Why Bolsheviks Came to Power Essay

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The October Revolution of 1917 was the second major revolution that occurred in Russia in 1917. Due to the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Party of Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin was able to come into power in Russia and brought the country under the influence of Marxism. The Bolsheviks, who were an anomaly in Russian politics even at the time of the February Revolution, were able to quickly manoeuvre themselves into power due to the use of force and because the provisional government in Russia failed to establish itself as a stable regime after the fall of the Tsar. The February Revolution that deposed the Tsar occurred spontaneously after factory workers and women protested against the rising inflation and the shortage of food in Petrograd. What the British Ambassador described at first as “nothing serious” , quickly escalated with the end result being the abdication of the Tsar, a new provisional government and around 1,315 casualties . In the popular uprising, which brought about a major change to Russian society, the radical revolutionary Bolsheviks played an almost non-existent role. Key members such as Lenin, Zinoviev, Bukharin and Trotsky were not even in the country during the revolution and Stalin was in Siberia. More importantly, “the party membership at the time of the Tsar’s overthrow was insignificant…[and] local party organizations were either weak or non-existent” . This paper argues that the October Revolution and rise in support for the Bolsheviks would not have been possible had it not been for the failure of the provisional government to establish itself as a stable regime in addition to the party’s use of violence. The provisional government failed to achieve stability in 1917 because of Lenin’s April Theses, the consequences of the July Days, its ineffectiveness in tackling social and economic issues and the Kornilov Affair.
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