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Russia: The Revolution of 1917

1. The Events of 1917

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we outline the events of 1917 – from the final months of the First World War to the deposition of the Provisional Government by the Bolsheviks in November [O.S. October] 1917. In particular, we focus on: (i) why Russia fared so badly in the First World War, and why Tsar Nicholas II became personally associated with Russian military failures; (ii) the mounting tensions back at home, particularly in Petrograd, and the outbreak of protests in early March [O.S. late February] 1917; (iii) the abdication of the Tsar and the establishment of both a Provisional Government and workers’ councils (known as ‘soviets’); (iv) the return of Lenin and the promulgation of his ‘April Theses’, which called for ‘al’ power to the soviets!’; (v) the violent clashes between the Bolsheviks and Provisional Government forces in July 1917; (vi) the attempted military coup by Lavr Kornilov in early September [O.S. late August] 1917, known later as the Kornilov affair; and (vii) the creation of the Military Revolutionary Committee and the deposition of the Provisional Government.

NOTE ON DATES: Before 14 February 1918, Russia used the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian calendar used by the rest of Europe (and still in use today). In 1917, the difference between the two was about two weeks, e.g. 15 March in the Gregorian calendar was 2 March in the Julian calendar. To avoid confusion, we have included both dates in all captions, with the Julian date (also known as ‘Old Style’ or ‘O.S.’) appearing in square brackets, e.g. ‘15 March [O.S. 2 March] 1917’.

Course

In this module, Dr Andy Willimott (Queen Mary, University of London) explores the Russian Revolution(s) of 1917. We begin in the first module by thinking about the events of 1917, from the final months of the First World War to the deposition of the Provisional Government by the Bolsheviks in November [O.S. October] 1917. After that, we think about the historiography of the Russian Revolution, focusing in particular on four different schools of thought among historians writing about the Revolution. In the third module, we look more closely at the role of the Bolsheviks in the Revolution – where they came from, what they believed in, and how they came to power – before turning in the fourth model to consider the extent to which the Russian Revolution was a feminist revolution. To what extent, in other words, did it concern itself with improving the lives of women? Finally, in the fifth module, we consider the cultural foundations and impact of the Russian Revolution, focusing in particular on the various cultural campaigns launched by the Bolsheviks, and the importance of culture in galvanising revolutionary energy in the 1920s.

Lecturer

Dr Andy Willimott is a Lecturer in Modern Russian History at Queen Mary, University of London. He has a particular interest in the formation and popular experience of revolution, radical discourse, and utopian models. His recent publications include Living the Revolution: Urban Communes and Soviet Socialism, 1917-1932 (2017) and (co-edited with M. Neumann) Rethinking the Russian Revolution as Historical Divide (2018).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Willimott, A. (2019, October 15). Russia: The Revolution of 1917 - The Events of 1917 [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/russia-the-revolution-of-1917/the-events-of-1917

MLA style

Willimott, Andy. "Russia: The Revolution of 1917 – The Events of 1917." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Oct 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/russia-the-revolution-of-1917/the-events-of-1917