The coming to power of the Bolsheviks, whose date coincided with the date of the Great October Socialist Revolution (November 7, 1917, according to the modern style), seemed in the spring of the same year to be an impossible event for many in the Russian Empire. The point is that this branch of the Social-Democratic Labor Party, headed by V.I. Until the very last months before the revolution, Lenin was not particularly popular with the most important classes in the society of that time.
The roots of the political party of the Bolsheviks
The ideological basis of the party arose in the early nineties of the nineteenth century among former populists, who went to the people and saw the problems of the peasantry, which they wanted to solve with the help of a radical redistribution of land plots, including landlords. These agrarian problems existed for more than one decade and partly conditioned the coming to power of the Bolsheviks. In connection with the failures of the Narodnik direction and the activation of the working class, former populist leaders (Plekhanov, Zasulich, Axelrod, and others) adopted the experience of the Western European struggle, revised their revolutionary strategies, familiarized themselves with the works of Marx and Engels, translated them into Russian, and began to develop theories of arrangement Life in Russia on the basis of Marxist theories. The party itself was established in 1898, and in 1903, at the second congress, the movement broke up into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks for ideological reasons.
About the uprising dream more than a decade
The coming to power of the Bolsheviks was prepared by this political group long ago. During the revolution of 1905-07. This organization met in London (the Mensheviks in Geneva), where a decision was made on an armed uprising. In general, the Social Democrats already at that time wanted to destroy tsarism by organizing uprisings in the troops (in the Black Sea Fleet, in Odessa) and undermining the financial system (called for withdrawing deposits from banks and not paying taxes). They supplied weapons and explosives to Russia (the Krasin group), robbed banks (Helsingfors Bank, 1906).
They did not manage to enter the official authorities
The arrival of the Bolsheviks to power in Russia through "official channels" was formed in the pre-revolutionary period unsuccessfully. They boycotted the elections to the first State Duma, in the second they received fewer seats than the Mensheviks (15 posts). In the advisory body of the country, the Bolsheviks did not stay long, as members of their faction were detained while trying to raise the uprising with the help of the St. Petersburg garrison. All the Duma members from the Bolsheviks were arrested, and the Duma of that convocation was dissolved.
What did Russia promise the Bolsheviks to come to power? Briefly about this can be learned from the decisions of the London (fifth) Party Congress, where in 1907 the "maximum" and "minimum" programs were adopted. Minimal for Russia was a bourgeois revolution with a shortening of the working day to 8 hours, the overthrow of the autocracy, the establishment of democratic elections and freedoms, the introduction of local self-government, the granting of the right of nations to self-determination, the abolition of fines and the return of land cuts to peasants. To the maximum in the Russian Empire, a proletarian revolution was to occur and a transition to socialism with the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletarian masses.
The situation in Russia after 1907 continued to be severe. The reasons why the coming to power of the Bolsheviks in the future became possible was that the tsarist reforms of that time did not yield significant results, the agrarian question was not resolved, the First World War started after the defeat at Tänennberg was already conducted on the territory of Russia and led to hyperinflation, The disruption of the food supply of cities, the famine in the villages.
The disintegration of the army contributed to the revolution
In the war, about 2 million soldiers died and almost a million civilians, a huge mobilization (15 million people) was made, the bulk of which were peasants, many of whom, along with the revolutionary workers, joined the army with sympathy for the Socialist Revolutionary ideas of getting Peasants of the landowners. The recruitment was so great that many did not even get sworn in, not to mention patriotic upbringing. And the opponents of the tsarist regime actively propagated their ideas, which led to the refusal of the Cossacks and soldiers to suppress popular performances as far back as 1915-1916.
The tsarist regime has few supporters
The reasons for the coming to power of the Bolsheviks or any other political forces by 1917 were that the tsarist regime was too weak economically and politically under the circumstances. At the same time, Nicholas II took a deferred position (or was deprived of the necessary amount of information about the actual state of affairs). This gave, for example, the opportunity in February 1917 to close the Putilov plant and "throw" about 36,000 people into the streets of St. Petersburg, some of which were influenced by the revolutionary ideas of the Bolsheviks and began to involve workers in strikes in other factories. The emperor at that time could no longer rely even on his guard, since most of its pre-war composition was killed on the fronts and replaced by mobilized soldiers from different classes. Against the king were many political forces of the country, which, however, were and simultaneously in opposition to each other, since each party had its own plan for the development of the state.
Few expected the Bolsheviks to win
As of April 1917, it seemed to many that the Bolsheviks' accession to power was impossible, since the bulk of the population, peasants to a greater extent, supported the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the industrialists had their own parties, the intelligentsia had their own, there were several parties supporting the monarchical system. April's theses of Lenin did not find any response among the Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks and many Bolsheviks, since the leader proposed to abandon defensive positions in the war and conclude peace (perhaps for this purpose Germany "did not notice" how Lenin arrived in Petrograd through its territory in sealed Wagon). Therefore, the reasons for the Bolsheviks to come to power were, in particular, foreign policy. In addition, the theses suggested the dissolution of the Provisional Government and the transfer of power to the Soviets, along with the nationalization of the land, instead of its transfer to the ownership of peasant communities, which did not add to the popularity of Lenin's supporters.
The coming of the Bolsheviks to power (1917) was accompanied by attempts to lead the country even before November. In June of the same year, at the First Congress of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies (All-Russia), it became clear that the Bolsheviks were in third place among the socialists in their significance. At the congress, delegates rejected Lenin's proposal to end the war and abolish the existing authorities. However, it should be borne in mind that by that time, under the influence of the Bolsheviks, there were already soldiers' regiments, including the First Machine-gun Regiment (11, 3 thousand soldiers) stationed in Petrograd and the sailors of the Kronstadt naval base. The influence of the party of Lenin in the military environment led to the fact that an attempt was made to take the Tauride Palace (the headquarters of the Provisional Government) in July 1917. These days, the Putilov factory workers, soldiers, sailors arrived at the palace, but the organization of the "offensive" was so bad that the plan of the Bolsheviks failed. This was partly due to the fact that the Minister of Justice of the Provisional Government Pereverzev managed to prepare and post newspapers in the city where Lenin and his associates were represented as German spies.
The change of government and direct capture
What other processes accompanied the coming to power of the Bolsheviks? The year of the Great October Revolution was rich in various events. By the autumn it becomes obvious that the Provisional Government does not cope with anarchy, therefore a new body is being formed - the Pre-parliament, in which the Bolsheviks have only 1/10 of the seats. At the same time, Lenin's party receives a majority in the Soviets of large cities, including up to 90% in Petrograd and about 80% in Moscow. It is supported by soldiers' committees of the Western and Northern fronts, and in the peasant environment, it is still not very popular: half of the Soviets of rural Bolshevik deputies were not at all.
What was the direct arrival of the Bolsheviks to power? Briefly the events developed as follows:
- In October, Lenin secretly arrives in Petrograd, where he begins to advocate a new uprising, he is not supported by Kamenev and Trotsky. The second one, at the same time, suggests waiting for the decisions of the Second Congress of Soviets (All-Russian Congress), scheduled for 20 and postponed to October 25 (old style).
- October 18, 1917 (according to style), a meeting of regiments took place in the garrisons of Petrograd, where it was decided to mount an armed uprising against the current government if it was initiated by the Petrograd Soviet (where the Bolsheviks had 90% of the votes). Five days later, the garrison of the Peter and Paul Fortress crossed over to the side of the Bolsheviks. On the side of the Provisional Government were the cadets from the schools and schools of military ensigns, the shock female company, the Cossacks.
- On October 24, the forces of the Bolsheviks seized the telegraph, the telegraph agency, through which they summoned the warships from Krondstat. They did not allow the junkers to separate some of the bridges.
- On the night of October 24 to October 25, the Bolsheviks managed to seize the central telephone station, the State Bank, the Warsaw Railway Station, turn off the central power supply to the government buildings, and bring the cruiser Aurora to the Neva. By noon, the "revolutionary masses" had seized the Mariinsky Palace. The storming of the Winter Palace was carried out late at night, after a preliminary bombardment from the cannons of the cruiser Aurora. At 2:10 am on October 26, the Provisional Government surrendered.
The revolution resulted in an increase in the number of victims
The consequences of the coming to power of the Bolsheviks were devastating for Russia, as a result of the victory in Petrograd (almost in full, except for the City Duma of Petrograd), a new Bolshevik government led by Lenin was formed (the Council of People's Commissars). But most of the country did not control them, which led to civil war, further collapse of the economy, which resulted, among other things, in hunger and numerous victims.