During World War 1, Russia was experiencing many changes, including the way the government was run, and the leadership(before the revolution the main leader of the country was the Czar). These changes were primarily caused by a group called the Bolsheviks. This week’s history essay I will be discussing the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Revolution.
The Causes of the Revolution
Like the American and French Revolutions the Bolshevik Revolution had its causes. The main causes were the civil unrest in Russia and food shortages(World War 1 was going on around that time). These issues left a lot of the Russian people unfaithful towards the Russian royalty, especially the Czar at the time, Nicholas the 2nd. Also there was some corruption in the Russian government at the time.
The February Revolution and its Aftermath
Russia around this time was using the Julian Calendar, so even though the Julian calendar stated that it was February, in actuality it was March. After the Russian people overthrew the Czar. They put in place the Russian Provisional Government. This new government had an executive branch and elected an assembly. This new government was disliked by many urban workers(who formed councils). Soon enough revolutionaries formed from these groups, these revolutionaries called themselves the Bolsheviks. These Bolsheviks wanted to take over and create a new and “better” government.
The Bolshevik Revolution
These Bolsheviks began getting support from the Russian people. On October 25th, 1917(according to the Julian Calendar), the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin went to action. This takeover was nearly bloodless, with the Bolsheviks capturing the government buildings in Petrograd, and replacing the government with their own. Lenin was a pretty popular figure by that point, and was even considered a “Savior.” But he was far from one, he actually made the situation in Russia worse than it already was.
Communism was the philosophy that Lenin followed. Communism basically is the concept of no property rights, that all property is shared, by the citizens. This philosophy was said to be able to remove all greed and inequality. But every country that has used communism has become a dictatorship, without equality. So it truly does not work. Lenin, like many leaders who followed communism, became a dictator, and left Russia with bigger oppression than ever before. Also the citizens abused the “sharing” principle of communism. So like I wrote above it does not work.
After the Revolution
After the Revolution Lenin created the Russian Communist Party, which was the only political party. This new party began forcing reforms to see if every Russian supported the new government. The time of these reforms was known as the “Red Terror” because Lenin created a secret police organization that murdered, and imprisoned anyone who was against the Bolsheviks, or sympathized with the old royal family.
The Russian Civil War began in 1917 and ended in 1920. This Civil War began because a group known as the anti-Bolsheviks, were angry at the Bolsheviks for making the situation in Russia worse than it was when the Czars were in power. Unfortunately the Bolsheviks won in this war. After the war Russian began to expand, adding different eastern european countries. The Bolsheviks changed the country’s name to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR. After Lenin died in 1924, a man named Joseph Stalin took the spot Lenin was in.
Things in Russia were quite dire for many years. The country itself had now entered into a very dark and oppressive time in the country’s history. Also many countries in Eastern Europe who were now part of the USSR suffered also. The example of what happened to Russia is a great example of why communism truly never works, and that it causes more oppression then there was before.