Revolution of 1905 and the October ManifestoThe first revolution in Russia caused by the crumbling social conditions and poor economic status of Russia. It was also sparked by the loss to Japan in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. The October Manifesto was created at the end of the revolution in hopes of convincing the tsar to give civil liberties.
Image: This picture represents the people's passion for the revolution and change in Russian society.
Beginning of World War OneThe start date of World War One exactly one month after the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in which Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia started on Serbia's side to maintain their stake in the Balkan regions but quickly moved to ally with Britain and France. The war lasted until March 3rd, 1918 when Russia pulled themselves out of the war.
Image: The image shows the brutality of the war and the strain it put on the Russian soldiers and citizens.
Tsar Nicholas II Takes Sole Control of Military OperationsTsar Nicholas II took personal command of the Russian military to rally the troops and create unity within the army in an attempt to stop the social and political unrest undermining the tsar. He was inexperienced and since he was in complete control of the military, his failures were his alone, this decreased his credibility as a ruler.
Image: This image shows Tsar Nicholas II riding on his horse and leading the military on his own.
Brusilov OffensiveThe largest and deadliest Russian assault during World War One. It lasted until September 20th, 1916. Russian General Aleksey Brusilov inflicted unspeakable damage on Austria-Hungary but in the process lost many people and resources that its success could not be repeated.
Image: This image shows the brutality and capacity of the Brusilov Offensive and the damage it created.
Rasputin's AssassinationRasputin was assassinated at 47 years old in St. Petersburg, Russia by Yussupov and Pavlovich (Russian aristocrats). He was lured into the basement of Moika Palace and was fed wine with cyanide. After he didn’t respond to the poison they attempted to drown him. Later, Yussupov came back to check on him and Rasputin attacked. Yussupov got away and shot Rasputin 3 times and left him to die.
Image: This image is a picture of Rasputin showing who he was and what he looked like.
Trotsky Organizes Red Guard to Defend PetrogradBetween March and July of 1917, Leon Trotsky gathered soldiers for the Red Guard to defend the Bolshevik regime during the Russian Civil War.
Image: This shows a picture of Leon Trotsky and his Red Guard.
International Women's Day March in PetrogradA women’s march on Petrograd on International Women’s Day in support of workers’ rights. It was a mass strike in which they protested for "peace and bread". They were joined by other factory workers (men) and women from their homes. They protested peacefully but were met with guns from Tsar Nicholas II. This is usually seen as the start of the 1917 Russian Revolution.
Image: This image shows the protests at Petrograd on March 8th, 1917 and the protestors marching in the streets.
Tsar Nicholas II Abdicates the ThroneAfter riot’s broke out in Petrograd, specifically the International Women's Day March, Nicholas II attempted to use extreme force to put them down but was unsuccessful. Out of fear of revolution, he ended up abdicating the throne and leaving it to his brother Michael, who refused the crown and gave it to the Duma’s.
Image: This image shows a newspaper from the time and the announcement of the tsar's abdication of the throne.
Provisional Government was FormedThe Provisional Government was formed after Nicholas II abdicated the throne on March 15th, 1917. He gave the crown to his brother Michael who refused it, passing the power over to the Duma's. They decided to create a Provisional Government. It lasted about 8 months and was deconstructed during the Bolshevik revolution in October of 1917.
Image: This image shows the original Russian Provisional Government and its members as it was formed in 1917.
April Theses PublishedThe April Theses was a series of 10 official instructions from influential Bolshevik member Vladimir Lenin preceding his return to Petrograd. Inside he had listed three central demands in the theses which were to end war, return land to peasants, and nationalize banks.
Image: This image shows a cover of the April Theses when Lenin published it in 1917.
Lenin Returns to RussiaAfter the February Revolution, German officials helped Lenin to cross back into Russia through Switzerland and Sweden in hopes that his antiwar socialist views would be popular with the people and undermine the Russian war effort unlike the current Provisional Government.
Image: This images shows Lenin giving a speech to a large crowd of socialists when he first arrived back in Petrograd for the first time.
First Meeting of the All-Russian Congress of SovietsA meeting with many pro-government parties. The largest being the Social Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, and Bolsheviks. Here they supported the Provisional Government.
Image: This image shows the first meeting of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets.
July DaysA short period of unrest in Petrograd in which there were multiple workers strikes, soldiers mutinies, and peasant riots against the Provisional Government. This lasted until July 20th, 1917.
Image: This image shows the mass protests in the streets and how the protests engulfed the whole city of Petrograd.
Kornilov AffairAn attempted military coup by the chief of the Russian army, General Lavr Kornilov, against the Provisional Government. It lasted 5 days until September 14th, 1917.
Image: Shows the soldiers revolting in an official way.
Bolsheviks Overthrow the Provisional GovernmentBolshevik forces led by Lenin overthrew the Provisional Government during the October Revolution. This came after months of workers, soldiers, and peasants’ revolts.
Image: This shows the Bolsheviks overthrowing the Provisional Government and coming into power.
Cheka formedThe Cheka was formed by the Russian government. The Cheka was a Bolshevik security agency, and over time it gained power. For example, on September 5th, 1918, the Cheka was permitted to find, question, arrest, and destroy the families of suspected traitors.
Image: This image shows the brutality of the Cheka’s methods and how much the people feared them.
Wartime Communism createdWar Communism lasted from June 1918 to the 21st of March 1921. This nationalized banks, industry, and railways. It instated grain requisitioning, which decreased productivity. Food was rationed, soldiers received the most generous rations for morale.
Image: Shows Lenin standing before the Red Army, this is relevant to wartime communism because a vital goal of war communism was to boost the Red Army’s morale and thus improve their chances of winning the Civil War against the Whites.
Kolchak begins serious attacks against Reds from Siberia1918-1920
Kolchak was a military leader. He created an anti-Bolshevik government in Siberia. This government functioned as the political base for countering the Reds’ power in Siberia.
Image: This is an image of Alexander Kolchak.
Constituent Assembly meets and is disbanded18-19 January 1918
The Socialist Revolutionary Party won the majority of the seats. The Bolshevik Party did not like these results since it believed it more accurately reflected the people’s beliefs. So, the Bolshevik Party walked out on the assembly and the next day they sent troops to disband it. The Bolshevik Party did this to maintain the power of the government.
Image: This image shows how the initial peaceful meeting of the Constituent Assembly looked.
Treaty of Brest-LitovskRussia met with the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire) to make peace with those countries. Russia signed a treaty which ended its involvement in WWI.
Image: This picture depicts the negotiations which occurred at Brest-Litovsk prior to Russia signing the treaty.
Red Terror1918 –1922
This was the Bolsheviks chain of political repression and executions carried out by the Cheka that started towards the beginning of the Russian Civil War.
Image: This picture shows the physical force and intimidation tactics used by the Bolshevik Party and how this contributed to their power and ability to repress opposition.
This rebellion took place in the countryside, in the province of Tambov. It was caused by peasants' anger regarding the policy of grain requisitioning. This pushed Lenin further towards the New Economic Policy because Russia relied on the peasants for food and therefore could not afford to have them revolt.
Image: This map shows where the Tambov rebellion took place.
Poles move towards Kiev25 April 1920 – July 1920
This conflict occurred between Poland and Russia forces. Ukrainians also got involved in this conflict, and there was support for both sides. Russia won The Kiev Offensive of 1920.
Image: This picture shows polish troops advancing though Kiev in 1920.
Soviets attempt to take WarsawBattle of Warsaw (12–25 August 1920)
This was a battle between Poland and the Bolsheviks (the Red Army), the Bolsheviks lost and were humiliated. This battle also resulted in a set border between Russia and Poland.
Image: This is a picture of the Red Army who fought against Poland when the Soviets tried to take Warsaw and failed.
Kronstadt uprisingMar 7-17, 1921
Sailors which had helped get the Bolsheviks into power had turned against them. These sailors had rebelled because they said that the Bolsheviks had abused their power and become another version of the tsar. This shows just how far public opinion had turned against the Bolsheviks, even those who had been their biggest supporters had turned against them. This uprising was eventually violently put down by Red forces.
Image: This image shows a crew of sailors who revolted.
Ending of War CommunismLenin was forced to end Wartime Communism due to civil unrest, especially in the form of the Tambov and Kronstadt rebellions. When War Communism ended, there was a transition to the New Economic Policy. Grain requisitioning ended, money was reintroduced, and private trade and businesses were allowed again.
Image: This picture portrays grain requisitioning and shows how the peasants disliked it, to prevent even larger scale uprisings, War Communism had to be ended.
Treaty of RapalloThis was an agreement between Russia and Germany where these counties agreed to forgive each other’s debts and have secret military cooperation. This allowed Germany to get around the restrictions placed on them by The League of Nations, and it gave the isolated Russia more power. This treaty also established trade between these two countries.
Image: In this picture the Germany and Russia’s representatives are meeting to work on the agreement of the Treaty of Rapallo.
Ukraine brought under Soviet controlWhen the Bolsheviks had come into power in Russia, Ukraine gradually gave Russia power over its foreign relations and foreign trade. Then, the USSR was formed which brought Ukraine under Soviet control.
Image: This image depicts the forming of the USSR, which brought Ukraine under Soviet control.
Formation of Soviet UnionDecember 30, 1922
The Soviet Union consisted of Russia and 14 surrounding countries, it was initially led by Lenin and then by Stalin.
Image: this is the Soviet Union’s flag.
Lenin diesLenin had been the leader of the Bolshevik party up until his death, his lack of hesitancy to use force allowed him to keep the Bolshevik Party unified and in power. When Lenin became aware of Stalin’s growing power, Lenin tried to ensure that Stalin would not be his successor. Despite Lenin’s efforts, Stalin became Lenin’s successor after his death.
Image: This is a picture of Vladimir Lenin.