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Timeline of Events Leading Up to the Russian Revolutions of 1917.

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Introduction

European History Period 5 3/23/04 Timeline of Events Leading Up to the Russian Revolutions of 1917 1891 - The Great Famine hits Russia. The summer rains did not come that year, leaving people without a drop of water for over 100 days at one point. The fertile green area between the Ural Mountains and the Black Sea, where the majority of the country's food was farmed, dried up entirely. Lakes disappeared and entire forests turned brown and withered up. Many peasants left their homes in a futile search for areas that still had food. The people began to weaken, leaving them vulnerable to huge epidemics of cholera and typhus. Half a million people had died by the end of 1892. Many people were shocked by the response of the government to this crisis. For many weeks, the government continued to export grain even while people within the country were dying. Many of those nobles who believed that they had full responsibility for the lives of their peasants were horrified by this circumstance. They rallied around the peasants, calling for help from doctors and raising money to import more food. This effort was partially led by Tolstoy himself, who was greatly upset by the numbers of people dying. The liberal nobles became more and more involved in the efforts to save the country so that when they began to make the move into involvement in politics, it was almost unconscious. ...read more.

Middle

1905, January - A priest named Father Gapon decides to take advantage of Nicholas' total faith in the loyalty of the peasants. He gathers thousands of peasants together to march to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, where they humbly attempt to present their grievances through a letter to the Czar. Unfortunately, soldiers were ordered to fire upon the peasants. There was mass panic and the numbers eventually totaled 200 killed and 800 wounded. "Bloody Sunday" was a hugely significant event that basically began the call for revolution. Out of this came the October Manifesto, which was the brainchild of Witte. It created a Parliament which existed with limited rights, called the Duma. Liberals rushed to create their own political party, known as the Octobrists. 1905 - The crazed monk Rasputin is introduced to Alexandra and Nicholas in St. Petersburg. This fateful meeting changed the course of history when it was found that Rasputin had the ability to calm the screaming of the hemophilic infant prince, Alexei. Through this power, he gained immense reputation and imperial power through his influence on the Czarina. This made much of the country greatly unhappy, as Alexei's illness was kept secret and so the people did not know where Rasputin's seemingly magic influence came from. He did not seem fit to have so much power, with his disgusting hygiene and love of women and drink. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Czar begins to travel by train back towards the capital but he arrives too late. When he is told that there is no longer any loyalty to him left in St. Petersburg, he surrenders to a Provisional Government right there on the train tracks. He and his family are put under house arrest. A Provisional Government takes charge, led by Prince Lvov and housed in the Winter Palace. The Winter Palace also houses the Soviet committee of socialist workers. When peasants begin to kill nobles, many nobles flee to France. Fear runs rampant through Russia. The US becomes the first government to recognize the new PG. The PG will eventually make two fateful decisions which bring about the next revolution. They decide a) to stay in the war and b) to not make any other immediate changes. 1917, April - A professional revolutionary who goes by the name of Lenin arrives in St. Petersburg via "sealed train." He is a driven man with clear ideas and total control over the Bolsheviks. His April Theses lays out the following program of peace (including dropping out of the war), land (communal peasants receive land from nobles), and bread (moving food to the people). In September, after many long discussions, a plan comes about. The change of power happens relatively quickly. The Bolsheviks simply storm into the Winter Palace and take it over. This is the end of the truest democracy in the world (at that point) and the beginning of a new regime, that of communism. ...read more.

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