The Bolshevik Revolution
The Bolsheviks were a political party devoted to Karl Marx’s theories. They assumed that the working classes would finally free themselves from the capitalist classes’ economic and political influence.
The Bolsheviks party was established in 1912 and rose to power in November 1917, as forces led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky.
With promises of peace, land, and bread, the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government in Petrograd and Moscow almost bloodlessly.
The provisional government took power after the Russian monarchy was deposed in March 1917 as a result of the February Revolution.
The Bolsheviks formed a new government, the first Council of People’s Commissars, with Lenin as its chief. They became the only ruling party in Russia and its successor state, the Soviet Union.
The Bolsheviks were able to take power primarily because the Provisional Government was weak and had lost support from national minorities after refusing to grant them any autonomy.
Inflation was also a factor in the revolution, as were food shortages in Russia and heavy casualties suffered by the Russian army during World War I. Russia’s opinion of Nicholas II was further compromised as a result of this. They thought he was weak and unfit to rule.
Since the Bolsheviks had a compelling and clear message, soldiers, workers, and peasants overwhelmingly favored them over their political opponents. Moreover, the Bolsheviks were backed by the Russians because they preferred more organization, better working conditions, and fair pay.
As soon as they took power, the Bolsheviks abolished private land ownership, gave land to peasants to use, and gave workers control of factories and mines as well.
They also took the following steps:
• Established a comprehensive educational system.
• In the factories, crèches were made available.
• Provided public healthcare at a reduced rate.
• Centralized planning was implemented.
After the February Revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks gained more prominence among Russian urban workers and soldiers, particularly after Lenin returned to the country in April, demanding immediate peace. Soon after, Lenin signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany because he had promised peace to the Russian people.