This week in the Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was the greatest event in modern history. Between February and October, Russia passed from the overthrow of the Tsar, through a short episode of bourgeois rule, to the conquest of power by the Bolshevik Party and the establishment of the first workers state. To mark the centenary, the WSWS is publishing a weekly feature, This Week in the Russian Revolution, which provides a kaleidoscopic view of the Russian Revolution and the global events of 1917, an epochal year in world history.

The chronology uses the Gregorian calendar—the same calendar in common use today and in most of the Western world in 1917. In Russia at the time, the Julian calendar (Old Style or O.S.) was still in use, which was 13 days behind the Gregorian. This WSWS feature will include the Julian dates for events that took place within Russia, by placing them in parentheses after the modern date.

As part of our focus on 1917, the WSWS will suspend, for the remainder of the year, its regular feature, This Week in History.

April 24-30: Trotsky released from British prison camp in Canada

24 April 2017

As Trotsky is released from the camp in Canada, the Bolshevik Party in Petrograd is embroiled in turmoil following the publication of Lenin’s April Theses. The party holds a city conference, in which Lenin’s positions win substantial support.

April 17-23: Lenin issues April Theses

17 April 2017

One hundred years ago this week, Lenin follows his return to Petrograd with an unexpected declaration of war against a section of the leadership of his own party, which is still a minority in the soviets. Trotsky later refers to Lenin’s campaign inside the party, which opened with the publication of the April Theses, as the “struggle for the rearming of the Bolshevik ranks.”

April 10-16: Lenin arrives at Finland Station

10 April 2017

Lenin’s arrival at Finland Station in Petrograd in April 1917, 100 years ago this week, is one of the most dramatic moments in world history. Against the backdrop of hitherto unprecedented carnage and suffering, Lenin arrives in Petrograd with an unshakeable determination to orient the Bolshevik party to the perspective of international socialist revolution.

April 3-9: US declares war on Germany

3 April 2017

The workers’ movement around the world is demanding an end to the imperialist carnage in Europe, but the capitalist elites are howling for more blood. The United States declares war on Germany and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of young men to use as cannon fodder.

March 27-April 2: Trotsky departs for Petrograd

27 March 2017

Parting for Russia with promises to bring down the Provisional Government and stop the war, Trotsky sets sail via Oslo aboard a Norwegian liner, while Lenin remains stranded in Switzerland, where he is feverishly working to shape Bolshevik policy in Petrograd from afar.

March 20-26: Dual Power in Russia

20 March 2017

In the vacuum left by the abrupt and ignominious collapse of the “filthy and blood-stained cart of the Romanov monarchy,” to use Lenin’s words, a precarious configuration of “dual power” emerged in Petrograd.

March 13-19: Tsar Nicholas abdicates

13 March 2017

The Romanov Dynasty, which has ruled Russia since 1613, is swept aside by the revolution originating in Petrograd, initiating a period of “dual power” between the Duma and the Soviets.

March 6-12: February Revolution erupts in Petrograd

6 March 2017

The eruption of the February Revolution in Petrograd finds the two greatest figures of Russian Marxism—Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky—in exile, following events in Russia closely and anxiously awaiting their chance to return.

February 27-March 5: American imperialism prepares for world war

27 February 2017

From the eruption of war in 1914, the US maintained a position of formal neutrality—partly owing to mass anti-war sentiment among American workers and farmers. The neutrality became increasingly fictitious as the war dragged on.

February 20-26: War deepens crisis of the Tsarist regime

20 February 2017

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was the greatest event in modern history. Between February and October, Russia passed from the overthrow of the Tsar through a short episode of bourgeois rule to the establishment of the first workers state. To mark the centenary, the WSWS is publishing a weekly feature that will provide a kaleidoscopic view of the revolution and the global events of 1917, an epochal year in world history.