Gerald Jacobs


The Impact of the Bolshevik Revolution

In 1917, Russia was in economic turmoil. World War I was producing heavy losses; laborers were on strike; and people were going hungry. There were two revolutions that happened in a very small time period. In March of 1917 The February (because they used a different calendar for some reason) Revolution occurred. People clamoring for bread in the streets of what is now St. Petersburg turned into a protest of the masses. After this short revolution, power was shared between the weak provisional government and the Petrograd Soviet. Then, on November 6th and 7th, leftist revolutionaries led by Bolshevik Party leader Vladimir Lenin launched a coup d’état against the provisional government. The Bolsheviks and their allies occupied government buildings and other strategic locations in Petrograd, and soon formed a new government with Lenin as its head.

The Bolshevik government passed a plethora of legislation in the immediate aftermath of the revolution. Some of the immediate laws introduced by the Congress of the Soviets included military, economic, political, and social changes.

In the realm of the military, Russia withdrew from World War I and was able to establish better relations with Germany. This step is crucial, as they were losing due to industrial weakness.

In the economic realm, land was immediately transferred to many peasants in an effort to create equality in the new Russian society. This is a prime example of Russia’s many socialist policies. Also, workers took over the means of production and the distribution of goods. This gave everyday people the influence that they so desired. In an effort to create more fair and equal policy across the country, The Bolshevik government took control of the banks, foreign trade, large industries, and railways. All of these policies were implemented to give equality to the Russian people. In fact, any form of inequality based on class, sex, nationality or religion was made illegal (We should follow their lead on that).

The Bolshevik Revolution allowed for change en mass in the realms of economics, politics, military, and social structure that allowed Russia to grow into a stronger nation. Russia is still having problems today, but they are growing closer and closer to achieving their long term goals, which were all started in 1917.