The Russian Empire at the end of 1917 was a huge conglomeration of nationalities and ethnic groups covering millions of square miles from the Pacific Ocean in the east to the Baltic and Black seas in the west.With a population of over 178 million people it was overwhelmingly a rural and agrarian society.During such revolutions the masses enter into direct political action.
100 years ago, the world was shaken by the October Revolution.
We rightly celebrate this heroic act as the first instance of workers’ power in history.
A revolution involves a tremendous clash of class interests, as has happened at various junctures throughout human history, such as the English Revolution of 1642, the French Revolution of 1789, the Paris Commune of 1871 and then the Russian Revolutions of 1917.
These are rare events that are important to understand for all those interested in human affairs, but especially Marxist revolutionaries who seek to change the world bourgeois order to a working class order that will pave the way for a classless society.
Petersburg and Moscow, with oil production in Baku in the south and coal mining in the Ukraine’s Donets Basin.
A great proportion of the industrial capital was owned by foreign interests especially in St Petersburg, and the national capitalist class was both weak and divided, with much of it heavily dependent on the state.Derek Gunby provides an analysis and balance sheet of 1918: the first year of the Russian Revolution.1918 proved to be one of the most tumultuous and violent years the world had ever seen.Not only were vast armies from all countries and continents fighting a gruesome World War but also the victorious Russian Revolution of October 1917 was facing a huge wave of internationally financed armies, Russian and Foreign, dedicated to its overthrow. The Bolshevik-led workers and peasants government of Russia had withstood all possible trials to secure a vital foothold for the revolution and begin the long task of defeating all the elements of armed counter-revolution.Whilst in 1861 the peasants had been freed from serfdom, the legislation doing so had failed to modernise and develop agriculture and the conditions of the peasants still lagged way behind most other comparable European countries.Industry was concentrated in a few areas such as St.We need to understand the processes that occur during a revolutionary period.These lessons cannot be applied mechanically but must be refracted through the prisms of subsequent history and our current experience. We take from the past and test its relevance and application today to see how this may offer some guidance as to how to adapt effectively to our own age.Much remained to be done and it wasn’t until 1921 that Soviet power had been fully consolidated in all of Russia.This article traces the key events and identifies the main challenges facing the revolution in 1918, the decisive role of the Bolshevik Party and its leaders and the lessons that remain for us today.Eighty percent of the population was composed of peasants living for the most part in scattered villages with poor communications between them.To the Russian peasants, the village and surrounding fields was, for all practical purposes, their world.