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Why were the Bolsheviks able to sieze power in October 1917?

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Introduction

WHY WERE THE BOLSHEVIKS ABLE TO SIEZE POWER IN OCTOBER 1917? The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 is arguably one of the major political changes ever to take place. The resulting change lead to the world's largest country to be lead and controlled by a dictatorial regime that used force and brutality to control the county. By 1917, Russia was in ruins and ripe for revolution. The ability to seize power in October 1917 is often underestimated and the number of reasons why it succeeded is often overlooked. The Bolshevik revolution was aided by several factors: Russia's geography; the political situation in Russia; the 1905 uprising; the First World War; the personality and abdication of Nicholas II; and the attempt of the provisional government to restore order. The Russian State in the late 19th century was massive. The country housed several different types of climate and the geography was diverse. The vast network of climate and geography formations meant that also a variety of people lived in them. The north of Russia had a mainly arctic setting with no real area for settlements. To the south of the north was the Tayga, which was a huge area of forestry that was used for hunting and lumbering. ...read more.

Middle

Industrialisation concentrated people in urban centres, where the working class was a receptive audience for radical ideas. A reactionary clergy kept religion static and persecuted religious dissenters. Non-Russian nationalities in the empire were repressed. By 1903, Russia was divided into several political groups. The autocracy was upheld by the landed nobility and the higher clergy. The capitalists desired a constitutional monarchy. The liberal bourgeoisie made up the bulk of the group that later became the Constitutional Democratic Party. Peasants and intellectuals were incorporated into the Socialist Revolutionary party and the workers, influenced by Marxism, were represented in the Bolshevik and Menshevik wings of the Social Democratic Labour party. The number of illegal political parties suggests that the political system was wrong in many people's eyes and this was used against the Tsar in February 1917 and then against the provisional government in October. The Russian Revolution of 1905 began in St. Petersburg when troops fired on a defenceless crowd of workers, who, led by a priest, were marching to the Winter Palace to petition to Tsar Nicholas II. This "bloody Sunday" was followed in succeeding months by a series of strikes, riots, assassinations, naval mutinies, and peasant outbreaks. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Russian army consisted of millions of peasants but they had bad equipment to fight with. In December 1916, workers in Petrograd starved due to lack of workers. Not only the soldiers but also the civilian population became angry. In January 1917, Russian armies were driven out of Poland and Romania. The Tsar was ignoring the Duma's advice regarding Russia's demand for a change in government so consequently more strikes broke out. The Russians blamed the Tsar and did not support him anymore, which contributed to the Tsars abdication from the throne in 1917. As the war continued fewer people were supporting it and the population started to support the Bolsheviks after their continuing effort to pull out of the war. By February 1917, most of the workers in Petrograd and Moscow were striking and rioting for higher food rations. Many of the soldiers refused to suppress the strike; military disobedience and mutiny spread. Nicholas II tried to put down the workers by force and also dissolve the Duma with little success. The Duma refused to obey, and the Petrograd rebels took over the capital. Nicholas was forced to abdicate after the Duma had appointed a provisional government composed mainly of upper and middle class men. It was headed by Prince Lvov and later Alexander Kerensky. Adam Weeks 12A History: Russia ...read more.

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