There are several types of governments throughout the world. Democracies, Monarchies, Republics, Oligarchies. Nonetheless, they do not compare to Russian Communism. Communism is a theory that believes societies can achieve full social equality by eliminating private property. Russia was not always a Communist country. There are many events in Russian history that led to Communism. These events date prior to 1894 but, Communism did not become a reality until 1917. Some of the major events leading to Russian Communism include the February Revolution and the Return of Lenin. Both of these events had an impact on not only who was in charge, but the ideologies present throughout the country.
The first major event shifting Russia towards Communism is the February Revolution. Riots and protests filled the streets of Petrograd. These riots centered around the scarcity of food. The demonstrations only got worse once Russia became involved in World War I. The February Revolution was almost a direct result of this. Throughout the war, Russia’s military was not equipped to fight the Germans. They did not have the resources that the Germans had. Because of this, the number of Russian casualties was greater than any other country involved. Not only was the Russian population suffering, but their economy was being depleted as well. The price of the war was incredibly high and with an already struggling economy, things only got worse. People wanted to overthrow the Czar. On March 8, 1917, Protesters along with 90,000 supporters took to the streets of Petrograd. They fought for bread as they were not getting enough to support themselves and their families. Despite their encounter with the police, they refused to leave the streets. Eventually, the strike spread. On March 11, troops were sent to stop these protests. When troops opened fire, the protesters continued their efforts. Czar Nicholas dissolved the Duma one last time. The Russian army then switched sides due to frustration. The imperial government was left with no choice but to resign, allowing a provisional government to take its place.
The next event shaping Russia’s descent to Communism was Vladimir Lenin’s return to Petrograd. Before his return, the Provisional Government had begun to reform Russia into what he called the “freest country in the world.” Because of this, he returned on April 3 in a sealed train provided by the Germans. They believed that his opposition to the war would help them. When he arrived, he had a ten-point program for yet another revolution based on giving power to the soviets. To get people on his side, he had to make his ideas different from Karl Marx. Marx believed socialism could be achieved in just two steps. Lenin proposed that he could help get it done in one. With this idea, he won over the Bolshevik Party. The Bolshevik Party consisted of soldiers and workers who were ready for change. They wanted eight-hour workdays and to run their own factories. They decided that to get their demands met that they would have to revolt. The Petrograd Soviet had very little control when it came to revolts in agrarian areas. The Provisional Government decided to focus on the war. The Russians seemed to have been making a comeback until Germany struck an offensive measure. They began pushing back. As a direct result, the Provisional Government mobilized the First Machine-Gun Regiment consisting of Bolshevik soldiers. The Bolsheviks believed that the government was using the German offensive as an excuse to deploy them. They decided to revolt against the government if they went through with the order. On July 4, soldiers, workers, and sailors from the Kronstadt naval base stormed Bolshevik headquarters. Lenin gave no orders to fight back. Police then arrested hundreds of Bolsheviks and Lenin went to Finland in exile. Again, a revolution against the government almost caused a civil war leading to further turmoil.
Communism in Russia was never a real thing. It was just a theory, a state of mind. The idea of Communism was intriguing to Russian leaders, but they could not make it a reality. From 1917 to 1991, the leaders of Russia were constantly in and out of the system. After Alexander III, no leader could retain power for longer than a year. Not only this but, the Russian citizens did not care who was in power as long as that received their demands. They wanted the government to make sure everyone’s needs were being met and everyone was equal. Because of this, Russia can be easily compared to the United States today. It seems that no one truly cares about who is in charge as long as everyone is equal and their demands are met. Russia is a lot like the United States in that our country’s industry and trade are controlled by privately owned property. With that being said, Russia was never truly a Communist country. They are, like America, more Capitalistically evolved.