2 IntroductionThe Russian Revolution was like a firecracker with a very long fuse. The explosion came in 1917, yet the fuse had been burning for nearly a century. The cruel, oppressive rule of most 19th-century czars caused widespread social unrest for decades. Army officers revolted in Secret revolutionary groups plotted to overthrow the government.
3 In 1881, revolutionaries angry over the slow pace of political change assassinated the reform-minded czar, Alexander II. Russia was heading toward a full-scale revolution.
5 End to ReformIn 1881, Alexander III becomes czar and ends the reforms of his father, Alexander II.Alexander III institutes autocratic rule, suppressing all opposition and decent.
6 Czars Continue Autocratic Rule Government censors written criticism; secret police monitor schoolsNon-Russians living in Russia are treated harshly
7 Anti-Jewish PogromsJews become target of government backed pogroms (organized persecutions)Alexander III encourages Jewish emigration to the United States during this time. The musical Fiddler on the Roof is set in this era.
8 In 1894, Nicholas II becomes czar and continues autocratic ways
10 Rapid Industrialization Number of factories doubles between 1863 and 1900, but Russia still lags behind other European countries.In late 1800s, new plan boosts steel production and a major railway begins
11 The Revolutionary Movement Grows Industrialization breeds discontent over working conditions and wages.Growing popularity of Marxist idea that proletariat (workers) will ruleBolsheviks—Marxists who favor revolution by a small committed group
12 LeninLenin—Bolshevik leader—an excellent organizer and inspiring leader
14 The Russo-Japanese War Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War in the early 1900s causes unrest in Russia.
15 Bloody Sunday: The Revolution of 1905 In 1905, 200,000 workers march on the czar’s palace to demand reformsThe army fires into the crowd, killing manyMassacre leads to widespread unrest; Nicholas if forced to make reforms
16 The short lived DumaThe Duma, Russia’s first parliament, meets in 1906Czar is unwilling to share power, dissolves the Duma after only 10 weeks
17 World War I: The Final Blow Heavy losses in World War I reveal government’s weaknessNicholas goes to war front; Czarina Alexandra runs government in his absence
18 Czarina falls under the influence of Rasputin—a mysterious “holy man”—who she believes has the power to heal her son.Nobles fear Rasputin’s influence and murder himArmy losing effectiveness; people at home are hungry and unhappy
20 First StepsIn March 1917, strikes expand; soldiers refuse to fire on workers.Most of the tension is caused by Nicholas II personally taking command of the military in World War I, and the war going so badly.
21 The Czar Steps DownMarch Revolution—protests become uprising; Nicholas abdicates throneDuma establishes provisional, or temporary governmentSoviets—committees of Socialist revolutionaries—control many cities
22 Lenin Returns to Russia In April 1917, Germans aid Lenin in returning from exile to Russia (pictured in disguise with his goatee shaved and wearing a wig).
29 New Economic PolicyIn March 1921, Lenin launches New Economic Policy; has some capitalismNEP and peace restore economy shattered by war and revolutionBy 1928, Russia’s farms and factories are producing again
30 Political ReformsLenin creates self-governing republics under national governmentIn 1922, country renamed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.)Communist Party—new name taken by Bolsheviks from the writings of Marx
32 A New LeaderTrotsky and Stalin compete to replace Lenin after Lenin’s deathJoseph Stalin—cold, hard Communist Party general secretary in 1922Leon TrotskyJoseph Stalin
33 Stalin gains power from 1922 to 1927 Lenin dies in 1924 Stalin gains complete power in 1928; Trotsky is forced into exile.Trotsky is murdered in Mexico City in 1940 by an NKVD agent.Room where Trotsky was murdered (above); Trotsky’s murderer, NKVD agent, Romón Mercader (right).