Causes of the Russian Revolution‏

In a nutshell, the Russian Revolution was a series of revolutions in the Russian Empire during 1917 which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and helped create the Soviet Union. The events surrounding Communism, Capitalism, and the East-West divide for the following 70 years are well known, but what exactly were the causes of the Russian Revolution and the subsequent rise of Communism?

“It was partly the war, the revolution did the rest. The war was an artificial break in life– as if life could be put off for a time– what nonsense! The revolution broke out willy-nilly like a sigh suppressed too long. Everyone was revived, reborn, changed, transformed. You might say that everyone has been through two revolutions– his own, personal revolution as well as the general one.”
― Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

First of all, The July Days; several days of rioting sparked off by the June Offensive against Germany, led by Alexander Kerensky. Kronstadt sailors marched into Petrograd demanding that the Soviets take power over the Provisional Government. Because of food shortages, unemployment, and inflation, demands to improve Russia’s economic situation were also made.

Secondly, The Kornilov Affair; Alexander Kerensky (Prime Minister from July 1917) appointed General Kornilov as military leader, an idea which soon backfired on him because he thought that Kornilov was going to try to set up a military dictatorship against him. Kerensky panicked and denounced Kornilov. So, people turned to the Bolsheviks for help; soldiers, workers and sailors defended the city, as did the Bolshevik Red Guard. This gave the Bolsheviks two things: weapons and respect. They were considered heroes.

Thirdly, the Bolsheviks gained a majority in the Petrograd Soviet; In September 1917, the Bolsheviks gained a majority in Petrograd. Liberals and other conservative forces were demoralized after the Kornilov Affair. The Provisional Government was now helpless.

“I’ll pretend, I tell myself. Pretending is safer than believing.”
― Sarah Miller, The Lost Crown

1 thought on “Causes of the Russian Revolution‏

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