Jodie Rogge

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The February Revolution caused a political social change in early 20th century Russia. The Revolution officially began on February 23 in Petrograd when working women charged the streets protesting food shortages and high bread prices. Following their lead hundreds of men joined the women in protest to not only food shortage and prices, but also to the government. In an attempt to end the protests the Tsar, Nicholas II, ordered his troops to end the strikes by the next day. His plan, however, backfired when his troops joined the protesters. Guided by his generals Nicholas II decided to abdicate his throne, ending more than three centuries of czarist regime.

With no Tsar, the State Duma declared itself a provisional government. The State Duma is made up of leading moderate and liberal politicians. The leaders in this new government had limited authority and it became apparent that only an elected Constituent Assembly could decide Russia’s new political structure. At the same time socialist parties were getting workers and soldiers to elect deputies to the soviets. This caused the formation of the Executive Committee whose main purpose was defending democracy. Filled with Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, the Executive Committee conditionally supported the Provisional Government.

This revolution was a fundamental change because it created a completely new political system. For centuries the people of Russia have been ruled under a Tsar, but now they had a totally new form of government. During the time of no official government the citizens had unprecedented freedom to create new newspapers, political groups, and other institutions of political society. During this same time the Provisional Government designed decrees that covered education, labor relations, religious affairs, and other issues of public life. The Revolution allowed citizens to create changes that they wanted to see.  Citizens used to have no chance to say what they wanted, but after the February Revolution they were given that opportunity. It also solved the food shortage issue, the reason the revolution began, by establishing a state grain monopoly that would be administered by provisioning committees under a Ministry of Food Supply. The February Revolution led to a period of no official government, which eventually allowed the Bolsheviks to claim power in Petrograd in October 1917.  The end of czarism in Russia caused a major political social change.

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