Russian Revolution Timeline
March Czar Nicholas II abdicates
November Bolshevik Revolution; Lenin takes power
|1918||Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; outbreak of civil war; assassination of royal family|
|1920-1921||War with Poland|
|1921||Peasant uprising: New Economic Policy established|
|1922||Soviet Union is formally founded|
|1924||Lenin dies; Stalin takes power|
|1928||First Five-Year Plan|
Revolution in Russia
The Russian Revolution, also called the Bolshevik Revolution after the victorious political party, is unique in history. Unlike earlier revolutions in France, England, and other European nations, it was not a simple desire to overthrow and replace the government then in power. Instead, it was an attempt to over- throw the social and political order of all Europe.
The Russian Revolution brought about the prediction Marx and Engels had made in The Communist Manifesto: the violent overturning of the social order by the workers. This had not happened elsewhere in Europe because conditions in Russia were more extreme. During the nineteenth century, most European nations had acquired some form of representative government. Liberal political parties had acquired some measure of power and influence, and even Socialists were a recognized force in the political order. In Russia, no such tradition of representative government existed. Although there was a parliament of sorts, the Russian czar was an autocrat who still believed in bygone traditions of the divine right of kings.
The new order that arose in Russia after the revolution had a great deal in common with the old order. In both cases, the head of state was an autocrat, the army and the police were loyal to the state and were regularly used to put down opposition among the people, and there was no tolerance of dissent.
One major difference between the old regime and the new was that the new regime was determined that the state should be the only influence on the lives of the people. The Bolsheviks disbanded practically every independent organization in Russia, including the Orthodox Church. Since the Church might conceivably disagree with many of the harsh measures undertaken by the state, the Church could no longer be allowed to exist.
Practice questions for these concepts can be found at: