RUSSIAN REVOLUTION IN OCTOBER 1917
A revolution is a political term which can be defines as the total over throw of the existing government by those who were previously subjected to it.
The Russia socialist revolution took place in 26th Oct. 1917 under the Bolsheviks. This revolution however preceded by another revolution which took place in Feb. 1917 but this was not successful like the Bolsheviks’ because of its weakness in the society/ to the Russians but both of these revolution come into existence because of the problems faced Russians before and during 1917.
In 1917, two revolutions completely changed the fabric of Russia. First, the February Russian Revolution toppled the Russian monarchy and established a Provisional Government. Then in October, a second Russian Revolution placed the Bolsheviks as the leaders of Russia, resulting in the creation of the world’s first communist country.
THE RUSSIAN SOCIETY BEFORE AND DURING 1917
This were the majority in Russia who used primitive method of cultivation like hand hoe without any mechanizationin agriculture like the use of tractors, no use of machines for planting and harvesting;
(i) The economy of the peasant was very Low because of the use of primitive methods of cultivation.
(ii) At the beginning of the 19 th Russian agriculture was still low in comparison with other western European countries.
(iii)Land distribution was unfair because a large number of acres of land which belongs to the millions of peasants were taken by the ruling class and given to the few Land Lords who were about 30,000 hence there were serious Land shortage among the peasants which led them to support the Oct. 1917 revolution in Russia.
2. The Proletariat
(i) This was a very small number of people in the 20 th C.
(ii) This group of workers was concentrated in very few areas especially in towns.
(iii) They had very Low standard of Living because they earn a little.
(iv) Workers had to supplement their wages with cultivation of small plots in the country side but also the cultivation was done by primitive way (hand hoe) hence they supported a revolution seriously in order to get out all these problems.
3. The big Land Lords (Land Lords)
This group comprised of the rural capitalist who own rural farms and most of the peasant had to work in their forms for their benefits and this group was small in number in Russian society.
4. The capitalist class / Bourgeoisie class.
This class was weak and small which operated its economic activity by using foreign capital because Russia by that time were very much behind of the western industrial stage of capitalism so their influence to the ruling class was negligible.
5. The Russian Orthodox Church.
This comprises the bishops and upper clergy this Orthodox Church (class) had cooperated with the ruling class in Russia to oppress the normal Russians.
6. The Adminisrators.
This class composed of the Tsa (csar) or the King and the nobility, in this class the parliament (DUMA) had unlimited power because it based only on restricted electorate and its role was to make Laws and order only while all the powers of implementing those powers were given to the ruling class under the Tsay.
The revolution intended to overthrow the ruling class, hence the revolution of Russia was took place when Russian was partially feudal state in Rural areas and partiality a capitalist state especially in urban areas however a large percent of Russia was under feudalism.
Socialist ideas were introduced in Russia by political socialist who were in exile and who made socialist from other countries.
The Russia Revolution was led by a social democratic Labor party which some years before revolution had already split into two groups which are the Bolsheviks and Menshevicks however both of them agreed that at feudal and at capitalist revolution was necessary for establishing socialist.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN SHEVICKS AND BOLISHEVICKS
Men shevicks, these socialist thought that contradictions in Russia were not ripe for socialist revolution due to Lack of Large industrial working class and industrial sector, So they felt that capitalist should led the revolution against feudalism in the country and later on workers will be able to gain experience for Later socialist revolution.
Bolsheviks, these are extreme socialist, this group was led by V.J. Lenin. The Bolshevik criticized the men shevicks for treating Marxism as a dogma (doctrine) which means theories said by Marx should not be changed VI Lenin argued that Karl-max once said. In time of revolution there must be flexibility.
This group believed that the capitalist could not play a progressive ant feudal lord in Russia because the capitalist asked with the ruling class under Tsa Nicholaus II to oppress, humiliateand exploit the normal Russians (Majority) hence Lenin and his group believed that the revolution should be Learn by the party of the working class which must make alliance with the poor peasant.
In short the problems faced the Russians between 1860 up to 1917.
1. The peasants were not independent because they had no Land, they were exploited by the ruling feudal class, they were terribly living in poor conditions where by their life were very bad under acute poverty.
2. There was not real freedom to the serfs who usually they offered their works to the feudal Lord but their life was in Low standard.
3. Serfs were almost slaves where they had no rights in their life, in spite of the emancipation of 1861 movement to demand for their rights but they were not given their rights but they were not given their rights e.g. not given Land, freedom of human rights etc and they continued to pay a fee for 49 years for the benefit of the ruling class.
4. The Russian society also faced a lot of problem in their life e.g. humiliation, segregation, exploitation oppression etc. where by the feudal ruling class in collaboration with capitalist and feudal lords used to humiliate, segregate and exploit the normal Russians.
5. Workers were not allowed to form their trade unions in order to demand for their rights despite of the problems they faced while working in industries.
6. Russia was not well developed and it was characterized by backwardness economy and under development because during this the Russia was still depending on Agrarian economy.
7. Russian people were forced to pay high taxation which led them to be deprived their rights and freedom of speech by Tsa regime, orthodox church and the feudal lords because Russians who had nothing to own were forced by the ruling class to pay high tax for their benefit.
8. There was a miserable life to all Russians e.g. people lived and sleeping in congested houses with no ventilation no sufficient food, no education to children, people were punished publicly by the feudal Lords etc, all these problems Led the people of Russia to support the Oct. 1917 revolution in Russia.
CAUSES / FACTORS / REASONS / BACKGROUND FOR RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF 1917
1. A poor leadership of Tsa Nicholaus II.
The poor leadership led to the Russian revolution of 1917. This is because when Russia was under the rule of Tsa Nicholaus II the capitalist and feudal Lords allied with the Tsa Nicholaus to exploit and oppress the ordinary people in Russian this ordinary people were poor, having no land, faced poor working condition hence the intensive exploitation and oppression by Tsa led the Russians to support the revolution in Oct. 1917.
Moreover the Tsa regime refused to introduce Reforms and changes in Russia, These led Tsa Nicholaus to adopt a bogus or sham democracy which increased the problem in the society because in this democracy the Tsa would dissolve the DUMA at any time he wish to do so
e.g. The fist DUMA was introduced in 1906 but dissolved in the same year by Tsa Nicholaus II other Dumas which was introduced in 1907 lived for short period be being dissolved again, these led the increase of strikes, boycott and demonstrations and blood killings increased in Russia especially from 1905 which paved a way for Oct. 1917 revolution.
2.The effects of the World War 1 of 1914 –1918.
The World War 1 accelerated to the Oct, revolution in Russia because during this war Russia allied with the triple entente of Britain, France and USA to fight against the triple alliance of Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary. In the war Russian army which fought in the two general fronts which was in the East against Germany and South against Austria-Hungary but in his front Russian army was defeated by Germany, where by many soldiers were lived and many others were wounded.
But also the war increased expenditure which led the decline of economy in Russia while the coast of living increased e.g. workers in factories for long working hours to earn little in order for them to survive and goods distribution was inefficient which led long lines for bread in Russia cities especially in petrograd.
This increased strikes of workers who demanded for bread, The war also led soldiers who were living in villages to increase strikes demanding for their rights which they were promised to be given after the war hence the increase of boycotts, demonstrations and strikes which become the all of the day in major cities led Tsa Nicholaus II to resign from power on March 1917 officially 15/03/1917 and his power was taken by prince Lvov.
3. The weakness of the formed provisional government.
This was formed after the resignation of Tsa Nicholaus II had a lot of weakness revolution, Prince Lvov who assumed leadership on July 1917 and thereafter Kerensky led the provision government not interested to make changes in Russia and become un popular to the majority in Russia due to the followings:-
(a) This government was in favor of continuous WWI which could not loving peace in Russia while people were no longer with the war.
(b) This government could not provide food and guarantee land to the majority in Russia.
(c) The government failed to solve the fundamentals of Russians who were the majority like to remove inflection, un employment hence once Bolshevik come in exposed the weakness of the provisional government to the majority and succeeded to mobilize them for more support in 1917 Oct. revolution
e.g. V.I Lenin who a lived in Russia April 1917 from exile in Switzerland through Germany he organized the Bolshevikwho promised them food, peace and land restoration therefore in Oct. 1917 the Masses allied with him in Bolshevik revolution.
4. The good and strong leadership of V.I Lenin and other committed socialist to make a revolution.
The strong and committed leadership under the Bolshevik party led the revolution of Oct 1917 because these Bolshevik leaders wanted nothing except the revolution e.g. Leaders like V.I Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Trotsky worked likea five in order to active a socialist revolution regardless a number of obstacle they faced like improvement, exile in Finland and Later on Switzerland, Trotsky escaped to America and Joseph escaped worked day and night even in exile and even when they come back secretly they did not surrender rather they continued until they succeeded to make a revolution in Oct. 1917.
E.g. Lenin when he arrived from exilehe outlived his program to the Bolshevikat the railways station in April 1917.
(i) Breads for workers, Land for workers,good life for Russians, good education for Russian children hence his program attracted the majority in Russia who supported him in a revolution.
5. The teaching of Karl-max and Engels.
Contributed much in the Oct. 1917 Russian revolution because Max and Engels inspired a lot in the development of socialist thought in Russian e.g. in their famous books “ Das capital” and “Communist manifesto” Max and Engels spread the revolution ideas of establishing a communist state which would be out of capitalist evils hence it was those ideas that V.I Lenin used to implement in consciously Russians to participate in the Oct. 1917 Russian revolution. In fact if Karl-max and Engels had not propounded the ideas of socialism then it could not be possible for socialism to be successful in Russia.
6. The Russia – Japanese war (conflict) 1905.
In this conflict/ war Russian was miserable defeated by Japan, this accelerated to Oct. 1917 revolution in Russia because many Russian become annoyed and disappointed with Tsar regime (government) and they lost hope with Tsa’s regime due to the fact that this war led to the decline of Russian economy, the life of normal Russian become difficult.
Most of the soldiers were not given their good economic aspects like Land which were promised to be given after the war Russian government had to borrow money to run the government from the capitalist so all the people in Russia were to look for another alternative way to remove the Tsa regime from political power hence they supported Oct. 1917 revolution.
8. The miserable economic condition of Russia.
Before the revolution Russia was under feudalism in most parts of Russia except the few towns where a small number of workers worked under a foreign capitalist invested in Russia. So majority of Russians lived in acute poverty, faced with hunger and famine, natural calamities was common to the people of Russia all these miserable economic conditions in Russia promised people to ask for change so as to be in better life. The only way for a change was through the Oct. 1917 Revolution.
THE EFFECTS OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION TO RUSSIANS
1. The revolution managed to over throw the provisional government of Kerensky and established the Bolshevik government under VI Lenin.
2. Russia was immediately able to restore peace, security and bring unity among Russians after withdrawing from World War 1.
3. Russia was nationalized all the private properties such as crow land, Land Lord Land, churches Land without compensation and gave it to the peasant through peasant committee. Likewise the foreign investments which was industries were nationalized but because the industries nationalized belongs to western power it led to the occurrence of the war between the white (Army of Western investors) against the Reds (Bolshevik army) from 1918 – 1920 however the Bolshevik won.
4. The Church and the state were separated while religions and education in school was abolished (secular state).
5. Class differences in the society were abolished in which equality between man by man, sexes was observed and a decree (Law) was passed against inheritance of property.
6. The revolution led the communist of the Bolshevik party to be able to consolidate themselves in power by using different mechanism e.g. using special secret police called cheka, to imprison, to killor exile anti communist leadership where by some people exiled early and all anticommunist element in Russian society was eliminated.
7. In 1921 Lenin introduced a special program known as the new economic policy (NEP) by which a limited degree of capitalism was allowed e.g. people were allowed to own small enterprises, small scale industry, not allowed to own and control the key economic sectors e.g. banking, heavy industries, foreign trade etc.
Addition: In promoting the development of the country the five years development plan was started by the Bolshevik starting from (1928 – 1932, 1932 –1937, 1937 – 1942, 1942 – 1947, 1947 – 1952). In this program the Bolshevik mobilized people but also the Bolshevik were responsible to evaluate the success of the goals by directing people to involve in expected goals of development.
8. The Bolshevik party had a socialist democratic structure for mass participation in discussion, decision making and implementation of the goals, this structure was from the grass root levelto the national level which always ensured discipline and national unit within the party but it also directed Russian foreign policy, education and others in Russian society.
THE IMPACT OF RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF OCT. 1917 WORLD WIDE
1. The revolution led to spread of socialist & communist ideas in different parts of the world especially in eastern Europe Asia, Southern America and in Africa e.g. the spread of Asia to Asian where by several states emerged as a socialist statelike China, North Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Raos, Northern America to Cuba, Southern America it spread to Chile and in Africa was in Mozambique, Tanganyika, Angola, Ghana, Egypt etc.
2. The Oct. revolution of 1917 Led to cold war politics in the world between the Eastern camp led by USSR and the Western camp under U.S.A where by these two camps followed different ideology thus why led to the emergence of cold war politics.
3. Revolution of 1917 led to the formation of military alliance between the eastern camp and western camp where each camp formed a military alliance to defend and e.g. the eastern camp with socialist ideology formed the WARSAW PACT in (1950’s) while the western camp with capitalism ideology formed NATO in 1948.
4.The revolution of 1917 led to decolonization process in the colonized areas in Africa and Asia; where by Russia helped the nationalist morally and materially like provided food, money, advice and guns to the nationalist in order to defeat colonialism because Russia believed that colonialism and capitalism is like brother and sister due to the fact that it colonized people, humiliating them, looking for labor, raw materials, expanding market in different colonized areas for the world.
5. Russian revolution of 1917 led to nationalization of all private properties and wealth in other socialist countries in the world e.g. private property are land, bank, factory were nationalized and put under the control of the government in different socialist country for the benefit of the people in those countries .
6. The revolution of 1917 led to formation of NAM (Non Aligned Movement) in the third world countries or poor nations where by these poor countries formed NAM in order to government economic, political, social and technical assistance from both socialist and capitalist countries.
7. The revolution of 1917 led to the emergence of the two enmity blocks in the system of production and administration where by the socialist invited themselves under the eastern bloc while capitalism led the followers of the system to unite themselves under the western block, this two block existed until early 1990’s when socialism collapsed in Russia due to economic and political reforms occurred in the world.
EFFECTS OF RUSSIAN REVOLUTION IN AFRICA
1. It intensified/ increased ant colonial struggles for those who were fighting for self determination and self rule whereby Russia provided more support and moral support to African nations in order to fight against colonialist due to the fact that colonialism and capitalism are two sides of the same coin.
2. It intensified / increased to spread of socialist ideology and adoption of socialism in various African nation e.g. Ujamaa village which was the result of family hood in Tanzania, common mans charter in Uganda Harambee (Kenya) and Humanism in Zambia.
3. Created a political awareness in Africa especially when many Africans began to go in Russia for education, this was because Russia provided scholarship to Africans to go in Russia to study many things including socialism.
4. In increased the enmity in African nations due to the fact that there some African nations which followed capitalist ideology and others followed socialism. Those nations which followed socialism were not in good learning with those nation followed capitalism e.g. Due to that ideology in East Africa let to the collapse of former EAC in 1977.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF OCT. 1917 IN THE WORLD
1. The Russian revolution brought a new social and political system in the world because after Russian revolution which witnessed at the first time the theory of scientific socialism to put into practice in the world history led the birth of socialism as a new social and political system.
2. The Russian led to polarization of the world in to conflicting ideological camps; which were socialism in one hand with Eastern black and capitalism with western block so there was a great advantage to different nations of the world because those nations which were under socialism were to get assistance both material support and moral from USSR, and those nations which were under capitalism were to get assistance from U.S.A for both economic, social, political and technical development.
3.The Russian led to demonstration that socialism can be build even under unprompted conditions that is can be built anywhere because by that time of socialist revolution in Russia, Russia was still dominated by feudal mode of production in large parts but it managed to build socialism.
4.The Russian led to the formation of NAM in the LDC in which the intention of formation of NAM was to look for a middle cause of the cold war politics involved in the super powers but also it aimed to attract economic, social, political and technical assistance from both super powers of the world in that time which was USSR and U.S.A to the power nation.
5. The Russian inspired and accelerated liberation struggles and decolonization process in colonized areas of Africa and Asia by providing both material and moral support to the nationalist e.g. the concept of the national question advocated by Joseph Stalin called upon the colonized people to fight against colonialism as well as imperialism led by U.S.A which wanted colonies to be free for her to invest, to exploit, to get labor, market and raw materials.
6. There was ideological reliance, this advocated by Russia after the revolution of Oct 1917 led newly nation in Africa and Asia to rely on USSR in matters related to socialist construction all wise Russia provided tangible support to the newly nations of African and Asia by providing those newly nations grants and aids also Asia vice technical assistance, military assistance of so that these newly nation could defect colonialism and imperialism led by U.S.A.