Make two lists: one with the main events and the effects of the February Revolution and the other with the main events and effects of the October Revolution. Write a paragraph on who was involved in each, who were the leaders and what was the impact of each on Soviet history.
Main events and effects of the February Revolution, October Revolution (who was involved, leaders, impact on Soviet history)
(a) The February Revolution
In February 1917, acute food shortages were felt in the workers’ quarters; parliamentarians were opposed to the Tsar’s wish to dissolve the Duma. On 22nd February, a factory lockout occurred and many women led the way to the strikes. The strikes continued, with the workers surrounding fashionable quarters and official buildings at the centre of Petrograd — the Nevskii Prospekt. On 25th February, the Duma was dissolved. This resulted in a ransacking of the Police Headquarters on the 27th. The cavalry refused to fire at the protesting crowd, and by evening, the revolting soldiers and the striking workers were united as a “soviet” or “council” called the Petrograd Soviet.
The Tsar abdicated his power on 2nd March, and the Soviet and Duma leaders formed a Provisional Government for Russia. The February Revolution had no political party at its forefront. It was led by the people themselves. Petrograd had brought down the monarchy, and thus, gained a significant place in Soviet history.
(b) The October Revolution
This arose out of the conflict between the Provisional Government and the Bolsheviks. In September, Vladimir Lenin began to bring together Bolshevik supporters for an uprising. On 16 October 1917, he convinced the Petrograd Soviet and the Bolshevik Party for a socialist seizure of power. A Military Revolutionary Committee was appointed under Leon Trotskii to organise this capture of power. When the uprising began on 24 October, Prime Minister Kerenskii left the city to bring in the troops to prevent the situation from going out of control. In a swift response, the Military Revolutionary Committee attacked government offices; the ship Aurora shelled the Winter Palace, and by nightfall on the 24th, the city was under Bolshevik control. After some serious fighting, the Bolsheviks gained full control of the Moscow-Petrograd area. The actions of the Bolsheviks were unanimously accepted at a meeting of the All Russian Congress of Soviets, in Petrograd.
The October Revolution was primarily led by Lenin and his sub-ordinate Trotskii, and involved the masses who supported these leaders. It marked the beginning of Lenin’s rule over the Soviet, with the Bolsheviks under his guidance.