October Revolution: Short Note, Causes, Main Events of October Revolution

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The second and concluding key stage of the Russian Revolution was the October Revolution 1917. Another name for it is the Bolshevik Revolution. Trotsky served as the leader of the Military Revolution Committee, successfully winning the loyalty of the Kronstadt sailors and the Petrograd Garrison. The arrest of Bolshevik leaders was ordered by the Prime Minister in the October revolution, which on October 25th, 1917, led to an armed uprising in Petrograd.

This post will thoroughly overview the October Revolution of 1917, including its events and root causes. Additionally, aspirants can get the PDF of the class 9 notes for preparation for various competitive exams, including UPSC.

What is October Revolution?

The Bolsheviks took over the government buildings on October 25 and were in charge of the October Revolution. The Winter Palace was taken the following day. The Provisional Government, founded after the Tsars’ overthrow, had its headquarters there. Later, the Bolsheviks evolved into the Soviet Union’s Communist Party. Vladimir Lenin served as the new regime’s leader.

October Revolution PDF

The October Revolution signalled the arrival of socialism for both supporters and detractors. Political conservatives viewed socialism as a disease that violently confiscated private property and trampled on individual liberty. And throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy and capitalism were still considered to be in existential danger from Soviet socialism.

However, many on the left hailed the Revolution as the beginning of a new era marked by peace and equality for everyone. The October Revolution appeared to offer an alternative. This government would ultimately result in a communist utopia, especially in light of the senseless slaughter of millions of troops during the First World War. In this post, students can find detailed October Revolution Class 9 notes along with UPSC notes PDF.

Causes of October Revolution

The October Revolution, a coup d’état that took place in 1917, is remembered in history. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was overthrown by the February Revolution, and the Russian Provisional Government took his place. However, the interim administration was frail and riven by internal strife. It carried on fighting World War I, which lost favour with the public. Nationwide social, economic, and political ties were in turmoil. The chaos in transportation and industry had gotten worse, and it was getting harder to get supplies. Over 36% less gross industrial production was produced in 1917 than in 1914.

With other dissidents, Vladimir Lenin, living in exile in Switzerland, devised a plan to negotiate a route through Germany, with whom Russia was at the time of war. The German government consented to let 32 Russian people, including Lenin and his wife, pass through their country in a sealed train carriage because they understood that these dissidents could pose issues for their Russian adversaries. This served as one of the main events of October Revolution.

The February Revolution, which had abolished the Tsarist autocracy and established a liberal interim government earlier that year, served as a springboard for the October Revolution. Grand Duke Michael, Tsar Nicholas II’s younger brother, who declined to assume control after the Tsar stepped down, declared the interim administration in place. Urban workers started to form councils (soviets) at this time, where revolutionaries attacked the provisional government and its policies.

Main Events of October Revolution

Let’s examine the planning involved in the 1917 October Revolution. In a vote of 10-2 on October 10, 1917, the Bolshevik Central Committee declared that “an armed rebellion is unavoidable and that the time is entirely ripe.” Lenin argued that the time had come for the Bolsheviks to seize power because the Russian people had waited long enough for “an armed revolt.” Lenin voiced his belief that the upcoming uprising would be successful.

His optimism resulted from the Bolsheviks’ ascent to power and their victories in elections to various committees and councils in important cities like Petrograd and Moscow. The Bolshevik newspaper Rabochiy (Worker’s Path) was invaded by soldiers loyal to Kerensky’s regime early on October 24. This provided the impetus for October Revolution in Russia.

Shortly after, the government declared the immediate closure of Zhivoe Slovo, Novaia Rus, the far-right Zhivoe Slovo, Rabochiy Put, and the left-wing Soldat. These periodicals’ editors and writers were accused of encouraging insurrection and would face criminal charges. One of Lenin’s goals was to provide the Soviet congress members, who would meet that afternoon, a fait accompli, ending any discussion over the wisdom or legitimacy of seizing power.

October Revolution: Assault on the Winter Palace

One of the significant events of the October Revolution includes the assault on the winter palace on 26 October. Three thousand cadets, officers, cossacks, and female troops were subjected to one last attack on the Winter Palace, but it was not fiercely contested. At 6:15 p.m., the Bolsheviks postponed the assault because they could not locate operational artillery. A sizable contingent of artillery cadets left the palace while also taking their weaponry.

By 2:10 a.m. Bolshevik forces took over on October 26. Instead of fighting back against the 40,000-person assault force, the Cadets and the 140 volunteers of the Women’s Battalion capitulated. The Provisional government’s cabinet eventually gave up and was imprisoned in Peter and Paul Fortress after intermittent gunfire throughout the structure. Kerensky, who had already left the palace, was the only participant not detained.

The Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets opened that day, with Trotsky expelling the opposing Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries (SR) from Congress since the Petrograd Soviet now possessed power over the government, garrison, and proletariat. As the turning point of the October Revolution, the “storming of the Winter Palace” is remembered in history. However, ousting the current administration proved to be the simple part.

October Revolution: Dybenko’s Disputed Role

Pavlo Dybenko played a significant role in October Revolution. According to some reports, Pavlo Dybenko, the Tsentrobalt leader, was a key figure in the uprising. The ten warships and 10,000 sailors from the Baltic Fleet that came to Petrograd were the ones who overthrew the Provisional Government. The same mariners later forcibly dispersed Russia’s elected parliament and opened fire with machine guns on protesters in Petrograd, killing about 100 and injuring hundreds more. In his memoirs, Dybenko described this incident as involving “many rounds in the air.”

October Revolution: Anti-Bolshevik Sentiment

One of the main events of October Revolution was the anti-Bolshevik sentiment. The Socialist Revolutionaries posted posters that day calling the coup a “crime against the motherland” and a “revolution,” which heralded the subsequent upsurge in anti-Bolshevik feelings. The Don Cossacks and Mensheviks both claimed control of the Georgian government the following day, which was proclaimed an independent republic. Bolshevik strongholds were in the cities, especially Petrograd, with support in rural regions being much more evenly distributed.

The Bolsheviks formed a partnership with the Left SR party, which peasants dominated. According to reports on the October revolution, the Provisional Government was meeting with the army at the Front but had not yet declared victory. As newspapers and posters began denouncing the Bolsheviks’ deeds and challenging their authority, the anti-Bolshevik feeling grew even stronger. However, the October Revolution did not usher in a new era of history or the inescapable advance of humankind toward a communist utopia.

Refuted with outrage all participation of the organised peasantry in this criminal breach of the desire of the working class,” the Peasants Soviets executive committee stated. This finally led to significant counterrevolutionary activity, like on October 30, when Cossacks entered Tsarskoye Selo on the outskirts of Petrograd while Kerensky was mounted on a white horse, to the sound of church bells. Kerensky gave the rifle garrison a deadline to release their weapons, but it was immediately ignored. Possibly more than any other single event, the October Revolution changed the globe of the twentieth century.

Governmental Reforms in October Revolution

Communist leaders employed these strategies to win the Civil War and take control of the vast Russian empire following the October Revolution. On November 10, 1917, the government referred to Russians as “citizens of the Russian Republic,” aiming to eliminate all “legal identifiers of civil inequality, such as estates, titles, and ranks” to make Russians equal in every way. Elections for the Constituent Assembly were held on November 12, 1917, with much anticipation.

Lenin’s order established the Cheka on December 20, 1917. The Bolsheviks’ conquest of control over their political rivals started with these events. A botched attempt to assassinate Lenin in September 1918 marked the start of the Red Terror. The French Jacobin Terror exemplifies the Soviet Bolsheviks. Lenin and Maximilien Robespierre were compared by Trotsky as early as 1904. The October Revolution resulted from a highly aggressive form of socialism in which state repression and violence played a central role.

October Revolution: Russian Civil War

The main event in the October Revolution of Russia was the coming to power of the Bolshevik party in November 1917. The Bolsheviks attempted to gain power over Petrograd, the capital of Russia which is now known as St. Petersburg. This resulted in the Russian Civil War where again the Bolsheviks emerged victorious. The October Revolution has often termed the second Russian revolution.

The October Revolution led to the formation of the Soviet Union in the year 1922. The Bolshevik party and its policies supported the working community of Russia. Therefore, the leaders were successful in overthrowing the existing monarch, Czar Nicholas II. as a result, a republic was created which was headed by the nobles of Russia.

Outcome of October Revolution

We shall discuss how the October Revolution turned out. There were 670 elected delegates to the Second Congress of Soviets, 300 of whom were Bolsheviks, and roughly 100 of whom were Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, who also favoured overthrowing the Alexander Kerensky administration. Congress passed a resolution ratifying the Revolution after it was known that the Winter Palace had fallen. This decree transferred authority to the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’, and Peasants’ Deputies.

The October Revolution continues to be seen as a crucial moment in world history even after 100 years. However, it can no longer be viewed in Marxist terms as a necessary step in the development from feudalism to capitalism to socialism to communism. Instead, the Revolution of today is frequently seen as a lesson on the perils of socialist ideology.

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