Sayonara to the Tsar

The Romanov family ruled Russia for more than three centuries by autocratic rule. However, that all came to in end in 1917. Many different factors went into the fall of the Tsar Nicholas II rule. One of the most important contributing factors was the February Revolution in 1917.

It all began on February 23, 1917. On International Women’s Day, women workers from a textile factory decided to protest against the food shortages and high bread prices. Their protest was the spark for many other riots and demonstrations. The amount of protesters grew astronomically once people saw what they were doing, and they all converged on St. Petersburg.

Soldiers march towards St. Petersburg during the February Revolution
Soldiers march towards St. Petersburg during the February Revolution

Troops and units of police were sent to try to end the riots and protests, but they were unsuccessful. Too many people had joined in the revolution. Nicholas II began to take the revolutionists serious. He did not want them to find a leader, so he dismissed the Duma. However, they simply decided to reconvene. The Tsar finally realized that he needed to abdicate his thrown. The autocracy was finally abolished. The Romanov family rule ended on March 2nd, 1917.

A telegram that reports the abdication of the Tsar Nicholas II
A telegram that reports the abdication of the Tsar Nicholas II

The fourth Duma organized a provisional government following the abdication of Nicholas II. This provisional government would share power with the Petrograd Soviet. It would be a “dual government” that shared power between the two. However, the power of the provisional government was limited. The real power was with the Soviets. They showed their power when they issued Order #1 to the provisional government. The order said that they could remain in power, so long that they enacted what the Soviets wanted. This order was the start to the “dual government”. Gone was the tsar, now, a new type of government was in town.

Works Cited:

http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1917february&Year=1917&navi=byYear

http://www.dhr.history.vt.edu/modules/eu/mod03_1917/context.html

 

1 thought on “Sayonara to the Tsar

  1. Thanks for this clear narrative of the end of the autocracy and the emergence of Dual Power in the February Revolution. You are wise to note the importance of Order No. 1!

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