• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in 1917?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in 1917? A diverse group of factors sparked the fire of the Russian Revolution. Each of these problems gradually over time built up and caused what would be a major event in Russia's history. In September 1915, when the Tsar took control of the Russian Army from his uncle Grand Duke Nicholas - even though the Tsar had no experience in battlefield warfare - he tried to lead Russia into victory. However, the German opposition, the best army at the time in the world, were better equipped and experienced which lead to defeat after defeat over the Russian army. These defeats were blamed on the Tsar which led to many soldiers, by 1917, supporting the Tsar's opponents the 'Bolshevik Party'. The failure of the Tsar to deal with all of the demands made by the people worsened his reputation. He appeared weak and unable to keep any promises he made, and worse still the democratic Duma he established held no effective power, and was obviously a ploy to please the people while the Tsar ignored them. The long term effects of the 1905 Revolution haunted the Tsar. The revolt had mainly been down to the terrible conditions the workers had to live and work in, as it had been a problem for Russia for the past 350 years. ...read more.

Middle

At the end of 1914, there were 6,500,000 men in the army but they only had 4,600,000 rifles. This lack of support meant that the Tsar was becoming unpopular and some of the people in Russia wanted a total end to the war, which was promised by the Bolsheviks. The rise of industrialisation in Russia affected the home front as well as the front line. The lack of raw materials such as metals and fuels made the economy of the country fall as money was unavailable. This led to the poor rail network as there was no metal to extend or develop the system which meant that supplies could not be transported to the troops or even the people in the cities. When the Tsar he came to power he wasn't greeted by a prosperous nation. Russia was about to enter industrialisation. Russia was so hard to rule that the sheer size of the country is 17 million SQ KM. It had poor trade links with other countries as it did not have much to offer. Overall it was a huge amount of space for one man to control. Apart from the two main cities Moscow and St Petersburg the rest of the country was cold waste land where poverty was widespread. Farming was the main occupation of people in Russia. There was a single rail track which ran through the whole of Russia called the Trans Siberian Railway. ...read more.

Conclusion

He noted that the Bolsheviks had a strong control of the soviet; they were at an all time popular high, in elections across Russia and in general public opinion. Lenin's ally, Trotsky made great use of his outstanding ability in leadership in order to help the Bolsheviks succeed. S.J Lee commented, 'The situation in 1917 favoured the group with the firmest revolution, the greatest discipline and the most effective powers of coercion.' He was very intelligent, good at public speaking and very persistent. Where Trotsky had holes and weaknesses in his qualities, they were filled by Lenin and as a result wee an effective pair of leaders, achieving results such as winning the October revolution in 1919. Trotsky had been allocated to, and was developing his main contribution to the Bolsheviks success, the Red Army. They were the fighting force for the Bolsheviks and without them no revolution could have ever taken place. As you can see, the above factors sparked the Russian Revolution with the Tsar being behind nearly all of them. Clearly then, the Tsar was the main cause behind all the problems leading to the collapse of the Russian Monarchy in 1917. He had entered the war but failed to realise the problems that would result from it. He thought that by forming the Duma he would gain support but in fact he lost even more support from the people of Russia. It was a series of key decisions that The Tsar made that ultimately caused the Bolsheviks to seize power. ?? ?? ?? ?? James Newell ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. Why was Lenin able to seize power in October 1917?

    This led to many people blaming Nicholas personally for their hardship and to form groups opposing him. Count Witte later went on to say that "The emperor was surrounded by Jew-haters such as Trevpov, Plehve...As for his personal attitude toward the Jews I recall that whenever I drew his attention

  2. Kerensky. Kerensky might have started in an excellent position being able to woo everyone ...

    stating Lenin who was the head of the Bolsheviks was a German spy, as a result Kerensky became more unpopular but with Lenin now fleeing to Finland their was no one to oppose him. Leading Bolshevik leaders were prosecuted and in July Kerensky became prime minister of the provisional government.

  1. Explain Trotsky's contribution to the success of the Bolsheviks up to 1922

    As feared by the Bolsheviks they didn't get the majority of seats. The Socialist Revolutionary party got the majority. This was a big blow for the Bolsheviks as it would be hard for them to pass laws. Likewise Trotsky's Red Guard was ordered to disperse the Assembly.

  2. How and why did the Bolsheviks seize power in 1917?

    80% of the population were poor peasant using ancient farming techniques. Working and living conditions were dreadful, with famine and starvation common occurrences. There was no basic education in Russia, but despite all their hardships many peasants remained loyal to the Tsar.

  1. How Successful Was Roosevelt’s New Deal?

    The Republicans flung around phrases such as 'dictatorship', 'socialism', 'Constitution in danger' and 'dangerously ambitious'. In the whispering campaign they did not forget the old lies about the President's health and the well-worn story that his mind was affected." Despite these desperate complaints about Franklin D.

  2. Tsar's Russia & revolution, Hitler's rise to power revison notes.

    to the "capitalist" war * Land - should be given to peasants * Bread - food should be given to those who need it * Nationalise banks * Revolution against the provisional government and power given to soviets - elected committee.

  1. Explain Trotsky's contribution to the success of the Bolsheviks up to 1922

    He gained their support, this was vital for the Bolsheviks, because they gained a large amount of arms to help the revolution. Trotsky played the key role in organizing the revolution, he choreographed all the Red Guards movements, such as where and what to take over (railway stations, telegraph offices, state banks and other important places).

  2. Stalin was able to obtain total power in the USSR by the end of ...

    It was how he made use of Trotsky?s character to benefit himself that revealed his cunning. He knew that Trotsky would never compromise, so he grabbed the chance of putting forward the theory of Socialism in One Country before anyone else from the Politburo could do it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work