War and Revolution in Russia (1917-1918)

War and Revolution in Russia (1917-1918)

  • Meeting of the Petrograd Soviet at the Tauride Palace.

    ANONYMOUS

  • A meeting at the front.

    ANONYMOUS

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Title: Meeting of the Petrograd Soviet at the Tauride Palace.

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1917

Date shown: 1917

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Meeting of the Petrograd Soviet at the Tauride Palace.

© All rights reserved

To close

Title: A meeting at the front.

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1917

Date shown: 1917

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Storage location:

Contact copyright: © All rights reserved

© All rights reserved

Publication date: January 2005

Historical context

On March 12, 1917 (Justinian calendar), the Petrograd garrison rose up. Nicholas II abdicated three days later in favor of a provisional government, chaired by Prince Lvov, which lasted until July 20, leaving room for a cabinet headed by Alexander Kerensky.
Despite their rapid recognition by the Allied Powers (France, England, Italy) and the measures adopted in line with the traditional program of the Russian Democrats: abolition of the death penalty, abolition of legislation discriminating against nationalities or religions, the new authorities are unable to cope with the situation. To establish its legitimacy, the provisional government then decides to convene a Constituent Assembly, elected on the basis of direct, equal and secret universal suffrage, which will have the task of giving the new Russia laws based on equality and freedom ( Manifesto of March 20).

Image Analysis

Returning to the experience of the (vanquished) revolution of 1905, the revolutionary parties - revolutionary socialist, social democratic (Menshevik) and Bolsheviks - rely on the soviets. These councils, which appeared spontaneously throughout Russia in industrial centers, garrisons and countryside, federate and meet in regional and then national congresses. A first All-Russian Conference of Soviets took place at the end of March. There are about 900 councils of workers, soldiers and peasants 'deputies on the eve of the Bolsheviks' coup in October.
The Petrograd Soviet which meets at the Tauride Palace (photo n ° 1), seat of the douma (parliament established at the end of 1905) symbolizes the democratic phase of the revolution: a myth that will ignite the imagination is being born. By its structure, the soviet gives an impression of direct democracy. In reality, it is a complex organization both from the point of view of the form (pyramidal) and that of the rivalries between parties that take place there against a background of social opposition - the soldiers in the majority of peasant origins play a decisive role.
The influence of the Soviets grew over the weeks as the provisional government delayed in reuniting the Constituent Assembly and lost its foothold in the war against Germany. From March 14, the Petrograd Soviet placed this question at the center of the debate by launching an appeal to the peoples of the whole world to invite them to "a common and decisive action in favor of peace". Soon some Soviets rejected the authority of the government, which had made a commitment to the Allies to continue fighting, to respect the treaties, called for the "high patriotism" of the people and promised to provide the army with the necessary combat. Exhausted by three years of a particularly deadly conflict (1.7 million soldiers killed), Russia is no longer capable of making such an effort. On the front, the Russian army is breaking down (photo n ° 2). Pacifism spreads and discipline collapses: there are 2 million desertions from March to October. The introduction of a war jurisdiction restoring the death penalty on the front lines (July 25) is not enough to stem a phenomenon affecting 10 million men thirsting for peace.

Interpretation

The revolution of February 1917 (Gregorian calendar) fails to establish a constitutional democracy. The internal political development of Russia is subordinated to the consequences of the world conflict, which by its scale and its unprecedented violence disrupts the Russian economy, society and political system. A supporter of the war, the provisional government saw itself discredited by successive military defeats and suffered growing competition from the Soviets, a veritable revolutionary counter-power, which soon escaped any control. Acquired by Lenin and his “April Theses”, the Petrograd Soviet proceeded in October, under the responsibility of Trotsky, to a coup led by a small armed group: the October “revolution” replaced the October revolution. February.

  • army
  • Bolshevism
  • Communism
  • War of 14-18
  • Russia
  • Russian revolution
  • Trotsky (Leon)
  • Nicholas II (Tsar)
  • Kerensky (Alexander)

Bibliography

Pierre VALLAUD, 14-18, World War I, volumes I and II, Paris, Fayard, 2004.Marc FERRO, The Russian Revolution of October 1917, Paris, Albin Michel, collection "Library of the Evolution of Humanity", 1997.Malia MARTIN, Understanding the Russian Revolution, Paris, Seuil.Richard PIPES, The Russian Revolution, translated from the American under the direction of Jean-Mathieu LUCCIONI, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1993.

To cite this article

Jean-Louis PANNE, "War and Revolution in Russia (1917-1918)"

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Video: Crisis u0026 Revolution in Russia 1905