Nicholas II to Brest-Litovsk Treaty: Timeline

  • The Communist Manifesto is published

    On February 21, 1848, The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, is published in London by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League
  • Emancipation Edict

    Tsar Alexander II passes the Emancipation Edict, ending serfdom in Russia (but keeps peasants tied to the land through continuing labour obligations).
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    Colonial Scramble for Africa

  • Nicholas II succeeded father

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    Nicholas II encourages Russian Expansion in Manchuria

  • Union for the Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class

    In 1895, Lenin helped organize Marxist groups in the capital into the “Union for the Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class,” which attempted to enlist workers to the Marxist cause.
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    Lenin's Imprisonment + Exile

    In December 1895, Lenin and the other leaders of the Union were arrested. Lenin was jailed for a year and then exiled to Siberia for a term of three years. After his exile ended in 1900, Lenin went to Western Europe, where he continued his revolutionary activity.
  • Khodynka Tragedy

    The Khodynka Tragedy was a human stampede that occurred on 30 May 1896, on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities following the coronation of the last Emperor of Russia, Nicholas II, which resulted in the deaths of 1,389 people. They stampeded for free samples.
  • "What is to be done" -Lenin

    Lenin published a pamphlet entitled What Is to Be Done?, which argued that only a disciplined party of professional revolutionaries could bring socialism to Russia.
  • Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party is Formed

    In 1903, Lenin met with other Russian Marxists in London and established the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party (RSDWP).
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    Russo-Japanese War

    Russian expansion in Manchuria provoked the war with Japan in 1904, resulting in Russian defeat led to strikes and riots.
  • 'Bloody Sunday'

    In January 1905, on 'Bloody Sunday', the army in St Petersburg shot at a crowd demanding radical reforms.
  • The Duma are formed

    Pressure by the Russian people forced Nicholas II to grant a constitution and establish a parliament, the Duma.
    Nicholas's concessions were only limited. Changes were made in the voting laws to prevent the election of radicals and the secret police continued to crush opposition. However, the Duma did give many more people, especially the middle classes, a voice in government.
  • Rasputin Heals Nicholas II's Son

    Rasputin was invited by the Tsar to pay a visit to Alexei, the son of Nicholas II and Alexandra. The young child, who had hemophilia B, was bleeding profusely, resulting from an injury. The doctors were unable to treat him, sure of the fact that Alexei would not survive. Rasputin, however, stopped the aspirin prescribed by the doctors, prayed for the boy's recovery, and Alexei was better by the next day. This miraculous act sealed the Tsar’s faith in the spiritual healer and his powers.
  • Split of the RSDWP

    From the start, there was a split between Lenin’s Bolsheviks (Majoritarians), who advocated militarism, and the Mensheviks (Minoritarians), who advocated a democratic movement toward socialism. These two groups increasingly opposed each other within the framework of the RSDWP, and Lenin made the split official at a 1912 conference of the Bolshevik Party.
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    World War 1

  • Rasputin Assassinated

    Grigorii Rasputin, the controversial ‘holy man’ and close friend of Tsar Nicholas II’s family, is murdered after several failed attempts.
  • February Revolution

    In Russia, the February Revolution (known as such because of Russia’s use of the Julian calendar) begins on this day in 1917, when riots and strikes over the scarcity of food erupt in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg).
  • Nicholas II abdicates

    Due to the scarcity of food, demoralized army troops joined the strikers in the February Revolution, and on March 15, 1917, Nicholas II was forced to abdicate, ending centuries of czarist rule.
  • Bolsheviks dispose Provisional Government - Proclaim Soviet Rule

    In October, Lenin secretly returned to Petrograd, and on November 7, the Bolshevik-led Red Guards deposed the Provisional Government and proclaimed soviet rule.
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    Russian Civil War

    The Russian Civil War raged from 1918 until the start of 1921. During this time, the Bolsheviks faced massive opposition to their rule in the form of the White Armies, led by former officers of the Tsarist state, and also from intervention by the forces of foreign countries. Yet, by the start of 1921, the Bolsheviks had defeated their enemies and gained a complete victory.
  • Brest-Litovsk Treaty

    The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, between the new Bolshevik government of Russia and the Central Powers (German Empire, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire), that ended Russia's participation in World War I.
  • Execution of Nicholas II

    Tsar Nicholas II and his family are executed by the Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg.
  • Beginning of Red Terror

    Beginning of ‘Red Terror’: An assassination attempt on Lenin by the Socialist Revolutionary Fanny Kaplan leaves him seriously wounded. The attempt, together with the murder of Uritskii, sparks a period of mass arrests and executions known as the ‘Red Terror’.
  • Comintern is Formed

    The Comintern (or Third International) is formed in Moscow, with the aim of spreading revolution all over the world.
  • USSR is Established

    1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established.
  • Nicholas II marries Princess Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt