Bolshevik Revolution

Petrograd 1917

The February Revolution (which actually took place in March) began as a series of riots protesting food shortages and the ongoing unpopular war. Czar Nicholas II ordered the Dumas (the Russian Parliament) disbanded. Members of the Dumas refused to obey the dissolution order.  
On November 6th, the Bolsheviks, led by the Military Revolutionary Committee, captured most of the government offices and stormed the Winter Palace, arresting members of the interim government. The Soviets were now in control.

The Russian war effort against the Germans was faltering badly. Lenin's return to Russia had strengthened the view of the Bolsheviks that the war needed to end. By the end of October 1917, over a million railroad and other essential workers were on strike. It became harder and harder to order Russian troops into battle, with many just refusing to fight. On November 3, Russian troops on the Baltic front threw down their gun and began friendly interactions with the German forces. On November 4, the Prime Minister of the Russian provisional government, Alexander Kerensky ordered the Petrograd garrison to the front, they refused. The next day he ordered troops he thought were loyal from outside the city to enter it; they too refused.

On November 6, the Women's Death Battalion, which was loyal to the Provisional Government, marched through the streets only to be met with jeers. Kerensky tried to take action against the Bolsheviks, and he ordered their printing presses seized and phone lines to their headquarters cut.

The Bolsheviks sent armed units to recapture the printing press and seize the Central Telegraph Office.

Overnight the Bolsheviks occupied the principal buildings such as the railroad station, the banks, the bridges, and the post office. In the morning, Lenin releases a proclamation announcing the overthrow of the provisional government.

He wrote
To the Citizens of Russia!
The Provisional Government has been deposed. Government authority has passed into the hands of the organ of the Petrograd Soviet Workers and Soldiers Deputies, the Military Revolutionary Committee, which stands at the head of the Petrograd proletariat and garrison.

The task for which the people have been struggling - the immediate offer of a democratic peace, the abolition of landlord property in land, worker control of production, the creation of a Soviet Government this task is assured.

Long Live the Revolution of Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants!!


On November 7, 1917 the Provisional Government met in the Winter Palace, stating that only they had the right to rule. Thousands gather outside the Palace. Sailors aboard the Russian cruiser Aurora revolted and announced they supported the revolution. They threatened to fire on the Palace unless the Bolsheviks were allowed in. They fired blanks shells to show their seriousness. That night the Bolsheviks stormed the Palace, and the Provisional government fled.

The next morning November 8, Lenin was elected Chairman of the People's Commissars.

ut that was not to be.