The Russian Revolution of 1917 – A Snapshot


The Russian Revolution of 1917 changed the destiny of the nation. It also removed the nation from the First World War. This Revolution introduced a transformation in the society that led to the formation of the USSR or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This replaced the monarchy of the Tsar with the first communist state in the world. There were two coups of The Russian Revolution that took place in February and October in the same year. Vladimir Lenin established the new government. This government became powerful in 1920 but only after a civil war that took place for three years.

The events that triggered off the Russian Revolution

The events that triggered off the Russian Revolution happened all of a sudden. Eminent scholars of the Russian Revolution like Orlando Figes say that the causes took place a long time before the actual revolution started. The monarchy was becoming weaker and the people were not happy with the Tsar. The Tsar Nicholas II was aware of this and this led him to become a tyrant in order to suppress the people. He also witnessed revolutionary terrorists assassinate his grandfather and father. The cause being the brutal oppression of the Russian people.

Nicholas II became the Tsar in 1894 and he too used the same measures to curb resistance movements. They were becoming widespread and bolder every year. This incited and caused a large amount of unrest. The Tsar later had to make many concessions after this oppression. It was only after this incident that the First Constitution of Russia was created. The Duma or Parliament was formed. The concessions gradually continued till the Tsar again lost power.

The rise of Vladimir Lenin

As the Tsar of Russia became weaker and weaker, there was a political figure who gained prominence during this phase. His name was Vladimir Lenin. He gradually became the most powerful figure in Russia. The interesting fact about Vladimir Lenin is that he was not in Russia when the October Revolution took place. He was living in self-imposed exile for many years in Europe and he came back to Russia in 1917.  Despite his absence in Russia, he was undoubtedly a very prominent figure in the nation. He exuded tremendous power and influence.

Lenin and his vision

Orlando Figes says that many scholars and historians have judged Vladimir Lenin differently from various angles. However, there are some Russian historians that say he possessed the strength and the decisiveness of vision for the social welfare of Russia. He was born in 1870 in the provincial town of Simbirsk. His full name was Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov. Lenin was influenced by his elder brother who loved him but when his brother was executed after being involved in a plot to assassinate the Tsar, he stepped forward to lead Russia. He was deeply affected by this incident and himself joined the resistance. He later rose to become one of the most powerful leaders not only in Russia but in the world too!