Compare and contrast the causes and nature of the February and October revolutions in Russia in 1917.

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Compare and contrast the causes and nature of the February and October revolutions in Russia in 1917.

There were two Russian Revolutions in 1917; one was in February, and the other in October, is also known as the Bolshevik Revolution. They both have a wide range of differences and similarities in their causes and nature. The February Revolution led to the abdication of the Tsar and brought the Provisional Government to power. The October Revolution led to the downfall of this government and brought the Bolsheviks to power. The February Revolution grew from a street demonstration gone out of control; there was no political force to support it and neither a strategic plan to carry out. On the other hand, the October Revolution was a planned coup, where Lenin and the Bolshevik Party had designed and led it. This second revolution was a deliberate attempt to overthrow the current government, take power and start a Communist state in place of the monarchy. However, this revolution was similar to the first one as it also didn't have a detailed plan for how the government should be run.

World War One is both a comparison and a contrast in both revolutions. One main factor of the February Revolution was the First World War which began in 1914. This caused a breakdown socially and also reduced faith in the government; leading to an economic crisis. Tension among the Russian people was rising and on February 25th it exploded into riots which were not contained. It had been a continuous battle for the people; they were unemployed, starving and freezing, the prices also rose. Strikes and public protests were happening in the country with increasing frequency. The Russian people and soldiers were turning against the Tsar, whose decision to take control of the army, was a crucial error as he was personally blamed for the enormous defeats suffered by the army.  Furthermore, it was greatly responsible for the food, fuel and resources shortages as the army was given precedence over the civilian population.  The big difference between the 1905 and the February 1917 Revolution was that in 1905, the Tsar retained control over the army, but in February 1917, he lost it and it was this that caused him to abdicate because he had absolutely no support and so he had no choice.  

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The war played a very important part in winning support for the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks were a minority party with very little support and its leaders were taken totally unawares by the February revolution.  In fact, the main leaders were not even in Russia at the time.  The Germans, with an eye to an opportunity, actually smuggled Lenin into Russia in a sealed train and it certainly seemed like a good idea at the time because the minute Lenin stepped off the train, trouble started to brew.  Although the Bolsheviks were relatively unknown to the masses, they could easily ...

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