Get Started. It's Free
or sign up with your email address
Rocket clouds


1.1. Widespread suffering under autocracy

1.2. Weak leadership of Czar Nicholas II—clung to autocracy despite changing times

1.3. Poor working conditions, low wages, and hazards of industrialization

1.4. New revolutionary movements that believed a worker-run government should replace czarist rule

1.5. Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese War (1905), which led to rising unrest

1.6. Bloody Sunday, the massacre of unarmed protestors outside the palace, in 1905

1.7. Devastation of World War I—high casualties, economic ruin, widespread hunger

1.8. The March Revolution in 1917, in which soldiers who were brought in for crowd control ultimately joined labor activists in calling “Down with the autocracy!”


2.1. The government is taken over by the Bolshevik Party, led by V. I. Lenin; later, it will be known as the Communist Party

2.2. Farmland is distributed among farmers, and factories are given to workers.

2.3. Banks are nationalized and a national council is assembled to run the economy

2.4. Russia pulls out of World War I, signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, conceding much land to Germany

2.5. Czarist rule ends. Nicholas II, his wife and five children are executed

2.6. Civil war, between Bolshevik (“red”) and anti-Bolshevik (“white”) forces, sweeps Russia from 1918 to 1920. Around 15 million die in conflict and the famine

2.7. The Russian economy is in shambles. Industrial production drops, trade all but ceases, and skilled workers flee the country.

2.8. Lenin asserts his control by cruel methods such as the Gulag, a vast and brutal network of prison camps for both criminals and political prisoners.