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HOME   -   HISTORY TIMELINES   -   TIMELINE OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF 1917

 
   


Timeline of the Russian Revolution of 1917
SOLDIERS ARE JOINING THE REVOLUTION
Russian History 1917
 

Timeline of the Russian Revolution of 1917
 

January 22, 1917
(January 9,1917
old style)

Bloody Sunday anniversary. Strikes and demonstrations take place commemorating
 Bloody Sunday.


February 12, 1917
(January 31,1917
old style)

A new strike wave in
 Petrograd.

 

February 27, 1917 (February 14,1917 old style)
Last meeting of the
State Duma.


March 8-12, 1917 (February 2327,1917 old style)
March Revolution (February Revolution)
The first stage of the revolution of 1917 overthrows the monarchy and replaces it by the
Provisional Government, which is to remain in office until a democratic parliament will be arranged.


March 8, 1917 (February 23,1917 old style)
International Women's' Day. Women textile workers in
Petrograd go on strike and gather in the streets to protest against food shortages.

The strike spreads to other factories where workers were just waiting for a spark. The Revolution has begun.


March 9, 1917 (February 24,1917 old style)
In
Petrograd, approx. 200,000 workers are on strike now.


March 10, 1917 (February 25,1917 old style)
General strike. Students and many others are joining the activists in the streets. The crowd demands Russia's exit from
WWI and the Czar's abdication. Shootings break out and revolutionaries are getting arrested.


March 11, 1917 (February 26,1917 old style)
Government troops are ordered to open fire on the protesters. The troops obey and hundreds are killed.

Petrograd soldiers revolt.

Czar Nicholas II dissolves the Duma.


March 12, 1917 (February 27,1917 old style)
Soldiers in other cities join the revolt, many follow the demonstrators in the streets, others just go home, some shoot their officers. 

Prisoners are freed from jail, police stations are set on fire, as are portraits of Nicholas II and tsarist emblems.

One of the freed prisoners, and one whose cell door they should've kep locked, is Felix Dzerzhinsky. We will meet him again on  December 20, 1917.


In
Petrograd, the riot of the workers joins the riot of the soldiers. The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies is founded. ( What is a Soviet?)

Against the Czar's orders, members of the dissolved parliament (the  Duma) form the Temporary Committee of the State Duma and prepare to take complete power.

 

March 14, 1917 (March 1,1917 old style)
The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies issues Order No. 1, commanding the Russian armed forces to exclusively obey orders that have been approved by the Soviet. The Provisional Government is too weak to do anything about it and tries to look as unruffled as possible for a sitting duck.

Order No. 1 reads as follows.

Order No. 1 of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies
to the Petrograd District Garrison

To be immediately and fully executed by all men in the Guards, army, artillery and navy and to be made known to the Petrograd workers.

The Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies has resolved:

1. In all companies, battalions, regiments, batteries, squadrons and separate services of various military departments and on board naval ships committees shall be immediately elected from among representatives of the rankers of the foregoing units.

2. In all units which have not yet elected their representatives to the Soviet of Workers' Deputies, one representative from each company shall be elected. All representatives, carrying appropriate identity cards, are to arrive at the building of the State Duma by 10 a. m., March 2, 1917.

3. In all their political actions, units are subordinated to the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies and their own committees.

4. All orders issued by the Military Commission of the State Duma shall be carried out, except those which run counter to the orders and decrees issued by the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies.

5. All kinds of weapons, namely rifles, machine-guns, armoured cars and so forth, shall be placed at the disposal and under the control of the company and battalion committees and shall by no means be issued to the officers, not even at their insistence.

6. In formation and on duty, soldiers shall strictly observe military discipline; however, off duty and formation, in their political, civic and private life, soldiers shall fully enjoy the rights granted to all citizens.

In particular, standing to attention and obligatory saluting off duty shall be cancelled.

7. Likewise, officers shall be addressed as Mr. General, Mr. Colonel, etc., instead of Your Excellency, Your Honor, etc.

Rudeness towards soldiers of all ranks and, in particular, addressing them as `thou' shall be forbidden. Any violation of this rule and all cases of misunderstanding between officers and soldiers shall be reported by the latter to the company committees.

This order shall be read out in all companies, battalions, regiments, ship crews, batteries and other combat and non-combat detachments.

Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies.

 


March 15, 1917 (March 2,1917 old style)
The Provisional Committee of the Duma forms the
Provisional Government.

Prince Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov becomes first prime minister and minister of the interior of the Provisional Government. He will quit his job on July 20, 1917.

The Petrograd Soviet pledges loyalty to the Provisional Government but mentions in the fine print that it won't cooperate in case its members can't agree. In effect, this means two groups are ruling. This time is also called the Era of Dual Authority.

Aleksandr F. Kerensky becomes vice chairman of the Petrograd Soviet and minister of justice in the Provisional Government. Kerensky is the only individual brave (or crazy) enough to hold positions in both organizations.


Nicholas II is on a train to his residence, the summer palace, at Tsarskoe Selo and gets stuck in Pskov. The Duma insists on Nicholas' abdication and sends representatives Aleksandr Ivanovich Guchkov and Vasilii Vitalievich Shulgin to meet him there. Nicholas complies and signs the papers.

Nicholas abdicates in favor of his brother, Grand Duke Michael, also spelled Mikhail.


March 16, 1917 (March 3, 1917 old style)
Grand Duke Michael ponders the situation briefly and then declines the job offer, which was smart but not smart enough to ultimately save his life. He will be killed on June 12, 1918.

Back to March 16, 1917. Russia is no longer a monarchy.


March 17, 1917 (March 4, 1917 old style)
Ukrainian nationalists respond to the political upheaval in Russia and form the Central Rada, or the Central Council. The Central Rada will issue their First Universal on
June 23, 1917.


March 19, 1917 (March 6, 1917 old style)
The Provisional Government announces amnesty for political prisoners.


March 25, 1917 (March 12, 1917 old style)
The Provisional Government abolishes the death penalty.


April 7, 1917 (March 25,1917 old style)
Grain crisis. The Provisional Government issues a decree on grain monopoly. Famine is in the air.


April 16, 1917 (April 3,1917 old style)
Lenin, Zinoviev and other Bolsheviks arrives in Petrograd coming from Switzerland. Lenin had left the country in 1900.


April 17, 1917 (April 4,1917 old style)
Lenin presents his April Theses, his agenda for the continuation of the Revolution. He argues that the ruling Provisional Government is unacceptable because the workers, and the workers alone, should be the ones in power.


May 1, 1917 (April 18, old style)
Foreign Minister
Pavel N. Milyukov (also spelled Miliukov) sends a declaration to the Allies regarding the Russian Government's war aims. The government's position is that of being ready to quit the war without any ambitions regarding territorial annexations. However, knowing that the French and the British wouldn't be happy with that position, Milyukov attaches a note of his own. Milyukov elaborates that Russia is still willing to "continue the war until complete victory" and that Russia is very much interested in expanding her territory.

This note is leaked to the press and will cause the Provisional Government's first crisis.


May 3 - 4, 1917 (April 20 - 21, old style)
The April Days, also called the April Crisis. Mass demonstrations in Petrograd and Moscow against Pavel N. Milyukov's declaration of war aims.


May 7 - 12, 1917 (April 24 - 29, old style)
Seventh All-Russian Conference of the Bolshevik party. Lenin's April Theses are officially the party's program. The new slogan is All Power to the Soviets.


May 15, 1917 (May 2, 1917 old style)
Pavel N. Milyukov resigns as foreign minister.


May 17, 1917 (May 4, 1917 old style)
Leon Trotsky arrives from America.


May 18, 1917 (May 5, 1917 old style)
The Second Provisional Government, also called
First Coalition Government, is formed. The seats are occupied as follows

Lvov - President and Minister of the Interior
Kerensky - Minister of War and Navy (Socialist Revolutionist)
Chernov - Minister of Agriculture (Socialist Revolutionist)
Pereverzev - Minister of Justice
Tereshehenko - Minister of Foreign Affairs
Shingarev - Minister of Finance
Nekrasov - Minister of Communications
Konovalov - Minister of Commerce
Peshekhonov - Minister of Supplies
Manuilov - Minister of Education
Skobelev - Minister of Labor (Menshevik)
Tsereteli - Minister of Posts and Telegraph (Menshevik)

The First Coalition Government will end on July 15, 1917.


June 12-16, 1917 (May 30 - June 3, 1917 old style)
The
First Conference of Petrograd Factory Committees takes place and supports Bolshevik policies. There will be four more conferences prior to the Bolshevik revolution. See the next one on August 20 - 25, 1917 (August 7 - 12, 1917
old style)


June 16 - July 7, 1917 (June 3 - 24, 1917 old style)
The First All-Russian Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' Soviets gathers. The Socialist Revolutionaries have the majority, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks the minority.


June 23, 1917 (June 10, 1917 old style)
The Central Rada, created
March 17, 1917, issues their First Universal, declaring Ukrainian independence.


July 1 - 11, 1917 (June 18 - 28, 1917 old style)
Kerensky's unsuccessful military offensive on the Austrian front, led by  General Aleksey Alekseyevich Brusilov.

This military attack is also known as the Kerensky Offensive, the June Offensive (old style), the July Offensive (new style), the Summer Offensive, and the Galician Offensive.

Check this event in the WWI Timeline.

This map illustrates the Kerensky Offensive.

Map of WWI: Eastern Front 1917-8
Map 1917-8 WWI: Eastern Front



July 16-20, 1917
(July 3-7, 1917
old style)
This time period is also known as the July Days.

July 16, 1917 (July 3, 1917 old style)
Mass d
emonstrators in Petrograd are making noise for the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies and want the Soviet to replace the Provisional Government. Again, the slogan of the day is All Power to the Soviets.

July 17, 1917 (July 4, 1917 old style)
Today the Bolsheviks are the demonstrators. Chaos ensues and approx. 400 people get injured.

Bolshevik leaders get arrested. To keep the Bolsheviks in their place, the Provisional Government spreads the rumor that Lenin is a German spy. This little nasty had worked like a charm against the Czarina and should do the trick now. Lenin goes underground in Finland. He'll be back October 20.

July 20, 1917 (July 7, 1917 old style)
Prince Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov resigns as prime minister and minister of the interior of the Provisional Government. He had held this post since March 15, 1917.

Kerensky becomes the new prime minister. He will keep this office until November 7, 1917.

 

July 25, 1917 (July 12, 1917 old style)
The Provisional Government re-introduces the death penalty in the army.


August 1, 1917 (July 18, 1917 old style)
Kerensky, as head of the Provisional Government, makes Kornilov commander in chief.


August 20 - 25, 1917 (August 7 - 12, 1917 old style)
The
Second Conference of Petrograd Factory Committees takes place. There will be three more conferences prior to the Bolshevik revolution. See the next one on September 18 - 23, 1917 (September 5 - 10, 1917
old style)


End of August 1917 (Mid of August 1917 old style)
Kornilov, the commander in chief of the Provisional Government, sends troops direction Petrograd.


August 27, 1917 (August 14, 1917 old style)
Kerensky judges Kornilov's move as an attempted military coup. He fires Kornilov from his post as commander in chief and orders him to come to Petrograd, but with the quickness. Kerensky makes himself the new commander in chief.


September 1, 1917 (August 19, 1917 old style)
Kornilov refuses to come to Petrograd. He goes to Bykhov instead, surrenders, and gets caged. He manages to escape later.


September 18 - 23, 1917 (September 5 - 10, 1917 old style)
The
Third Conference of Petrograd Factory Committees takes place. There will be two more conferences prior to the Bolshevik revolution. See the next one on October 23, 1917 (October 10, 1917
old style)


October 20, 1917 (October 7, 1917 old style)
Lenin sneaks back into the country and arrives in Petrograd.


October 23, 1917 (October 10, 1917 old style)
The
Fourth Conference of Petrograd Factory Committees takes place. There will be one more conference prior to the Bolshevik revolution. See the next one on October 30 - November 4, 1917 (October 17 - 22, 1917
old style)

Meeting of the Bolshevik Central Committee. Lenin takes his vitamin pills and after 10 hours of debate he convinces his comrades that now is the time to seize power. Finally, they agree to an armed insurrection.


October 25, 1917 (October 12, 1917 old style)
The Petrograd Soviet forms the Military Revolutionary Committee.


October 30 - November 4, 1917 (October 17 - 22, 1917 old style)
The
Fifth Conference of Petrograd Factory Committees takes place, or the First All Russian conference of factory committees.


November 6-8, 1917 (October 2426,1917 old style)
November Revolution (October Revolution)
Also called the Bolshevik Revolution, the second stage of the revolution of 1917 brings the Bolshevik Party to power and establishes the Soviet Communist government in Russia.

November 6, 1917 (October 24,1917 old style)
It's the eve of the meeting of the Second Congress of Soviets.

Lenin writes the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party to arrest the Provisional Government members immediately.

Troops of the Military Revolutionary Committee surround the Winter Palace where the Provisional Government is in session. Telegraph offices, railway stations, and governmental buildings are occupied without any noteworthy resistance.

In the name of the Military Revolutionary Committee, not in the Bolsheviks' name, the Provisional Government is overthrown.


November 7, 1917 (October 25,1917 old style)
The Bolsheviks occupy strategic points in Petrograd. Ministers of the Provisional Government are arrested.

Kerensky escapes to the front, appoints Dukhonin commander-in-chief.

South from Petrograd, the border between Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik forces runs between Tsarskoe Selo and Pulkovo. Today, Tsarskoe Selo is part of Pushkin. Here is the Google map.

Map Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin) - Pulkovo - Petrograd (St Petersburg)
MAP LOCATION OF PETROGRAD (SAINT PETERSBURG)
PULKOVO AND TSARSKOE SELO (PUSHKIN)
Google



Late in the evening, Lenin comes out of hiding and joins his comrades at the Smolny Institute, a former school converted into the Soviet's headquarters.

Here is a photograph of the Smolny building.

SMOLNY INSTITUTE, PETROGRAD
SMOLNY INSTITUTE, PETROGRAD
St Petersburg Encyclopaedia

Lenin announces the end of the Provisional Government and the victory of the revolution.


November 8, 1917 (October 26,1917 old style)
Lenin proclaims the new Bolshevik government, the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), chaired by Lenin himself. Furthermore, new laws regarding the war and the redistribution of land are in store.

The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic is proclaimed.

 

See next events under Timeline of the Russian Civil War 1917.
 

 

 

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