The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917 was initiated by millions of people. When Czar Nicholas II dragged 11 million peasants into World War I, the Russian people became discouraged with their injuries and the loss of life they sustained. The country of Russia was in ruins, ready to revolt.
(Czar Nicholas II)
Why did the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917 succeed?
1. Provisional Government problems
The Bolsheviks succeeded because the Provisional Government was weak and unpopular. When it was attacked, nobody was prepared to defend it.
The Bolsheviks had good slogans such as ‘Peace, Bread, Land’ and ‘All Power to the Soviets’. Other parties claimed they could never deliver their promises, but their arguments were too complicated for people to understand. This meant that they got the public’s support.
The party ran its own propaganda machine, including the newspaper Pravda (Truth), which got their ideas across.
4. German money
The Germans financed the Bolsheviks because they knew that Lenin wanted to take Russia out of the war. This gave them the money to mount their publicity campaigns
Lenin was a brilliant leader, a professional revolutionary with an iron will, ruthless, brilliant speaker, a good planner with one aim, to overthrow the government. The Bolsheviks were well-led.
A private Bolshevik army (The Red Guards), dedicated to the revolution, was set up and trained under Leon Trotsky. It gave the Bolsheviks the military power to win.
The Bolsheviks were brilliantly organized. A central committee; controlled by Lenin and other leading Bolsheviks, sent orders to the soviets, who gave orders to the factories. Membership grew to 2 million within months. Unlike the Provisional Government, the Bolsheviks demanded total obedience from their members, so they were well-disciplined.
(Lenin leading the Bolshevik Revolution)