The October Revolution

Lenin called for immediate revolution. In six months he garnered tremendous support from the people.By late 1917 many people were ready for the second revolution if it could rid them of the provisional government which stood in the way of peace and land for all. An early sign of changing public opinion was the forced resignation of the Foreign Minister Milinkov. His insistence that Russia remain in war made him so unpopular that he was dropped and new provisional government formed under Lvov and Kerensky. The new ministers were mostly socialist revolutionaries and Mensheviks.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

Kerensky was cooperating with these two groups so as to counter Lenin and his Bolsheviks. Kerensky had declared that his objective was to save the revolution from extremists. But he did not get any support from army and other conservatives. The Bolsheviks were becoming increasingly influential within the Soviets as public opinion swerved increasingly to left. By October the Bolsheviks had a majority in both the Moscow and Petrograd Soviets. Lenin had convinced his party to overthrow Kerensky and the date was set for November. There was almost no resistence and the actual revolution hardly had any bloodshed. The Bolsheviks forces seized key positions in Petrograd- railway stations,banks,bridges and other government buildings.Kerensky escaped and tried to organize a counter revolution but had no support and provisional govt fell. Workers gained control of factories, private trade was prohibited and all the property of church and counter revolutionaries was confiscated. Lenin opened negotiations with central powers and concluded a separate peace treaty. Treaty of Brest-Litousk was signed in 1918.The first Soviet Constitution was promulgated the following July.

Success of Bolshevik Revolution

The main reasons for the success of Bolshevik Revolution were that there was a great deal of dissension in the ranks of the counter-revolutionaries with infighting between royalists with republicans, and the military leaders with the politicians. The peasants supported the new government for they feared the return of the old landlords which could lead to loss of their newly acquired land. The workers were with the Bolsheviks right from the beginning. The Allied intervention was inadequate and half hearted as they were not ready to extensive military operations which were required for the huge country.

Deprived of foreign military support and torn by dissension among themselves the anti- Bolsheviks were no match for the Red army organized by Trotsky.