20th Century Russia
The First World War: Tsarist rule grows less popular still
In 1914, Russia declared war on Austria and Germany. However, by the summer of 1915 they were losing badly. In an attempt to reverse this trend, the completely inexperienced Tsar took command of the army while domestic affairs were handled by the unpopular Tsarina Alexandra, the Tsarís German wife, who relied on incompetent or corrupt advisors such as the monk Rasputin.
Russiaís unprepared economy reeled from the war and in February 1917, in response to major food shortages, great protests broke out in St Petersburg. Five days later, the Tsar resigned from his throne, ending 300 hundred years of rule by his family. Senior men from the duma set up a Provisional Government based in the Winter Palace.
But Germans wanted to unleash political disorder in Russia so it would be unable to continue fighting in the War. In April 1917, Germans helped Lenin to return to Russia. On October 24, Lenin and his followers attacked the Winter Palace. The Bolsheviks faced little resistance and on October 26, the All Russian Congress of Soviets (workerís councils) accepted the take over. There was little bloodshed in the "October Revolution", merely a well-planned seizure of power involving few people.
Continue Tsar Killed, USSR formed