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The Anatomy of a Revolution
Transcript of The Anatomy of a Revolution
In 1965, Crane Brinton wrote a book titled "Anatomy of a Revolution." The book centralizes his research about revolutions. Through his research, he argued and created a theory that each major political revolution has symptoms and stages. After doing research on one of the major political revolution, "The Russian Revolution of 1917," it indicates that Crane Brinton's theory was correct. He indeed showed how many revolutions, such as the "Russian Revolution," have stages and symptoms that generally creates said revolution. In addition, he provided evidence that a revolution contains stages and symptoms by giving an explanation what both a stage and a symptom is, along with events in each revolution that heavily support each stage and symptom.
The Theory of a Revolution
Original Poster from the Russian Revolution
This poster indicates the determination that the revolutionaries had to achieve victory during the revolution.
By Rasheem Clark
The Anatomy of a Revolution
Stage One (Pre-Revolutionary Stage)
During this stage, the economically weak government must tax, class conflicts occur, the government cannot enforce policy Inept ruler; often an autocrat with absolute power, reformers speak out against government, people want rights and privileges, the leader's controls fails, many citizens are asking for change, symbolic actions- there is a rallying point against the old regime, and planning the new force plan a "spontaneous" revolt.
By the year 1917, the bond between the tsar (the term used to address the ruler of Russia) and mess of the Russian people had been broken. As a result, the governmental corruption and inefficiency were rampant. In addition, Tsar's reactionary/controversial policies included: occasional dissolution of the Duma (the Russian parliament), and chief fruit of the event of 1905 revolution spread dissatisfaction even to moderate elements. The policies had many of the Russian Empire's ethnic minorities grew increasingly restive under Russian domination.
The government's inefficient prosecution of World War I provided the challenge the old regime could not meet. For instance, poorly condition equipments and poorly led Russian armies suffered in campaigns against German armies.
• In the years leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917, Russia engaged in multiple wars that required a lot from the state, including tax dollars and man power. Russia suffered defeat in mostly all of the wars which caused great discontent among the place and cause suffering in the country's economy and government.
The war made the revolution inevitable in two ways:
1. It showed that Russia was no longer a military match for the nations of central and Western Europe.
2.It showed how Russia hopelessly disrupted the economy.
As a result, many riots formed because of various reasons, such as the the shortages of food. And in addition, Tsar Nicholas was forced to abdicate on March 2nd and the revolution had begun its second stage.
Stage Two: Early Revolution (February Revolution)
Stage Three- The Crisis Stage
(The October Revolution)
During this stage, radicals took control (actual revolution), moderates driven from office (usually escape and live, some may be killed), civil war, foreign war, centralization of power in one revolutionary council, council is dominated by one individual, attempt is made to kill the original ruler, terror is used to rule, used a common form of address, forced conformity or punishment, spread the gospel of revolution. In is the climax of the Russian Revolution.
All newspapers business were closed on October 24th. The government took away as much advertising methods as possible to lower chances of the involvement of the Russian Revolution to increase. If the involvement increase rapidly, the government would be overwhelm and would have a hard time control the country (because of many revolutionaries' actions).
The Bolshevik party led by Vladimir Lenin and the workers' soviets overthrew the Provisional government in St. Petersburg. After the Bolsheviks appointed themselves leaders, they seized control of the countryside, establishing the Cheka to quash dissent.
In the aftermath of the February Revolution, power was shared between the weak provisional government and the Petrograd Soviet. Then on October 24th and 25th, leftist revolutionaries led by Bolshevik Party leader Vladmir Lenin launched a nearly bloodless coup d'état against the provisional government. The Bolsheviks and their allies occupied government building in Petrograd and soon formed a new government with Lenin as it head.
Stage 4- The Recovery Stage
(The Aftermath of the Revolution)
Radicals are put down/ repressed; often assassinated, often ruled by an autocrat. Slow, uneven return to quieter times, return of pleasure, religion, status quotes, aggressive nationalism, and people trade freedom "to do" for freedom "from" (in a sense, trade liberty for security). This is the "resolution" of the Russian Revolution.
After the climax, "the October Revolution," the Bolsheviks had very little planning in place, and their rule got off to a rough start when they came in behind the SRs in the elections if the "Constituent Assembly." The working class was still a minority in Russian by the Bolsheviks would change that in time. The Bolsheviks also faced major opposition from within Russia for many different reasons.
The red terror occurred. It lasted well into 1920-1921, by which point the Bolsheviks had fully crushed the rebellion. This was the atmosphere under which the Russian Civil War began. It occurred right after the assassination attempt of Lenin.
Lenin became the virtual dictator of the first Marxist state in the world. His government made peace with Germany (the treaty of Brest Litovsk with Germany in March 1918 that was signed), nationalized industry and distributed land, but beginning in 1918, had to fight a civil war against Bolshevik White Army Forces. In 1920, the anti-Bolsheviks were' defeated and in 1922, the Union of Soviet Republics (USSR) was established.
Societies are established by human beings and therefore, societies can have symptoms of an illness with themselves. In other words, societies could gain causes that impacts the societies' governments. For the "Russian Revolution", there are many symptoms that affects/impact the Russian government. A few of these symptoms are listed as the following.
1. People feel restless and held down by unacceptable restrictions on society, religion, the economy, or the government. This symptom means that citizens of a particular country are heavily affected by the government itself.
• Example from the Russian Revolution- On February 24, 1917, massive strikes and demonstration occur throughout the capital.
2. People are hopeful about the future, but they are being forced to accept less than they hoped for. This symptom means that citizens of a particular country that have hope for their future are being restricted to hope less of what they hope for.
• Example from the Russian Revolution- On February 23, 1917, International Women's Day demonstration in Petrograd.
3. The government does not respond to the needs of it's society. This symptom means that the government of a particular country doesn't communicate well with it's citizens.
• On February, Nicholas II leaves Petrograd to visit troops.
4. The government is unable to get enough support from any group to save itself. This symptom means that no outside organization(s) support their government.
• On February 28, Duma and Workers' Soviet gather separately and begin making decisions about restoring order and establishing a new state. If the government had enough support, the officials would had came together and come across a natural decision without the riots and crowds.
5. The government cannot organize it finances correctly and is either going bankrupt or trying to tax heavily and unjustly. This symptom means that the government of a particular country, is struggling to maintain its economic status and organize its finances to maintain prosperity.
• On February 27, more than 80,000 troops mutiny and engage in widespread looting. The government couldn't organize it's finances correctly which resulted in the robberies.
The Russian Revolution
The Russian Revolution of 1917 consists of two revolutions that are heavily related to one another. These two revolutions swept throughout Russia, ended centuries of imperial rule and setting in motion political, as well as social changes that would lead to the formation of the Soviet Union.
In March, one month after the first revolution (February Revolution), growing civil unrest coupled with chronic food shortages, erupted into open revolt, forcing the abdication of Nicholas II (1868-1918), the last Russian czar. Months later, the newly installed provisional government was itself overthrown by the more radical Bolsheviks, led by Vladmir Lenin (1870-1924).
In general, the February revolution overthrew the imperial government, while the October revolution placed the Bolsheviks (the rebel leaders) in power. The main purpose of the revolution was to set political motion and social changes to form a greater country.
There are a total of 4 stages and 5 known symptoms for the Russian Revolution.
During this stage, financial breakdown occurs, protests against the government rise, with dramatic events, moderates gain power "peacefully" (may include the idea of a moderate king/constitution monarch), revolutionary underground exit (radicals), turn to the mob, which is ignorant and emotional; turns from wanting justice to wanting revenge. In general, this is the rising action of the Russian Revolution.
Due to the fact that Russia perform fairly poor in World War I, as a result, the country faced severe food shortages, strikes and public protests that occurred at almost every major city. The protests and strikes increased frequently during 1916 and 1917. Violent encounters between protesters and the Russian authorities also increased rapidly. Many riots were caused and the damages, injuries, and deaths increased the devastation in Russia's economic market.
Many political groups competed for power but had done so peacefully. During this period, two political groups in Russia quickly recognized the significance of what was developing and began to discuss actively how it should be handed Duma (the state legislature) continually meet to discuss Russia's status.
Between March and October the provisional government was reorganized four times. The first government was composed entirely of liberal ministers, with the exception of the Socialist revolutionary Aleksander F Kerensky. The subsequent governments were coalitions. None of them however, was able to cope adequately with the major problems afflicting the country; peasant land seizures, nationalist independence movements in non- Russian areas and the collapse of army morale at the frontlines.
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- was the last Russian tsar. He was abdicated as a result of the February Revolution.
- was the member of the provisional government and Petrograd Soviet. He wielded significant political power after Nicholas II’s abdication. At first, Kerensky acted as a liaison between the two governing bodies. Within the provisional government, he served as minister of justice, minister of war, and later, as prime minister. After the October Revolution, Kerensky fled the country and eventually immigrated to the United States, where he taught Russian history at Stanford University.
-was both a revolutionary and an intellectual. He founded the Bolshevik Party and returned to Russia from exile in April 1917. He spent most of the early twentieth century living in exile in Europe (primarily Britain and Switzerland). In addition, he advocated the armed rebellion to establish Communist state for Russia. His most famous slogan is: “All power to the soviets”. Furthermore, Vladmir Lenin was the organizer of the October Revolution, and the first actual leader of the Soviet Union. Moreover, he was a devout follower of Marxism and believed that once a "Communist" revolution took place in Russia, Communism would spread rapidly around the world.
Leon Trotsky (a.k.a. Leon Bronstein) -
was a Bolshevik leader and one of the most prominent figures of the October Revolution. Trotsky, who was in exile abroad during the February Revolution (similar to Lenin), returned to Russia in May 1917, closely aligned himself with Lenin, and joined the Bolshevik Party during that summer. Trotsky headed the Revolutionary Military Committee, which provided military might for the October Revolution. After the revolution, he was appointed commissar of foreign affairs and led Russia’s negotiations with Germany and Austria for the armistice. Trotsky also subsequent a peace treaty that made a possible exit for Russia from World War I.
Vladimir Lenin on the left and Leon Trotsky (a.k.a. Leon Bronstein) on the right
Nicholas II on the left and
Alexander Kerensky on the right