The Bolsheviks Advance (February 1917–October 1917)

  • Robert Service


The February Revolution, much predicted and long awaited, came as a surprise to the outside world. Strikes and demonstrations by workers suddenly could no longer be contained by the police in the capital; mutinies broke out in many of the city’s garrisons. The emperor’s first reaction was to disperse the Duma in the hope that this would somehow assist the task of suppressing the unrest in the streets; but shortly he was compelled to recognise the irretrievability of his position and to abdicate, leaving a vacuum of power which an unofficial committee of the prorogued Duma moved to occupy. Further negotiations led to the formation of a Provisional Government, headed by Prince G. E. Lvov and composed mostly of liberal politicians who had made their name either in the Duma itself or in the voluntary public organisations born in the First World War.


Regional Committee Central Committee Conditional Support Party Committee Military Organisation 
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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    E. H. Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution, Volume 2 (London, 1952), Chapter 15 and Volume 3 (London, 1953), Chapter 21.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    M. P. Iroshnikov, Sozdanie sovetskogo tsentral’nogo gosudarstvennogo apparats : Sovet Narodnykh Komissarov i narodnye komissariaty, oktyabr’ 1917 g.-yanvar’ 1918 g. (Moscow-Leningrad, 1966);Google Scholar
  3. K. G. Federov, VTsIK v pervye gody sovetskoi vlasti, 1917–1920 gg. (Moscow, 1957);Google Scholar
  4. T. H. Rigby, ‘The First Proletarian Government’, British Journal of Political Science, January 1974, pp. 37–52.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    M. Vladimirski gave a rueful contemporary description in Osnovnye polozheniya ustanovleniya granits administrativno-khozyaistvennykh raionov: doklad na vtoroi sessii VTsIK 8-go sozyna (Moscow, 1920), pp.52–4.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Chrezvychainoe sobranie upolnomochennykh fabrik i zavodov g. Petrograda; V. Z. Drobizhev, Rabochii klass sovetskoi Rossii v pervyi god proletarskoi diktatury (Moscow, 1975), pp.38, 101–2, 107–8 and 118; E. G. Gimpel’son, Sovetskii rabochii klass, 1918–1920 gg.: sotsialno-politicheskie izmeneniya (Moscow, 1974), pp.27–9 and 76–86.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    D. J. Male, Russian Peasant Organisation Before Collectivisation: A Study of Commune and Gathering, 1925–1930 (Cambridge, 1971), pp. 18–23;Google Scholar
  8. Y. Taniuchi, The Village Gathering in Russia in the Mid-Twenties (Birmingham, 1968), pp.8–13.Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    O. H. Radkey, The Election to the Russian Constituent Assembly of 1917 (Massachussetts, 1950).Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    I. Deutscher, Trotsky: The Prophet Armed, 1879–1921 (London, 1954), Chapter 11; E. H. Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution Volume 3, Chapter 21.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    S. G. Strumilin, Vserossiiskaya perepis’ chlenov RKP(b); Partiinaya Zhizn’, no. 19, October 1967, p. 10.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    F. I. Goloshchekin, Ural’skii Rabochii (Ekaterinburg), no. 3, 5 January 1918.Google Scholar
  13. 22.
    On chairmen see E. V. Bosh, God bor’by (Moscow-Leningrad, 1925), pp.88–92 and Perepiska sekretariata, Volume 3, doc. 176; on secretaries see Perepiskasekretariata Volume 3, doc.251.Google Scholar
  14. 26.
    According to Provincial Committee candidate S. P. Efremov’s memoirs in Ocherki istorii vologdskoi organizatsii KPSS, 1895–1968 (Vologda, 1969), pp. 203–4.Google Scholar

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© Robert Service 1979

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  • Robert Service

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