The poor progress of the First World War and the subsequent supply shortfall lead to a grave change of mood in Russia. Contrary to 1905 the czar’s soldiers allied with the demonstrators in the February revolution of 1917Result of the February revolution of 1917 was the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the end of the Russian Empire. It was replaced by a Russian Provisional Government. After the workers’ rebellion the czar’s reign that had ruled in Russia for decades came to a close. Thereupon the Duma elected a provisional government that was supposed to create a constitution1.
The provisional government established after the February revolution shared the reign with the workers’ and soldiers’ council of Petrograd (SovietsSoviets were the names for several Russian political organizations during the Russian Revolution 1917 ). The Soviets had formed during the revolution and controlled the decisions of the provisional government which was at first lead by LwowGeorgy Lvov was the first post-imperial prime minister of Russia from 15 March to 21 July 1917 and later on by KerenskyAlexander Kerensky became the second Prime Minister in Russia until it was overthrown by the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. As the government continued to engage in the First World War and thus urged Russia into a social crisis, inflation led to grave supply crunches. Regarding this the Bolsheviks benefited from the social grievances, as they managed to gain support from a broad class of population with their party manifest: “peace, land and bread”2.
Lenin’s Bolsheviks originated from the social democratic labour party, which had divided into the MensheviksThe Mensheviks were a faction of the Russian socialist movement that emerged in 1904 after a dispute in the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party and Bolsheviks in 1903. Due to the military and economic collapse during the First World War the Bolsheviks grew into the strongest party. Their party manifesto aimed directly at the most relevant needs of the population that was weakened by war-weariness and starvation. After Lenin had returned from exile in 1917 the power of the Bolsheviks in workers’ and soldiers’ councils was increasingly augmented.
The Russian revolution in October 1917 was organised by the workers ‘and soldiers’ council of Petrograd, led by Leon TrotskyLeon Trotsky was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, leader of the Red Army and supporter of the Bolsheviks . He prepared the military takeover of the Bolsheviks who overthrew the provisional government and installed a socialistic system led by Lenin. This revolution went largely unnoticed in public as there were hardly any noted urban riots in St. Petersburg. The government was eventually adopted by the “council of people’s commissarsThe Council of People's Commissars evolved to become the highest government authority of executive power in the Soviet Union”.
However no improvement of the social situation was in sight: starvation, strikes and looting still belonged to day to day life3.