Who was Nicholas II?
An autocratic ruler with a large army
What was the Duma?
The Russian parliament, they were weak and couldn’t easily challenge the tsar. Chairman of the committee was Mikhail Rodzianko.
What was the Okhrana?
Tsar Nicholas II’s secret police, he used this to maintain power. They made it hard to campaign for change because the police made it difficult for workers to form trade unions.
What percentage of the Russian population were peasants in 1917?
80%, 4/5 people
Conditions of the peasantry in 1917
- Farming in Russia was undeveloped and inefficient.
- Horse-drawn ploughs were commonly seen in Russia’s fields.
- Animals and humans often lived in the same space.
- Most people in the countryside could not read or write.
Why was there discontent with peasants?
There was a desire among peasants for landowners to lose their land for it to be redistributed more fairly.
What did peasants do when they were angry?
Rose up against their landlords or local government representatives. Resorted to strikes to protest pay and working conditions.
Impact of WWI
Caused food shortages because peasants began to hoard and stockpile the food that they grew. Also manufactured good became more expensive.
What was proletariat?
Lower class workers
Workers in the cities
- often lived in slums
- rapid population growth during lead up to WWI
- Petrograd tripled in size 1881-1917
> 20% of people in Russia lived outside the main cities. Almost no industry/ manufacturing in those rural areas.
When did Moscow become the capital city of Russia?
What did the liberals want?
Fought for liberal democracy, such as the Kadets/ Octobrists. Wanted Russia to follow the British/French democratic model.
What did the nationalists want?
They were Right-wing groups, believed that ethic Russians should dominate a strong Russian empire.
What did the conservatives believe?
They were on the right hand of the political spectrum. Against social change, supporting the strict hierarchy of the Russian society.
What did the socialists believe?
They were on the left hand of the spectrum, SRs wanted to redistribute wealth from the rich landowners to the poor. They had significant support from the peasants.
What did the Social Democrats believe?
Similar to SRs, believed in ideas of Karl Marx. History as being driven by class struggle, and that eventually the workers would succeed in a revolution.
What did the Bolsheviks believe?
- led by Lenin
- most radical political group on the left
- believed that a small group of trained revolutionaries should push for revolution
- weren’t democratic, controlled by central committee
- didn’t believe in cooperation with democratic parties
Bolshevik leaders in 1917
In exile in Siberia because they were accused of being traitors who supported Germany
A large factory that became a hotspot for protest
Putilov Steelworkers 18th February. Strikes protesting about the declining winter living standards and dissatisfaction with tsar.
Economic effects for Russia after WW1
- government printed out too much paper money, Russian currency fell in value
- tax were increased on the poor to fund 17 billion roubles
- Government spending increased by a multiple of 8 between 1913 and 1916
What did inflation cause?
Workers wages couldn’t afford everyday items. Wages increased by 200% but food and fuel increased by 400%, cut living standards by 50%.
Army took over railways and railroads, and huge amounts of food. Railway system therefore collapsed, food supply to towns suffered.
Problem of refugees
Many came to Petrograd, struggled because it was far away from food-producing areas. (bread ration from 1.2kg to 0.8kg 1916-1917)
Why did the Duma become opposition for the tsar?
The tsar refused to follow the Duma’s request that he replace his existing ministers with new ministers.
Why was the tsar an unpopular commander-in-chief?
Had no experience of warfare and ignored his advisers. He followed advice of the generals so he had little impact on the running of the war. Was still blamed for defeats.
International woman’s day
23rd February. Bread shortages, strikes in bakeries across Petrograd and Moscow and grain hoarding by peasants led thousands of women to march on the streets which made Russia’s problems worse.
80,000 people demonstrated on 14 February, demanding that the Duma take control from the tsar
Why did Russias monarchy end?
Offered the crown to his brother, Grand Duke Michael, by he declined
What was the provisional government?
Temporary government, to rule the country until a general election could choose the next government
What was the constituent assembly?
Created by representatives chosen by people, to choose rules for how Russia would be governed.
Where did the February revolution start?
On the streets and was carried out by the political ruling class.
What was the Petrograd soviet?
Workers and mutineers from the military elected representatives to the Petrograd soviet was a committee of workers, soldiers and peasants.
What was ‘Dual Control’?
System where power was shared between Provisional government and the Soviets.
What was the ‘central executive committee’
Set up in march 1917, to represent the views of all the Soviets and the worker and soldier representatives
What was ‘order number 1’?
1st March 1917, demanded that all military orders by the Provisional Government needed the approval of the Petrograd Soviet. This undermined provisional government during dual control.
What was discipline in the army controlled by?
Councils of soldiers, not by officers
What dud Kornilov want?
To restore order and overthrow the revolutionary
What did Kornilov do in August 1917?
Ordered the Petrograd garrison to clamp down on protests but the soldiers had stopped following orders. The workers also wanted to defend the revolution in Petrograd and went on strike.
What were ‘Red Guards’?
Units formed by workers who were armed to defend against Kornilov and to stop any takeover of the Soviet. Contained many Bolsheviks which meant that the revolution was now armed against the Provisional Government.
What did the Germans do in April 1917?
Helped Lenin return to Russia. They wanted to cause unrest in Russia and thought that Lenin’s return would cause this.
What was Bolshevik membership by April 1917?
What was the ‘April thesis’?
Lenin’s manifesto, demanded an abandonment of the Provisional Government in favour of a radical turn towards the Soviets as the legitimate holders of power in Russia, and that Russia pulls out of the war.
‘Bread, Peace, Land’
Lenin wanted land to be given to the peasants and wanted to end the social hierarchies that had existed under the tsar.
Fractions at the All-Russian Congress of Soviets in June 1917
- Bolsheviks had 105 representatives
- Socialist Revolutionaries had 285 representatives
- Mensheviks had 284 representatives
Why did Germany give Russian protesters funds?
To cause unrest in Russia. Allowed the Bolsheviks to have 41 different newspapers.
- soldiers from Petrograd garrison refused to fight for Russia
- soldiers combined with workers and sailors from the nearby Kronstadt naval base
- marched to the Tauride Palace on 3 July
Soviet reaction to July Days
- Lenin was charged as a spy by the government and had to return to Finland for a short period of time.
- Trotsky and Kamenev were arrested, having joined the Bolsheviks from the Mensheviks, and the Bolshevik party was weakened.
How many members did the Bolsheviks have at the beginning of 1917?
What happened by the 31st August?
the Bolsheviks had the majority of delegates in the Petrograd Soviet and in the Moscow Soviet by the 5th September.
What was ‘State and Revolution’?
Pamphlet written by Lenin outlining how successful revolution would be.
What was the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’?
A period of rule to create stability in the nation before the transition to full communism.
What was the MRC?
Military Revolutionary Committee. They controlled soldiers in Petrograd and existed to organise the defence of the city incase the Germans attack and were used as a vehicle to achieve the Bolsheviks goals.
Why did the SRs and Mensheviks walk out of the All-Russian Congress?
They claimed that the Bolsheviks had not sought the consent of the other revolutionary parties.
What happened to the Winter Palace on the 25th October?
Red Guards and Kronstadt soldiers stormed in.
Aftermath of Winter Palace?
Some members of the Provisional Government were arrested, although Kerensky escaped and fled. Bolsheviks claimed at the Congress that they were now in power.