10 interesting facts about the russian revolution of 1917

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Russian Revolution of 1917 took place in two phases, the February Revolution and the October Revolution. While the February Revolution led to the end of tsarist autocracy in Russia with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, the October Revolution led by the Bolsheviks resulted in the establishment of the first Marxist state in the world with Vladimir Leninas its leader. There are many points cited as causes for the Russian Revolution including poor conditions of industrial workers, incompetent leadership of Nicholas II and the advent of the First World War. The immediate repercussion of the revolution was the catastrophic Russian Civil War which resulted in an estimated 7 to 12 million casualties. Here are 10 interesting facts about the causes, important events, outcome and significance of the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Note: As the older Julian calendar was in use in Russia at the time, the February Revolution occurred in March and the October Revolution occurred in November according to the Gregorian calendar, which is now the most widely used calendar. Julian calendar dates have been used in this article with their Gregorian equivalents mentioned in brackets. Also, as the city of Saint Petersburg had been renamed to Petrograd in 1914, it is referred to as Petrograd in the article. Petrograd was named Leningrad in 1924 and in 1991 its name was reverted back to St. Petersburg.

1. Major social cause of the 1917 revolutions was an unsatisfied industrial working class

Russian industrial workers

The condition of the peasants in Russia was poor. They used agricultural techniques which were out of date, were mostly illiterate and had to pay redemption payments to the state. They deeply resented the rich landowners who profited from the land without working on it. Also, rapid industrialization of Russia in late 19th and early 20th centuries led to urban overcrowding. However, Tsarist Russia stood well behind Europe in its industry with few opportunities for fair advancement for industrial workers, who had to suffer due to overcrowded housing with often deplorable sanitary conditions, long hours of work and inadequate wages. This concentrated and massive working class was more politically aware and more likely to revolt than the peasantry had been in previous times. All this created a conducive atmosphere for socialist revolutionaries.

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