Russia map

Russian Early 20th Century

  • Period: to

    Russia, from last Tsar to USSR

    timeline from October manifesto under Tsar Nicholas II to Lenin's death
  • Russian Revolution of 1905

    Russian Revolution of 1905
    Peaceful protestors went to the square before the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg on January 22nd to protest their discontent with the social and political system. The crowd was fired upon by soldiers and this was then known as Bloody Sunday. Spurred strongly by the humiliation felt by the Russian civilians after the loss of the Russo-Japanese Wiar and Bloody Sunday, riots, strikes, etc. broke out all over Russia. (The image shows bloody Sunday, one of the immediate causes of the revolution)
  • October Manifesto of 1905

    October Manifesto of 1905
    Tsar Nicholas II, although not wanting to do so, signed the October Manifesto written by Sergei Witte in an attempt to quell the revolution. The manifesto would turn Russia's government from an autocracy into a constitutional monarchy. (The image shows Witte pressuring the Tsar to sign the manifesto and the Tsar's unwillingness to do so)
  • End of revolution in Russia

    End of revolution in Russia
    The 1905 Russian Revolution finally comes to an end. The picture shows the State Duma, one of the governmental changes to come out of the October Manifesto that satisfied the citizens.
  • The Start of WWI For Russia

    The Start of WWI For Russia
    Before WWI (which was immediately caused by the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand on June 28), Russia underwent pre-mobilization. This pre-mobilization was also seen as a threat by Germany, giving them the excuse to declare war. The picture represents the absolutely massive army that Russia has, which was a reason why they had to undergo a pre-mobilization (otherwise they would not be able to keep up with the other nations in the war) and how many people had to be clothed fed and died
  • Taking Command

    Taking Command
    Tsar Nicholas II begins to directly oversee all military command and maneuvers on the front lines of the war. This is significant because he can no longer blame any loss during the war on his generals, but instead has to accept all blame, and because he is now on the front lines, mischief and political maneuvers can now take place in his palace without him hearing about it for a while. The picture signifies his mentality of him being superior to others and his safety above winning the war
  • Brusilov Offensive

    Brusilov Offensive
    Jun 4, 1916 – Sep 20, 1916. The Brusilov Offensive is the Russian's attack on the Central Powers during WWI, and is known as one of the largest and most severe offensives in history. It destroyed Russia's offensive abilites and led to their collapse later in the war due to the high casualties, regardless of how strong the attack was on the Central Powers. (The image shows the aggression of the attack of the Russians to demonstrate how severe the attack truly was).
  • The Death of a Legend

    The Death of a Legend
    Grigori Rasputin, the mystical advisor of the palace, was assassinated in St. Petersburg by Russian nobles who wished to end his massive influence over the royal family. Rasputin was known for trading political favors for sex. He was said to have even taken the queen to bed. The picture represents the massive influence he had over the government, as he is drawn larger than the Tsar and his wife, and his sexual favors for political power are represented by his hand on the queen's waist.
  • Trotsky organizes Red Guard to defend Petrograd

    Trotsky organizes Red Guard to defend Petrograd
    Beginning in March, Trotsky gathered the (voluntary) groups of factory workers, cossacks, peasants, and even some soldiers and sailors. They had protected the Soviet during the Russia Revolution, especially buildings (like the Winter Palace). (The image is a painting of the Red Guard in Russia, it demonstrates the actions of the Red Guard and how they looked defending Russia).
  • Cheka Formed

    Cheka Formed
    The cheka is the Soviet's secret police, to ensure that there is no activity to counter the revolution. As the Bolsheviks got stronger, the cheka also did, and defended the revolution. (The image demonstrates the power the police held, yet also the secrecy due to the setting of the interrogation being seemingly hidden, underground, and the aggressive nature of the police man implies the power they have).
  • International Women's Day March

    International Women's Day March
    (Duration: 8 days) 130,000 men on strike for higher wages were joined by tens of thousands of women protesting the food shortages and for better conditions of living. Some wanted the Tsar gone. The only precaution the government took against this violent protest that took down many shops was to keep the people away from the inner city. The picture below shows the massive amount of people that came together on this occasion. Each day, more people gathered to protest until the Tsar abdicated.
  • The Tsar's Abdication

    The Tsar's Abdication
    After the army garrison joined the protestors in St. Petersburg and started to demand the Tsar's abdication, Nicholas II abdicated. The picture below shows Russia's moving on from a monarch government and on to a socialist one.
  • Make Shift Government

    Make Shift Government
    In the same way that this raft is makeshift, quickly put together, and barely looks functional, that is how the provisional government came to be. After the Tsar's abdication, the power was spread along to a couple others before the conclusion of a different type of government, with the state Duma at the head, mainly comprised of kadets and octobrists, was set into action.
  • Lenin Publishes April Theses

    Lenin Publishes April Theses
    Lenin's April Theses are a series of ten statements for his plans/promises for Russia that he published upon his return to Petrograd. Main points of them included: ending war (WWI), giving land to the peasants, and nationalization of banks. These theses were supported by Bolsheviks, workers, peasants, and social revolutionaries. (The image is a cover photo from a newspaper that shows an overview of Lenin's theses, giving a sense of the theses and their consequences).
  • Return of Lenin

    Return of Lenin
    After the March Revolution in Russia and the switch to a provisional government, Lenin, with the help of the Germans, returned to Russia. Germany helped him as they wished for him to take power so that a peace negotiation could begin and proceed on the Eastern front. The picture shows how Lenin immediately began rallying the Bolsheviks in preparation for another revolution to take over the government the moment he returned to Russia from his exile.
  • First All-Russian Congress of Soviets meets

    First All-Russian Congress of Soviets meets
    June 16 – July 7, 1917. 1090 delegates from mainly Mensheviks, and Social Revolutionaries, as well as Bolsheviks meet in Petrograd. The Congress had rejected Bolshevik prepositions and power was transferred to the Soviets. (The image is from the meeting and demonstrates the situation and mood of the meeting).
  • July Days

    July Days
    July 16-20 1917. The July Days were a period in Petrograd, Russia, where citizens protested agaisnt the Provisional Government and Bolshevik power and propganda. Eventually, Bolshevik leaders were arrested and Bolshevik influence and power had decreased, as well a reconstruction of the Provisional Government had occured. (The image demonstrates the severity of the event and the chaos that had occured in Petrograd due to this).
  • Kornilov Affair

    Kornilov Affair
    August 27, 1917 – September 13, 1917. The Kornilov Affair was an attempted coup d'état led by General Lavr Kornilov agaisnt the Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional Government. This had reinstated Bolshevik support and decreased support for the Provisional Government. (The image demonstrates the attempt at a strictly guided attack to help force out Bolsheviks and reinstate older policy, showing the mood of the affair).
  • Bolsheviks overthrow the Provisional Government and take control

    Bolsheviks overthrow the Provisional Government and take control
    The Bolsheviks overthrew the Provisional Government with the October (November on the Gregorian Calendar) Revolution, which was led by Lenin. It was a coup d'état, and Lenin had occupied key points in Petrograd to eventually overthrow the Provisional Governmnet and from there the Bolsheviks obtained power. (The image demonstrates the October Revolution, which shows the large mass of people following their leader, Lenin, and showing the solidarity of the event).
  • Ukraine Is Brought Under Soviet Control

    Ukraine Is Brought Under Soviet Control
    After the Bolsheviks overthrew the federal government in Kyiv and were annexed by the USSR. It remained under Soviet control until its collapse in 1991. (The picture shows the Bolshevik leaders and the Red Army after their successful invasion of Ukraine. It is important because the military was the most influential part of the communist spread).
  • Creation of Wartime Communism

    Creation of Wartime Communism
    The Marxist economic policy enforced by the Supreme Economic Council was meant to direct resources to the Red Army and help Bolsheviks win the civil war. The policy banned private business, nationalized all industries, and sieged grain/food products from peasants. (The painting shows the drastic measures taken by peasants to survive during War Communism).
  • Constituent Assembly Meets & Disbands

    Constituent Assembly Meets & Disbands
    The Assembly (elected in November 1917) was mostly Social Revolutionists receiving 40% of the vote while the Bolsheviks received less than 25%. The Bolsheviks declared this an unfair representation of the people's will and tried to undermine its authority. Bolsheviks then force the dispersion of the Assembly with force in 1918. (The image shows the Assembly building in Petrograd which is an important symbol for the government much like the Capital building in DC).
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

    Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
    Lenin sent Bolshevik representation to end the war with Germany after the armistice was agreed to in December 1917. Despite Trotsky's disapproval of the harsh negotiations such as the independence of Ukraine, Georgia, Finland, etc. This resulted in 1 million sqm lost and 55 million people. (The newspaper depicted shows the reaction of this event. The people saw it as "selling" out which resulted in bad terms for Russia's economy despite gaining peace.)
  • Red Terror

    Red Terror
    The name was given due to the Bolshevik sanctioned actions of the Cheka and Red Army. They took hostages, raided peasant homes, executed the political opponents, and put down revolts. The violence is believed to have occurred until 1922 with an estimate of 50,000-200,000 deaths. (This painting shows the absurdity of extensive force that was used against peasants by trained operatives.)
  • Kolchak Attacks Reds from Siberia

    Kolchak Attacks Reds from Siberia
    The dictatorial leader of the White Army in Siberia, Kolchak, his advancements westward into Russia posed serious danger for Bolshevik rule but was forced back by the Red Army. He was later betrayed and executed by Red Troops. (Kolchak was like Trotsky for the Whites so his picture best symbolizes their attempts to overthrow Bolshevik control.)
  • Kyiv Offensive

    Kyiv Offensive
    The major movement during the Polish-Soviet War in which they were able to regain Kyiv from Soviet control was led by Józef Piłsudski. The original goal was to disrupt the Red Army but ended with the unintended occupation of the Ukrainian capital. (The picture shows the successful Polish forces that entered the city without being noticed by the Soviets. It is a powerful image because it shows citizens there to greet them with the hope of overthrowing Russian control).
  • Soviets attempt to take Warsaw

    Soviets attempt to take Warsaw
    Counterattack after the Kyiv Offensive. Red Army commanded by Mikhail Tukhachevsky to take Warsaw. They were then attacked and defeated by the Polish army. This defeat crippled the Red Army. Picture: Shows the Polish army’s technology that Russia was up against.
  • Tambov Rebellion

    Tambov Rebellion
    Rebellion of peasant farmers led by Alexander Antonov in retaliation of Wartime Communism. The Red Army arrested 100,000 and killed 15,000 in order to suppress uprising. Picture: The image depicts the farmers who were not well equipped but still fought valiantly against the injustices they faced.
  • Kronstadt Uprising

    Kronstadt Uprising
    Left-wing sailors from the Kronstadt naval base protested against the Bolsheviks in favor of a more socialist state. Bolsheviks attacked the sailors in response, resulting in 20,000 killed, wounded, or sent to the Gulag. Picture: The image shows the strength of the sailors and how their stand against the Bolsheviks inspired others to rebel
  • New Economic Policy (NEP)

    New Economic Policy (NEP)
    An economic system that replaced War Communism which allowed for small-scale private trading/ownership, return of small businesses, and the return of Kulacs and small farmers. Basically allowed for partial capitalism. Most significantly they re-introduced money after ending the food rations that had made famine worse. (Poster that proclaims "From NEP Russia WIll Come Socialist Russia" this is a primary source that depicts the beginning of the NEP)
  • Treaty of Rapallo

    Treaty of Rapallo
    Negotiation between Germany and Soviet Russia. The treaty reestablished normal relations between the nations, canceled financial claims against each other, and strengthened economic and military ties. Picture: Shows representatives from Germany and Russia smoothly negotiating terms of the treaty
  • Formation of the Soviet Union

    Formation of the Soviet Union
    Communist state run by the Bolshevik Party. Officially consolidated as a government when the Bolsheviks won the Russian Civil War of 1922. Picture: Map of the USSR shows the union of socialist republics combining as one.
  • Lenin Dies

    Lenin Dies
    Lenin died of a brain hemorrhage. Petrograd renamed to Leningrad in honor of his legacy. Lenin was succeeded by Joseph Stalin. Picture: The image of Lenin’s funeral shows his significance to Russian people by the large crowd attending.