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Why was the revolution of 1917 so successful?

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Introduction

Why was the Revolution of 1917 successful? Most of the population in Russia during 20th century were peasants. These peasants lived in dreadful conditions and most worked as Serfs on nobles land. They had no rights, they were treated as slaves, and all lived in terrible poverty. They wanted change so desperately they revolted for the first time in 1905 and then again in 1917, at which Tsardom was finally overthrown. A hundred years ago, deep discontent was mounting in Europe's most conservative state. As an unpopular war with Japan led to a series of crushing military reverses, opposition was spreading across the Russian Empire to the autocratic dictatorship of the Tsar. Up to the end of the 19th century, Russia was an aristocracy. It was ruled by a Tsar, similar to a head of the monarchy in Britain back in the 1500s. He ruled as he liked. His will was the sole source of law, of taxation and justice. ...read more.

Middle

In September general strikes began and paralyzed Russian industry. Then revolutionaries such as Lenin and Trotsky returned from exile to join the growing revolutionary spirit. Yet the Tsar managed to keep control and he crushed the revolution by offering his people a Duma, free speech, the right to form political parties, and even financial help. And significantly, the police and the army stayed loyal to the Tsar. Anyone known to be against or plotting against the Tsar was put to death. The army-especially the Cossacks- were terrifying. People were so scared that they ended up supporting the Tsar; no one wanted to or dared to over-throw him. Police were ordered to arrest opponents of the Tsar's regime. So long as the army stayed on the Tsar's side, there would be no successful revolution and all the leaders of the 1905 attempted revolution were arrested and exiled. The is what was known as the 1905 'revolution' and though defeated, the uprising acted as a 'Dress Rehearsal' and was rich in lessons that fed into the strategy and tactics of the overthrow of the Tsar and lead directly to the successful seizure of power by the Soviets in 1917. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Tsar's best troops lay dead on the battlefield and so the soldiers in Russia were recent conscripts and had more in common with the strikers than their officers. The miserable conditions, coupled with 385,000 workers on strike in Petrograd, led to a combustible situation. "It was the lack of bread that provided the spark to light the dry tinder of revolution, in a city whose military garrison sided with the insurgents at the crucial moment (Kirby 245)." Fed up with the Tsarist regime, the workers, peasants, and soldiers rose up and demanded the redistribution of land. On February 28, 1917 Nicholas II abdicated his throne, tsarist forces surrendered, and the Tsar's ministers were arrested. This was to be the end of the last tsarist regime in Russia. Put in its place was the Provisional Government which consisted of a coalition of conservative, moderate, and liberal socialists. More specifically, the Provisional Government was made up of Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries. Aleksandr F. Kerensky, the minister of justice, was one of the key people of the Provisional Government. This became known as the "1917 Russian Revolution". By Cara James 10T ...read more.

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