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The Russian Revolution

1917 1905 Russia Soviet Union CCCP USSR February October Bolsheviks Vladimir Lenin

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#61
Yuli Ban

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[January 1st, 1918] Finland announces its independence from Russia. Meanwhile, the CPC accepts an offer of negotiation from the Ukrainian Rada. The negotiations soon fail.

 

[January 4th, 1918] The Finnish Declaration of Independence is recognized by Russia, Sweden, Germany and France.

 

[January 6, 1918] Lenin writes the Draft Decree on the Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly.

 

[January 7th, 1918] The First All-Ukraine Congress of Soviets declares Ukraine a Soviet Socialist Republic, still independent from Russia, and disavows the Rada. The Ukrainian Soviets, along with Russian Red Guards, would successfully defeat the Rada on January 26, 1918.

 

[January 9th, 1918] Russian Civil War: The counterrevolutionary Volunteer Army was established.

 

[January 12th, 1918] A decree issued by the Council of Peoples' Commissars of the Republic puts all Russian aircraft manufacturing companies under state control.

 

[January 13th, 1918] The Soviet CPC accepts Finish independence, even though the Finnish government is completely bourgeois.

 

[January 18th, 1918] Russian Constituent Assembly meets. The Red Guard breaks up a meeting of the Constituent Assembly on Lenin's orders.

 

[January 19th, 1918] Russian Constituent Assembly proclaims Russian Democratic Federative Republic, but is dissolved by Bolshevik government on same day.

 

[January 22nd, 1918] The Ukrainian People's Republic gains independence from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Kiev is the capital.

 

[January 28th, 1918] Red Army imposes people's diktat.

 

[January 28th, 1918] The Sovnarkom decree "On the Organization of a Worker-Peasant Red Army" on a volunteer basis is issued. Allied leaders announce that the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia has become an integral part of the French army. The Latvian National Assembly (Tautas Padome) proclaims independence.

 

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[January 31st, 1918] Dutov's Cossacks are defeated, and Soviet power is proclaimed in Orenburg.

 

[February 1st, 1918] Patriarch Tikhon anathematizes the Bolsheviks.

 

[February 2nd, 1918] Soviet Decree on Freedom of Conscience, Church and Religious Societies. Sovnarkom proclaims the disestablishment of the Russian Orthodox Church.

 

[February 3rd, 1918] Soviet Decree on the Annullation of State Debts. Sovnarkom repudiates Russia's state debts.

 

[February 5th, 1918] Petrograd: The government proclaims the separation of the Russian Church and state.

 

[February 6th, 1918] Sfatul Țării declares the independence from Russia of the Moldavian People's Republic.

 

[February 8th, 1918] Soviet Decree on Introduction of the Western European Calendar.

 

[February 9th, 1918] The Central Powers sign an exclusive protectorate treaty with the Ukrainian People's Republic as part of the negotiations in Brest-Litovsk.

 

[February 10th, 1918] Trotsky walks out of the Brest-Litovsk negotiations, declaring a policy of "neither war nor peace": Soviet Russia will not accept the annexationist peace terms offered by the Central Powers but will not continue fighting. Red forces seize Taganrog.

 

[February 11th, 1918] Soviet Decree on Establishment of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Fleet.

 

[February 11th, 1918] General Alexey Kaledin, an early leader of the anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia, commits suicide after losing hope that the Bolsheviks could be defeated.

 

[February 12th, 1918] Home Fronts: In Russia, discouraged by disarray within his ranks, Kaledin resigns as ataman. He then shoots himself through the heart. He is replaced by General A. M. Nazarov.

 

[February 13th, 1918] (31 January): At midnight, Soviet Russia adopts the Gregorian calendar; the following day will be 14 February.

 

[February 14th, 1918] Russia switches from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar; the date skips from February 1 to February 14.


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#62
Yuli Ban

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[February 15th, 1918] Petrograd: Russia cuts loose from its former Entente Allies.

 

[February 18th, 1918] The Red Army conquered Kiev.

 

[February 20th, 1918] Russia. On the breakdown of peace talks, the Germans resume attacks on the Russians.

 

[February 21st, 1918] The Committee for the Revolutionary Defense of Petrograd is created. Sovnarkom issues an appeal, "The Socialist Fatherland is in Danger!", as German forces capture Minsk.

 

[February 23rd, 1918] Mass conscription to the Red Army began in Moscow and Petrograd.

 

[February 24th, 1918] The Red Army retreated from Estonia in the face of the German armed forces.

 

[February 25th, 1918] Soviet forces capture Novocherkassk. The newly elected ataman of the Don Cossacks, A. M. Nazarov, is shot by Cossack radicals. German forces capture Revel.

 

[March 2nd, 1918] Soviet forces abandon Kiev, which is then occupied by Austro-German units and forces of the Ukrainian Central Rada commanded by S.V. Petliura.

 

[March 3rd, 1918] Soviet Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, ending its participation in World War I, relinquishing Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine, and ceding to the Ottoman Empire all territory captured in the Russo-Turkish War.

 

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#63
Yuli Ban

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[March 5th, 1918] Russia: Moscow is declared the new Russian capital in replacement for Petrograd.

 

[March 5th, 1918] The Red Army's Northern and Western "Screens" are created. German forces land on the Åland Islands, as a first step in their intervention in the Finnish Civil War to assist the Finnish Whites.

 

[March 6th-8th, 1918] British and French troops land at Murmansk, at the invitation of the local soviet. The 8th (Extraordinary) Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Bolsheviks) changes the party name to the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks): RKP(b).

 

[March 7th, 1918] Moscow: The Bolsheviks chage their name to the Russian Communist Party.

 

[March 10th-12th, 1918] The Soviet government moves from Petrograd to the new capital, Moscow. Invading Austrian and German forces occupy Odessa.

 

[March 13th-14th, 1918] Red forces from Novorossiisk capture Ekaterinodar, the Kuban capital and headquarters of the Kuban Cossack Host.

 

[March 14th, 1918] Trotsky is named People's Commissar for Military Affairs. German and White Finnish forces occupy Helsinki (Helsingfors).

 

[March 14th-16th, 1918] The Fourth (Extraordinary) All-Russian Congress of Soviets ratifies the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Subsequently (19 March 1918) all Left-SR commissars resign in protest from Sovnarkom.

 

[March 14th, 1918] Russia. German troops take control of Odessa and the part of the Russian fleet harboured there, giving Germany effective control of the Black Sea.

 

[March 21st, 1918] The election of officers is ended in both the Red Army and the Red Fleet.

 

[March 25th, 1918] The Belarusian People's Republic declares its independence from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Minsk and Hrodna are named the joint capitals.

 

[March 26th, 1918] The Council of the People's Commissars in Russia issues a decree "for the centralization of control, the protection of railroads and increase in their capacity." Decree on the End of Workers' Control over the Railroads

 

[March 26th, 1918] Moscow. The government grants the Czechoslovak Legion permission to travel across Siberia to Vladivostok, to which Masaryk is already en route. The legion will board the Trans-Siberian Railway for the journey.

 

[March 27th, 1918] The Don Cossack Host rises up against Soviet rule.


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#64
Yuli Ban

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[March 31st- April 2nd, 1918] Bolshevik and Dashnak forces of the Baku Soviet emerge victorious in fighting with Muslim members of the Musavet. At least 3,500 (and perhaps as many as 12,000) Muslims are killed during the "March Days".

 

[April 3rd, 1918] The All-Russian Bureau of Military Commissars (Vsebiurvoenkom) is formed, attached to the Commissariat for Military Affairs.

 

[April 5th- 6th, 1918] 500 Japanese troops land at Vladivostok to "restore order" in the port, followed by contingents of British and U.S. forces.

 

[April 6th, 1918] Trotsky adds the post of Commissar for Naval Affairs to his portfolio of duties.

 

[April 8th, 1918] Moscow: Lenin threatens to declare war on Japan because of the landings at Vladivostock.

 

[April 10th- 13th, 1918] Emerging from the Kuban steppe, the Volunteer Army lays siege to Ekaterinodar before being forced to retire. General Kornilov is killed in action (13 April), and the Whites retire.

 

[April 10th, 1918] Soviet Decree on Consumers' Co-Operatives

 

[April 11th- 12th, 1918] The Cheka raids anarchist centers in Moscow, killing more than 100 people.

 

[April 12th, 1918] Soviet Decree on the Dismantling of Monuments Erected in Honor of the Tsars and Their Servants and on the Formulation of Projects of Monuments to the Russian Socialist Revolution

 

[12 April, 1918] In the Finnish Civil War The Whites and Germans (11500 soldiers) conquered Helsinki and killed the Last Red Guards (1750 soldiers). 77 Whites and Germans and 400 Red Guards died.

 

[April 13, 1918] Lavr Kornilov killed in action.

 

[April 14th, 1918] Soviet Decree on the Flag of the Russian Republic

 

[April 17th, 1918] Red forces capture Novocherkassk.

 

[April 20, 1918] Autonomous Siberian government asks for help from Allies — New York Times

 

[April 22nd, 1918] The Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic gains independence from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Tbilisi is the capital.

 

[April 24th, 1918] The Supreme Military Inspectorate of the Red Army is created.

 

[April 25th, 1918] The Baku Soviet proclaims a Bolshevik-Left-SR Council of People's Commissars (the Baku Commune) under Stepan Shahumian.

 

[April 26th, 1918] Moscow: The Soviet government establishes diplomatic relations with Germany.


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#65
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[April 26th, 1918] Russia. On orders from Moscow, guards detaining Nicholas II and the royal family at Tobolsk in Siberia move them to Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains.

 

[April 27th, 1918] Petrograd: Grand Duke Alexis Nikolaievich is named ruler of Russia by the leaders of an aristocratic counter-revolution.

 

[April 27th, 1918] Moscow. Russian films boast a glorious star (Vera Kholodnaya)

 

[April 28th- 29th, 1918] The first Czechoslovak trains reach Vladivostok. With German support, General P.P. Skoropadskii overthrows the Central Rada and is proclaimed hetman of the Ukrainian State by the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Congress.

 

[April 28th, 1918] Russia. The first contingent of the Czechoslovak Legion, numbering two thousand men, arrives in Vladivostok.

 

[April 30th, 1918] Moscow: The Soviet government reinstitutes military service.

 

[April 30th, 1918] The Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) was established on the territory of the defunct Russian Turkestan.

 

[May 1st, 1918] Russia. The Austrians and Germans have a treaty of alliance with the separatist government of the Ukraine allowing German forces to enter the country. Already occupying Kiev, the Germans have pushed eastward and now take Taganrog on the Sea of Azov.

 

[May 2nd, 1918] Soviet Decree on the Nationalization of the Sugar Industry

 

[May 2nd, 1918] Finland: Russian Red Guards in the south of the country are driven back by Finnish and German troops.

 

[May 2nd, 1918] The Vladivostok Soviet proclaims its supreme authority in the port.

 

[May 4, 1918] Allied officials observe chaos in Russia, say there is no hope of an organized government — New York Times

 

[May 4th, 1918] Russia: Reported that "Nicholas Romanov and his wife" are now at Ekaterinburg.

 

[May 8th, 1918] Russia. German troops at Taganrog have been joined by General Denikin's Volunteer Army and another small anti-Bolshevik army. This combined force captures Rostov, which the Red Army had earlier wrenched from the Volunteer Army's control.

 

[May 11th, 1918] The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus is officially established. The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus annexes the Emirate of Chechenia.

 

[May 13th, 1918] Moscow: Reported that the government has ordered the trial of ex-Czar Nicholas.

 

[May 13th, 1918] Soviet Decree Giving the Food Commissariat Extraordinary Powers to Combat Village Bourgeoisie Who Were Concealing and Speculating on Grain Reserves. Decree on Forests

 

[May 14th- 15th, 1918] The last Red Finnish units surrender to Mannerheim's forces.

 

[May 20th, 1918] Moscow. The government orders the Czechoslovak Legion, now dispersed at various points along the Trans-Siberian Railway between the Volga River and Vladivostok, to surrender their arms. When the Czechs refuse, Trotsky orders the Red Army to forcibly disarm and detain them.

 

[May 23rd, 1918] The British government resolves to land further forces at Murmansk and Arkhangel'sk. Sovnarkom orders the Cheka to increase surveillance of SR and Menshevik leaders.

 

[May 23rd, 1918] Intervention in Russia: In Russia, Trotsky telegraphs all Siberian Soviets and orders them "to shoot" every "armed Czechoslovak" on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

 

[May 24th, 1918] In Russia, Order No. 385 of the Bolshevik People's Commissariat on Military and Naval Affairs creates the Main Directorate of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Air Fleet, the predecessor of the Soviet Air Forces.

 

[May 25th- August 2nd, 1918] The Red Army's "Ural-Volga Defensive Operation" on the Eastern Front against the Czechoslovak Legion and Komuch's People's Army occurs.

 

[May 26th, 1918] Russia. Refusing to capitulate to the Red Army, members of the Czechoslovak Legion capture Chelyabinsk.

 

[May 26th- 28th, 1918] The Transcaucasian Federation dissolves into Georgian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani republics. An SR conference in Moscow endorses the program of the Union for the Regeneration of Russia, calling for Allied intervention in Russia to restore the Eastern Front.

 

[May 26th, 1918] The Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic is abolished; Georgia declares its independence as the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

 

[May 27th, 1918] Russia. German and Austro-Hungarian troops extend their control nearly to the mouth of the Don River, capturing the Donbass coalfields north of Rostov.

 

[May 28th, 1918] The Armenian Congress of Eastern Armenians declares the first Republic of Armenia.

 

[May 28th, 1918] Armenia and Azerbaijan Democratic Republic dissolve the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. Yerevan and Baku are the respective capitals.

 

[May 29, 1918] Lenin justifies his one party state, stating, "Our party stands at the head of soviet power. Decrees and measures of soviet power emanate from our party."

 

[May 29th- 30th, 1918] Russia. Czechoslovak Legion units capture Penza after defeating Red Army troops. Czechoslovak forces capture Penza and Syzran'.

 

[May 30th, 1918] Russia. Czechoslovak Legion troops capture Tomsk.

 

[May 29th, 1918] Soviet Decree on the Compulsory Recruitment into the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army. A universal military draft is declared in Soviet Russia.

 

[May 30th, 1918] Moscow. Martial law is declared.

 

[May 31st, 1918] Moscow. The Russian cinema is flourishing amid post-revolution chaos

 

[June 1st, 1918] Moscow. Dziga Vertov, working under the supervision of Lev Kuleshov, is the chief editor of "Kino-Nidelia" ("Cinema Weekly"), a filmed news periodical on various aspects of Soviet life.

 

[June 1st, 1918] The anti-Bolshevik West Siberian Commissariat is proclaimed at Novonikolaevsk. It sanctions the formation of the Siberian Army.

 

[June 7th, 1918] Russia. Omsk falls to the Czechoslovakian Legion.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#66
Yuli Ban

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[June 8th, 1918] The Czechoslovak Legion forms the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly in Samara. Stanislav Čeček calls to join forces with anti-Bolshevik Russians to overthrow the Communist government and reignite the Eastern Front.
 
[June 11th, 1918] Sovnarkom issues a decree establishing Committees of the Village Poor. Decree on the Organisation of the Village Poor and Supply to Them of Grain, Prime Necessities and Agricultural Implements. The Taryba offers the crown of Lithuania to the Duke of Urach (Wilhelm von Würtenberg).
 
[June 12th, 1918] Grand Duke Michael of Russia is murdered, thereby becoming the first of the Romanovs to be murdered by the Bolsheviks.
 
[June 13th, 1918] Russia: The Soviet government and the Ukraine call a halt to hostilities.
 
[June 13th, 1918] Provisional Siberian Government formed in Omsk.
 
[June 14th, 1918] VTsIK votes to exclude all Mensheviks and Right-SRs from its ranks ("for counter-revolutionary activities") and advises all local soviets to follow suit.
 
[June 18th, 1918] On the orders of the Soviet government, at Tsemesskii Bay, near Novorossiisk, the battleship "Svobodnaia Rossiia" and nine destroyers of the Black Sea Fleet are scuttled (in an operation overseen by F.F. Raskol'nikov) to prevent their capture by German forces.
 
[June 20th, 1918] In Petrograd, V. Volodarskii, People's Commissar for the Press, is assassinated by G.I. Semenov, a member of an SR terrorist organization.
 
[June 22nd, 1918] Russia. Gen. A.I. Denikin and his Volunteer Army of "White Russians" open an offensive against the Red Army in the northern Caucasus.
 
[June 25th, 1918] The Volunteer Army captures Torgovaia, severing railway communication between Soviet forces in the North Caucasus and central Russia.
 
[June 26th, 1918] UK: Former Russian leader Alexander Kerensky appears at the Labour Party Conference, denounces Brest-Litovsk as "treason".
 
[June 26th, 1918] Moscow. Civil war threatens Russian Bolsheviks. Reds and Whites battle for soul of Russia
 
[June 28th, 1918] Soviet Decree on the Nationalization of Large-Scale Industry and Railway Transportation Enterprises
 
[June 28th, 1918] "Russia's Plight!"- from the New York Evening World
 
[June 28th, 1918] Russia. A decree by the Central Executive Committee made war communism, under which all industry and food distribution was nationalized, the economic policy of the Soviet state.
 
[June 29th, 1918] Russian Civil War: The Provisional Government of Autonomous Siberia was established in Vladivostok.
 
[July 3rd, 1918] Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War: The Siberian Intervention is launched by the Allies, to extract the Czechoslovak Legion from the Russian Civil War.
 
[July 4th, 1918] Moscow: The Pan-Russian Congress decides to adopt a socialist constitution for Russia.
 
[July 4th- 10th, 1918] The meeting of the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets in Moscow ratifies the first constitution of the RSFSR.
 
[July 5th, 1918] 322 Left-SR delegates leave the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets in protest at Sovnarkom policies (particularly the peace with Germany and the food dictatorship), signaling the beginning of the Left-SR Uprising.
 
[July 6th, 1918] With the aim of provoking a renewal of Soviet-German hostilities, two Left-SR Chekists (Ia. G. Bliumkin and N.A. Andreev) assassinate the German ambassador in Moscow, Count Wilhelm von Mirbach.
 
[July 7, 1918] Archbishop Andronik (Nikolsky) murdered.
 
[July 10th, 1918] The left Socialist Revolutionaries attempted an uprising at Simbirsk but were defeated by the Red Army.

 

[July 10th, 1918] Russia: New provisional government of Siberia is set up at Novonikolayevsk.

 

[July 10th, 1918] The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic supersedes the Soviet Russian Republic. Petrograd remains the capital.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#67
Yuli Ban

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[July 16th, 1918] The Romanov family (the Russian tsar, the tsarina, their four daughters and son) are shot on Bolshevik orders at Ekaterinburg, Siberia (now Sverdlovsk). As Russia descends into civil war, the Bolsheviks will show themselves to be ruthless and pragmatic.
 
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#68
Guyverman1990

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In the grand scheme of things, it was pointless for the Russians to overthrow their Tsar of the outcome was going to be practically the same under communism. All it did was cause hundreds of millions to starve and 45 years of tensions between the east and west.

#69
Yuli Ban

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In the grand scheme of things, it was pointless for the Russians to overthrow their Tsar of the outcome was going to be practically the same under communism. All it did was cause hundreds of millions to starve and 45 years of tensions between the east and west.

Doubt it, honestly. Russia under the Romanovs was becoming insanely corrupt and filled with contradictions. As I was reading through some books, including one of my favorites about the Russian revolution, I became convinced that there was a graphene-hard wall of slavophilic ultratraditionalism standing in the way of any modernization efforts. It was highly reminiscent of France prior to 1789, where you had three classes all antagonizing each other: the nobility, the bourgeoisie, and the proletariat. France before '89 was pushed to the brink thanks to famine and mercantilism, whereas Russia had war and capitalism, which made everything so much starker and more explosive. 

The nobility didn't want to let the capitalists gain any more influence; they viewed them with suspicion of being Westernized liberals. And the nobility were much less kind towards the working class than the capitalists, if you can believe that. 

While coming under the control of Western liberals would have definitely spared Russia the famine, it probably would have doomed them come WWII (providing the lack of Bolshevism even allowed a fascist reaction).

 

 

And either way, the Romanovs would have been overthrown. In our timeline, it was radical proletarian revolution that killed him and his family. In an alternate timeline, it would have been radical bourgeois revolutionaries, much like the Jacobins who killed King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their son. So I think they were doomed regardless. 

 

Nicholas himself was definitely going to be executed no matter who came to power. He just had too much blood on his hands. He all too willingly sent young men to the slaughter and allowed his officials to abuse them when they came back broken and disturbed by the realities of war. And that isn't even bringing up the repressions of Russia in the 1910s, which was an autocratic police state not unlike Saudi Arabia. I bet a lot of people don't even know that the GULAG and secret police originated in Tsarist Russia.

 

I still would have tried to save the kids ("kids", considering Alexei was 14 and Anastasia was 18), personally, because in the long term killing them just critically damaged the Bolsheviks' appeal, even if it allowed them to consolidate control in the short term. No matter the realities of modern corporate capitalism, it doesn't have the pre-requisite "we'll kill your kids" stain that communism gained. Hell, that's actually why Mao wanted to let Emperor Pu Yi lived, because the Chinese Communists were absolutely horrified by how brutal the Bolsheviks were. Most 20th century communist movements actually tried to distance themselves from the Bolsheviks precisely because of how they slaughtered the Romanov family. And like I said, you can say all you want "what about the kids killed by capitalism?" or "it was necessary due to the civil war", but that doesn't change that it fundamentally broke the appeal of the Bolsheviks even in the mind of revolutionary leftists. No matter how revolutionary you are, the cold fact is that most people aren't murderers and don't want to be one. That's why showing the Germans the atrocities of the Holocaust worked so well; even if many supported the Nazis, they didn't actually know what was being done. 

If you showed most Westerners what poverty actually looked like in the undeveloped world, I'm sure many would have their faith in their system broken because when they hear "poverty", they think "lazy welfare-mooching ghetto queens who vote Democrat for more handouts" and not something like this. And it goes both ways. If the first thing a radical leftist sees as being the result of their new world is a bunch of butchered, stabbed, and sexually assaulted young women damned because of their social origin, they're going to stagger and say "I didn't sign up for this shit." And if they don't, their neighbor will, and there you have planted the roots of a new conflict.


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#70
Futurist

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In the grand scheme of things, it was pointless for the Russians to overthrow their Tsar of the outcome was going to be practically the same under communism. All it did was cause hundreds of millions to starve and 45 years of tensions between the east and west.

No; overthrowing the Russian Tsar was a good thing. The mistake was the Bolshevik Revolution several months later.

 

Had Russia had a social democratic government starting from the 1910s, it might have been capable of accomplishing great things. After all, its population probably had a relatively high average IQ (at least in terms of potential, once malnutrition, illiteracy, and all that was eliminated) and it certainly had the population to become a superpower. Plus, without the Bolsheviks, Russia would have probably become much, much wealthier on a per capita basis in the 20th century than it did in real life.



#71
Yuli Ban

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One of the common rebuttals I hear involving whether or not the Bolsheviks were a good thing for Russia goes that the Bolsheviks/Stalin saved Russia from WWII when any 'lesser' party would have let the Nazis steamroll them over. Perhaps true, except for one important factor: the Bolsheviks themselves were indirectly responsible for WWII! 

Indeed, the entire fascist movement was a reaction to Bolshevism. One of the core tenants of Nazism was a violent reaction to Bolshevism as a form of international Jewry. It's hard to overstate just how spooked the world was by the rise of the Bolsheviks. If you ever talk to anyone who lived between 1880 and 1940, they'll tell you that the biggest 'change' they ever lived through wasn't the rise of automobiles and airplanes, it wasn't the rise of electric light, it wasn't the rise of television and the internet, it wasn't a man walking on the moon— no, the most shocking event of their lives was the execution of the Russian tsars and the consolidation of power by the Bolsheviks. It sounds crazy to us, but when you look back at the mindset of a European or American circa 1918, literally thousands of years of tradition came to an abrupt and violent end. Throughout history, it was just the norm for kings and emperors to rule, for peasants to sometimes get uppity and depose their king, and then for a new autocrat to come into power. But the Russian Revolution was something more like the French Revolution, where it wasn't just the ruling party that got run down— it was the very system itself. It's not as far removed from us as the French Revolution— there are still people who lived through the Russian Revolution alive right now— and it wasn't as exalted by Western historians as the French Revolution either, partially because of the effects of the Cold War and the fact there isn't a major country still espousing Bolshevist principles like how the United States of America spouted liberal and democratic principles after the collapse of the first French republic. 

 

If you want to imagine a drastically alternate course for the 20th and 21st centuries, it's easy to ask "what if Hitler won WWII?" or "what if the Cuban Missile Crisis went hot?" but there is no better point of divergence to use than the Russian Revolution and Bolshevik coup simply because of how far-reaching the effects have been. Dare I say, the Russian Revolution is more directly important to our lives today than the French Revolution was to someone an equivalent amount of years removed from it. It's like the gunshot heard across time. The only revolution I can think of that is anywhere near as important as it is the American Revolution. 

 

So when the Bolsheviks rose to power, the monarchies and republics of Europe took it as an existential threat far more than a second French Revolution. They once cast republicanism and liberalism as some corrupt, alien philosophy, but that attempt collapsed within a generation, especially after the Revolutions of 1848. They actually had something going with communism because it genuinely was something counter to Western philosophy as it had been built over the past 2,500 years. Communism was basically a 22nd-century philosophy brought back to an age of peasants, illiterate sailors, corrupt priests and monks, and conservative aristocrats who still hadn't fully accepted industrialism and thought of it as a passing phase in Western evolution that would soon be replaced by a return to agrarianism and "proper" society. 

 

By the time World War 2 would have been fought in an alternate world without the Bolsheviks, whatever Russia would have been would not have triggered such a vicious reaction among the West. They would have tolerated a social democracy. To them, it would basically have been "France, but more socialistic". 

 

Lenin's call for world revolution probably didn't help either, since that also led to Western powers doubling down on a Red Scare. Some country was inevitably going to be the first to go Marxist, and it didn't have to be Russia. 


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#72
Futurist

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One of the common rebuttals I hear involving whether or not the Bolsheviks were a good thing for Russia goes that the Bolsheviks/Stalin saved Russia from WWII when any 'lesser' party would have let the Nazis steamroll them over. Perhaps true, except for one important factor: the Bolsheviks themselves were indirectly responsible for WWII! 

Indeed, the entire fascist movement was a reaction to Bolshevism. One of the core tenants of Nazism was a violent reaction to Bolshevism as a form of international Jewry. It's hard to overstate just how spooked the world was by the rise of the Bolsheviks. If you ever talk to anyone who lived between 1880 and 1940, they'll tell you that the biggest 'change' they ever lived through wasn't the rise of automobiles and airplanes, it wasn't the rise of electric light, it wasn't the rise of television and the internet, it wasn't a man walking on the moon— no, the most shocking event of their lives was the execution of the Russian tsars and the consolidation of power by the Bolsheviks. It sounds crazy to us, but when you look back at the mindset of a European or American circa 1918, literally thousands of years of tradition came to an abrupt and violent end. Throughout history, it was just the norm for kings and emperors to rule, for peasants to sometimes get uppity and depose their king, and then for a new autocrat to come into power. But the Russian Revolution was something more like the French Revolution, where it wasn't just the ruling party that got run down— it was the very system itself. It's not as far removed from us as the French Revolution— there are still people who lived through the Russian Revolution alive right now— and it wasn't as exalted by Western historians as the French Revolution either, partially because of the effects of the Cold War and the fact there isn't a major country still espousing Bolshevist principles like how the United States of America spouted liberal and democratic principles after the collapse of the first French republic. 

 

If you want to imagine a drastically alternate course for the 20th and 21st centuries, it's easy to ask "what if Hitler won WWII?" or "what if the Cuban Missile Crisis went hot?" but there is no better point of divergence to use than the Russian Revolution and Bolshevik coup simply because of how far-reaching the effects have been. Dare I say, the Russian Revolution is more directly important to our lives today than the French Revolution was to someone an equivalent amount of years removed from it. It's like the gunshot heard across time. The only revolution I can think of that is anywhere near as important as it is the American Revolution. 

 

So when the Bolsheviks rose to power, the monarchies and republics of Europe took it as an existential threat far more than a second French Revolution. They once cast republicanism and liberalism as some corrupt, alien philosophy, but that attempt collapsed within a generation, especially after the Revolutions of 1848. They actually had something going with communism because it genuinely was something counter to Western philosophy as it had been built over the past 2,500 years. Communism was basically a 22nd-century philosophy brought back to an age of peasants, illiterate sailors, corrupt priests and monks, and conservative aristocrats who still hadn't fully accepted industrialism and thought of it as a passing phase in Western evolution that would soon be replaced by a return to agrarianism and "proper" society. 

 

By the time World War 2 would have been fought in an alternate world without the Bolsheviks, whatever Russia would have been would not have triggered such a vicious reaction among the West. They would have tolerated a social democracy. To them, it would basically have been "France, but more socialistic". 

 

Lenin's call for world revolution probably didn't help either, since that also led to Western powers doubling down on a Red Scare. Some country was inevitably going to be the first to go Marxist, and it didn't have to be Russia. 

Oh, I completely agree with you that the Bolsheviks did Russia a huge disservice by scaring so many people in the West. While I don't know if Hitler would have still come to power in Germany without the Bolsheviks (he also ran on Germany's extremely poor economy), it would have been easier for Russia to form alliances if it wasn't for Bolshevism. Imagine a British-French-Russian coalition against Hitler in 1938 or 1939!

 

Also, the Bolsheviks' industrialization needs to be weighed against the harm that they did to Russia by sparking a years-long civil war there. Had there been no Bolshevik coup, there would have been no Russian Civil War.



#73
Erowind

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 Communism was basically a 22nd-century philosophy brought back to an age of peasants
 

 

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#74
Yuli Ban

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[July 18th, 1918] The Bolsheviks are forced to reconstitute their Red Army (Daily Telegraph)

 

[July 20th, 1918] Russia. Under the economic War Communism policy it was decided that all surplus grain should be forfeited to the government. Strict grain quotas were issued depending on the type of labour done by individuals.

 

[July 22, 1918] Japan and United States will launch joint operation to aid Czechoslovak forces in Siberia — New York Times

 

[July 23, 1918] Siberian government asks Allies for aid, says Germans and Bolsheviks have joined arms against it — New York Times

 

[July 24, 1918] American officials learn of Bolshevik Army's mobilization but State Department says it is not serious — New York Times

 

[July 25th, 1918] Czechoslovak forces capture Ekaterinburg.

 

[July 26, 1918] Bolsheviks pushed back as Czechs capture Simbirsk, on the Volga River — New York Times

 

[July 27th, 1918] Moscow. The Soviet Cinema Committee is undertaking the first state produced fiction film, "The Signal", directed by Alexander Arkatov.

 

[July 29th, 1918] Compulsory military training is introduced in the RSFSR; officers of the old army are ordered to register.

 

[July 31, 1918] Entente now has a plan in place for action in Siberia against Bolsheviks, sources say — New York Times

 

[July 31, 1918] Europe's socialists are asked to judge the Russian revolution for themselves — New York Times

 

[August 1st, 1918] British anti-Bolshevik forces occupy Archangel, Russia. On 10 August their commander is told to help White Russians.

 

[Aug. 1, 1918] Czech Legion is said to have captured Yekaterinburg, where czar was slain — New York Times

 

[August 2nd, 1918] British land to aid the White Russians

 

[Aug. 3, 1918] President Wilson announces plans to send a "small force" of a few thousand soldiers to fight Bolsheviks in Siberia — New York Times

 

[August 3rd, 1918] Russia. The Japanese land a division of troops at Vladivostok. They had previously landed troops on 5 April but only for a temporary stay. Now they plan to build a force in Siberia that will eventually total over seventy thousand troops.

 

[August 5th, 1918] The Czechoslovak People's Army of Komuch takes Kazan from the Bolsheviks and captures the Imperial Russian gold reserve.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#75
Yuli Ban

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[August 7th- November 16th, 1918] Workers in the Ural towns of Izhevsk and Votkinsk rise against the Bolsheviks.
 
[Aug. 7, 1918] Seven thousand American troops, mostly from the Philippines, will be deployed to Siberia — New York Times
 
[Aug. 8, 1918] Trotzky ready to declare war on England, as 'incredible terror' results in arrest of all opposed to the Bolsheviks — New York Times
 
[August 8th, 1918] Russia: The Red Army under Trotsky captures Kazan from the Whites.
 
[Aug. 9, 1918] British officials landing at Murmansk, Vladivostok and other Russian ports assure Russians they are there to protect them from Germany — New York Times
 
[August 9th- 20th, 1918] Lieutenant-General A.P. Vostrosablin leads Soviet forces' defense of the fortress of Kushka (Serhetabat) against forces of the anti-Bolshevik Transcaspian government.
 
[Aug. 10, 1918] British and French officials arrested by Bolsheviks in Moscow — New York Times
 
[Aug. 10, 1918] German newspapers claim Bolshevik government is close to collapse as Czechs near Moscow — New York Times
 
[August 10th, 1918] Russian Revolution: The British commander in Archangel is told to help the White Russians.
 
[August 10th, 1918] Russia. American troops land at Vladivostok.
 
[August 11th- November 12th, 1918] Terek Cossack forces led by G. F. Bicherakhov conduct a 100-day siege of Groznyi before overcoming its Soviet defenders.
 
[August 11, 1918] Lenin's Hanging Order
 
[Aug. 12, 1918] German newspapers say Lenin and Trotsky have fled Moscow — New York Times
 
[August 13th, 1918] "Germans Marching On Petrograd. Bolsheviki Massacred As New Revolt Makes Gains" (Washington Times)
 
YFURf3L.jpg
 
[Aug. 14, 1918] American consul in Moscow destroys his records, prepares to flee the country — New York Times
 
[Aug. 14, 1918] Imperial Russian government bonds are trading at one-quarter of their face value — New York Times
 
[August 15th, 1918] Washington, D.C.. U.S. severs ties with Bolsheviks
 
[August 30th, 1918] Moisei Uritsky, the Petrograd head of the Cheka, is assassinated.
 
[August 30th, 1918] Attempted assassination of Lenin, depicted by Vladimir Pchelin
 
Lenin_attempt.jpg
 
[August 31st, 1918] A Cheka-led mob enters the British embassy in Petrograd; Captain F.N.A. Cromie, the British naval attaché, is killed.
 
[September 3rd, 1918] "Red Terror": "Izvestia" called on the Russian people to "crush the hydra of counterrevolution with massive terror."
 
[September 4th, 1918] Soviet Decree on the Nationalization of Private Railroads
 
[September 4, 1918] Anastasia Hendrikova, lady in waiting to the Russian Imperial Crown, arrested and shot.
 
[September 5th, 1918] Moscow: A British diplomat is killed when the UK consulate is attacked by Soviet government supporters.
 
[September 5th, 1918] Russian Civil War: The Kazan Operation begins. The event continues for 5 days, and solidifies the Red Army's power in Russia over the White Army.
 
[September 5th, 1918] London: Russian ambassador Maxim Litvinov is arrested and held in Brixton prison.
 
[September 5th, 1918] The Sovnarkom decree "On Red Terror" grants sweeping powers to the Cheka, which immediately executes hundreds of prisoners and hostages.
 
[September 16, 1918] Bookhedoo Russia. Staff and working men in end of ward


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#76
Yuli Ban

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[September 25, 1918] Mikhail Alekseyev, Imperial Russian and White Russian General, dies of heart failure.

 

[Sept 28, 1918] One Hundred years ago today a man died and my Great-Grandfather was on his way to fight in the Russian Civil War. 

 

Not much news coming out of Russia that I can find on /r/100YearsAgo...


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.






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