Bolsheviks' Seizure of Power in 1917

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Bolsheviks' Seizure of Power in 1917

There are many factors that help explain how and why the Bolsheviks

managed to seize power in 1917. It was a combination of long and short

term causes that together, created a revolution. The political system

itself was long overdue for reform, but with a weak Tsar, the economic

and social conditions became worse and worse. In 23 years, Nicholas II

dropped from the glorious ‘Little Father of Russia’ to prisoners of

his own country, hatred and despised by the majority, for the

suffering and unhappiness he had helped create.

There were many long-term causes that gradually led up to the

revolution in 1917. The political system installed in Russia under the

Tsar was long overdue for reform. Russia was a vast empire rather

than a single country, and as the Tsar believed in ‘divine right’ he

was its supreme ruler, which even with a great, strong charactered

ruler, is still a huge task.

Nicholas believed in absolute autocracy, and by doing this he did not

manage the country well. He could appoint or sack ministers or make

any other decisions without consulting anyone else. Unlike most other

countries that had at least given them some freedom to say how their

country was run, the Tsar was dedicated with the idea of autocracy,

and seemed to be obsessed with the great past of his family. This

could be the cause of Nicholas’ behaviour; wanting to live up to the

name of his predecessors, and keeping the way the country was run the

same. Yet he took no advice, often appointing people not capable of

doing their job, just because they were personal friends or family.

Nicholas was a weak-charactered ruler...

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...trograd. The

Bolsheviks were also a disciplined party dedicated to revolution, with

some outstanding personalities such as Lenin and Trotsky.

There were around 800,000 members, helped by having the major

industrial centres, near the Moscow and Petrograd soviets especially,

that were all pro-Bolshevik. The Bolsheviks offered an effective

solution to the squalor and starvation the people had suffered under

the Tsar, upholding a political system already long overdue for

reform. All the events leading up to this radical uprising of the

Bolsheviks, helped create the October-Novemeber revolution. This made

Russia a democratic country with an elected government working for

it’s people, it’s workers, it’s soldiers, and the peasants. Tsarist

Russia was now history, but for Bolshevik Russia, this was just the

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