What was the role of the middle class in the Russian Revolution?
The Russian Revolution had a great world-wide impact, as it changed Russia to be the first country following Marx’s and communists’ ideas. This revolution started in February 1917 with a spontaneous peasant revolt and ended in October 1917 with an organized movement led by Lenin, which overthrew the provisional government.The role of the middle class in the Russian revolution was to support the Constitutional Democratic Party, taking the power in the provisional government, and to believe in democratic “liberal” ideas. Therefore, the objective of the middle class was to convince the Russian people about the benefits of their political ideals.
The middle class in Russia was composed of educated professionalslike doctors, teachers, small business owners, and many others. “…playing only a minor role in a few studies, was the professional middle class” (Malzer 293). According to Harley Malzer, the growth of the middle class was slow compared to the other European Nations, because of Russia’s slow industrial development due to the lack of technology and primary sources. “…the inmense majority of thepopulation were still living under the yoke of serfdom, was undoubtedly one of the chief causes which prevented the growth of that important social group. (Florinsky 114). According to Florinsky, the peasant majority is one of the main causes of the malformation of Russia’s middle class. As the majority of the middle class supported the Constitutional Democratic Party we can say that most of theeducated people that joined this party did not do it for their economical privilege, as the high class did, but joined for a change in the government and economical system. The current government was losing power and popularity because of the oppression of the lower class, food shortages, and the WWI. The middle class was gaining control of The Constitutional Democratic Party, usually called kadets.The party’s popularity was successfully shown in March 1906, at the first Duma elections, they obtained 179 seats. Then, the Duma quickly dissolved and in the next elections the Kadets only got 55 seats, because a “new electoral law that disenfranchised many liberal voters.” Over the next few years the party started dissolving because of government oppressions, but the middle class was still one ofthe Constitutional Democrats Party’s loyal followers. The Kadets supported and contributed to the February revolution, to ensure that the Bolsheviks party did not gain total control. The middle class did not want communism, but they wanted a change. This is why they had control of the provisional government.
The Bolshevik propaganda was mainly designed by the middle class minority that didnot support the liberal Constitutional Democrats Party. Although The Constitutional Democratic Party did not make much propaganda compared to the Bolsheviks, it was the biggest political party until 1917, when the Bolsheviks led by Lenin took advantage of the Kerensky Offensive, a war plan created by the provisional government that seriously weakened it.
In the February Revolution, themiddle class took advantage of the chaos and created a Provisional Government. The provisional government was looking to imitate the Western Democracies. Its first leader was Georgy Lvov, he was elected by the Czar when he abdicated power. Alexander Kerensky, minister of war and navy and later on president, propelled the “Kerensky Offensive”, the last WWI Russian Offensive. The Kerensky offensiveended up in failure because they were defeated by the South Austro-German Army. It profoundly affected the provisional government because the proletariat and the low class were strongly interested in avoiding any kind of war, this is why many of them decided support the Bolsheviks.
The rule of the Provisional Government had to depend upon the conditional support of the Bolsheviks, as they...
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