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What role did Lenin play in the Russian Revolution?

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Quick Answer

Vladimir Lenin led the Russian Bolsheviks in a successful takeover of the provisional government that had been created when Nicholas II abdicated the throne a few months earlier in the face of mass protests and riots against his rule. Known as the "October Revolution," the 1917 change of government that occurred when Lenin and the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace on the night of October 26 led to the creation of the first socialist state with Lenin as its head. Lenin went on to survive two assassination attempts, and he remained the leader of the Communist Party and Premier of the Soviet Union until his death from a stroke in 1924.

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Full Answer

The October Revolution was not the first Bolshevik attempt to gain control of the Russian government. Lenin and his supporters attempted to take power earlier that same year in July, but the attempt failed. Lenin was forced to flee to Finland as a result of the failed takeover, but continued to direct and encourage the Bolshevik uprising while remaining in hiding across the Finnish border. Lenin returned to Russia in October and directed the successful Bolshevik takeover of the government from a hidden base of operations within the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg.

Under Lenin's administration, the former Russian Empire was transformed into the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1917 and became the Soviet Union in 1922. In addition to his role as a political leader, Lenin was also known as a political theorist. Although based on Marxism, Lenin's political theories are commonly referred to as "Leninism."

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  • Q:

    Why did Russia exit World War I?

    A:

    The primary reason Russia exited World War I was the successful takeover of the Russian government in 1917 by the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution, which is also known as the October Revolution. The Bolsheviks did not support the war effort against Germany and its allies and like most of the population wanted an end to the rising death toll, economic deprivation and food shortages that the war had brought upon the country. Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik leader who took control of the new government after the revolution, viewed the war as a power struggle between imperialist nations and sought to divert Russia's efforts and resources towards building the new socialist state he had just helped to create.

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  • Q:

    Who was involved in the Russian Revolution?

    A:

    The History Channel explains that the Russian Revolution was comprised of two smaller revolutions, the first of which led to the overthrowing of Nicholas II, the last Russian czar, and the second of which was led by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks were a radical group of far-left revolutionaries who wished to instill Marxism in Russia.

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  • Q:

    What was an outcome of the Russian Revolution of 1917?

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    The most widely documented significant outcome of the Russian Revolution of 1917 is the fall of the Russian Empire and the beginning of Marxian socialism under Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik revolutionaries. This marked the beginning of a new era in Russia, especially regarding its political and economic relations with other nation-states.

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  • Q:

    How did Vladimir Lenin rise to power in Russia?

    A:

    Vladimir Lenin rose to power in Russia when he and his associate Leon Trotsky overthrew the nation's provisional government during the October Revolution. The provisional government had been in place since Tsar Nicholas II was removed from power during the February Revolution earlier that year. Many Russians were ready to embrace Lenin's radical ideas because they were poor and tired as a result of the first world war.

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