Russian Revolution

The Russian revolution also closely followed the eight steps of a revolution.

First, when fighting against Napoleon, many of the Russian officers liked what they saw in the rest Europe. The officers desired to initiate some European-like reforms in Russia. They led a small revolt which the czar quickly crushed. The czar also began to strengthen his hold on the government and destroy anything that looked like it might be against his government. The serfs then began to speak up for reform, and eventually a czar gave them some land, but the serfs had to pay back the government for the next 49 years. Later, a new czar wanted to force all people to adopt the Russian language and the Russian orthodox church. This further angered many of the Russian minorities. Also, the Russian workers received only very small wages, which led to many strikes. This inability to appease the powerful groups and intellectuals in Russia matched the first step of a revolution. The second step occurred when a large number of Russian workers marched in front of the czars palace in St. Petersburg. They attempted to present a method of reform to the czar. The czar, seeing this as a challenge to his power, massacred them all in an act known as Bloody Sunday. This aroused much public opposition against the czar. This caused the Russian revolution to explode. Violence and thievery erupted all over the country. Steps three and four of the revolutionary cycle occurred next. To help control this violence, the czar attempted to appease some of the citizens by promising "freedom of person, conscience, assembly, and union", and appointing a national assembly, called the DUMA. This was a quest to carry out a method of moderate reform, but unfortunately, the czar gave them no real power, and dismissed the Duma when it disagreed with him. The government did, however, succeed in a few pieces of moderate reform, such as the beginning of a program to help the peasants buy back their land. Still many of the average citizens and intellectuals were still dissatisfied with the state of their country. Finally, the czar was overthrown, and the government could begin a true method of moderate reform. At this same time, the soviets were rising to power. They demanded the right to run factories and issue orders to the army. This greatly harmed the moderate government's ability to control the country. The moderates lost much of the popular support, and the Bolsheviks then came to seize power. Lenin, the key figure behind the Bolshevik revolution, soon became the leader of Russia. He has previously studied the works of Karl Marx, and has a staunch supporter of the method of government proposed by Marx. Many people objected to Lenin's leadership. They created eighteen groups which were opposed to Lenin. The opposition groups, however could not unite under a single banner. Lenin set up the Red army to combat all of his enemies. He also seized control of all major industries, and operated under the policy of "War-Communism". The government also began to silence all opposition by censoring critics of the revolution, and executing the czar. Finally, a secret police was created to hunt down and destroy all the opposition. Finally the opposition groups gave in, and the Communists had absolute power. This meets steps five and six of the steps of revolution, which states that extremists will come to power, and impose a reign of terror, which people will eventually tire from, and attempt to end the crisis.

Lenin then became the new 'dictator' of Russia. He operated behind the principles of creating a communist, classless society. He started a series of reforms geared at improving the quality of Russian life, and furthering the industry. He also limited the power of the Russian orthodox church. This met steps seven and eight of the revolutionary cycle. After Lenin dies, there was a power struggle in Russia between Trotsky and Stalin. Stalin eventually managed to defeat Trotsky, and exile him. Stalin then initiated an internal party 'reign of terror' to help silence any critics within the communist party. He also tried to bring Russian industries up to par with the industries of other nations. In doing this, he sacrificed many basic human needs. In fact, during his quest to create collective farms, over ten million people died. Stalin did, however, created many advances in the Soviet Union, and provided many social needs, such as free education, and work for all people, along with pensions for elderly people. He thus preserved many of the gains of the revolution, and increased the state of communism in his country.