February Revolution

The February Revolution of 1917 was the climax of brewing economic, political and social tensions. The winter of 1917 was a particularly harsh one which left much of Russia railway network incapacitated because of the ice on the tracks. Due to the failure of transportation, Petrograd only received 20% of grain supply and Moscow 50% of grain. This was quite sad as Russia had produced large amounts of crops however they were unable to transport the goods into the city. With no resources including flower and iron coming into the cities people began to go hungry whilst factories shut down because they had no resources to process. Bread riots and industrial strikers (such as the popular demonstrations of Putilov Steel Works and International Women’s Day) were meant to be suppressed by the Tsar’s armed forces. However, the army instead joined the masses in revolt against the Tsar. The troops deserted and shot their officers. With no loyal troops to the Tsar the city fell into a state of anarchy which led to the overthrow of the Tsar. The abdication of the Tsar was due not simply to popular demonstrations of the masses but also withdrawal of the upper class such as politicians, generals and nobles. The abdication of the Tsar highlighted the end of the Russian Empire. The Tsar was replaced by the Provisional Government who was headed by Prince Georgy Lvov. The Provisional Government formed a democratically-elected executive and constituent assembly. Socialists and workers also reformed the Petrograd Soviet and created a power sharing arrangement with Provisional Government called Dual Power or Dual Authority.