The Russian Revolution is the most important event in the history of the twentieth century. This Revolution of 1917 is also known as the Bolshevik Revolution. It was a socialist revolution. Contrary to capitalism Socialism is considered egalitarian and just. The first phase of the Russian Revolution was over in March 1917 so it is called the March Revolution and the second phase was over in November so it is called the November revolution. The March revolution was political whereas the November revolution was socialistic in form.
The despotism of the Czars attempts to Crush Duma (the parliament), social and economic disparity and discontent among the non-Russian races etc. were the causes of the Russian Revolution. The thought-provoking writings of litterateurs like Dostoevsky, Turgenev and Maxim Gorky exposed the social ugliness and bitter truths of life before the people. Gorky’s novel Mother became very popular among the workers. It became their Bible. The ideas and writings of Marx, Lenin and Trotsky made socialist thinking explicit and more poignant. Defeat in the World War I and conditions of famine were the immediate causes of the revolution. The Revolution exploded on March 7, 1917. The workers shivering with hunger and cold began to plunder shops in Petrograd. The Czar ordered the soldiers to open fire on them, but they refused to comply. This was the announcement of the Revolution. The women in Petrograd went on strike on March 8. The starving women workers took out a procession. Male workers joined it the next day. The slogans raised in the procession were ‘Give us bread’ and ‘Down with the atrocious government’. All factories in Petrograd observed a strike on March 10. The Czar sent troops but they joined the revolutionaries. As a consequence of the Revolution 300 years old Romanov Dynasty came to an end. A temporary government was constituted, but it failed on the war front and dissensions arose among its members. The Bolsheviks (the extremists) took advantage of this situation and raised an alluring slogan ‘Peace, Bread and Land’. The Bolsheviks won over the soldiers by promising them peace, the peasants by promising them the distribution of land and the workers by promising them the ownership of factories and on November 7 took the reigns of the government in their hands. The Revolution was accomplished without bloodshed. The power of the government now came into the hands of the people. The proletariat, who were the most exploited, most revolutionary and most well organized took the reins of government into their hands. Thus the socialist revolution in Russia became a success. It abolished Czarism and made the dream of Socialism come true. The Revolution was accomplished on November 7, but it is known as the October Revolution, the reason being that according to the old Russian calendar it was October 25.
A new government was constituted under the leadership of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin. The revolution had succeeded because of Lenin’s firm determination, wise leadership, efficient administration and ideas. He was the only person who worked to make the Bolshevik revolution a success and Russia a great power. After the November revolution, Nikolai Lenin who himself was a product of the Russian Revolution, established the dictatorship of the proletariat. The first thing that Lenin did after assuming authority was to withdraw from the world war. He signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and renounced the war. Russia had to lose much as a result of this treaty but it purchased peace which she used in establishing internal order. In place of the old system, Lenin organized society and economy according to new ideas based on Marxism. As a result of his efforts, Russia became a leading country in the field of agriculture. He nationalized industries and overhead them. Thus the new economic policy greatly helped the economy to come out of the destruction caused during World War I, the period of revolution and the civil war and set it on a firm footing.