• 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 Petrograd in 1917?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in Petrograd in 1917? There are a number of factors that led to the Bolsheviks being able to seize power in Petrograd. There wasn't one incident that can be attributed to causing the revolution by it's self. To understand how the revolution was able to take place we must understand the structure of Russia's society from the late 1800's until when the revolutions took place in 1917. Before the year 1917 Russia had been an autocracy, this means that one man alone had complete power over the whole of Russia. This man was known as the Tsar. His family, the Romanov's had ruled Russia since the 17th century. He had complete power over all of the people in Russia. To pass a law he did not need to consult any form of parliament, giving him the power to make any decisions he wanted. This made the Tsar a very powerful man. In the late 1800's Russia still hadn't undergone an industrial revolution and was seen as having a 'backward' society by the other powers in Europe. Russia still operated under the feudal system, which had been abolished in countries such as Britain for a few hundred years. Russia was a huge empire but having not undergone an industrial revolution, the majority of its citizens lived in poverty. A small proportion of the population were nobles and they allowed peasants to live on their land and work for them, consequently the peasants had no property of their own and lived in starvation and poverty. ...read more.

Middle

Under enormous pressure the Tsar backed down and gave concessions to the workers starting by setting up a parliament, known as the Duma, which was set up in 1905 and eventually lasted until 1917. Following more strikes by the workers the Tsar is forced to make more concessions, such as the allowance of trade unions and official political parties being set up. Another revolution in the December of 1905 came to nothing and only really succeeded in the setting up of the Duma, which was virtually powerless anyway. Despite elections being held by the Duma the country was still an autocracy, which consequently still meant the Tsar had the power to over rule any decisions made, which is exactly what he did. In the first two elections, the resulting parties proved too extreme so the Tsar dissolved the elections. So the Duma was worthless if the Tsar could just dissolve the elections if he didn't like the result. The Prime Minister at the time was called Stolypin, he suggested that the system was changed so that the people can vote. The result of which means a Conservative Party is voted in. At this time a number of extreme parties were banned by the Tsar and made illegal, this meant that Lenin was again forced to flee the country as the Bolsheviks were included in this. Stolypin then began to make a number of reforms including agricultural and land ownership reforms. ...read more.

Conclusion

In my opinion the two most important factors in allowing the Bolsheviks to seize power are the effects of the First World War and the unpopularity of the provisional government. If either of these did not happen then it is quite possible that there would never have been a revolution by the Bolsheviks. If I had to choose one then it would be the effects of the First World War because this made the working and living conditions worse which made the people force the Tsar to abdicate which gave the provisional government which made the people revolt against it. Also indirectly if there had been no war then perhaps Lenin would not have got back into Russia because the only reason that the Germans helped him get back was because they correctly thought he would create havoc in Russia and thus make Russia to surrender to Germany. But having considered all of the possible factors in allowing the Bolsheviks to power I have to conclude that the factors all pieced together in one big chain. Without one of the factors it may not have happened. However I believe that it was inevitable that a revolution would take place, it was just a matter of who would seize the chance, which is what the Bolsheviks did. They did not need to use hardly any force to take over the city, nor was there a great number of Bolshevik supporters in Russia, they were just the ones that acted most swiftly, under the expert guidance of Lenin. Sam Tiernan 11SM ...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. Stalin Man or Monster

    one of the greatest leader in Russia's history and therefore focused less on showing the public that he can be as good as Lenin was, but showing the public that Trotsky cannot. He informed Trotsky of the wrong date to Lenin's funeral and therefore Trotsky never showed which made him look bad.

  2. How did living conditions change in towns as a result of the Industrial Revolution ...

    Towns Association.This was later regarded as the General Board of Health . Smith was the first to gain in in-depth insight into medical matters and to analyse infectious diseases , such as cholera and yellow fever , to begin with .

  1. Source based questions on the Russian revolutions.

    If she was killed, and the Germans found out, it would throw the peace talks into jeopardy and the Germans would continue to attack Russia. Secondly, if the Bolsheviks said that they killed the entire family, including the maids and the children they would be considered to be "monsters" and they would have committed a serious crime.

  2. Stalin man or monster

    The aim of the source is most likely to gain more public support for Stalin. Concluding the credibility of Source E it is clear the source is biased and it could have been made by the NKVD where they usually bribed or threatened people into saying good things about him.

  1. Why there were two Revolutions in Russia in 1917.

    The provisional government was often referred to as the 'authority without power'. As 1917 progressed, the provisional government started to move to the right of the political spectrum whilst the Petrograd Soviets moved to the left. This meant that communication between the two started to break down, which resulted in a confusion of who was really in power.

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

    A Socialist priest how was head of the workers union asked the Tsar to come out and speak to the nation at his winter place "Do not believe the ministers, they are cheating thee in regard to real state of affairs.

  1. Lenin's Importance in the 1917 Revolutions.

    The fact that Lenin ?voted for the revolution? in the Bolshevik Central Committee highlights that Lenin was a dedicated revolutionary who wanted immediate change in the Russian political system. On the other hand, 13 other high profile Bolsheviks originally voted against Lenin.

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

    Commission, he controlled the Nomenkiatura list of authorized communists; therefore he could recommend people for jobs, promotions and expel members from the Party. And so he gained support from the people who wanted him to help them with their future prospects and the people who owed him favors.

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