Russia under Nicholas' reign
1. Tsar Nicholas II was from the Romanov family.
2. Nicholas ruled as an autocrat and believed he was chosen by God to rule.
3. Nicholas' secret police, the Okhrana, rooted out his enemies inside Russia.
4. The Orthodox Church taught Russians to obey to the Romanov rule.
5. 85% of Russians were peasants paying high rents to rich landowners.
6. Most factory workers were paid poorly, worked long hours, hated disease ridden living conditions and it was illegal to strike.
7. Middle class bankers, merchants and factory owners were frustrated that their interests were not listened to in a Parliament.
The First World War
1. Russia fought in the First World War from 1914 to 1917.
2. Russian troops struggled due to lack of guns, ammunition, effective officers, food supplies, boots and men.
3. From 1915 icholas took personal command of the Russian Army. He quickly became directly blamed for the defeats.
4. Nicholas left the Tsarina (Alexander, who was German. People didn't like her due to her being German and didn't listen to ministers.) and Rasputin, (Despised for his terrible reputation as a drunk and manipulator,) to govern Russia.
5. Winter temperatures in Petrograd fell to minus 40 degrees at night. Deaths and anger grew due to lack of food and coal due to the numbers of peasants and miners missing (fighting in the war).
6. The lack of coal caused many factories to close so unemployment was high.
7. The lack of food caused bread prices to rise.
The February Revolution (1917) and Provisional Gov
1. By 25th Ferbruary, 300k Russians were on strike and demonstrated in Petrograd for cheap bread and the end of monarchy. The Petrograd Soviet, led by Trotskey, coordinated the workers.
2. On 26th February, troops in Petrograd mutinied by joining the strikers when ordered to restore order.
3. Nicholas was forced to abdicate.
4. A Provisional Government took command led by Kerensk, who wanted to keep fighting Germany in the war, release political prisoners, ban the Okhrana and allow free press. They also promised free elections for a Constituent Assembly and that the peasants would own their own land after the war was over. They were undermined by the Perograd Soviet which announced Soviet Order Number One which placed all the food supplies and soldiers under their command.
5. Lenin returned from Switzerland on a German train and announced the April These- "Peace! Bread! Land!" He called for an immediate Bolshevik Revolution, 'All power to the Soviets!'
6. Lenin's first revolution, The July Days (1917), failed and he had to flee to Finland.
7. The Kornilov Revolt (Aug/Sept 1917) strengthened the Bolsheviks as they were armed by Kerensky (given 30k guns) to help defend the Provisional Government.
The October Revolution 1917
1. Lenin returned from Finland and convinced mostt Bolsheviks to start another revolution against the Provisional Government. Only Kamanev and Zinoviev disagreed about the need for urgency.
2. Trotsky's Red Guards siezed railway stations, key bridges and roads in Petrograd and surrounded the Winder Palace.
3. The Navy signalled its support by firing the guns of the Aurora battleship at the Palace.
4. The Army signalled their support by firing the canons of Peter and Paul Fortress at the Palace.
5. The Provisional Government surrendered and were arrested.