The Reluctant Revolutionaries

  • Raymond Pearson


It was a sudden, unpremeditated upsurge of the Petrograd labour movement, the product of intolerable local economic and social pressures, which precipitated the supreme crisis. The introduction of flour and bread rationing in Moscow on 20 February led to rumours of deficiencies, then panic shortages and finally food riots in Petrograd. On 22 February the management of the Putilov works, the largest employer in Petrograd, ordered a lock-out of their protesting 40,000 staff. The next day, workers from some fifty industrial plants came out in sympathy with the Putilovtsy, using the pretext of International Women’s Day to throng the city centre and organise a general strike. Whether the government’s jittery nerves made it over-react to the situation or the disturbances were taken by Protopopov as a convenient excuse for implementing a scheme of provocation and suppression, there was no doubt of the gravity with which latest developments were viewed. At 2 p.m. on the twenty-third, the administration of Petrograd was transferred from the city police chief A.P. Balk to General Khabalov. The menace implicit in this transfer seemed unequivocal when Khabalov ordered the closure of shops and offices, a night curfew, the halting of the city transport services and the introduction of cavalry units to reinforce the police.


Moderate Leader Conspiracy Theory Supreme Authority Russian Moderate Constituent Assembly 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 20.
    T. Hasegawa, ‘Rodzianko and the Grand Dukes’ Manifesto of 1 March 1917’, Canadian Slavonic Papers, xviii, June 1976, 160–1.Google Scholar
  2. 23.
    V.N. Voyeikov, S Tsarem i Bez Tsarya (Helsinki, 1936), p. 261;Google Scholar
  3. 24.
    T. Hasegawa, ‘The Problem of Power in the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia’, Canadian Slavonic Papers xiv, 4, pp. 618–22.Google Scholar
  4. 36.
    V.I. Lenin, Collected Works 4th edition (London, 1963–4), xxiii, P. 310;Google Scholar
  5. 52.
    Grigorii Aronson, Rossia nakanune Revolyutsii (New York, 1962), pp. 109–43;Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Raymond Pearson 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Pearson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations