The Russian revolution occurred in 1917 and referred to the sequence of events that led to the transformation of the social nature within the Russian Empire hence the state. The Soviet Union was formed to reinstate the old Tsarist dictatorship. The Bolshevik Party, under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin and the workers’ Soviets, overthrew the state in Petrograd and gained full control of the government.
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The factors which necessitated the Russian revolution which contributed to the formation of the distinctive sense of identity as expressed by Lenin are:
- Autocratic governance. Tsar Nicholas II used the dictatorial model of governance whereby everyone in the society was to devote loyalty to him. He denied the reforms necessary for uplifting the living standards of the Russian people through limited civil freedom as well as democratic representation.
- Lack of food . In the early 1900s, land modifications suggested by Sergei Witte were neglected. The liberation of the peasants from slavery in 1861, they still complied with the state by paying redemption fees, and demanded communal tender of the land they worked” (Stephane 126). The peasants were distressed in their operations, resulting in riots aiming to claim the ownership of the land as well as freedom of operation. It is believed that “the country comprised mainly of poor farming peasants, with 1.5% of the population owning 25% of the land.” (Orlando 525)
- Failure in World war I. The government lacked enough weapons as well as logistics which contributed enormously to their defeat in World war. These results criticized the Nicholas II tsarist regime terming it as weak and unfit. The soldiers were unsatisfied and lacked moral support from the Tsar, leading to defections that disintegrated the unity and loyalty of the army (S.F 32).
- Poor working conditions. There was a noticeable rise of industries in Russia which led to overcrowding in the urban places and poor working conditions for the workers. It was evident that “the population of St. Petersburg had increased from 1033600 to 1905600, with Moscow affected similarly, between 1890 and 1910” (Christopher 152). The harsh conditions involved a lack of enough houses (six people shared a room), water shortage, as well as poor sewerage.
- Development of revolutionary ideas and movements. Due to the oppression evident in the country, various organizations were formed in order to fight for human freedom. This was also facilitated by the increased interaction of the people in the cities leading to the campaigning of their deserved rights.
The characteristics of the identity included:
- participative government-aimed at giving each and everyone equality on making the government policies;
- better working conditions in the industries for the workers;
- equality and sovereignty of the people;
- sufficient food reserves for the Russian people.
Once Lenin took over the government, he carried out various reconstructions of the government. First, he threw away the old system Tsarist regime, which was connected to the entire crisis affecting Russia. This also enabled them to establish the Bolshevik’s policies towards the government.
Secondly, “three decrees” (decree of land, peace decree, and decree to govern the state) were implemented (Moorehead 184). The land decree discouraged the private ownership of land and the rights transferred to the people. The peace decree ceased the war against Germany and set up the policies governing international relations across the world. The third decree laid down the authority structure of the state.
The government also properly defined the rights of the Russian People, which involved fairness and independence of the people.
The Tsar Empire was linked with many problems and oppressions facing the Russian people. Lenin’s party, in collaboration with the Workers Soviets, fought to liberate human rights under new reforms.
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Alan Moorehead, The Russian Revolution. New York: Harper, 1958, p 183–187.
Cohen, S.F., Bukharin, and the Bolshevik Revolution, Oxford University Press, 1965, p 27-32.
Courtois, Stephane, The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University Press, 1999. p. 126.
Figes, Orlando, A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891–1924. Penguin, 1998, p 524–525.
Read, Christopher, From Czar to Soviets: The Russian People and Their Revolution, 1917–21. Oxford University Press, 1996, p 151–153.