1917: The Russian Revolution

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In 1917, Russia pulled out of World War I due to an uprising in the motherland. The events that followed were termed the Russian Revolution. It led to the end of a 300-year-old imperial government and the creation of the first communist nation. Despite the fact that the Russian Revolution is called a single event, it was in fact first, a revolution, then, a coup. The first revolution was really a street riot over food scarcity gone out of control. Pressure from the people and Duma, the officially sanctioned parliament of Russia, forced the Tsar, Nicholas II, to abdicate on March 2, 1917. This was called the February Revolution because Russia followed the Julian calendar, 13 days behind the one used in all other countries. The Duma then instated …show more content…
To add salt to the wound, in 1904, Russia suffered a humiliating loss to yet another industrially superior imperialist, Japan, in the Russo-Japanese War. The Tsar learned the importance of further industrializing the nation. In the 1890 's, Russia had slowly begun industrializing, but at nowhere near the pace of Britain or Japan. Factories had sprung up in major cities like the capital, Petrograd–which is known as Saint Petersburg. Like in all urban factories, Russian factory workers constantly faced high risks, no job security, long hours and low pay. But unlike other countries ' working classes, Russian workers had absolutely no way to change their conditions. In other countries such as the United States and Britain, reform movements led by unions often bettered factory conditions. In Russia, however, the Tsar easily dismissed what little representation they had in the Duma. Basically, large numbers of the working class were clustered in small urban areas, mistreated and unrepresented: fertile breeding grounds for revolutionary and extremist ideas. Further complicating matters, the industrial revolution had created a new social group in urban areas. The group was not large enough to be called a middle class, but exemplified the same cultural practices. They were learned, interested in serving the public–not just the Tsar, sent their kids to school and read newspapers. This group soon turned against the Tsar upon realization of the incompetence of the Tsar and how much they could accomplish as a united

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