Question by Christina: How did the deterioration of the homefront contribute to the Bolshevik’s success in Russia, 1917?
Any other aspects that contributed to the success of the Bolshevik Revolution (October Revolution) would be great.
No wikipedia pages please.
Thanks for the help!
Answers and Views:
Answer by Spellbound
WWI amplified many of the existing problems in Russia.
The workers in the cities worked very long hours – up to 14 hours a day, six days a week, for very little pay, and many lived in dormitories as house building had not kept pace with demand. The peasants could not plough, sow or bring in the harvests as the young men were off fighting in the war. And they were still heavily in debt after the emancipation of the serfs – they had to buy their freedom over 50 years, and many were still serfs. The situation in the countryside caused problems in the cities – they were starving, and in the army – the peasants in uniform wanted to get back to their villages to help with the farming – this was especially true in the spring and autumn, the ploughing and harvest seasons.
The Tsar took personal command of the army after its terrible start to the war. Unfortunately he was as inept as a military leader as he was a political leader, and many blamed him for Russia’s disastrous campaigns.
Politically the country had been radicalised for many years because of the Tsar, serfdom, lack of political representation, rapid industrialisation and political oppression. This, coupled with Bolshevik agitation in the factories and in the army made Russia ripe for revolution in 1917.
When the Tsar fell – due to the February Revolution (really an unorganised bread strike that spiralled out of control), the new, Provisional Government refused to withdraw from the war, and the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin – since 1903 – seemed to offer a solution to the mess the country was in. They promised “Bread, Land and Peace” – just what the workers and the peasant army wanted, and they also demanded “All power to the soviets” – soviets were councils, they began to appear all over the country, running everything from city districts to factories and battalions in the army. Again, they Bolsheviks hit a nerve, and the idea appealed to many Russians. The summer of 1917 sw the crowd become more and more radical, as Russian military defeat or stagnation caused hardship in the towns and cites.
Then the Provisional Government made a fateful error: they asked General Lavr Kornilov, newly appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Army, to come to the capital to restore order following the riotous July Days. This allowed the Bolsheviks to regroup and gave them the legitimacy of the only party that stood up to the army – and won.
The October Revolution by Roy Medvedev
Answer by imperialpoetpurple
The provisional governments had all fallen apart. There was a large Bolshevik presence in the Army and on the Homefront. Lenin’s message of Peace, Bread and Land – rang true. The provisional governments had exhausted their credibility and had even tried to crackdown on the peasants as well as the workers – so without going into detail about the Petrograd Workers strike and simultaneous conflicts with peasants…I would simply say that the genius of Lenin was that he had unified workers and peasants. Not only were the Bolsheviks at the helm of the Petrograd Workers strike in the October Revolution – but they were also foisting peasant uprisings. So there you have it Bolsheviks in the Army,and leading both workers and peasants – and there was no provisonal government force left now to stop them…
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