Episode 2: Attack of the Bolsheviks

Unrest in the Provisional Government! Several political parties had declared their intentions of mistrust and disapproval towards the newly formed government. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the Provisional Government attempted to contain order and bring about change to the economically suffering Russia. However, workers, peasants, and soldiers alike felt change was moving too slowly.

The February Revolution and the absence of the Tsar allowed for a wave of political, religious, and economic freedom in which the new Provisional Government would be able to function. However, the government’s inability to act effectively in the months that followed allowed for the continued struggle for millions of Russians. Food shortages, the burden of World War I, and the lack of land reforms would cause major issues down the line.

Some of the issues resulted in demonstrations that turned rather deadly. The July Days were created out of the growing resentment between Bolsheviks and the Provisional Government, although the revolt had been crushed by the Provisional Government, the aftermath proved to be a political victory for the Bolsheviks. More and more Russians started to notice the ailments surrounding the Provisional Government.

Demonstrators under fire from Provisional Government troops during the July Days uprising in Petrograd

The Kornilov Affair also contributed to the growth in left-leaning sentiment, “the main victor in the Kornilov Affair was the radical left, and in particular, the Bolsheviks who had long warned of the danger of a counter-revolutionary thrust” (Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, Kornilov Affair). The potential coup d’etat had failed and the consequences proved dire. Alexander Kerenskii’s Provisional Government looked weak, the integrity of the government had been compromised.

Troops loyal to the Bolsheviks march towards to the Smolny Institute during the October Revolution of 1917

On October 10, 1917, Lenin returned to Petrograd to push for an armed insurrection to end the strife faced by Russia under the Provisional Government. With a 10 – 2 vote from the Central Committee, Lenin would have his armed revolt. On October 24, the Military Revolutionary Committee, headquartered at the Smolny Institute, gave the order to the Red Guard to take key points around the city. By the following day, the Winter Palace was stormed and the Provisional Government was overthrown and replaced by a Bolshevik controlled government. Within the next few days, the organization that had promised “Peace, Bread and Land” would formalize their plans with the creation of the Bolshevik Initial Decrees. A Soviet Russia was beginning to see the light of day….(Comrade’s Corner)








12 thoughts on “Episode 2: Attack of the Bolsheviks

  1. Your blog speaks very well to the chronology and the slowly deteriorating power of the Provisional Government. I think it’s important to remember, and it’s something you point out, that the Revolution wasn’t simply overnight but a long drawn-out series of events that pushed the Russian citizens to their breaking point. This time period in Russia shares characteristics of Germany when Hitler was rising to power. When a population has lost their sense of direction they turn to a figure head/movement that they think will better their living standards and overall livelihood. The fall of the Russian Provisional Government was inevitable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great point, Rachel! I agree that we need to resist the temptation to see these kinds of revolutionary upheavals as specific “events” and think more in terms of broad scale social transformations..


  2. I love the writing style you use for your blog, partly because I’m a huge Star Wars fan, but also it offers a perspective to view history that is unique and outside the norm. It helps you to be able to view and think about historical events in a different mindset. The chronological description you use to describe the events is also very helpful to further understand the timing of events.


  3. I love the style of your blog and again, excellent video!! I think you did a great job outlining the events leading up to the revolution and highlighting how all the events interacted with each other. Looking at all the chaotic events leading up to the revolution, do you think that revolution was inevitable?


    1. I believe Russians needed authority and the Provisional Government was never truly going to provide the firmness to rule. The Bolsheviks swooped in and filled the growing void.


  4. I enjoy reading your blog every time! You make it enjoyable to learn about Russian History. The only critique I have is that it is hard to read the rest of your video while Rasputin plays. I love the song, don’t get me wrong. But I enjoyed learning more about the rise of the Soviets and what key events lead to their success.


  5. Although I have never seen Star Wars, I really love how you can find a way to connect it into learning history. Almost makes me want to watch Star Wars.


  6. Once again, George Lucas, you have done it again. Your graphics and blog design give great credit to your post, and I think that is one of the strongest things about this one. For the actual writing, you did a great job chronicling the events of the Revolution and wrapping it up with that famous slogan “Peace, Bread, and Land.” Nice job buddy.


  7. I did my post on the Kornilov Affair, so it was nice to see that you focused in part on that. I think it is really interesting that so many little incidents that wouldn’t have meant much in the grand scheme of things ended up having such a huge impact on the trajectory of the world for the rest of the century, and arguably, longer. Glad to see you made another video.


  8. For my post, I talked about the effects that the Kornilov Affair had on the emergence of the Bolsheviks as a political power. It’s interesting to see the grand scale of how influential these individuals were in shaping the whole of Russia. Also, I’m really liking the videos – maybe do some different music though?


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