Russian Revolution


During the 1890s, improvements in Russian industry put more jobs in cities. This made the cities larger as people moved there. The workers in the cities began to create political parties in order to try and change the horrible conditions that they lived and worked in. Poor people from other parts of the Russian Empire, like Poland and the Ukraine, also created their own parties to try and stop the Russians oppressing them.

This added to the people's anger, and after a peaceful protest of workers was shot at by the Emperor's guards, a rebellion began. It did not really change anything, but it meant that Nicholas promised to create an elected Parliament, or Duma.

The Duma was elected for the first time in March 1906. However, there were both left-wing and right-wing opponents to it, including socialists and people who were very loyal to the Emperor. There were also arguments over whether or not to take power from the Emperor and give it to more ordinary people. Nicholas eventually stopped the Duma three times, and because that meant they could not say anything against Nicholas, people became angry.

In 1914, Russia joined World War I. At first, people thought this was a good decision, and the country was united by patriotism. But there were huge problems with supplies, and by 1915 many soldiers were being sent to fight without any guns. Communication was bad, and Army officers argued a lot. That meant that they did not make plans well. The soldiers became unhappy, and over 3,000,000 Russians died.

In 1915, the Emperor took personal control of the Russian Army, and moved to the Army headquarters. This was a mistake. Not only did he not improve the situation, he began to be blamed for it. The fact that he was not near the government also meant that his wife Queen Alexandra was left in charge. Whenever the Duma tried to warn him that the people were angry, she would say they were lying, so he would ignore them. He even ignored a report by his secret police, the Okhrana, which said that a revolution might happen if things did not get better for ordinary people.

The first revolution began with a series of strikes in early February 1917. People in food queues in St. Petersburg, began a demonstration. They were joined by thousands of women, who left the fabric factories where they worked.


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