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The Russian Revolution of 1917 was one of the most explosive political events of the twentieth century. The violent revolution marked the end of the Romanov dynasty and centuries of Russian Imperial rule.
See the fact file below for more information on the Russian Revolution or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Russian Revolution worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE ROMANOVS BEFORE THE REVOLUTION
- The Romanov family was the most well known and the last imperial dynasty to rule Russia.
- 18 Romanovs took the Russian throne beginning in 1613. Famous czars include Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Alexander I, and Nicholas II.
- Mikhail Romanov was the first Romanov czar of Russia after the fall of the medieval Rurik Dynasty. He took the name Michael I.
- His grandson, Peter the Great (Peter I), expanded the Russian territory by winning against the Ottoman and Swedish empire in both the Baltic and Black Sea regions.
- Under the reign of Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, the Russian Empire experienced its golden age from 1762 to 1796.
- Catherine II was a patron of the arts, and during her reign, Russia adopted Western European philosophies and culture.
- Czar Nicholas II was the last Romanov emperor from 1894 until his forced abdication in March of 1917.
- Nicholas and Alexandra (the granddaughter of Queen Victoria) had four daughters—Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia—and one son, Alexei.
- Their involvement of the infamous Russian mystic bittered the empire family’s relations with the nobles, church leaders, and peasants alike.
- His indecisiveness also resulted in great losses during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, the 1905 uprising of Russian Workers (Bloody Sunday), and Russia’s involvement in World War I.
- During the war, his poor command of the failing Russian Army front earned disappointment and loss of faith in his leadership.
- The radical Bolshevik revolutionaries called for an overthrow of the czar.
- Nicholas was forced to abdicate on March 15, 1917.
- The rise of Bolsheviks strengthened under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin. He formed a provisional government, establishing the world’s first communist state.
- Meanwhile, the imperial family was sent to live under house arrest in Siberia, then relocated to Yekaterinburg in May 1918.
- A civil war broke out between the Bolshevik “Red” army and the anti-Bolshevik “White” Russian forces in June with the latter aiming to rescue the Romanovs.
- To prevent the family from regaining power, a secret meeting of the Yekaterinburg Soviets resulted in their death sentence.
- On July 16, 1918, the family was ordered to dress and go down to the cellar of the Ipatiev House and were lined up as if posing for a family photograph. There they were shot by firing squad by Bolshevik troops.
CAUSES OF THE REVOLUTION
- Before the 1900s, Russia was one of the most impoverished countries in Europe and was viewed as a backward country. Peasants and poor industrial workers outnumbered the richer society.
- The country only began its industrialization phase in the early 1900s, which brought with it immense social and political changes.
- Russians began to voice their dissatisfaction of Czar Nicholas’ poor administration as overcrowding and destitute living conditions in most cities worsened.
- Large protests by Russian workers led to the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1905. Hundreds of protesters were killed or wounded by the czar’s troops.
- In response to this first revolution, Czar Nicholas II promised a series of reforms for economic development.
- However, Russia entered into World War I in August 1914 to support the Serbs and their French and British allies. This was disastrous because their enemies, the Germans, were better equipped.
- Russian losses and casualties were so great in the military and among the citizens as food and fuel shortages plagued the country.
- At the height of the economic depression, the Czar also failed to control corruption so the Russian economy remained backward.
- Nicholas repeatedly angered the Duma, the Russian parliament established after the 1905 revolution, when it opposed his will.
- On March 8, 1917, the February Revolution triggered another clash between the industrial workers and the police. Seven days later, Czar Nicholas finally abdicated the throne.
- Despite this, the minister of war, Alexander Kerensky continued the Russian war, exacerbating Russia’s food supply problems. Unrest continued and peasants looted farms and food riots erupted in the cities.
- The Duma established a provisional government but it was immediately refuted by the leftist revolutionaries led by Bolshevik Party leader Vladimir Lenin.
- The Bolsheviks and their allies occupied government buildings and other strategic locations in Petrograd, now St. Petersburg.
- They then formed a new government with Lenin as the dictator of the world’s first communist state.
- This Revolution paved the way for the rise of communism that influenced other countries such as China.
- It set the stage for the rise of the Soviet Union as a world power that would go toe-to-toe with the United States during the Cold War.
Russian Revolution Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Russian Revolution across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Russian Revolution worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Russian Revolution of 1917 which was one of the most explosive political events of the twentieth century. The violent revolution marked the end of the Romanov dynasty and centuries of Russian Imperial rule.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Where is Russia?
- Get to Know Russia
- Speaking Russian
- Monarchy vs. Communism
- Czar vs. Premier
- Causes of Revolution
- Revolutions Shaping History
- Men after the Revolt
- Russian Find
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.