP was not the first Russian Marxist group as the Emancipation of Labour group was formed in 1883; the RSDLP was created to oppose the Narodniks revolutionary populism, represented by the Socialist Revolutionary Party. The RSDLP program was based on the theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, namely that despite Russia's agrarian nature, the true revolutionary potential lay with the industrial working class; the RSDLP was illegal for most of its existence as at the end of the 1st Party Congress in March 1898 all nine delegates were arrested by the Imperial Russian Police.
At this time, there were just 3 % of the population. Before the 2nd Party Congress, a young intellectual named Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov joined the party, better known by his pseudonym—Vladimir Lenin. In 1902, he had published What Is To Be Done?, outlining his view of the party's task and methodology—to form "the vanguard of the proletariat". He advocated a disciplined, centralized party of committed activists who sought to fuse the underground struggle for political freedom with the class struggle of the proletariat. In 1903, the 2nd Party Congress met in exile in Brussels to attempt to create a united force. However, after unprecedented attention from the Belgian authorities the Congress moved to London, meeting on 11 August in a chapel in Tottenham Court Road. At the Congress, the party split into two irreconcilable factions on 17 November: the Bolsheviks, headed by Lenin. Confusingly, the Mensheviks were the larger faction, but the names Menshevik and Bolshevik were taken from a vote held at the 1903 Party Congress for the editorial board of the party newspaper, with the Bolsheviks being the majority and the Mensheviks being the minority.
These were the names used by the factions for the rest of the party Congress and these are the names retained after the split at the 1903 Congress. Lenin's faction ended up in the minority and remained smaller than the Mensheviks until the Russian Revolution. A central issue at the Congress was the question of the definition of party membership. Martov proposed the following formulation: "A member of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party is one who accepts the Party's programme, supports the Party financially, renders it regular personal assistance under the direction of one of its organizations". On the other hand, Lenin proposed a more strict definition: "A member of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party is one who accepts its programme and who supports the Party both financially and by personal participation in one of the Party organizations". Martov won the Bolsheviks accepted it as part of the adopted organizational rules. Despite a number of attempts at reunification, the split proved permanent.
As time passed, more ideological differences emerged. According to many historians, the Bolsheviks pushed for an immediate "proletarian" revolution while the Mensheviks believed that Russia was still at too early a stage in history for an immediate working class revolution; the two warring factions both agreed that the coming revolution would be "bourgeois democratic" in its character, but while the Mensheviks viewed the liberals as the main ally, the Bolsheviks opted for an alliance with the peasantry as the only way to carry out a popular revolution while defending the interests of the working class. The difference was that the Bolsheviks considered that in Russia the tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution would have to be carried out without the participation of the bourgeoisie; the 3rd Party Congress was held separately by the Bolsheviks. The 4th Party Congress was held in Stockholm and saw a formal reunification of the two factions, but the discrepancies between Bolshevik and Menshevik views became clear during the proceedings.
The 5th Party Congress was held in London, England, in 1907. It consolidated the supremacy of the Bolshevik faction and debated strategy for communist revolution in Russia. Joseph Stalin never referred to his stay in London; the Social Democrats boycotted elections to the First Duma, but they were represented in the Second Duma. With the SRs, they held 83 seats; the Second Duma was dissolved on the pretext of the discovery of an SD conspiracy to subvert the army. Under new electoral laws, the SD presence in the Third Duma was reduced to 19. From the Fourth Duma, the SDs were and split; the Mensheviks had five members in the Duma and the Bolsheviks had seven, including Roman Malinovsky, uncovered as an Okhrana agent. In the years of Tsarist repression that followed the defeat of the 1905 Russian Revolution, both the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions faced splits, causing further splits in the RSDLP, which manifested themselves from late 1908 and the years immed
Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was a Russian lawyer and revolutionist, a key political figure in the Russian Revolution of 1917. After the February Revolution of 1917, he joined the newly formed Russian Provisional Government, first as Minister of Justice as Minister of War, after July as the government's second Minister-Chairman. A leader of the moderate-socialist Trudovik faction of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, he was vice-chairman of the powerful Petrograd Soviet. On 7 November, his government was overthrown by the Lenin-led Bolsheviks in the October Revolution, he spent the remainder of his life in exile, in Paris and New York City, worked for the Hoover Institution. Alexander Kerensky was born in Simbirsk on the Volga River on 4 May 1881 and was the eldest son in the family, his father, Fyodor Mikhailovich Kerensky, was a teacher and director of the local gymnasium and was promoted to Inspector of public schools. His maternal grandfather was head of the Topographical Bureau of the Kazan Military District.
His mother, Nadezhda Aleksandrovna, was the daughter of a former serf who had had to purchase his freedom before serfdom was abolished in 1861. He subsequently embarked upon a mercantile career, in which he prospered, allowing him to move his business to Moscow, where he continued his success, becoming a wealthy Moscow merchant. Kerensky's father was the teacher of Vladimir Ulyanov, members of the Kerensky and Ulyanov families were friends. In 1889, when Kerensky was eight, the family moved to Tashkent, where his father had been appointed the main inspector of public schools. Alexander graduated with honours in 1899; the same year he entered St. Petersburg University, where he studied philology; the next year he switched to law. He earned his law degree in 1904 and married Olga Lvovna Baranovskaya, the daughter of a Russian general, the same year. Kerensky joined the Narodnik movement and worked as a legal counsel to victims of the Revolution of 1905. At the end of 1904, he was jailed on suspicion of belonging to a militant group.
Afterwards he gained a reputation for his work as a defence lawyer in a number of political trials of revolutionaries. In 1912, Kerensky became known when he visited the goldfields at the Lena River and published material about the Lena Minefields incident. In the same year, Kerensky was elected to the Fourth Duma as a member of the Trudoviks, a moderate, non-Marxist labour party founded by Alexis Aladin, associated with the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, joined a Freemason society uniting the anti-monarchy forces that strived for the democratic renewal of Russia. In fact, the Socialist Revolutionary Party bought Kerensky a house, as he otherwise wouldn't be elective for the Duma, according to the Russian property-laws, he soon became a significant Duma member of the Progressive Block, which included several Socialist Parties and Liberals - but not the Bolsheviks. He was a brilliant orator and skilled parliamentary leader of the socialist opposition to the government of Tsar Nicholas II. On May 28, 1914, Kerensky appealed to Rodzianko with a request from the Council of elders to inform the Tsar that to succeed in war he must: 1) change his domestic policy, 2) proclaim a General Amnesty for political prisoners, 3) restore the Constitution of Finland, 4) declare the autonomy of Poland, 5) provide national minorities autonomy in the field of culture, 6) abolish restrictions against Jews, 7) end religious intolerance, 8) stop the harassment of legal trade union organizations.
Kerensky was an active member of the irregular Freemasonic lodge, the Grand Orient of Russia's Peoples, which derived from the Grand Orient of France. Kerensky was Secretary General of the Grand Orient of Russia's Peoples and stood down following his ascent to government in July 1917, he was succeeded by Alexander Halpern. In response to bitter resentments held against the imperial favourite Grigori Rasputin in the midst of Russia's failing effort in World War I, Kerensky, at the opening of the Duma on 2 November 1916, called the imperial ministers "hired assassins" and "cowards", alleged that they were "guided by the contemptible Grishka Rasputin!" Grand Duke Nikolai Mikhailovich, Prince Lvov, general Mikhail Alekseyev attempted to persuade the emperor Nicholas II to send away the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Rasputin's steadfast patron, either to the Livadia Palace in Yalta or to England. Mikhail Rodzianko, Zinaida Yusupova, Alexandra's sister Elisabeth, Grand Duchess Victoria and the empress's mother-in-law Maria Feodorovna tried to influence and pressure the imperial couple to remove Rasputin from his position of influence within the imperial household, but without success.
According to Kerensky, Rasputin had terrorised the empress by threatening to return to his native village. Monarchists murdered Rasputin in December 1916, burying him near the imperial residence in Tsarskoye Selo. Shortly after the February Revolution of 1917, Kerensky ordered soldiers to re-bury the corpse at an unmarked spot in the countryside. However, the truck broke down or was forced to stop because of the snow on Lesnoe Road outside of St. Petersburg, it is the corpse was incinerated in the cauldrons of the nearby boiler shop of the Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University, including the coffin, without leaving a single trace. When the February Revolution broke out in 1917, Kerensky - together with Pavel Milyukov - was one of its most
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire after the two Russian Revolutions of 1917, as many factions vied to determine Russia's political future. The two largest combatant groups were the Red Army, fighting for the Bolshevik form of socialism led by Vladimir Lenin, the loosely allied forces known as the White Army, which included diverse interests favouring political monarchism, economic capitalism and alternative forms of socialism, each with democratic and anti-democratic variants. In addition, rival militant socialists and non-ideological Green armies fought against both the Bolsheviks and the Whites. Eight foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the former Allied military forces from the World War and the pro-German armies; the Red Army defeated the White Armed Forces of South Russia in Ukraine and the army led by Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak to the east in Siberia in 1919. The remains of the White forces commanded by Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel were beaten in Crimea and evacuated in late 1920.
Lesser battles of the war continued on the periphery for two more years, minor skirmishes with the remnants of the White forces in the Far East continued well into 1923. The war ended in 1923 in the sense that Bolshevik communist control of the newly formed Soviet Union was now assured, although armed national resistance in Central Asia was not crushed until 1934. There were an estimated 7,000,000–12,000,000 casualties during the war civilians; the Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen. Many pro-independence movements emerged after the break-up of the Russian Empire and fought in the war. Several parts of the former Russian Empire—Finland, Latvia and Poland—were established as sovereign states, with their own civil wars and wars of independence; the rest of the former Russian Empire was consolidated into the Soviet Union shortly afterwards. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the Russian Provisional Government was established during the February Revolution of 1917.
Provisional Government was unable to solve the most pressing issues of the country, most to end the war with Central Powers, was overthrown by the Bolshevik wing of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in the late 1917. From mid-1917 onwards, the Russian Army, the successor-organisation of the old Russian Imperial Army, started to disintegrate. In January 1918, after significant Bolshevik reverses in combat, the future People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs, Leon Trotsky headed the reorganization of the Red Guards into a Workers' and Peasants' Red Army in order to create a more effective fighting force; the Bolsheviks appointed political commissars to each unit of the Red Army to maintain morale and to ensure loyalty. In June 1918, when it had become apparent that a revolutionary army composed of workers would not suffice, Trotsky instituted mandatory conscription of the rural peasantry into the Red Army; the Bolsheviks overcame opposition of rural Russians to Red-Army conscription units by taking hostages and shooting them when necessary in order to force compliance the same practices used by the White Army officers.
The Red Army utilized former Tsarist officers as "military specialists". At the start of the civil war, former Tsarist officers comprised three-quarters of the Red Army officer-corps. By its end, 83% of all Red Army divisional and corps commanders were ex-Tsarist soldiers. While resistance to the Red Guard began on the day after the Bolshevik uprising, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the instinct of one party rule became a catalyst for the formation of anti-Bolshevik groups both inside and outside Russia, pushing them into action against the new regime. A loose confederation of anti-Bolshevik forces aligned against the Communist government, including landowners, conservatives, middle-class citizens, pro-monarchists, army generals, non-Bolshevik socialists who still had grievances and democratic reformists voluntarily united only in their opposition to Bolshevik rule, their military forces, bolstered by forced conscriptions and terror as well as foreign influence, under the leadership of General Nikolai Yudenich, Admiral Alexander Kolchak and General Anton Denikin, became known as the White movement and controlled significant parts of the former Russian Empire for most of the war.
A Ukrainian nationalist movement was active in Ukraine during the war. More significant was the emergence of an anarchist political and military movement known as the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine or the Anarchist Black Army led by Nestor Makhno; the Black Army, which counted numerous Jews and Ukrainian peasants in its ranks, played a key part in halting Denikin's White Army offensive towards Moscow during 1919 ejecting White forces from Crimea. The remoteness of the Volga Region, the Ural Region and the Far East was favorable for the anti-Bolshevik forces, the Whites set up a number of organizations in the cities of these regions; some of the military forces were set up on the basis of clandestine officers' organizations in the cities. The Czechoslovak Legions had been part of the Russian army and numbered around 30,000 troops by October 1917, they had an agreement with the new Bolshevik governmen
Union of October 17
The Union of October 17 known as the Octobrist Party, was a liberal-reformist constitutional monarchist political party in late Imperial Russia. It represented moderately antirevolutionary and constitutionalist views; the party's programme of moderate constitutionalism called for the fulfilment of Tsar Nicholas II's October Manifesto granted at the peak of the Russian Revolution of 1905. Founded in late October 1905, from 1906 the party was led by the industrialist Alexander Guchkov who drew support from centrist-liberal gentry and some bureaucrats. Unlike their immediate neighbors to the Left, Constitutional Democrats, the Octobrists were committed to a system of constitutional monarchy. At the same time they emphasised the need for a strong parliament and a government that would be responsible to it, they were allied with the governments of Sergei Witte in 1905-1906 and Pyotr Stolypin in 1906-1911, but they criticised the government for taking extralegal measures and a slow pace of reforms after the revolution ended in 1907 and they no longer saw the need for the extraordinary measures that they reluctantly supported in 1905-1907.
The Octobrists' programme included private farming and further land reform, which were in tune with Stolypin's programme. They supported the government in its unwillingness to grant political autonomy to ethnic minorities within the empire, although they opposed legal restrictions based on ethnicity and religion; the Octobrists and groups allied with them did poorly in the 1906 elections of the First and Second State Dumas. However, after the dissolution of the Second State Duma on June 3, 1907, the election law was changed in favour of propertied classes and the party formed the largest faction in the Third State Duma; the apparent failure of the party to take advantage of this majority and inability to influence the politics of the government led to a split within the party in 1913 and poor showing in the 1912 Duma election, resulting in a smaller faction in the Fourth State Duma. In December 1913, after a November conference in St. Petersburg, the Octobrist party split into three factions new parties: the left Octobrists, the zemstvo Octobrists, the right Octobrists.
With the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, moderate political parties became moribund in Russia. The Octobrists all but ceased to exist outside the capital, St. Petersburg, by 1915. Several of its prominent members Guchkov and Mikhail Rodzianko, continued to play a significant role in Russian politics until 1917, when they were instrumental in convincing Nicholas II to abdicate during the February Revolution and in forming the Russian Provisional Government. With the fall of the Romanovs in March, the party became one of the ruling parties in the first Provisional Government; some members of the party participated in the White Movement after the October Revolution and during the Russian Civil War, becoming active in White émigré circles after the Bolshevik victory in 1920. By that time, the October Revolution had given the term "Octobrist" a different meaning and connotation in Russian politics. In the Livonian guberniya, a similar party of Baltic German nobility and bourgeoisie named Baltic Constitutional Party was active.
Liberalism in Russia Russian Revolution of 1905 Duma Mikhail Rodzianko V. I. Lenin: A Disorderly Revolution
Russian Provisional Government
The Russian Provisional Government was a provisional government of Russia established following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of the Russian Empire on 2 March 1917. The intention of the provisional government was the organization of elections to the Russian Constituent Assembly and its convention; the provisional government lasted eight months, ceased to exist when the Bolsheviks gained power after the October Revolution in October 1917. According to Harold Whitmore Williams the history of eight months during which Russia was ruled by the Provisional Government was the history of the steady and systematic disorganisation of the army. For most of the life of the Provisional Government, the status of the monarchy was unresolved; this was clarified on 1 September, when the Russian Republic was proclaimed, in a decree signed by Kerensky as Minister-President and Zarudny as Minister of Justice. The Provisional Government was formed in Petrograd in 1917 by the Provisional Committee of the State Duma.
The State Duma was the more representative chamber out of the two in the Russian parliament established after the Revolution of 1905, was led first in the new post-Czarist era by Prince Georgy Lvov and by Alexander Kerensky. It replaced the Imperial institution of the Council of Ministers of Russia, members of which after the February Revolution presided in the Chief Office of Admiralty. At the same time, the last ruling Russian Emperor Nicholas II abdicated in February 1917 in favor of his youngest brother, the Grand Duke Michael who agreed that he would accept after the decision of Russian Constituent Assembly; the Provisional Government was unable to make decisive policy decisions due to political factionalism and a breakdown of state structures. This weakness left the government open to strong challenges from the left; the Provisional Government's chief adversary on the left was the Petrograd Soviet, a Communist committee taking over and ruling Russia's most important port city, which tentatively cooperated with the government at first, but gradually gained control of the Imperial Army, local factories, the Russian Railway.
The period of competition for authority ended in late October 1917, when Bolsheviks routed the ministers of the Provisional Government in the events known as the "October Revolution", placed power in the hands of the soviets, or "workers' councils," which had given their support to the Bolsheviks led by Vladmir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. The weakness of the Provisional Government is best reflected in the derisive nickname given to Kerensky: "persuader-in-chief." The authority of the Tsar's government began disintegrating on 1 November 1916, when Milyukov attacked the Boris Stürmer government in the Duma. Stürmer was succeeded by Alexander Trepov and Nikolai Golitsyn, both Prime Ministers for only a few weeks. During the February Revolution two rival institutions, the imperial State Duma and the Petrograd Soviet, both located in the Tauride Palace, competed for power. Tsar Nicholas II abdicated on 2 March, Milyukov announced the committee's decision to offer the Regency to his brother, Grand Duke Michael, as the next tsar.
Grand Duke Michael did not want to take the poisoned chalice and deferred acceptance of imperial power the next day. The Provisional Government was designed to set up elections to the Assembly while maintaining essential government services, but its power was limited by the Petrograd Soviet's growing authority. Public announcement of the formation of the Provisional Government was made, it was published in Izvestia the day after its formation. The announcement stated the declaration of government Full and immediate amnesty on all issues political and religious, including: terrorist acts, military uprisings, agrarian crimes etc. Freedom of word, unions and strikes with spread of political freedoms to military servicemen within the restrictions allowed by military-technical conditions. Abolition of all hereditary and national class restrictions. Immediate preparations for the convocation on basis of universal, equal and direct vote for the Constituent Assembly which will determine the form of government and the constitution.
Replacement of the police with a public militsiya and its elected chairmanship subordinated to the local authorities. Elections to the authorities of local self-government on basis of universal, direct and secret vote. Non-disarmament and non-withdrawal out of Petrograd the military units participating in the revolution movement. Under preservation of strict discipline in ranks and performing a military service - elimination of all restrictions for soldiers in the use of public rights granted to all other citizens, it said, "The provisional government feels obliged to add that it is not intended to take advantage of military circumstances for any delay in implementing the above reforms and measures." Initial composition of the Provisional Government: On 18 April 1917 minister of Foreign Affairs Pavel Milyukov sent a note to the Allied governments, promising to continue the war to'its glorious conclusion'. On 20–21 April 1917 massive demonstrations of workers and soldiers erupted against the continuation of war.
Demonstrations demanded resignation of Milyukov. They were soon met by the counter-demonstrations organised in his support. General Lavr Kornilov, commander of the Petrograd military district, wished to suppress the disorders, but premier Georgy Lvov refused to resort to violence; the Provisional Government accepte
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the alias Lenin, was a Russian communist revolutionary and political theorist. He served as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1922 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration and the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a communist, he developed a variant of Marxism known as Leninism. Born to a moderately prosperous middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother's 1887 execution. Expelled from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire's Tsarist government, he devoted the following years to a law degree, he became a senior Marxist activist. In 1897, he was arrested for sedition and exiled to Shushenskoye for three years, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his exile, he moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent theorist in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.
In 1903, he took a key role in a RSDLP ideological split, leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov's Mensheviks. Encouraging insurrection during Russia's failed Revolution of 1905, he campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe-wide proletarian revolution, which as a Marxist he believed would cause the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism. After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar and established a Provisional Government, he returned to Russia to play a leading role in the October Revolution, in which the Bolsheviks overthrew the new regime. Lenin's Bolshevik government shared power with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, elected soviets, a multi-party Constituent Assembly, although by 1918 it had centralised power in the new Communist Party. Lenin's administration redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalised banks and large-scale industry, it withdrew from the First World War by signing a treaty with the Central Powers and promoted world revolution through the Communist International.
Opponents were suppressed in the Red Terror, a violent campaign administered by the state security services. His administration defeated right and left-wing anti-Bolshevik armies in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922 and oversaw the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921. Responding to wartime devastation and popular uprisings, in 1921 Lenin encouraged economic growth through the market-oriented New Economic Policy. Several non-Russian nations secured independence after 1917, but three re-united with Russia through the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922. In poor health, Lenin died at his dacha in Gorki, with Joseph Stalin succeeding him as the pre-eminent figure in the Soviet government. Considered one of the most significant and influential figures of the 20th century, Lenin was the posthumous subject of a pervasive personality cult within the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991, he became an ideological figurehead behind Marxism–Leninism and thus a prominent influence over the international communist movement.
A controversial and divisive individual, Lenin is viewed by supporters as a champion of socialism and the working class, while critics on both the left and right emphasize his role as founder and leader of an authoritarian regime responsible for political repression and mass killings. Lenin's father, Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov, was from a family of serfs. Despite this lower-class background he had risen to middle-class status, studying physics and mathematics at Kazan Imperial University before teaching at the Penza Institute for the Nobility. Ilya married Maria Alexandrovna Blank in mid-1863. Well educated and from a prosperous background, she was the daughter of a wealthy German–Swedish Lutheran mother, a Russian Jewish father who had converted to Christianity and worked as a physician, it is that Lenin was unaware of his mother's half-Jewish ancestry, only discovered by his sister Anna after his death. Soon after their wedding, Ilya obtained a job in Nizhny Novgorod, rising to become Director of Primary Schools in the Simbirsk district six years later.
Five years after that, he was promoted to Director of Public Schools for the province, overseeing the foundation of over 450 schools as a part of the government's plans for modernisation. His dedication to education earned him the Order of St. Vladimir, which bestowed on him the status of hereditary nobleman. Lenin was baptised six days later, he was one of eight children, having two older siblings and Alexander. They were followed by three more children, Olga and Maria. Two siblings died in infancy. Ilya was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church and baptised his children into it, although Maria—a Lutheran by upbringing—was indifferent to Christianity, a view that influenced her children. Both parents were monarchists and liberal conservatives, being committed to the emancipation reform of 1861 introduced by the reformist Tsar Alexander II; every summer they holidayed at a rural manor in Kokushkino. Among his siblings, Lenin was closest to his sister Olga, whom he bossed around.
The October Revolution known in Soviet historiography as the Great October Socialist Revolution and referred to as the October Uprising, the October Coup, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Bolshevik Coup or the Red October, was a revolution in Russia led by the Bolshevik Party of Vladimir Lenin, instrumental in the larger Russian Revolution of 1917. It took place with an armed insurrection in Petrograd on 7 November 1917, it followed and capitalized on the February Revolution of the same year, which overthrew the Tsarist autocracy and resulted in a provisional government after a transfer of power proclaimed by Grand Duke Michael, the younger brother of Tsar Nicholas II, who declined to take power after the Tsar stepped down. During this time, urban workers began to organize into councils wherein revolutionaries criticized the provisional government and its actions. After the Congress of Soviets, now the governing body, had its second session, it elected members of the Bolsheviks and other leftist groups such as the Left Socialist Revolutionaries to important positions within the new state of affairs.
This initiated the establishment of the Russian Soviet Republic. On 17 July 1918, his family were executed; the revolution was led by the Bolsheviks, who used their influence in the Petrograd Soviet to organize the armed forces. Bolshevik Red Guards forces under the Military Revolutionary Committee began the occupation of government buildings on 7 November 1917; the following day, the Winter Palace was captured. The long-awaited Constituent Assembly elections were held on 12 November 1917. In contrast to their majority in the Soviets, the Bolsheviks only won 175 seats in the 715-seat legislative body, coming in second behind the Socialist Revolutionary Party, which won 370 seats, although the SR Party no longer existed as a whole party by that time, as the Left SRs had gone into coalition with the Bolsheviks from October 1917 to March 1918; the Constituent Assembly was to first meet on 28 November 1917, but its convocation was delayed until 5 January 1918 by the Bolsheviks. On its first and only day in session, the Constituent Assembly came into conflict with the Soviets, it rejected Soviet decrees on peace and land, resulting in the Constituent Assembly being dissolved the next day by order of the Congress of Soviets.
As the revolution was not universally recognized, there followed the struggles of the Russian Civil War and the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922. At first, the event was referred to as the October coup or the Uprising of 3rd, as seen in contemporary documents. In Russian, however, "переворот" has a similar meaning to "revolution" and means "upheaval" or "overturn", so "coup" is not the correct translation. With time, the term October Revolution came into use, it is known as the "November Revolution" having occurred in November according to the Gregorian Calendar. The February Revolution had toppled Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, replaced his government with the Russian Provisional Government. However, the provisional government was riven by internal dissension, it continued to wage World War I, which became unpopular. A nationwide crisis developed in Russia, affecting social and political relations. Disorder in industry and transport had intensified, difficulties in obtaining provisions had increased.
Gross industrial production in 1917 had decreased by over 36% from what it had been in 1914. In the autumn, as much as 50% of all enterprises were closed down in the Urals, the Donbas, other industrial centers, leading to mass unemployment. At the same time, the cost of living increased sharply. Real wages fell about 50% from what they had been in 1913. Russia's national debt in October 1917 had risen to 50 billion rubles. Of this, debts to foreign governments constituted more than 11 billion rubles; the country faced the threat of financial bankruptcy. Throughout June and August 1917, it was common to hear working-class Russians speak about their lack of confidence and misgivings with those in power in the Provisional Government. Factory workers around Russia felt unhappy with the growing shortages of food and other materials, they blamed their own managers or foremen and would attack them in the factories. The workers blamed many rich and influential individuals, such as elites in positions of power, for the overall shortage of food and poor living conditions.
Workers labelled these rich and powerful individuals as opponents of the Revolution, called them words such as "bourgeois and imperialist."In September and October 1917, there were mass strike actions by the Moscow and Petrograd workers, miners in Donbas, metalworkers in the Urals, oil workers in Baku, textile workers in the Central Industrial Region, railroad workers on 44 railway lines. In these months alone, more than a million workers took part in strikes. Workers established control over production and distribution in many factories and plants in a social revolution. Workers were able to organize these strikes through factory committees; the factory committees represented the workers and were able to negotiate better working conditions and hours. Though workplace conditions may have been increasing in quality, the overall quality of life for workers was not improving. There were still shortages of food and the increased wages workers had obtained did little to provide for their families.
By October 1917, peasant uprisings were common. By autumn the peasant movement ag