The Bolsheviks Did Not Sieze Power They

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The Bolsheviks Did Not Sieze Power They Merely Picked It Up Essay, Research Paper The Bolsheviks did not seize power they merely picked it up It is true to say that the Bolsheviks did not seize power but rather picked it up. The process that ensured their seizure of power is known as the Russian Revolution. This brought an end to 300 years of rule by monarchical, the Romanov dynasty. “The Bolsheviks were too numerically weak to overthrow a properly run government. What they did have was ambition, determination and a strategy to rise to an empty seat of power” . They were eager to overthrow the monarchy and rose to power as a result of the revolution. Nicholas II is historically noted for being the last Tsar of Russia. Known to his ministers as being an incredibly weak and

easily lead autocrat, he was out of tune with the people he ruled. His unruly, opinionated wife Alexandra was said to dominate Nicholas and tell him what to do. This is obviously a factor which contributed to his downfall and the rise of the Bolsheviks to power. At the time of his coronation as King he said, “Let all know that I, devoting all my strength to the welfare of the people, will uphold the principle of autocracy as firmly and as unflinchingly as my late unforgettable father” . This is a unbelievable contradiction. It is true that Nicholas did everything in his power to hold onto absolute autocracy that ruled Russia but, in not one sense did he look after the welfare of his people. During World War One famine swept Russia and many peasants died as a result. By the

start of 1917 the peasants, the middle class and even the army were against the Tsar and this resulted in the Revolution. By 1900 there was great discontent in the people of Russia. The peasants in particular were discontent with the life that they lived. They owned no land and were forced to work in the fields all day just to feed their families. This resulted in great poverty that swept Russia s lower classes and as there became less land to work peasants were forced to move to the cities and work in the factories. Russia was in the middle of its Industrial Revolution and many factories were full of peasants who lived in appalling conditions. It seemed that the poor became hungrier as the richer became wealthier. In 1905, a peaceful demonstration was lead by a priest called

Father Gapon. He organised thousands of discontented peasants to march harmoniously to the Winter Palace. They carried pictures and placards of the Tsar and chanted, “God save the Tsar”. The Royal Soldiers turned on the crowd an shot hundreds of defenseless people men, women and children. It was from this moment that the Tsar became known as “Bloody Nicholas”. He was distant and unsympathetic to his people and relentless to share his power. The Russian people demanded that their voice be heard and after many strikes which resulted in mutiny against the Tsar, Nicholas was forced to form an elected parliament he called the Duma. In the space of time between 1906 and 1917, the Duma met four times but, had no real power. The Tsar s secret police, called the Okrana arrested

anyone who opposed Nicholas and exiled them to Siberia or imprisoned them. Trade Unions were banned and there was strict censorship of press. “Many members of the middle class and the aristocracy criticised the government for being incompetent and oppressive” . It was widely agreed that something must be done. A group who called themselves the Socialist Revolutionaries formed in Russia in 1900. Their leader Lenin ( a great intellect from serf stock ) decided that something must be done to overthrow the autocratic ruling that dominated Russia at the time. In 1903, the Social Revolutionaries split into two different groups, the Bolsheviks, meaning majority and the Mensheviks, meaning minority. Both parties believed in the need for a Russian revolution however, they disagreed on