Bolshevik Revolution

The Bolshevik Revolution

Note on dates: The Bolshevik seizure of power is often called the October Revolution. However, as Russia used a different calendar to the one that is now in place (and it was different to that in place in some other European nations) the dates might appear to be a bit confusing if you use a number of sites / books when researching.

The Bolshevik Revolution

3rd / 4th Jly 1917

The ‘July Days’

Workers and soldiers demand that power is transferred from the Provisional Government to the Soviet. The uprising is put down using troops who have returned from the front. Folowing this, a new Provisional Government is established under kerensky.
August 1917 The Kornilov Affair. Kornilov, a Right wing general within the Russian army, tries to seize power. He believes that he will have the support of Kerensky – but doesn’t. The attempted seizure of power results in the Petrograd Soviet reorganising itself, giving the Bolsheviks equal power. The Provisional Government responds by declaring a republci and government by a 5 man committee.
September 1917 Unrest in Petrograd as workers strike. Over 700000 railway workers acrossthe country strike, causing chaos to the war effort and disrupting supplies of food.
25th September 1917 The Bolshevik’s take control of the Petrograd Soviet.
October 1917 The Bolsheviks form a Military Revolutionary Committee.
10th October 1917 The Bolshevik Central Committee vote in favour of seizing power by force.
21st October 1917 Soldiers in Petrograd pledge their support to the Bolshevik Party.
23rd October 1917 The garrison at the peter and paul fortress pledge their allegiance to the Petrograd Soviet. The Provisional Government declares the MRC illegal and attmpts to arrest leading Bolsheviks.
25th October 1917 Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries leave the congress of Soviets in disgust at Bolshevik proposals and actions. That evening Bolshevik forces occupy the Winter Palace. Kerensky flees.
26th October 1917 Leading members of the provisional government are arrested. The Congress of Soviets passes several of Lenin’s decrees.
27h October 1917 To the dismay of many Socialists, the Bolsheviks introduce censorship of the press.
28th October 1917 Kerensy and forces loayl to the provisional Government advance on Petrograd but are forced to withdraw.

The Railway Workers Union forces the Bolsheviks to negotiate its agenda.

3rd November 1917 Bolshevik control of Moscow and the Kremlin.
12th – 19th November 1917 Election for the Constituent Assembly. The Bolsheviks achieve just 23.9% of the vote, the Social Revolutionaries gain 40%. This forces the Bolshevik leadership to work with members of the SR.
5th January 1918 Constituent Assembly is opened with an SR majority. Lenin declares it dissolved the same day.
12th January 1918 Russia is declared a Soviet Republic.
19th January 1918 The Polish Legion declares war on the Bolshevik government.
1st / 14th February 1918 Russia changes from the Julian Calendar (1st February) to the Greogorian Calendar (14th February) so that it is using the same calendar as the rest of Europe. (Hence the potential confusion over dates noted at the top of the page)
23rd February 1918 The Red Army is officially formed. It is immediately put to use in the Civil War.


Russian and Soviet HistoryRussian History Homepage
Russia before the First World WarOpposition to Tsarist RuleImpact of the First World War
1917: Abdication of Tsar Nicholas IIBolshevik RevolutionLenin and the Bolshevik Revolution
Leon TrotskyBolshevik Rule 1918-1924Russian Civil War
New Economic PolicyLenin's LegacyDevelopment of Communist Rule
Life in the Soviet UnionFailure of Reform and Decline of the Communist StateStalinism
Collectivisation of Soviet AgricultureWomen in the USSRDe-Stalinisation
Khruschev's Reform ProgrammeDecline of the Soviet UnionCollapse of the Soviet Union
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