1917 Revolutions


Lenin during the Russian Revolution, 1917.


In 1917 the relationship between the Tsar and the people of Russia had been completely destroyed. The Tsar had removed the Russian parliament (which was the main driving force behind the 1905 revolution), and created mass amounts of dissatisfaction to the people of Russia. The stresses that came along with World War I made the revolution absolutely inevitable. The economy was in abosulte ruins after World War I and the people of Russia’s dissatisfaction slowly grew along with their dissatisfaction with the government as well. The Russian military had no power anymore and it was unable to enforce the decree that was once in place. In February, riots over food slowly began to break out.


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At this point and time the Romanov dynasty came to an end after the Grand Duke Michael refused the throne of the Tsar.  On March 14 the Soviet Union released its famous order which directed military to obey the orders of the Soviet and not the new provisional government that was in place. This was essentially a coup. Between March and October the Russian government as reorganized four times.

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What I found interesting about this whole situation was how relevant the teachings of Marxism were at this point and time. Karl Marx was a communist political philosopher who taught that revolution was the driving force behind society and government. He believed that conflict was inevitable and that it would eventually lead to the overturning of government and the reconstruction of a better developed government which would eventually be communist. Marxism analyzes class relations and social conflict along with a dialectical view of social transformation. At this point and time Marxism was just beginning to become popular in Europe and his teachings were extremely applicable to what was taking place in Russia. Systemic economic change was a driving force behind the Russian revolution which Karl Marx believed would always be the main force of revolution in any government. These revolutions became shaping events in the history of Russia and Karl Marx’s theories attempt to explain what exactly took place in these revolutions and he explains what he thinks the best possible outcomes of these revolutions would be.










20th Century Russia Image

This picture embodies the early development of 20th century Russia. The picture was taken in 1915, close to the shore.  At the time of this picture the world was currently beginning early industrialization and locomotive engines were still a rare commodity. Russian railways and train systems were built in the 1850’s which means that this picture had rail systems for quite some time.

Russia is one of the largest countries in the world. Its geography made it a necessity to develop a form of effective cross country transportation. Early railroads were the basic mode of transportation for the people in Russia. The image depicted above was an early railway handcar. They were also known as a pump trolley, or a pump car. It was a railroad car powered by the people pushing the car from behind by pumping the crank in the middle of the vehicle.  The hand car depicted above is a much more luxurious hand car which could comfortably seat people while there were workers pumping the car so that it could move effectively. The hand car also is comfortably sitting several individuals who seem on the wealthier side. Early rail systems were developed mainly for the use of the Tsar, however the Tsar designated for members of the imperial family and representatives of foreign powers to be able to use the railway systems as well.

The red flag on the handcar represents the country of Russia at the time.  The individual on the left appears to be wearing a high ranking uniform and the man on the right appears to be a well dressed business man. This confirms that the Russian railways were used by individuals who were designated by the Tsar. The white uniform appears to have ranks on its shoulders, which confirms that he embodies a form of rank.




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