History of the Soviet Union
Russian RevolutionSt Petersburg, Russia
The Russian Revolution was a period of political and social revolution that took place in the former Russian Empire which began during the First World War. This period saw Russia abolish its monarchy and adopt a socialist form of government following two successive revolutions and a bloody civil war. The Russian Revolution can also be seen as the precursor for the other European revolutions that occurred during or in the aftermath of WWI, such as the German Revolution of 1918. The Russian Revolution was inaugurated with the February Revolution in 1917. This first revolt focused in and around the then-capital Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg). After major military losses during the war, the Russian Army had begun to mutiny. Army leaders and high ranking officials were convinced that if Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, the domestic unrest would subside. Nicholas agreed and stepped down, ushering in a new government led by the Russian Duma (parliament) which became the Russian Provisional Government. This government was dominated by the interests of prominent capitalists, as well as the Russian nobility and aristocracy. In response to these developments, grassroots community assemblies (called Soviets) were formed.