1. What methods did the groups use to express their frustrations and ultimately lead to a revolution?
The Russian people, as a whole, wanted change and unity from the Tsarists’ government. At the beginning of the first Great War (World War I), the Russian people felt united for one common cause (to attack the Germans). Later this patriotic feeling turned to be mutiny and eventually led to defection. Before the February and October revolution, protests, strikes, public disorder, labour riots, violence that targeted Tsarists regimes, Mutinies during WWI, and crime were happening all around the country, especially in St. Petersburg (newly named Petrograd). In Petrograd during February 23, 1917 ordinary women and men from the food queues started a demonstration. Thousands of female textile workers walked out of their factories to protest about the shortage of bread. Insurgent soldiers and police officers soon abandoned the Tsar and joined the demonstrators. Because of this mass scale act of defiance in the capital, Tsar Nicholas surrendered on March 2nd 1917. That is what the Russians did to express their anger.
2. How is your revolution similar and/or different to one of the revolutions you studied?
The Russian Revolution (1917) was very similar to the French Revolution (1789) in various ways. The Russian Revolution was also incredibly different from the French Revolution. Some of the similarities consisted of; the over throwing of the king, the bankruptcy of the government, and the over throwing of the new moderate government. Differences between these revolutions were things like; the types of government at the end of the revolution and causes that sparked the government’s bankruptcy. One of the similarities between these revolutions was the kings being overthrown by the citizens of the country. In France, King Louis XVI was overthrown by the citizens of France. In Russia, Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown by the citizens of Russia. They are similar because both kings got over thrown by the citizens of the country. King Louis XVI was over thrown because masses on the street started taking place. In Russia, violent demonstrations and riots on the roads also took place, overthrowing Tsar Nicholas II. The second similarity between these two revolutions is what started to anger the majority of the people. In France, the government started to become bankrupt, causing the citizens to riot against King Louis XVI. In Russia, the government also became bankrupt, angering the public. This caused them to take action against Tsar Nicholas II. The similarity here is that both revolutions started because both governments became bankrupt. Russia became bankrupt because of expenses on World War I and the Russo-Japan war. France became bankrupt because Louis XVI spent the governments money carelessly. The last similarity between the French and Russian revolution is that both county’s revolt had the new moderate government, the people that over threw the king, over thrown. In France, the national assembly came to power but then was over thrown by the Jacobins (a French party). In Russia, this also happened except for that when Russia over threw the King, they created a provisional government. When the provisional government was in place, the Bolshevik (a Russian party lead by Lenin) over threw that government and established the Soviet Union. These revolts are similar because both countries’ new moderate government was overthrown by a party.A difference between these revolts was the type of government that was established when the revolution was finished. In France, democracy was the new type of government whilst Russia had a dictator like leader. These types of governments are different because democracy is when masses vote on a decision that is to be made. Dictatorship is when a leader makes all the decisions for the people. The last difference between these two revolutions was what created bankruptcy in the monarchy government. As I said before, the French government’s bankruptcy ignited because of King Louis XVI’s carless spending. In Russia, the bankruptcy started because of the money used to pay for World War I’s expenses. These revolutions are different because one government spent the money carelessly and one over spent on World War I.
Those are just some of the similarities and differences between the Russian and French revolutions.
3. What was the eventual outcome of the revolution, and did the nation/people become better due to the revolution?
In this Russian revolution, it was spilt in to two parts. The February Revolution (the deposition of Tsar Nicholas II) and the October revolution (the expulsion of the Provisional government).
The eventual outcome of this revolution was that Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown and the Provisional government was established. Alexander Kerensky was the leader of the Provisional government. He promoted freedom of speech, allowed the return of some political parties, released thousands of political prisoners, and tried to muster up a new offensive. But the soldiers, workers, and peasants who favoured the Petrograd Soviets (Russian Party) say that they achieved nothing from the revolution. Citizens did not feel so comfortable about the revolt because World War I was still on-going. This revolution was not going well for the people. Soldiers were defecting, food was short, and supplies were scarce because of the low economy. Because of this February revolution, freedom was achieved, although not much was done about the workers. Political parties were allowed to return. This paved the way for the next revolution between the Bolsheviks (a socialist Russian party) and Kerensky. The nation was not better due to this revolution.
After the October revolution, the short lived Provisional government was soon replaced by the Soviets (or the Bolsheviks). The Soviets achieved power in Russia, although they had many enemies as well. After the revolution, Russia went into civil war against the Whites, or the Green army. The war brought death and suffering to millions of Russians regardless of their political background. I do not believe that the nation/people became better immediately because Russia was now facing to major wars. But after the civil and the World War I, Russia’s union benefited the workers, and peasants of Russia. In conclusion, the nation did become better after this October revolution.
4. Was the revolution justified? Would other methods have worked?
I believe that the revolution was justified because Czar Nicholas II was inept of his imperial duties to his country. He led Russia to lose a major war at the time the Russo-Japan war. During World War I, millions of Russian soldiers and people died. People hated Nicholas’s autocratic way of rule and a countless of Russians believed in social change. People knew the Tsar’s new offensives would not work. Food and supplies were already scarce when the Tsar was in place. Other methods wouldn’t have worked because peaceful attempts already have been crushed, just like the 1905 bloody Sunday massacre. Imperial Guards have killed peaceful protesters petitioning the resignation of Tsar Nicholas II. Force was needed to change how things worked in Russia.
5. Briefly state whether or not your revolution follows Crane Brinton’s Stages of Revolution.
After analyzing the Russian revolution in great detail, I have noticed that this revolution fits in Brinton Crane’s Framework of a Revolution. This fits into the framework for various reasons. Most stages of Brinton’s Anatomy can relate several events from the Russian revolution. In the beginning of the revolution, the Russian middle class rioted on the streets. Further into the revolution, the people over threw Tsar Nicholas II and create a provisional government. Near to the end of the revolution, the moderate government (the provisional government) was overthrown by a Russian party, called the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks then established a new dictatorship. At the end of the revolution, Vladimir Lenin (leader of the Bolshevik party) came to power.
Stage 1: Symptoms
“The middle class loudly expresses its anger over economic restraints placed upon it by the government. While these restrictions are not overbearing, they are enough to cause extreme anger.”
This relates to the Russian revolution because the middle class citizens of Russia started to riot on the streets, expressing their anger. This happened because of the economic restraints that they were receiving from the government (ex. increased taxes). This was because Nicholas II’s government had very little money due to the expenses spent on World War I.
“The government is ineffective and is unable to effectively manage the country. This could be due to an inept leader or a chronic money shortage within the government.”
As I mentioned before, the government of Russia had a chronic money shortage because they had to pay for all the bills for World War I. Because of this, the government became ineffective on managing the country. Thus, they increased the taxes which angered the citizens of Russia.
“Eventually, the ruling party is deserted by the intellectuals, who also speak out against the government.”
Since the increased taxes took place, it not only taxed the middle class but, also the wealthy intellectuals. This angered the intellectuals, causing them to also speak out against the government.
Stage 2: Rising Fever
“This is the escalation of the anger felt by the middle class. The people rise up against the government.”
This relates to the Russian revolt because when the citizens of Russia got more angry, they over threw the Tsar Nicholas II.
“The moderates, or political center, then form a new government.”
After the moderates over threw the Tsar of Russia, they created a new provisional government.
Stage 3: Crisis
“The revolution reaches a head when the moderates, inept at the job of ruling a country, are forcibly and violently removed from power by the radicals or the political left”
When the moderates had the provisional government in place, which was ineffective at the job of ruling the country, the Bolsheviks (a Russian party lead by Vladamir Lenin) overthrew them and created the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was a dictatorship like leadership.
“The revolution is fragile because popular support is needed and economic conditions are poor”
The Bolshevik party was the majority compared to the Mensheviks but they were still pretty small compared to the whole Russian population. Failed attempts at power have driven people to disbelief in the Bolshevik faith.
Stage 4: Convalescence
“A strong ruler comes to power and the new moderate government begins the process of stabilizing the county”
Vladamir Lenin, leader of the Bolsheviks, was the strong ruler that came to power. He and his party made a dictatorship like leadership that ruled the entire country of Russia.
“Life in the country begins to return to normal”
After the civil war in Russia, Lenin came to power and the country was on its way to recovery. Because several of the events of the Russian revolution fits into Crane's anatomy, I strongly believe that this revolution fits very well into Brinton Crane's anatomy of a revolution.
Allan, Tony. The Russian Revolution. London: Heinemann, 2002. Jones, Andrew. "Russian Revolution (1917)."
Spark notes. 30 January, 2008. Spark note. 30 Jan 2008 //www.sparknotes.com/history/european/russianrev/.
Strickler, James. Russia of the Tsars. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1998.