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So a constitution is granted – the Russian people have their freedom. Freedom of assembly is granted – go to church have rallies. But the assemblies are surrounded my military – so much for that freedom. Freedom of speech is granted – say what you want Russian people. But there is still censorship – say what you want Russian people, but it will not be heard.
Russian went through a revolution, they now have a blue, white, and red flag. But what does that really represent? Under those patriotic colors lies a country begging for help. The Russian government gave its people freedom, but the country turns darker. Military and law enforcement litter the streets and buildings. Are these people really free? The answer is no. Here is a quick run-down on the Russian Revolution to give you a little background information.
1905 Jan Bloody Sunday – Tsarist troops open fire on a peaceful demonstration of workers in St Petersburg.
1905 October General Strike sweeps Russia which ends when the Tsar promises a constitution.
1905 December In response to the suppression of the St Petersburg Soviet the Moscow Soviet organizes a disastrous insurrection that the government suppresses after five days
1906 The promised parliament, the Duma, is dissolved when it produces an anti government majority even though elected on a narrow franchise.
1911-1914 A new wave of workers unrest ends with the outbreak of the First World War
1917 Feb After several days of demonstrations in Petrograd (formally St Petersburg) the government orders troops to open fire. The next day these troops mutiny. The Tsar abdicates when he hears that Moscow too has joined the Revolution. An agreement is reached between the Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional Government headed by Lvov.
1917 March 12th Abolition of the death Penalty
1917 April 18th Milyukov note. Milyukov tells allies that war aims unchanged.
1917 April 20 – 21 The April Days. Opposition to the Foreign Minister Milyukov boils over due to his refusal to renounce annexations.
1917 May Milyukov resigns. Members of the Mensheviks and the Socialist Revolutionaries join the government.
1917 June 3 First All-Russia Congress of Workers and Soldiers Soviets opens.
1917 June 18 Offensive launched by Russia against Austria Hungary.
1917 July The July Days. (3rd and 4th) Workers and soldiers in Petrograd demand the Soviet takes power. Sporadic fighting results and the Soviet restores order with troops brought back from the front. Trotsky arrested. Lenin goes into hiding. A new provisional government is set up with Kerensky at it’s head (8th).
1917 July 12th Death Penalty reintroduced for the front.
1917 Aug The Kornilov putsch. An attempt by General Kornilov to establish a right wing dictatorship is a disastrous flop. Chernov the leader of the Socialist Revolutionaries resigns from the government denouncing Kerensky for complicity in the plot.
1917 Sept The Bolsheviks win control of the Petrograd Soviet.
In the countryside peasant seizure of land from the gentry continues and reaches the level of near insurrection in Tambov.
1917 Oct The Bolsheviks overthrow the Provisional government on the eve of the meeting of 2nd All-Russia Congress of Soviets.
1917 26/27 Oct Soviet proclamations on land and peace. Death Penalty abolished.
1917 30 Oct Kerensky repulsed outside Petrograd
1917 2 Nov Bolsheviks gain Moscow
1917 7th Nov Ukraine proclaimed independent by the Central Rada.
1917 Nov 12-14 Elections to the Constituent Assembly. Socialist Revolutionaries the largest party.
1917 12 Dec Left-SRs join Sovnarkom
1917 Dec (early) Congress of Socialist Revolutionaries results in victory for the left under Chernov. Likewise Menshevik Congress gives victory to Martov’s Menshevik internationalists.
1918 Jan 5th The Constituent Assembly in which the Bolsheviks are a minority meets for one day before being suppressed. Earlier that day a demonstration is fired on by Bolshevik units and several demonstrators are killed
1918 10-18 Jan 3rd Soviet Congress
1918 Jan 28th Trotsky denounces the German Peace Terms as unacceptable and walks out of the peace negotiations at Brest- Litovsk.
1918 Feb 1/14 Russia adopts Western (Gregorian) calendar.
1918 Feb 18th The Germans invade Russia which is all but defenseless as virtually the entire army has deserted.
1918 March The Bolsheviks accept the dictated peace of Brest-Litovsk. The Left SRs denounce the peace and leave the government.
1918 April 12th Moscow headquarters of the anarchists surrounded and attacked by Bolshevik troops
1918 May 9th Bolshevik troops open fire on workers protesting at food shortages in the town of Kolpino
1918 May (late) The Czechoslovak legion mutinies against the Bolshevik government. Using the railways they are able to sweep away Bolshevik control from vast areas of Russia. The Socialist Revolutionaries support the rising.
1918 July Fifth Soviet Congress. The left SRs assassinate the German ambassador and are in turn crushed by the Bolsheviks.
1918 16 July Gorky’s Novaia Zhizn , the last opposition paper, banned.
1918 23rd Aug 3 ministers of the Siberian Government are arrested by supporter of Mikhailov, the finance Minister, when they arrive in Omsk. They are told to resign their posts. Two agree. The third, Novoselov, refuses and is hacked to death.
1918 22nd Sept Siberian Oblast Duma dismisses Mikhailov and is itself dispersed by Mikhailov
1918 18th November Kolchak, stages a coup against the Directory, the multi party government in Siberia, and establishes a counterrevolutionary despotism.
1918 Dec Perm falls to Kolchak’s Whites
1919 Jan Mensheviks legalized and allowed to publish Vsegda Vpered in Moscow. Era of relative freedom begins in Bolshevik controlled Russia
1919 25 Feb The Cheka closes down Vsegda Veered. This marks a return to despotic rule by Bolsheviks.
1919 White Armies attack the Bolsheviks from all directions but the Red Army is finally victorious.
1920 25 Apr Poland invades Russia.
1920 19th Aug Start of peasant insurrection in Tambov
1920 14 Nov. Last White army under Wrangle evacuates the Crimea
1921 Peasant unrest sweeps Russia. These risings are suppressed but the New Economic Policy is proclaimed that gives the peasants the right to sell their grain surpluses
1921 1-17 Mar The old Bolshevik stronghold of Kronstadt rises demanding free election to the Soviets but is suppressed.
1921 May Tambov insurrection suppressed
1924 Lenin dies. Trotsky is defeated by a triumvirate of Stalin, Kamenev and Zinoviev. Though Stalin stays in the background it is he who is the real power as the other two will shortly discover.
“It is true that liberty is precious, so precious it must be rationed”
“A single death is a tradegy, a million deaths is a statistic”
If you were told, by men who make those kind of statements, that you now have freedom. Would you really believe? It would be hard to convince me that I am allowed the freedoms that I want.
A Russian man has a life expectancy of 63 years old and a female 74. An American man and woman 72 and 79. 98 percent of united states citizens can read and write while Russia doesn’t even have an available percentage of literate people. Russia has resources: coal, gold, Hydroelectric power, oil and natural gas, potatoes, rye, soybeans, and wheat. It seems like they aren’t doing a very good job of distributing these types of products because they are too busy with military type stuff. If they concentrated more on consumer goods than they wouldn’t be so poor.
What Russia really needs is a strong democratic government. A government like the United States. This revolution that took place had no impact on Russian life and the country remained the same as it always has. If people were honestly allowed their freedoms than the country would most likely change for the better.
People in the United States are free. We are allowed to speak out against anything, start any groups we please, or just do what we feel as long as we stay within the reasonable laws that are given to us. If Russia had this type of government than maybe the country would be put into a new light or a happier world and they would realize that they have the resources and with just a little effort and a helpful nudge from another country that they can be a better nation.
I can understand how people can see that the Russian Revolution changed Russian, that is acceptable. But, these people need to look deeper into the ordeal to find that these people were given freedom, but the government is really taking these freedoms away at the same time.
In conclusion the Russian Revolution had a minimal impact on everyday Russian life and it will continue to stay that way until something is changed. What do you think? Does Russia need another revolution? Or will they remain the same forever? I think that is for the Russian people to decide. But for us, I think we need to concentrate on a different question. What does the U.S. need?
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