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The February & October Revolutions of 1917. The revolution started in the capital, St Petersburg Serious shortage of food and fuel Women attacked bakeries.

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Presentation on theme: "The February & October Revolutions of 1917. The revolution started in the capital, St Petersburg Serious shortage of food and fuel Women attacked bakeries."— Presentation transcript:

1 The February & October Revolutions of 1917

2 The revolution started in the capital, St Petersburg Serious shortage of food and fuel Women attacked bakeries when bread ran out They then marched through the city shouting anti-govt slogans Workers joined them Within 3 days, 250,000 people were on strike feb 1917 revolution

3 Soldiers ignored orders to disperse the protesters and joined them instead Generals could not help the Tsar as they lost control of the troops Nicholas II abdicated in favour of his brother, Grand Duke Michael who refused to become Tsar abdication

4 feb 1917 revolution Petrograd, Feb 1917

5 A copy of the Abdication Manifesto published in contemporary newspapers

6 provisional government Nicholas II signed his abdication on 15 March 1917 (2 March, Julian Calendar), at 3.05 pm. The document was counter-signed by the Minister of the Imperial Court, and directed to the Chief of Staff. In the days of the great struggle against the foreign enemies, who for nearly three years have tried to enslave our fatherland, the Lord God has been pleased to send down on Russia a new heavy trial. Internal popular disturbances threaten to have a disastrous effect on the future conduct of this persistent war. The destiny of Russia, the honor of our heroic army, the welfare of the people and the whole future of our dear fatherland demand that the war should be brought to a victorious conclusion whatever the cost. The cruel enemy is making his last efforts, and already the hour approaches when our glorious army together with our gallant allies will crush him. In these decisive days in the life of Russia, We thought it Our duty of conscience to facilitate for Our people the closest union possible and a consolidation of all national forces for the speedy attainment of victory. In agreement with the Imperial Duma We have thought it well to renounce the Throne of the Russian Empire and to lay down the supreme power. As We do not wish to part from Our beloved son, We transmit the succession to Our brother, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, and give Him Our blessing to mount the Throne of the Russian Empire. We direct Our brother to conduct the affairs of state in full and inviolable union with the representatives of the people in the legislative bodies on those principles which will be established by them, and on which He will take an inviolable oath. In the name of Our dearly beloved homeland, We call on Our faithful sons of the fatherland to fulfill their sacred duty to the fatherland, to obey the tsar in the heavy moment of national trials, and to help Him, together with the representatives of the people, to guide the Russian Empire on the road to victory, welfare, and glory. May the Lord God help Russia!

7 renunciation by the duke The English translation of the renunciation by Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich of the adoption of the supreme power: MANIFESTO A heavy burden has been laid on me by my brother's will in transferring to me the imperial throne of All Russia at a time of unprecedented war and unrest among the people. Inspired by the thought common to the whole nation, that the well-being of our homeland comes above all, I have taken the hard decision to accept supreme power only in the event that it shall be the will of our great people, who in nationwide voting must elect their representatives to a Constituent Assembly, establish a new form of government and new fundamental laws for the Russian State. Therefore, calling on God's blessing, I ask all citizens of the Russian State to obey the provisional government which has been formed and been invested with complete power on the initiative of the State Duma, until a Constituent Assembly, to be convened in the shortest possible time on the basis of general, direct, equal, secret ballot, expresses the will of the people in its decision on a form of government. Signed: "MIKAEL". 3/III - 1917. Petrograd.

8 provisional government Unclear about how Russia should be ruled Provisional Governmenta Provisional Government took over until elections could be held for a new parliament PG was run by the liberals mostly members of the aristocracy and the middle class Ex-Tsarist generals and officials kept their jobs by supporting this PG

9 provisional government Prince LvovNew PG headed by Prince Lvov Alexander KerenskyReplaced by Alexander Kerensky in May 1917 Tsar’s secret police was abolished New laws were made However the PG did not last long Why was this so?

10 kerensky Born in 1881 and trained as a lawyer Entered Duma in 1912 First War Minister then PM of the PG After Oct Revolution, fled abroad Lived in exile in the US

11 Weaknesses of the PG 1.Continuation of the war 2.Failure to make land reforms 3.Power of the Soviets 4.Demands of the Bolsheviks

12 Weaknesses of the PG 1.Continuation of the war People expected the PG to end the war but it didn’t Why? German demands Agree to peace only if Russia gave up all the lands it had lost Russia’s obligations to its allies

13 Weaknesses of the PG 2.Failure to make land reforms PG appeared to do nothing to help the peasants The peasants made up the majority of the Russian people; to ignore their demands was unwise Peasants demanded that the lands of the aristocrats be distributed among them This did not happen

14 Weaknesses of the PG 3.Powers of the Soviets PG was not strong sovietsAble to govern only with the cooperation of the soviets SovietsSoviets were committees of workers, soldiers, Social Democrats and Social Revolutionaries which sprang up in cities in Russia Petrograd Soviet was most powerful

15 Weaknesses of the PG 4.Demands of the Bolsheviks Mensheviks and the SR worked with the PG but not the Bolsheviks Led by Lenin - no cooperation with the PG - all power should go to the soviets - people should be given “peace, bread and land”

16 VLADIMIR ILYICH LENIN Feb 1917 – Lenin was in exile in Switzerland Keen to get back to Russia Difficulty in travelling across Europe in wartime Germans allowed him to travel in a sealed train, believing that he would stir up trouble Weaken Russia and help Germany win the war

17 Lenin addressing a crowd on his return to Russia in Apr 1917

18 WHO WAS LENIN? Born 4 May 1870 into a middle-class family Father – Inspector of Schools Mother – daughter of land-owning physician 1887 – brother Alexander executed for attempted assassination of Alexander III Turning point for Lenin Excellent student but expelled from university for his revolutionary activities Went on to study law and became a lawyer

19 WHO WAS LENIN? Smuggled in works of Karl Marx and was exiled to Siberia for revolutionary activity in 1897 Spent the years 1900-1917 in exile During this time, he became the leader of the Bolsheviks Returned to Russia after the Feb Revolution, spearheading the Oct Revolution Died in Jan 1924

20 Weaknesses of the PG 4.Demands of the Bolsheviks Coming back to our discussion When Lenin returned, he garnered more support from the town workers but not much from the peasants Bolshevik Party grew in strength Influenced soviets heavily

21 Weaknesses of the PG 4.Demands of the Bolsheviks Failed uprising in July 1917 by the Bolsheviks Crushed by Kerensky Govt sent Lenin into exile in Finland Later, GEN Kornilov, leader of the Russian army tried to overthrow Kerensky in Aug 1917 RED GUARDSKerensky released the Bolsheviks, armed them to defeat Kornilov; thus was born the RED GUARDS – the Soviet’s own armed force Lenin returned secretly to organise the second revolution

22 The Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917

23 Bolshevik Red Guards storming the winter palace in Oct 1917

24 The world’s first communist revolution The Oct Revolution was carefully planned Bolshevik Red Guards, led by Trotsky leader of the Petrograd Soviet, took over key positions in the city bridges, railway stations, telephone exchange Other Bolsheviks surrounded the Winter Palace the government HQ which was also threatened by the guns of a warship on the River Neva The PG had no choice but to surrender The Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917

25 By 26 Oct 1917, Russia had a Bolshevik Government Enormous support from workers in Russian cities, esp Petrograd and Moscow Support also from ordinary soldiers However, events were to show that they did not have support from most of the Russian people The Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917

26 Leon Trotsky Joined the Bolsheviks in 1917 Played a key role in the Oct revolution Commissar of War in 1918 Excellent speaker and writer


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