October Revolution

of these articles treats the Russian October Revolution. For the October Revolution in Austria see Viennese October rebellion 1848

by October Revolution understands one the seizure of power of the Russian communist Bolsheviks in the year 1917 against the interim government of the social-democratic Menschewiki come out from the February revolution under Kerenski. The seizure of power formed the starting point on the way of Russia to the attempt a socialist State of (RSFSR/Soviet Union) to construct. The October Revolution was not a classical revolution in the actual sense, since it did not proceed directly from the people, why onerather of a political revolution speaks.

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the February revolution of 1917 in Russia the Zarenherrschaft had terminated, but no solution of the most important social and politicalProblems of the country brought. The most important question was thereby the war question. Russia was since 1914 a war-leading party in the First World War. The requirements of this „modern “war, which was coined/shaped by the industrial age, exceeded the forces of to a large extent from rural economy coined/shapedCountry by far and led to a taper of the social problems engraving anyway in Russia.

After the February revolution a next to each other of parliament (Duma) with its provisional government among Kerenski and the worker and soldier advice in Russia ( that prevailed Soviet) with their executive committees. On the final condition a constituent meeting should decide, (first) to 25. November to be selected should. The provisional government under Kerenski could not struggle through itself to it, into peace negotiations with the German Reich and thatto step remaining Central Powers.

The German army command saw against it in Lenin, who was in the exile in Switzerland, the ideal tool to destabilize the situation relating to domestic affairs in Russia in a way those to the German a victory peace in the eastto bring in could. Therefore it permitted the through journey to Lenin at the beginning of of April by Germany in a lead-sealed railway truck.

To 17. April published Lenin its April theses, in which it stated its opinions for the further development of the revolution.


inthe guidance of the party of the Bolsheviks it was disputed whether she should take part in the elections for constituent meeting or set instead of its on a rebellion by force. After heated debates Lenin and Trotzki finally succeeded. Lenin, to10. October had returned secretly to Petrograd, met 12 of the 21 members of the central committee of the bolschewistischen party around itself.

After ten-hour discussion with 10 against 2 voices for the seizure of power by force at the earliest possible time one co-ordinated. To 16. October placedTrotzki a military organization up, which should the military seizure of power take over - the military-revolutionary committee of Petrograd (MRKP). The troops were limited to few thousand soldiers of the Petrograder garrison, the Kronstädter navy, that the MRKP joined red guards as well as fewGroups of one hundred from the worker committees of coming, militant Bolsheviks.

At the night to 25. October (Gregorian 7. November) began finally the rebellion in Petrograd with the famous shot of the tank cruiser Aurora on the winter palace. Insurgent troops occupied strategically important places inthe city as well as the winter palace, the former seat of the Zaren, and headquarters of the provisional government. At the night to 26. October capitulated the government Kerenski and by a communist regime under Lenin was replaced.

To 26. October (8. November Gregorian)also „II. met in Petersburg. AllRussian congress of Soviet “. The Bolsheviks possessed no majority in this central worker and soldier advice first. From protest against the Putsch by force of the Bolsheviks however many delegates, under it the Menschewiki, left the meeting room and leftthe Bolsheviks the field.

the increase in power of the Bolsheviks

the political indecision and the pro war politics of the Menschewiki and the social revolutionary (August/September 1917) led to a polarization in the worker and soldier advice. It came again to a link slide intoParts of the population. The Bolsheviks controlled now the most important Soviets in Petrograd (sank Petersburg), Moscow and the other large worker cities. In addition the party men of the Bolsheviks armed themselves. The link jerk of the people strengthened those forces, those under the professional revolutionary Vladimir IlljitschLenin purposefully to power pushed. Leo Trotzki became a chairman of the Petrograder Soviet and Organisator of the seizure of power. In October Lenin returned from his Finnish hiding place to Russia. It pushed the party to the exclusive government power, there it the time forkept favorable to use the weak position of the government.

the socialist revolution

to 22. October 1917 (after Gregorian calendar 4. November) took over „the military-revolutionary committee “of the Petrograder Soviet under guidance defiance gravel the command authority over the garrison of the capital.At the night of 25. October 1917 (after Gregorian calendar 7. ) Troop units took November strategic points of the city. It came to the conquest of the winter palace, which had served as seat of the government. All cabinet members, except Prime Minister Kerenski, were arrested. The seizure of power thatBolsheviks it took place in such a manner smoothly and inconspicuously that many citizens experienced over the events only by the newspaper.

The 2. AllRussian congress of Soviet was called up, the majority held the Bolsheviks and left social revolutionaries. This congress confirmed to 25. October 1917 officiallythe seizure of power. The Menschewiki and right social revolutionaries, which did not recognize the bolschewistischen coup d'etat, left the congress or did not participate not in it.

the 2. AllRussian congress of Soviet

in the evening 25. October met the 2. AllRussian congress of Soviet (soot. II Всероссийскисъездсоветов (Vtoroi sjesd sowjetov)) with representatives of more than 400 local Soviets. The largest part of the representatives originated from the large industrial regions and the political centers of the country. (Petrograd, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa). Were representativesof nearly all national regions (Ukraine, the Baltic, Caucasus, central Asia and Bessarabien) present. From the 649 delegated were 390 Bolsheviks, 160 social revolutionaries and 72 Menschewiki. On the deprivation of power by all property goods and capitalist was co-ordinated and it becameQuestions for future power organization clarified. The most important resolutions were the acceptance of the three revolution decrees: The decree over the peace, the decree above ground and soil and the decree over the rights of the peoples of Russia.

Before the background of thearmed rebellion, the right social revolutionary and the Menschewiki required to postpone the congress. Their request was rejected however and most left the congress under protest. Although some social revolutionaries and Menschewiki endured came the congress to the formality.

The congress met tointo the early morning hours 26. October and after the storm on the winter palace at 2 o'clock early became the seizure of power at 5 o'clock of morning in a letter with the title „the workers, which embodies soldiers and farmers “legally. Inalso the first standards of the Soviet right are to this letter.

the advice of the people's commissars

the new government called itself advice of the people's commissars. Lenin took over the presidency. The government consisted only of Bolsheviks. Trotzki became a bossthe department for defense.Tschitscherin for foreign policy. Stalin was responsible for the nationality question. The seizure of power turned out relatively simply, the preservation of power however as much heavier, since the bolschewistische seizure of power did not lead to the hoped for world revolution. To 26. October1917 (after Gregorian calendar 8. November) was issued the decree over the peace. Immediate negotiations over a fair peace were offered by Russia. The European governments rejected the peace offer however. The war continued. The new now „revolutionary “War was coined/shaped by the combat readiness lacking of Russian soldiers. Lenin was firmly decided to sacrifice parts of the country the Germans around a military breathing space to cause.

the peace of Brest Litowsk

Russia accepted the peace of Brest Litowsk, itsEffects the loss of the Ukraine, the Baltic, Finland and Georgiens meant, as well as high reparation payments contained. Thus the main point of the April theses was fulfilled, i.e. completion of the war. The steering of the state however was transferred the party of the Bolsheviks andnot announced like the advice. The advice idea planned a socialist policy under the guidance of advice without the definition on a certain party line. The party held however to a radical penetration of its power monopoly.

thoseElections to the Konstituante (constituent meeting)

at the 11. November 1917 the elections took place to the Konstituante (constituent meeting). The Bolsheviks carried a heavy defeat off, them received only 25% of the voices.

Lenin decided that it a disproportion between the election resultand would give the people will progressed in the meantime. It solved the Konstituante to 5. January 1918 of short hand by force of arms up. The rebellion of the masses was missing however. Reason for this are first positive reform measures of the party and combat measures against the political opposition.

the revolution decrees

a goal of these decrees an improvement of the awkward situation of the state as well as the safety device of the power of the party were primary:

Decree over the peace (26. October 1917):

Immediate admission of peace negotiations with the war-prominent nations.

Decreeabove ground and soil (26. October 1917):

The private landed property changed into the administration of village agrarian committees and circle farmer Soviets; each land inhabitant had the right to a portion of the soil; Emergence of small private sectors; Satisfaction of the land hunger of the farmers

decree over worker control(14. November 1917):

no immediate nationalization of the industrial companies, but control of the enterprises by the workers. Co-operation between enterprises and workers did not function however; Consequence: Nationalization of the industry, process was already in the middle of 1918 final.

the Tscheka

to 7.December 1917 became „the extraordinary commission for the fight against the counter-countering revolutionary and sabotage “(abbreviation:Tscheka) based, which in the following two to three years about 6,000 - 7,000 assumed enemies of the revolution killed. Their goal was the eliminationthe political opposition by force. By the Tscheka the party attained also in the country the power monopoly, although it was only weakly represented after the October Revolution there. Trotzki created „the Red Army “as protection against outside enemies.The self understanding of the party was the conception that Soviet power takes a role of the pioneer in the world and itself political and social structures internationally by the example Russia orient.


the October Revolution secured for the Bolsheviks around Lenin and Trotzkifirst only power in Petersburg and forms therefore only one step on the long way of the communists to the rule in completely Russia. Nevertheless the most important opponent, had fallen the government Kerenski. Which followed now, were long and cruel yearsthe civil war and war communism. The civil war was released army by the rebellion by parts of the Russian, (tsarist - „Czech Kompagnie “), which nearly the entire western world with regular and freiwilligen troops followed, so that itself of beginninga necessary military power developed and perhaps also the deprivation of power of the advice with beneficiary. The social problems of the country were solved only insufficiently in this time, under the international isolation and the civil war against „the white ones “. However fulfilleditself very fast one of the principal claims the revolutionary, it succeeded to the new regime under the people's commissar for outside affairs Trotzki to close peace with Germany. During the time of the civil war the new government led however also wars against Poland, Finland and Latvia.

By „war communism “also the power of the Soviets, Räte was diminished often and some „guidance personalities “secured themselves privileges. Which zuspitzte itself at one point to the Kronstädter sailor rebellion („the elite troop “of the revolution and the civil war), which againthe earlier advice resolutions to establish wanted, and their guidance from crowning city hunted. But by the over-powerful „Red Army “this attempt to save the values of the revolution struck down and it was established the power structure of a war communism.

See also

to literature

  • in the bibliographic data base RussGUS about October Revolution and civil war more than 1000 publications are proven (searches under form search/special notations: *)
  • Karl hero, the life's work Mikhail Gorbatschow -The destruction of the Soviet Union (from the October Revolution to the Perestroika), Munich 1992, ISBN 3929211009
  • Arthur Lehning: Anarchy mash and marxism in the Russian revolution. Karin shopkeeper publishing house, Berlin 1971.
  • John Reed, Ten days that shook the World, the USA 1919;dt.Ten days, which shook the world, Berlin 1957
  • Maximilien rouble (Hrsg.): Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels for Russian revolution. Hanser publishing house, Vienna and. Munich 1972. Ullstein 1984.
  • Maurice Brinton: The Bolsheviks and worker control. The state andthe countering revolution. Publishing house Association, Hamburg 1976.ISBN 3-88032-045-4
  • Alexander Berkman: The bolschewistische myth. Diary from the Russian revolution. Edition AV, Frankfurt 2004. ISBN 3-936049-31-9
  • Rudolf Naef: “Russian revolution and bolshevism 1917/18 in anarchist view”. Publishing house edition AV, Lich/Hessen 2005. ISBN 3-936049-54-8.
  • Manfred Hildermeier, Russian revolution. Fischer paperback publishing house, Frankfurt 2004, ISBN 3-596-15352-2
  • George Orwell: Farm of the animals: A fairy tale. Diogenes publishing house, January 2002, ISBN 3257201184 treats as fable the October Revolution and the further history of Russia to inthe Second World War inside
  • Isaak stone mountain: “Force and terror in the revolution. The fate of the degraded ones and insulted ones in the Russian revolution " (written of a left socialin a revolutionary manner between 1920-23) Karin shopkeeper publishing house, Berlin 1981.

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: October Revolution- Word origin, synonyms and translations
Note: Double data are first of all indicated in accordance with Julian calendar, which applied in Russia up to the October Revolution 1917, secondly in accordance with in the west since that 16. /18. Jh. used Gregorian calendar. See also: Wikipedia: Name conventions/cyrillic

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