The Russian Empire fought on the side of the Allies during World War One from 1914 until 1918 when it signed a treaty with Germany and withdrew.
By the time the Russians withdrew, the casualty rate for Russia was more than a million and conflict was boiling at home. That conflict was the Russian Revolution.
The February Revolution
The Russian Revolution was fought in two parts.
The February Revolution began March 8 (February 23 on the Julian calendar) and ended March 15, 1917. It began as a demonstration by people waiting in bread lines in Petrograd and quickly spread to a strike among industrial workers. Troops were dispatched to quell the uprising, but many of them supported the protestors.
The government resigned and was replaced with a provisional government, and Czar Nicholas II abdicated.
During the February Revolution, the Russian people were upset about the war’s high cost both in the human toll and the disruption it was making on the economy. They also were upset that parliament, the Duma, had been dissolved multiple times by the Czar for no other reason than the Duma disagreed with him. In addition, the army was in mutiny.
The Bolshevik Revolution
The Bolshevik phrase of the revolution began Nov. 6, 1917, and ended that month. However, the following year the nation became engulfed in a civil war that lasted until 1922 when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established.
The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the provisional government in a bloodless coup.
In March 1918, Lenin signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, officially ended Russia’s participation in World War One.
The Bolsheviks were communist. During the civil war, they were known as the Reds. Those who were fighting against the communists were known as the Whites, and they had the support of the Allies.
Meanwhile, the royal family was executed in 1918.
The revolution had a decade’s-long effect on the politics of Eastern Europe.
In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the royal family, and in 2008, the Russian government ruled the family was the victim of political repression.
Do you think the Russian Revolution would have happened later if it were not for World War One? Leave a comment below.
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