The Russian Revolution took place in 1917, during the final phase of World War I. It removed Russia from the war and brought about the transformation of the Russian Empire into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), replacing Russia’s traditional monarchy with the world’s first Communist state. The revolution happened in stages through two separate coups, one in February and one in October. The new government, led by Vladimir Lenin, would solidify its power only after three years of civil war, which ended in 1920.
Although the events of the Russian Revolution happened abruptly, the causes may be traced back nearly a century. Prior to the revolution, the Russian monarchy had become progressively weaker and increasingly aware of its own vulnerability (and therefore more reactionary). Nicholas II—the tsar who led Russia in the years leading up to the revolution—had personally witnessed revolutionary terrorists assassinate his grandfather and, subsequently, his own father respond to the assassination through brutal oppression of the Russian people. When Nicholas II himself became tsar in 1894, he used similarly severe measures to subdue resistance movements, which were becoming bolder and more widespread every year. As Nicholas’s newly imposed oppressions in turn incited still more unrest, he was forced to make concessions after each incident: it was in this manner that Russia’s first constitution was created, as was its first parliament. These concessions continued gradually until Nicholas II’s grip on power became very tenuous.
As Nicholas II grew weaker, Vladimir Lenin rose to prominence as the most powerful figure in Russia. Although this famous leader of the October Revolution was not even in Russia for the February Revolution—he had lived in self-imposed exile in Europe since 1900 and returned to Russia only in April 1917—he nonetheless exerted tremendous influence. Whatever history’s judgment of him, few other Russian revolutionaries possessed Lenin’s decisiveness and strength of vision for Russia’s future. Born in 1870 in the provincial town of Simbirsk as Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, the young Lenin was profoundly affected by his older brother Alexander’s 1887 execution for being involved in a plot to assassinate the tsar. As a young adult, Vladimir joined the resistance movement himself and took the pseudonym Lenin but swore that he would never engage in the sort of “adventurism” that had ended his brother’s life. Nevertheless, his actions would one day become very adventurous indeed.
The revolution that Lenin led marked one of the most radical turning points in Russia’s 1,300-year history: it affected economics, social structure, culture, international relations, industrial development, and most any other benchmark by which one might measure a revolution. Although the new government would prove to be at least as repressive as the one it replaced, the country’s new rulers were drawn largely from the intellectual and working classes rather than from the aristocracy—which meant a considerable change in direction for Russia.
The revolution opened the door for Russia to fully enter the industrial age. Prior to 1917, Russia was a mostly agrarian nation that had dabbled in industrial development only to a limited degree. By 1917, Russia’s European neighbors had embraced industrialization for more than half a century, making technological advancements such as widespread electrification, which Russia had yet to achieve. After the revolution, new urban-industrial regions appeared quickly in Russia and became increasingly important to the country’s development. The population was drawn to the cities in huge numbers. Education also took a major upswing, and illiteracy was almost entirely eradicated.
The Russian Revolution also had considerable international consequences. Lenin’s government immediately pulled Russia out of World War I, changing the balance of forces for the remaining participants. During the ensuing civil war in Russia, several nations, including the United States, sent troops to Russia in hopes of keeping the chaos from spreading beyond Russia’s boundaries. Over the next several decades, the Soviet Union actively sponsored and assisted Communist movements and revolutions around the world in an effort to broaden its sphere of influence. The country also played a fundamental role in the defeat of Nazi Germany during World War II.
Threatened by the possibility of revolutions in their own lands, the governments of many Western nations viewed Communism as a spreading threat and moved to isolate the Soviet Union as much as possible. Following World War II and the advent of the nuclear age, a confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States took center stage. As this Cold War got under way, the two countries emerged as superpowers with much of the rest of the world falling in behind one or the other. A protracted nuclear arms race between the United States and Soviet Union would last until the USSR finally collapsed in 1991.
A List Of Powerful Topics For Your Cause And Effect Essay On The Russian Revolution
The Russian Revolution is one of the biggest revolutions to have hit the world. The revolution transformed the entire Roman Empire, giving it a new dimension altogether. It had a huge impact in the world history, affecting the lives of several people. The revolution is very interesting and inspiring.
No wonder, it has always been a hot topic of discussion. The following list of powerful essay topics will help in your endeavour to understand the various aspects; causes and impact of the Revolution better.
- 1905: A year that sowed the seeds for a big revolution and revolt in the Russian history and democracy
- A peek into the life of Nicholas Romanov and his important and inspiring role in the Russian Revolution
- The underlying root cause that was instrumental in triggering the biggest and the greatest revolt in the Russian history
- The Kronstadt Navel Base: an integral and significant part of the great Russian Revolution
- The Russian Revolt: a decision taken in haste or a well planned and executed revolt
- Jealousy, treachery and the murder of Rasputin that paved the way for the Russian revolt
- The inevitable consequences of the Russian Revolution on the western countries and their civilizations
- Joseph Stalin; a born leader with great power and leadership qualities, who led the famous Stalinist Revolution
- The Russian Revolt: a pro to few, a corn to many
- The Russian weakness and inadequacy exposed in the First World War paved the way for the Russian revolt
- The Russian revolt: a revolution that completely destroyed the Russian Empire, to mark the emergence of a more powerful Soviet Union
- The historical importance of Vladimir Lenin's revolt and its impact in the inevitable downfall of Marxism and the rise of Leninism
- The Bolshevik Revolution: a very powerful and successful revolution in the Russian history, that marked the beginning of communism in Russia
- The position of women in Russia post the revolution
- Was the Russian Revolution a real fight against corruption for the betterment of the common people of Russia
- What was the fundamental reason behind Kerensky's handing over the powers to the Bolsheviks
- Could the second big revolution that struck Russia in 1917 be avoided
- The changes that were brought about by the second revolution in Russia
While you may always draw inspiration from these topics, it is always a great thing to come up with something original and unpublished.