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The Causes of the October Revolution

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The Causes of the October Revolution There are many reasons attributed to the cause of the October revolution however there are two that were the main causes. The failure of the provisional government and the First World War were the main causes of the revolution. Combined with these were the long and short-term factors of the causes, which ultimately led to Russia, becoming a Communist state in 1917. The provisional government was set up in early 1917 after the February revolution that resulted in the fall of the Tsar. In February 1917 Russia was doing very badly in the war, she had lost nearly three million soldiers. The Tsar - Nicholas II - decided to take control of the war effort and also the glory that would come when they eventually won. However the war continued to go terribly wrong and so with gathering pressure from the Army and the millions of starving peasants at home he was forced to abdicate. With no one to succeed the throne a provisional government was set up in order to run the country. It was widely thought that with the loss and starvation of millions of people due to war the provisional government would end the fighting. However the justice minister at the time, Kerensky, had a 'magnificent' plan to end the war with Russia winning. During the June offensive of 1917 he tried to identify himself with Napoleon but unfortunately went the same way as him with a dramatic defeat. ...read more.


The instigator of the socialist revolution, Chemrov, ventured out to came the people down. He was abducted but later rescued by Trotsky. This attack on the government itself showed the resolve of the Bolsheviks and that massive support which they had generated. Since the February revolution the Bolsheviks, under the leadership of Lenin had been gaining gradual support until the July days when they had a massive organisation. Between April and October the Bolsheviks gained two hundred thousand members. Most of this support came from the working class, as the Bolsheviks were the only party seen to be supporting their interests. This was because the provisional government had carried on the war, which led to factory closure due to no male workers, as they were either dead or fighting. This combined with rising unemployment led to a crisis in Russian industry. Bolshevik support was increasing because of this and a special version of the Bolshevik newspaper, the PRAVADA, was being sent to frontline troops. Later on many people saw the Bolsheviks as a separate political party with their own policies such as the ending of the war, the prioritising of food and social reform to the workers. The workers saw a Bolshevik government as the only government that would change things in their favour. In August Bolshevik support grew dramatically when the both the Petrograd soviets and the Mensheviks all joined the Bolsheviks and blamed the vote increase on the government for 'not giving the people any concrete results'. ...read more.


The first is the revolution from feudalism to capitalism. For this their needs to be an upper/middle class revolution in order for a democracy to be formed. We saw this revolution in February 1917 with the forced resignation on the Tsar and the formation of the provisional government. For the transition from capitalism to socialism and ultimately Communism there needs to be a socialist revolution of the working and lower middle classes. We saw this in October 1917 with the abolition of the provisional government by the Bolsheviks. After a socialist revolution it is only a matter of time before Communism becomes common practice. So this series events leading to Communism almost perfectly matches Marx's theory. Lenin later changed Marx's theory on Communism by moving straight from Feudalism to Socialism with a class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Ultimately it was the upper and upper middle classes that lost the revolution with the working and lower middle classes ultimately gaining power with the help of the Bolsheviks. The stem of both the October and February revolution was the First World War. This was because all of the problems attributed to the rise of the Bolsheviks such as starvation, the ending of the war, the failure of the provisional government and the resignation on the Tsar would never have happened had there not have been a war. So the main cause of the October revolution was the First World War, with all of the other problems attributed to it. This revolution paved the way for nearly sixty years of Communism in Russia. ...read more.

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