Lenin: Lecture on the Revolution
as a Watershed in Polish-Jewish Relations The Revolution Abroad: Mass Migration, Russian Jewish Liberalism and American Jewry, the transformative impact of but also the ways in which the revolution failed . The Russian Revolution grew out of events in when violence Soldiers had their own committees, which supervised relations with the officers. The failed uprising, dubbed the “July Days,” was followed by a crackdown. A detailed account of the Russian Revolution that includes includes images , When this failed, Gapon called for his members in the Putilov Iron Works to .. Reynolds, Terrorism and the Press: An Uneasy Relationship () page
Leon Trotskywho felt a strong connection to the Bolsheviki, had not given up a compromise but spearheaded strike action in over factories.The Russian Revolution (1917)
Growing inter-ethnic confrontation throughout the Caucasus resulted in Armenian-Tatar massacresheavily damaging the cities and the Baku oilfields. Artistic impression of the mutiny by the crew of the battleship Potemkin against the ship's officers on 14 June With the unsuccessful and bloody Russo-Japanese War — there was unrest in army reserve units. On 2 JanuaryPort Arthur was lost; in Februarythe Russian army was defeated at Mukdenlosing almost 80, men.
Inthere were naval mutinies at Sevastopol see Sevastopol UprisingVladivostokand Kronstadtpeaking in June with the mutiny aboard the battleship Potemkin. The mutineers eventually surrendered the battleship to Romanian authorities on 8 July in exchange for asylum, then the Romanians returned her to Imperial Russian authorities on the following day. A barricade erected by revolutionaries in Moscow Nationalist groups had been angered by the Russification undertaken since Alexander II.
The Poles, Finns, and the Baltic provinces all sought autonomy, and also freedom to use their national languages and promote their own culture.
Certain groups took the opportunity to settle differences with each other rather than the government. Some nationalists undertook anti-Jewish pogromspossibly with government aid, and in total over 3, Jews were killed. He appointed a government commission "to enquire without delay into the causes of discontent among the workers in the city of St Petersburg and its suburbs"[ attribution needed ] in view of the strike movement.
Elections of the workers delegates were, however, blocked by the socialists who wanted to divert the workers from the elections to the armed struggle. Responding to speeches by Prince Sergei Trubetskoi and Mr Fyodrov, the Tsar confirmed his promise to convene an assembly of people's representatives.
When its slight powers and limits on the electorate were revealed, unrest redoubled. The Saint Petersburg Soviet was formed and called for a general strike in October, refusal to pay taxes, and the withdrawal of bank deposits. In June and Julythere were many peasant uprisings in which peasants seized land and tools. Surprisingly, only one landlord was recorded as killed. It closely followed the demands of the Zemstvo Congress in September, granting basic civil rightsallowing the formation of political parties, extending the franchise towards universal suffrageand establishing the Duma as the central legislative body.
He regretted signing the document, saying that he felt "sick with shame at this betrayal of the dynasty A locomotive overturned by striking workers at the main railway depot in Tiflis in When the manifesto was proclaimed, there were spontaneous demonstrations of support in all the major cities. The strikes in Saint Petersburg and elsewhere officially ended or quickly collapsed.
A political amnesty was also offered. The concessions came hand-in-hand with renewed, and brutal, action against the unrest. There was also a backlash from the conservative elements of society, with right-wing attacks on strikers, left-wingers, and Jews.
The Russian Revolution - History Learning Site
While the Russian liberals were satisfied by the October Manifesto and prepared for upcoming Duma elections, radical socialists and revolutionaries denounced the elections and called for an armed uprising to destroy the Empire. Some of the November uprising of in Sevastopolheaded by retired naval Lieutenant Pyotr Schmidtwas directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included terrorism, worker strikes, peasant unrest and military mutinies, and was only suppressed after a fierce battle.
The Trans-Baikal railroad fell into the hands of striker committees and demobilised soldiers returning from Manchuria after the Russo—Japanese War.
The Tsar had to send a special detachment of loyal troops along the Trans-Siberian Railway to restore order. The government sent troops on 7 December, and a bitter street-by-street fight began. A week later, the Semyonovsky Regiment was deployed, and used artillery to break up demonstrations and to shell workers' districts. After a final spasm in Moscowthe uprisings ended in December According to figures presented in the Duma by Professor Maksim Kovalevskyby Aprilmore than 14, people had been executed and 75, imprisoned.
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. October Learn how and when to remove this template message Following the Revolution ofthe Tsar made last attempts to save his regime, and offered reforms similar to most rulers when pressured by a revolutionary movement.
The military remained loyal throughout the Revolution ofas shown by their shooting of revolutionaries when ordered by the Tsar, making overthrow difficult.
As such, campaigns and strike action in industrial factories was often uncoordinated; the revolution could even be considered a series of individual, small-scale revolutions.
The role of the political parties in the revolution was somewhat limited until October and the lack of a hierarchical command structure to organise the revolt allowed the tsarist government to isolate opposition groups and encourage support from moderates, helping the government gain more authority to suppress radical revolutionaries. The workers who marched on Bloody Sunday campaigned for better working conditions and greater rights. Though initially seeking relatively little change, the strikes that followed aimed for more radical changes including the removal of the Tsar.
The concerns of striking workers were hardly reflected in the concerns of the peasants, who sought lower taxation and greater political autonomy. Unlike the workers, who were largely influenced by left-wing Marxist ideologies, the peasantry were in favour of local institutions based on the communes mirin the belief that they would increase national political representation.
Peasant uprisings were often sporadic and disturbances could not be suppressed so easily as in the towns and cities. A prominent example of this is the Markovo Republic, a self-proclaimed peasant state with an elected government and public provisions, which effectively ruled part of the Volokolamsk district, just 80 miles from Moscow, for nearly a year until a government takeover in July The peasant uprisings, however, did not pose much of a threat to anyone beyond local landowners, who suffered the loss of over 3, manor houses, and certainly posed little threat to the tsarist government.
The Revolution also saw discontent over the command structure within the Russian military, fuelled by the defeat in the Russo-Japanese war, which led to such events as the mutiny of the Battleship Potempkin- a revolt against the officer class on their return to Russia.
While the mutiny proved to be a major embarrassment for the government, the sailors did not have enough support to pose a significant threat to the government. They fired on the unarmed workers, who on their bended knees implored the Cossacks to allow them to go to the tsar. Over one thousand were killed and over two thousand wounded on that day, according to police reports. The indignation of the workers was indescribable. It begins with the following words: Petersburg, have come to Thee.
We are unfortunate, reviled slaves, weighed down by despotism and tyranny. Our patience exhausted, we ceased work and begged our masters to give us only that without which life is a torment.
But this was refused; to the employers everything seemed unlawful. We are here, many thou sands of us. Owing to the deeds of Thy officials we have become slaves.
It ends with the following words: Demolish the wall that separates Thee from Thy people. Order and promise that our requests will be granted, and Thou wilt make Russia happy; if not, we are ready to die on this very spot. We have only two roads: The unenlightened workers of pre-revolutionary Russia did not know that the tsar was the head of the ruling class, the class, namely, of big landowners, already bound by a thousand ties with the big bourgeoisie and prepared to defend their monopoly, privileges and profits by every means of violence.
Nevertheless, there is a great difference between the two—the present-day social-pacifists are, to a large extent, hypocrites, who strive by gentle admonitions to divert the people from the revolutionary struggle, whereas the uneducated workers in pre-revolutionary Russia proved by their deeds that they were straightforward people awakened to political consciousness for the first time.
So deep was the conviction of the reformists of those days—as of the reformists of today—that, a real revolution was impossible!
This circumstance gave the narrow-minded and overbearing reformists formal justification for their claim that there was not yet a revolutionary people in Russia. Within a few months, however, the picture changed completely. In this manner a colossal country, with a population of ,, went into the revolution; in this way, dormant Russia was transformed into a Russia of a revolutionary proletariat and a revolutionary people.
It is necessary to study this transformation, understand why it was possible, its methods and ways, so to speak. The principal factor in this transformation was the mass strike. The peculiarity of the Russian revolution is that it was a bourgeois-democratic revolution in its social content, but a proletarian revolution in its methods of struggle.
At the same time, the Russian revolution was also a proletarian revolution, not only in the sense that the proletariat was the leading force, the vanguard of the movement, but also in the sense that a specifically proletarian weapon of struggle—the strike—was the principal means of bringing the masses into motion and the most characteristic phenomenon in the wave-like rise of decisive events.
The Russian revolution was the first, though certainly not the last, great revolution in history in which the mass political strike played an extraordinarily important part.
It may even be said that the events of the Russian revolution and the sequence of its political forms cannot be understood without a study of the strike statistics to disclose the basis of these events and this sequence of forms. I know perfectly well that dry statistics are hardly suit able in a lecture and are likely to bore the hearer. Nevertheless, I cannot refrain from quoting a few figures, in order that you may be able to appreciate the real objective basis of the whole movement.
The average annual number of strikers in Russia during the ten years preceding the revolution was 43, which meansfor the decade. In Januarythe first month of the revolution, the number of strikers wasIn other words, there were more strikers in one month than in the whole of the preceding decade!
In no capitalist country in the world, not even in the most advanced countries like England, the United States of America, or Germany, has there been anything to match the tremendous Russian strike movement of The total number of strikers was 2,, more than two times the number of factory workers in the country! This, of course, does not prove that the urban factory workers of Russia were more educated, or stronger, or more adapted to the struggle than their brothers in Western Europe.
The very opposite is true. But it does show how great the dormant energy of the proletariat can be. It shows that in a revolutionary epoch—I say this without the slightest exaggeration, on the basis of the most accurate data of Russian history—the proletariat can generate fighting energy a hundred times greater than in ordinary, peaceful times.
It shows that up to mankind did not yet know what a great, what a tremendous exertion of effort the proletariat is, and will be, capable of in a fight for really great aims, and one waged in a really revolutionary manner!
The history of the Russian revolution shows that it was the vanguard, the finest elements of the wage-workers, that fought with the greatest tenacity and the greatest devotion. The larger the mills and factories involved, the more stubborn were the strikes, and the more often did they recur during the year.
The bigger the city, the more important was the part the proletariat played in the struggle. Three big cities, St. Petersburg, Riga and Warsaw, which have the largest and most class-conscious working-class element, show an immeasurably greater number of strikers, in relation to all workers, than any other city, and, of course, much greater than the rural districts.
In this connection we note the following instructive fact: It is estimated that in consequence of the strikes every Russian factory worker lost an average of ten rubles in wages—approximately 26 francs at the pre-war rate of exchange—sacrificing this money, as it were, for the sake of the struggle. But if we take the metalworkers, we find that the loss in wages was three times as great!
1905 Russian Revolution
The finest elements of the working class marched in the forefront, giving leadership to the hesitant, rousing the dormant and encouraging the weak.
There can be no doubt that only this very close link-up of the two forms of strike gave the movement its great power. The broad masses of the exploited could not have been drawn into the revolutionary movement had they not been given daily examples of how the wage-workers in the various industries were forcing the capitalists to grant immediate, direct improvements in their conditions. This struggle imbued the masses of the Russian people with a new spirit. Only then did the old serf-ridden, sluggish, patriarchal, pious and obedient Russia cast out the old Adam; only then did the Russian people obtain a really democratic and really revolutionary education.
The real education of the masses can never be separated from their independent political, and especially revolutionary, struggle. Only struggle educates the exploited class. Only struggle discloses to it the magnitude of its own power, widens its horizon, enhances its abilities, clarifies its mind, forges its will.
Let us examine more closely the relation, in the strike struggles, between the metalworkers and the textile workers. The metalworkers are the best paid, the most class-conscious and best educated proletarians: This brings us to a very important circumstance.
Throughout the whole ofthe metalworkers strikes show a preponderance of political over economic strikes, though this preponderance was far greater toward the end of the year than at the beginning. From this it follows quite obviously that the economic struggle, the struggle for immediate and direct improvement of conditions, is alone capable of rousing the most backward strata of the exploited masses, gives them a real education and transforms them—during a revolutionary period—into an army of political fighters within the space of a few months.
Of course, for this to happen, it was necessary for the vanguard of the workers not to regard the class struggle as a struggle in the interests of a thin upper stratum—a conception the reformists all too often try to instil—but for the proletariat to come forward as the real vanguard of the majority of the exploited and draw that majority into the struggle, as was the case in Russia inand as must be, and certainly will be, the case in the impending proletarian revolution in Europe.
Table of Contents: The Revolution of and Russia's Jews
As early as the spring of that year we see the rise of the first big, not only economic, but also political peasant movement in Russia. The importance of this historical turning-point will be appreciated if it is borne in mind that the Russian peasantry was liberated from the severest form of serfdom only inthat the majority of the peasants are illiterate, that they live in indescribable poverty, oppressed by the landlords, deluded by the priests and isolated from each other by vast distances and an almost complete absence of roads.
Russia witnessed the first revolutionary movement against tsarism ina movement represented almost exclusively by noblemen.