Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

UPSC Civils Daily Mains Question 6th May-2021

The provisional government under Kerensky became unpopular for several reasons and resulted in the October revolution in Russia. Examine

The Russian Revolution of 1917 is considered to be one of the most significant events in the history of mankind because its direct and indirect consequences were far-reaching. While the effect of the French revolution was initially confined to Europe the consequences of the Russian revolution were truly global.

Though some modern industries had emerged after the 1890s. But these were largely a result of the efforts of foreign investors. The state as such didn’t take any interest in the economic advancement of people. Most of the land was owned by feudal lords. The condition of the peasantry was very bad. The industrial works were also sufferings. The situation of industrial unrest developed by the opening of the 20th century.

In the year 1917, two revolutions took place in Russia. First, in the month of March (February), second in the month of November (October). Both revolutions were two phases of one single phenomenon.

In March 1917, the Czarist regime had collapsed. A political revolution was successfully completed. But the social and economic changes did not take place in Russia.

The following are the reasons why Kerensky government became unpopular:

  • The Provisional Government led Kerensky became unpopular in Russia due to the influence exercised by industrialists and landowners in its functioning.
  • Leaders of workers were arrested by the government and popular demonstration by Bolsheviks in 1917 was repressed.
  • There were also fears that the government could set up a dictatorship.
  • The Kerensky regime did not introduce land reforms. It took no steps to improve the condition of factory workers. As a result of this, the sufferings of common masses continued.
  • The elections were postponed on the pretext of war. A major offensive was launched by Kerensky’s government against Germany in June 1917. It resulted in miserable failure.
  • In April 1917, Lenin returned from exile. He used his writing and speeches to discredit the liberal government. The government was not very effective in its policies.
  • All these factors led to the unpopularity of the government and contributed towards the October Revolution in 1917.

The Prime Minister ordered the arrest of Bolshevik leaders in October, this led to an armed uprising in Petrograd on 25th October 1917. The revolution was led by the Bolsheviks, occupied the government buildings on 25th October. The following day Winter Palace was captured. It was the seat of the Provisional Government which was established after overthrowing Tsars. Bolsheviks later went on to become the Communist Party of Soviet Union. The new Government was led by Vladimir Lenin.

Significance of the Russian Revolution

  • The success of the Bolshevik revolution (1917) transformed communism from theory into practice. It was the first communist revolution in the world.
  • The popularity of communism in the world increased enormously. The communist parties started emerging everywhere because it was a great morale booster. This revolution started the competition in capturing the hearts and minds of the masses. Because it had mass appeal when compared to the capitalist system.
  • The success of the Bolshevik revolution resulted in the commencement of the civil war in Russia. The western capitalist nations supported the anti-communist Whites in Russia. As a result of which civil war commenced.
  • The rise of communist Russia was an important factor behind the adoption of policy appeasement by western democratic nations. The success of the Russian Bolshevik revolution & Russian socialist economy, at a time when the capitalist economy was really under the Great Depression (1929), attracted many leaders such as Pt. Nehru. They started accepting socialism as a solution to their problems and problems in the world.
  • The Russian Bolshevik revolution was responsible for the commencement of the cold war in the long run as the Cold War was the outcome of the ideological difference between capitalism and communism.
  • Russian revolution completed the process commenced by the French Revolution of 1789. Because by this time the parts of Europe had already got transformed. That is why this revolution is considered to be complementary to the French Revolution.

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