The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a very important political event of the 20th Century. For the first time, Karl Marx’s idea of socialism and Proletariat revolution became a reality. Russia was a big and powerful country. Even Napoleon Bonaparte could not conquer Russia in 1812. However, during the beginning of the 20th Century Russia was no longer a powerful country. During this time Russia was ruled by the Romanov dynasty.
The cruel, oppressive rule of most 19th-century czars caused widespread social unrest for decades. Anger over social inequalities and the ruthless treatment of peasants grew. The czars’ unfair governing sparked many violent reactions. Army officers revolted in 1825. Hundreds of peasants rioted. Secret revolutionary groups formed and plotted to overthrow the government.
In 1881, student revolutionaries were angry over the slow pace of political change. They assassinated the reform-minded czar, Alexander II. Russia was heading toward a full-scale revolution. In 1881, Alexander III succeeded his father, Alexander II, to the throne and halted all reforms in Russia. Like his grandfather, Nicholas I, Alexander III clung to the principles of autocracy. To wipe out revolutionaries, Alexander III used harsh measures like strict censorship codes and secret police. Alexander made Jews the target of persecution. He subjected them to new laws that encouraged prejudice.
A wave of pogroms—organized violence against Jews—broke out in many parts of Russia. When Nicholas II became czar in 1894, he announced that the principle of autocracy will be maintained and refused to surrender any of his power. During his rule Russia faced serious domestic and international problems.
Eventually, a series of political events led to the overthrow of the Tsarist rule by October Revolution of 1917.
Bolshevik Party headed by Lenin led the revolution. Thus, Russia became USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics], which lasted until its disintegration in 1991.