Russo-Japnese war of 1905 After the Russo-Japnese war of 1905, in which Russia had lost, a revolution occurred. This being the second after an unsuccessful one in 1825. It appeared that discontent with the public would cause Czar Nicholas II to form a constitutional monarchy. A change such as this one would not have satisfied either the czar or his opponents. While the public wanted democratic freedom the czar did not want to lose control of the peasants.
This one would also be unsuccessful. Two more revolutions soon would occur and be successful. The first revolution occurred during World War I while the Russian military was pressed by war with Germany. The March Revolution of 1917 led to the abdication of Nicholas and the installment of a provisional government. The leader of this new government was Alexander Kerensky, who was eventually forced from power and later fled to America.
The armies that were at war were taken command by Czar Nicholas in the fall of 1915, leaving a power vacuum in the capitol city of St. Petersburg. Suddenly in March of 1917 the collapse of the government came. Mass demonstrations were spawned by food riots, strikes and war protests. The army refused to fire upon demonstrators.
On March 14, a Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies was elected, and it formed the provisional government which later caused the removal of Nicholas. The leading men in the October 1917 revolution were Lenin and Leon Trotsky. Years later, on Joseph Stalin’s orders, Trotsky was assassinated. No one could take action against the Bolsheviks who were subverting the army, passing out fire-arms, and appointing their supporters as commissars of military units. On the night of November 6-7 the Bolsheviks attacked, and gained control of the capitol after several days of fighting.
Meanwhile, Lenin had to deal with the war. Peace negotiations failed, so Lenin dealt straight with the Germans. Lenin had to pick, either a loss of territory, or the loss of his new government. He chose in favor of his government. At the time of the meeting to approve a peace treaty, the Bolsheviks changed their name to the Russian Communist Party. The treaties effects for Lenin were negative.
Patriotic indignation at the betrayal of Russia to Germany surfaced quickly, even in the army. This division led to a civil war that lasted until late 1920. On August 19, 1991, eight of Mikhail Gorbachev’s associates planned to remove him from office, while slowly disintegrating the 74-year old Communist state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Among the people cooperating in this plan were the KGB, the vice president, and the military. Standing firm for this action was Boris Yeltsin, who barricaded himself in the Russian embassy with advisors, coming out only to rouse up the people against Gorbachev.
Only 72 hours later Mikhail was back in Moscow. From the moment the plot had failed, Gorbachev’s power began to fade rapidly. He was forced to resign office, and communism was banned. Mikhail tried to keep some form of government together by getting a union treaty signed, but this was an economic federation, not a national treaty. On December 8, 1991, the republics of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus formed a federation and moved the capitol from Moscow to Minsk. The Commonwealth of Union States, as this new federation was called, marked the end of the Soviet Union, and tried to find new relationships between other federations.
The parliament building was attacked on October 4, 1993, to stop a revolt by heavily armed legislatures who opposed Yeltsin and his ideas. Yeltsin had dissolved parliament on September 21 of the same year. After the assault, opposing legislatures voted to impeach Yeltsin and place his vice-president, Aleksandr Rutskoi, as president. In the assault 142 people were killed, and the White House, as the building is called was destroyed. If these actions had been successful, everything Yeltsin had worked for could have been lost.