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Q3. The Russian revolution was a struggle in which different classes participated. Comment.

In the conditions that existed in Russia, even a moderate democrat or reformer had to be a revolutionary. Russian Revolution was a struggle of multitude of social classes like; Peasants, Workers, Intellectuals, people of occupied territories, and even the soldiers

Socio-economic conditions caused many peasant rebellions in Russia before the nineteenth century but they were suppressed. Every attempt at gradual improvement seemed to end in failure. Developments in Western Europe influenced many Russian thinkers to see similar changes in Russia which resulted abolition of serfdom. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, there was a movement known as ‘going to the people’ when intellectuals started preaching their ideas to the peasants. Socialist Revolutionary Party voiced the demands of the peasantry

Workers’ organizations set up after industrialization were dominated by ideas of socialism. In 1883, the Russian Social Democratic Party was formed by George Plekhanov, a follower of Marx. This party along with many other socialist groups was united into the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1898 but it soon split over questions of organization and policy.

One group which was in a minority (hence known as the Mensheviks) favoured a party of the type that existed in countries like France and Germany and participated in elections to the parliaments of their countries.

The majority, known as the Bolsheviks, were convinced that in a country where no democratic rights existed and where there was no parliament, a party organized on parliamentary lines would not be effective. They favoured a party of those who would abide by the discipline of the party and work for revolution. The leader of the Bolsheviks was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, popularly known as Lenin. He devoted himself to the task of organizing the Bolshevik Party as an instrument for bringing about revolution.

Besides the Menshevik and the Bloshevik parties, which were the political parties of industrial workers. There were also parties of the non-Russian nationalities of the Russian empire which were working to free their lands from colonial oppression.

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