The Russian Revolution was the most important revolution of the 20th century, and was one of the most important revolutions in the history of the world. I would place it as the third most important revolution after the American and French Revolutions. Like the American Revolution, and most other revolutions, the Russian Revolution was a revolution against economic oppression. In addition to this, the Russian Revolution started out as a revolution for democracy.

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So, if the Russian Revolution started out being for democracy then what happened?

Basically Russia came into the 20th century as an extremely oppressed country that was ruled by the Czars. Russia was a feudal dictatorship. The people of Russia were horribly oppressed, poor, starving, cold, and without any real direction or hope. Essentially, Russia had never undergone the liberal revolutions that took place in Europe (starting with the French Revolution), which had established liberal democracy and capitalism there. Russia remained as one of the last vestiges of Medieval European society.

Through acts of “terrorism” and rebellion a small group of revolutionaries overthrew the Czars. Then Russia went into a stage of anarchy and turmoil, out of which the Bolshevik Party of Lenin emerged as the dominant political force.

Lenin and many of the Bolsheviks were not in Russia at the time of the Revolution. Some of them were from Russia originally but had left, while some were not from Russia at all. They were all Marxists and socialist revolutionaries that had been living in Europe studying science, economics, sociology, history, etc. from a Marxist perspective. The Bolsheviks did not cause the overthrow of the Russian government; they came in after the overthrow with the plan of putting Marxist revolutionary theory to practice. Their plan from the beginning was to develop Russia in such a way as to spread social revolution throughout Europe and eventually the world. The biggest political opponents of the Bolsheviks in Russia, aside from the Czars, were the Mensheviks and Social Democrats, both Marxist groups who also supported Socialism, but were less militant. What is important to understand about the Russian Revolution is that some of the biggest opponents to the Bolsheviks were other Communists. The "brand" of Communism that was promoted by the Bolsheviks was by no means representative of all Communist ideology. Bolshevik ideology was the least tolerant and most revolutionary form of Marxist ideology.

he Bolsheviks overthrew the remaining powers of the dictatorship in the October Revolution and began reforms by creating “Soviets”. Soviets were legislative assemblies of publicly elected officials that were to administer the activities of Workers, Peasants, and Soldiers.

The Constitution of the U.S.S.R.:

http://www. marxists. org/history/ussr/government/constitution/1918/index.htm

In addition to launching an attack on private property they did something else that upset countries around the world, and that was to make public all of the secret information that was contained in the Russian government files. They exposed all of the secret treaties that the Russian Czars had made with various countries as well as other information that the Russian government had acquired through its own intelligence operations. They did this because they felt that humanity should progress through honesty and they wanted to expose the corruption of other capitalists countries as well as of the old Russian regime.

These actions only added to the international opposition to the situation in Russia. After World War I was over 21 countries from all over the world, including America, began supporting a counter-revolution in Russia in an attempt to stop the Bolshevik revolution. At this time Russia entered a stage of Civil War between the Reds and the Whites.

Economy of Russia

The economy of Russia is the eleventh largest economy in the world by nominal value and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).[1] Russia has an abundance of natural gas, oil, coal, and precious metals. It is also rich in agriculture. Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a centrally planned economy to a more market-based and globally integrated economy. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy and defense-related sectors. Nonetheless, the rapid privatization process, including a much criticized "loans-for-shares" scheme that turned over major state-owned firms to politically connected "oligarchs", has left equity ownership highly concentrated. As of 2011, Russia's capital, Moscow, now has the highest billionaire population of any city in the world.[citation needed]

In late 2008 and early 2009, Russia experienced the first recession after 10 years of rising economy, until the stable growth resumed in late 2009 and 2010. Despite the deep but brief recession, the economy has not been as seriously affected by the global financial crisis compared to much of Europe, largely because of the integration of short-term macroeconomic policies that helped the economy survive.[citation needed]

Rank 11th (nominal) / 6th (PPP)
Currency Russian ruble (RUB)
Fiscal year calendar year
Trade organizations CIS, APEC, EURASEC, G-20, G8 and others

$1.465 trillion (2010) (nominal; 10th)[1]
$2.222 trillion (2010) (PPP; 6th)[2]
GDP growth 4.9% (2011 est.) [3]
GDP per capita

$10,521 (2010) (nominal; 54th)[1]
$15,807 (2010) (PPP; 51st)[1]
GDP by sector agriculture: (4.2%), industry (33.8%), services (62%) (2010 est.)
Inflation (CPI) 6.7% (2010 est.)[4]
below poverty line 13 % (2010 est.)
Labour force 75.55 million (2010 est.)
Labour force
by occupation agriculture (10%), industry (31.9%), services (58.1%) (2008)
Unemployment 6.7% (November 2010 est.)[5]
Average net salary 700 $, monthly (2010)[6]
Main industries complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries including radar, missile production, and advanced electronic components, shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts
Ease of Doing Business Rank 123rd[7]
Exports $376.7 billion (2010 est.)
Export goods petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, metals, wood and wood products, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures
Main export partners Netherlands 10.62%, Italy 6.46%, Germany 6.24%, China 5.69%, Turkey 4.3%, Ukraine 4.01% (2009)
Imports $237.3 billion (2010 est.)
Import goods machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, plastic, semi-finished metal products, meat, fruits and nuts, optical and medical instruments, iron, steel
Main import partners Germany 14.39%, China 13.98%, Ukraine 5.48%, Italy 4.84%, US 4.46% (2009)
Gross external debt $471.6 billion (2010 est.)
Public finances
Public debt 9.5% of GDP (2010 est.)
Revenues $202.7 billion (2009 est.)
Expenses $301.4 billion (2009 est.)
Credit rating

Standard & Poor's:[8]
BBB+ (Domestic)
BBB (Foreign)
BBB (T&C Assessment)
Outlook: Stable[9]
Outlook: Stable
Outlook: Positive

Foreign reserves US$502.496 billion (April 2011)[10]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars


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