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An armistice between Russia and the Central Powers is signed, and Russian leaves World War I.
Germany declares war on Russia; Russia enters World War I.
Lenin sends a telegram to communists in Penza, Central Russia, complaining about uprisings in the area and calling for the public execution of 100 kulaks (wealthy peasants).
Tsar Alexander II is assassinated by a member of the radical group People’s Will. He is succeeded by his son, Alexander III, who enacts anti-terrorism measures that curb civil rights and freedom of the press.
Tsar Nicholas II abdicates and also removes his son from the succession. A Provisional Government is formed to replace the tsarist government.
Tsar Nicholas II and his family are executed by the Bolsheviks.
October Manifesto – Tsar Nicholas II promises civil liberties (such as freedom of speech) and an elected parliament (Duma).
Russian minister of war Alexander Kerensky launches an offensive against Austria-Hungary forces. Although the Russian effort is initially successful, the soldiers soon refuse to leave their trenches and fight due to low morale caused by the Revolution. Many soldiers return home to take part in redistribution of land.
Tsar Alexander II passes the Emancipation Edict, ending serfdom in Russia (but keeps peasants tied to the land through continuing labor obligations).
Tsar Alexander III dies after a sudden illness; his son Nicholas II assumes the throne.
Lenin dies, leading to a power struggle within the party. Stalin emerges as Party leader. His rival Leon Trotsky is dismissed, then exiled and finally murdered in 1940.
Stalin is appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party
Brest-Litovsk Treaty - Russia ends its participation in the First World War. Bolshevik Russia loses one-third of the old empire’s population, one-third of its railway network, half its industry, three-quarters of its supplies of iron ore, nine-tenths of its coal resources and much of its food supplies.
Grigori Rasputin, the controversial ‘holy man’ and close friend of Tsar Nicholas II’s family, is murdered after several failed attempts.
Failed attempt to assassinate Tsar Alexander II by blowing up his palace dining room kills 11 and wounds 56. The Tsar survives through being late to dinner.
Lenin, future leader of the Bolsheviks, is arrested to be kept in solitary confinement for 13 months and then exiled to Siberia.
The decrees on LAND (no more private property and redistribution of the land amongst the peasantry) and PEACE (an immediate withdrawal of Russia from World War I) are issued by the new Bolshevik government.
Bloody Sunday – Troops and police open fire on a peaceful demonstration outside the Winter Palace and elsewhere in St Petersburg, killing and injuring around 1,000 people. The press blames Nicholas II.
Pogroms against Jews spread across the Russian Empire, leading to mass emigration of the Jewish population.
Famine in Russia kills between 375,000 and 400,000 and affects millions more.
Communist parties form across the world.
By the beginning of 1921, money has lost 96% of its pre-war value; industrial production has fallen to 10% of its 1913 level. The population of Petrograd has fallen from 2.5 million in 1917 to 600,000 in 1920
Lenin returns from exile
Each person receives 1/4 pound of bread per day. Bread and flour are still being sold openly, but for extortionate prices.
Creation of the Soviet Union.
Introduction of Lenin’s ‘New Economic Policy’ (NEP) – a little bit of Capitalism mixed in.
The Bolsheviks seize control of Petrograd and take control of the Winter Palace, the last remaining holdout of the Provisional Government.
Civil war begins between Bolsheviks (reds) and Mensheviks (whites)
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