THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF 1917
For over 200yrs, Russia was ruled by leaders called the Tzars, there rule was generally undemocratic, and the last Tzar was Nicholas II 1894-1917.
The 1917 Russian revolution was led by a man called Alexander Kerensky. It was called the February revolution because it intensified during the month of February. The revolution was caused by the following factors;
The rule of the Tzar was generally autocratic, the people of Russia were denied their fundamental rights/ freedom hence a revolution.
There was low agricultural production because many people were constricted into the Army to fight the Germans in World War I the people thus faced hunger because they lacked what to eat.
There was a high rate of inflation in Russia mainly peasants could not afford a number of essential items due to high costs of living.
The peasants weren’t happy because they lacked land which mainly belonged to the landlords, the revolution promised to give them land so the peasants joined it.
The rapid industrialization that took place in Russia led to mass unemployment. This was brought about because of the replacement of humans with machines.
Even those who were employed were not happy because the working conditions were appealing yet the working hours were unnecessarily long.
The peasants also wanted their children to get education which was restricted only to the nobility class.
The birth of the socialist movement which preached equal resource distribution and nationalization of the property also greatly influenced the February revolution.
The revolution also broke up because Russia had experienced various losses at the war front and generally the Russians were fed up of the consequences of World War I. The revolution promised an end to any involvement of Russia in such wars.
The Russians were also disgusted with the policy of forced conscription in the army in order to boost the war efforts.
The Russians also wanted a constituent assembly (general elections) based on Universal suffrage as well as an end to the autocratic rule.
The government of the Tzar was corrupt and inefficient extravagant expenditure was the order of the day.
The Russians were also against the harsh and unjust legal system under the Tzar.
The Russians rebelled against the mass poverty in Russia which was brought about by the involvement of Russia in World War I.
The character of Tzar Nicholas II led to a revolution. He was a despot who didn’t agree with the Russian parliament (Duma). He was a weak and inconsistent leader who was often ill-advised by an immoral man called Gregory Rusputin.
EFFECTS OF THE REVOLUTION
The Russian (Feb) revolution had the following effects.
It led to the end of 200yrs of the Tzars rule in Russia.
Russia was forced to pull out of the World War I and it became more peaceful.
In Russia the class system came to an end, the Russians tried to create an egalitarian society; it abolished the existing class stratification of serfs, peasants, nobles /clergy etc.
It led to the growth of socialist ideology in Russia.
After the revolution workers committee were formed in factories to look into the problems of the workers.
The revolution also led to the creation of anxiety to the western powers as they feared the growth of Russian influence. In fact it so much accelerated the division of the world in two blocks i.e East and West.
Most of the industries and factors of production in Russia were nationalized and brought under state control.
Land was redistributed to the peasants and land lordism was completely abolished,
It also led to the introduction of cooperative societies in agriculture in order to help the farmers.
Many people about 5 million especially the peasants died of famine as a result of poor harvest due to low incentives to the farmers.
The revolution also led to the creation of a 1 party state in Russia based on Leninism-Marxist coleas, this party was called the Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU).
Education was greatly improved and made free. It was geared towards the development of the country.
There was loss of lives as many people died due to the revolution.
Some properties were also destroyed.
The revolution laid seeds for the outbreak of the cold war.
The revolution inspired the oppressed people of the world to protect against oppression, exploitation and imperialism for example in Mongolia (1921) and Turkey (1923).