The 1917 Revolution

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The Russian Revolution of February/March 1917

The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union.

-        The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917.

-        In the second revolution, during October, the Provisional Government was removed and replaced with a Bolshevik (Communist) government.

-        The February Revolution (March 1917) was a revolution focused around now St. Petersburg. In the chaos, members of the Duma assumed control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government. The army leadership felt they did not have the means to suppress the revolution and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the last Tsar of Russia, abdicated.

-        The Soviets (workers' councils), which were led by more radical socialist factions, initially permitted the Provisional Government to rule, but insisted on a prerogative to influence the government and control various militias.

-        The February Revolution took place in the context of heavy military setbacks during the First World War, which left much of the army in a state of mutiny.

-        A period of dual power ensued, during which the Provisional Government held state power while the national network of Soviets, led by socialists, had the allegiance of the lower-class citizens and the political left. During this chaotic period there were frequent mutinies and many strikes.

-        When the Provisional Government chose to


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