Revolution 1905 year began with an event known as Bloody Sunday, when troops opened fire on a march of workers, which was led by the priest Gapon. The procession itself was organized by "Assembly of Russian Factory Workers of St. Petersburg" - the largest legal workers' organization headed by the same Gapon. The Bolsheviks not only did not participate in the activities of this organization, but even tried to counteract it, believing that it harmed the true revolutionary movement.
Only on the eve of the march, 7-8 in January, did the Bolsheviks, realizing the full scope of the objectives and appreciating the revolutionary nature of the petition prepared by Gapon, decided to participate in the event, but their group was rather small (like the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary groups).
Subsequently, members of the RSDLP (b) recalled that the January strike and the march became a complete surprise for the Bolsheviks, they were not ready for the events of any organizational or technical.
Thus, Gapon and other leaders of the “Assembly” were involved in the 1905 revolution, as well as the authorities themselves, who created the prerequisites for the march and then dispersed him using weapons. But not the Bolsheviks.
In the February Revolution of 1917, the participation of the Bolsheviks was slightly more noticeable - their agitators acted among the soldiers of the Petrograd garrison and the sailors of the Baltic fleetworked on the streets of Petrograd. However, their impact on events was still small.
The main motive in the actions of the soldiers of the Petrograd garrison was the unwillingness to participate in the dispersal of demonstrations and, moreover, to shoot at the workers. Also, soldiers, many of whom were reservists, were motivated by unwillingness to go to the front (you can even consider this as the basic motive of the uprising).
The sailors of the Baltic Fleet moved hatred of the officers, accumulated in the course of a two-year stay in the inactive battleships, actually turned into a disciplinary colony. At the same time, most of the sailors were anarchists by political views.
In the executive committee of the Petrograd Soviet (Council of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies), which, along with the Duma, became the “parliament of revolution” there were no Bolsheviks at all.
The Bolsheviks had nothing to do with the abdication of Nicholas II. Renounce Emperor egged Rodzyanko (leader Octobrists) and a group of generals (Ruza, Alekseev and others that join them). The railway communication, the interruptions of which violated the plans of the emperor, was taken under the control of deputy Bublikov (progressive).
Lenin learned about the February revolution, the renunciation of Nicholas and the uprising in Kronstadt by the fact, while in Switzerland. The events came as a complete surprise to him, and the decision to return to Russia was not made immediately. Lenin hesitated for a while, assessing the situation and only 31 in March (a month after the start of the revolution) finally decided to go.
In Petrograd, Lenin came 3 April, a month after the abdication of Nicholas - that in itself demonstrates the readiness of the Bolsheviks to the February Revolution of 1917 years and participated in the events.
The Bolsheviks made their first attempt at seizing power on July 3-4 1917. However, there are also different versions regarding the role of the Bolsheviks in these events. But be that as it may, the attempt to seize power in any case was not crowned with success, and the Provisional Government issued a decree on the arrest of its organizers.
5-9 July, Lenin hid in Petrograd, after which he moved to Razliv and settled first with the worker Yemelyanov, and then in the legendary tent.
In early August, due to the deteriorating weather and the approach of autumn, it was decided to ship Lenin to Finland. 8 August Lenin left the hut, got to St. Petersburg and from there went to the Principality of Finland, where he stayed until early October.
So how did the Bolsheviks manage to ultimately come to power if, figuratively speaking, they slept through two consecutive revolutions - first the 1905 of the year, and then the February 1917 of the second?
How did the Bolsheviks manage to come to power, if Lenin, the undisputed leader of the Bolsheviks, was in Switzerland during the February and March events and found out about the revolution post factum, returned to Russia only a month later, and then was again forced into hiding, left for Finland and finally returned only in October?
Why did the Bolsheviks come to power?
Kerensky and ... General Kornilov helped the Bolsheviks to come to power.
During July-August, the situation in the Provisional Government deteriorated to the extreme. On July 7, Prince Lvov, who headed the government, resigned and Kerensky became chairman.
It should be noted here that the Provisional Government in general did not have a legitimate authority in the full sense of the word. It was formed by the Duma "committee", which arose in late February as a private meeting of the deputies of the Duma, dissolved by decree of the emperor.
The Provisional Government was created by the Committee, which, in turn, was created not by law, but according to the situation, by a narrow group of persons who formally had no authority at all, because the Duma was formally dissolved at that time. But even if the Duma has been dissolved, the creation of the Committee still has not been issued according to the law. And the authority to form a government that does not grant the Committee one, and could not give. The deputy committee could not form the government according to the laws existing at that time.
In fact, starting with 5 in March, when Mikhail signed his manifesto on the election of the Constituent Assembly and until the elections themselves, which were to be held in 6 months, there was no legal authority in Russia.
The interim government worked only because someone had to govern the country and other authorities simply did not exist.
The Provisional Government was a kind of power in a situation of powerlessness and uncertainty - uncertainty not only in the composition of the new permanent government, but even in the form of government.
And in this Provisional Government, which already existed on bird rights, new permutations began.
The Provisional Government was not only illegal, but also failed to take the necessary decisions on the merits - it was not possible to carry out reforms, the differences between different groups in the government grew.
After the July events, controversies also arose between the Provisional Government and the Soviets (Petrosoviet).
To get rid of the Soviets, which were armed soldiers and sailors, Kerensky decided to rely on General Kornilov and the army. However, Kornilov did not consider it necessary to serve the "temporary workers" and was inclined to establish a military dictatorship. Realizing this, Kerensky removed Kornilov from the post of commander-in-chief, but the general himself disagreed.
On the basis of the removal of Kornilov and the insubordination of the general, a new split arose, both within the government and beyond. Attitudes toward Kornilov also became twofold - some supported him, others, on the contrary, considered that the general had set himself "outlawed" (although the Provisional Government itself was essentially outlawed, starting from the first day).
The episode that vividly illustrates what happened in those days was the visit of 28 of August by sailors of the cruiser Aurora to Trotsky to the Cross, where he was under arrest. The sailors guarding the Winter Palace, where the Provisional Government met, came to arrested Trotsky to ask if it was time to arrest the Provisional Government.
I think this fully demonstrates the paradoxical nature and complexity of the situation in those days.
However, the Kornilov revolt led not only to a new split in the government and the army, but also to very important practical consequences:
The Provisional Government, concerned about the actions and intentions of General Kornilov, appealed to Petrosovet Soviet for help (from which it had recently wanted to get rid of with the support of the general). The Petrograd Soviet demanded that the Bolsheviks be released from arrest and that the workers be armed.
As a result, Trotsky and other Bolsheviks were released on bail, and the workers received weapons.
31 August Petrosovet adopted the proposed Bolshevik resolution on the transfer of power to the Soviets.
Following this, 1 September, Kerensky signed a government act proclaiming the Republic (which was again illegal, because the Provisional Government was not authorized to determine the form of government).
So Kerensky, who first tried to enlist the support of General Kornilov and the army, and then tried to enlist the support of the Petrograd Soviet and the workers for protection against Kornilov, contributed to the establishment of the power of the Soviets.
However, the Bolsheviks at that time did not control the Soviets in full, even though they already had a significant impact.
The growth of the influence of the Bolsheviks in the Soviets was facilitated by the simple fact that the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries, who attempted to work in the Provisional Government, discredited themselves, began to rapidly lose their popularity and positions, showed their incapacity.
The fact that the Bolsheviks "overslept" the February revolution and did not take part either in the first executive committee of the Petrograd Soviet or in the work of the Provisional Government began to quickly turn from a lack into an advantage.
The Provisional Government, which demonstrated its lack of talent and incapacity, illegality and inconsistency, not least by the efforts of Kerensky, promptly sank and dragged to the bottom of everyone who was somehow connected with it. That is, almost everyone except the Bolsheviks.
The last attempt to form a "democratic government" was made in mid-September and failed again - contradictions intensified, anarchy was growing. Events have shown that in this situation, democracy does not work and any government in which all political forces will be represented will turn out to be like a swan, a cancer and a pike from a famous fable.
On October 10, at the suggestion of Trotsky at a meeting of representatives of the regiments of the Petrograd garrison, the decision was made to disobey the Provisional Government. In fact, this was the beginning of the October armed uprising in Petrograd.
October 21 meeting of representatives of the regiments recognized the Petrograd Soviet as the sole authority.
Unlike the events of July, when demonstrations were held, on the night from 24 to 25 of October, small detachments of the Red Guard and sailors of the Baltic Fleet disarmed guards sent by the government, took control of the railway stations, power station, telephone, telegraph and other key facilities. Everything happened quietly, with almost no shots. The government found out about the coup in fact when the phones turned off in the Winter Palace and the lights went out.
In 21: 00 a blank shot from the Peter and Paul Fortress was the signal for the storming of the Winter Palace. In fact, by that time everything was already decided, the Provisional Government lost all means of control and communications last night, Winter was guarding a relatively small women's battalion (more like a company) and 2-3 of the Junker Company.
Winter storm was pretty chaotic. The guns of the Peter and Paul Fortress were firing over the building, Aurora generally fired at idle. How serious the assault was can be judged by the losses - it is for certain only known about the 6 dead soldiers and one striker of the women's garrison. That was such a harsh assault.
On October 25, the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies took place in Smolny - and only then did the Bolsheviks, together with the Left Social Revolutionaries, get the most votes.
As a result of the Congress, a homogeneous socialist government was formed, which put an end to the actual dual power between the Provisional Government and the Petro-Soviet, which continued for half a year, with full legal authority.
So why exactly did the Bolsheviks win?
Why are not right-wing democrats, not Cadets, not Mensheviks, not anarchists, not the Provisional Government or anyone else?
Yes, simply because the Bolsheviks turned out to be perhaps the only political force that did not participate in the work of the Provisional Government, which was a team of swans, crayfish and pikes, unable not only to lift the problems, but even to move it from its place, participants teams are constantly opposed to each other.
The Octobrists, Cadets, Mensheviks, Right Socialist-Revolutionaries, and some others who tried to make up a "national hodgepodge" only interfered with each other and, as a result, they all sank together.
The soldiers and workers were simply tired of waiting for the “swan, cancer and pike” in the person of the Provisional Government to finally “pull”.
In a situation of absolute legal powerlessness (the legal authority did not exist in principle) and the actual dual power between the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet, the Petrosoviet won, because it turned out to be more uniform ideologically, less fragmented, less controversial.
In the Provisional Government, different forces were pulling in different directions, and Kerensky rushed to Kornilov, or vice versa, to the Petrograd Soviet for protection against Kornilov - as a result, “problems” stood still.
In the struggle between the incapable and controversial Provisional Government and the Petro-Soviet, the Petrosoviet won, which proved to be capable and could choose its own direction of movement - the right or not, but the direction.
And inside the Petro-Soviet, the Bolsheviks won, because the Mensheviks and right-wing Socialist-Revolutionaries discredited themselves by trying to work in the Provisional Government and showed the same incapacity.
Anarchists, despite their popularity among sailors, did not have any clear ideas about what to do in the current situation - they had neither a program, nor managers capable of making decisions and developing any programs. And it could not be, because the main thing among anarchists was the denial of monarchy, and what should be the power and what to do - there was no clear answer to this question.
It can be said that in October 1917 the Bolsheviks simply came to the turn of governing the country after all those who had before them consistently signed their inability.
The first married Romanovs, in early March 1917 years.
Following the Romanovs signed Prince Lvov.
Next signed Kornilov and his supporters.
After that, the Provisional Government signed, and with it the Mensheviks and Right-wing Social Revolutionaries.
The Bolsheviks won precisely because they “overslept” February 1917 of the year and did not take part in the work of the Provisional Government - this gave them the opportunity to preserve internal unity, trust from soldiers and sailors (soviets), as well as the ability to take into account the mistakes of other political forces and not to attack On those rakes, on which the others jumped, trying to create a "national" government.
The Bolsheviks won because in October everyone around them began to unite who were tired of the situation of complete legal powerlessness and de facto dual power. There was no other political force around which it was possible to unite, all the rest practically trampled each other and lost all confidence.
The Bolsheviks won because in October simply no one could have prevented them - consciously or not, but the Bolsheviks simply waited for the moment when everyone else gnawed at each other, spent their strength and exhausted their political opportunities.
The Bolsheviks were the last or one of the last political forces in the queue for power.
The principle of "the one who found the exit is torn down first" worked: in the window of opportunities that opened after Nicholas's abdication, everything came up, trampling, pushing and throwing each other out. And the Bolsheviks simply waited for the moment and quietly went through the wide open, or rather even the door torn from their hinges.
The Bolsheviks won, not because they were so popular in the people - about them is not so well known, the works of Marx and Lenin ordinary workers and soldiers do not really read.
The Bolsheviks did not win because their program was so brilliant, or behind them were some great forces, money, armed men. Armed people stood behind the Petrograd Soviet, and on the eve of the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks had a minority in it.
The Bolsheviks won because in a situation of powerlessness they remained almost the only ones who could offer power, and the power was unified, integral, and not piecewise intermittent and internally contradictory, which was the power of the Provisional Government.
Soldiers, sailors, workers and all the rest — they simply got tired of living without power and certainty in the future, without management, without understanding the future, without prospects, in a situation of chaos and crisis — that is why they accepted the Bolsheviks.
Later, when the Soviet government strengthened and began to write his historyeverything will be presented in such a way that the Bolsheviks went to power with firm steps from time immemorial, the people had been waiting for them for many years, read Iskra and Pravda in cities and villages, almost overthrew the tsar for the sake of establishing Soviet power under Lenin's direction.
The result of many years of spreading this myth will be that many still think that the Bolsheviks drove the tsar away and they made all three revolutions - 1905 of the year, February of 1917, and then the October revolution.
No, the Bolsheviks did not revolutionize either the 1905 or the February 1917. And even the October Revolution was made not so much by the Bolsheviks as by the Kerensky, Kornilov, and Petrograd Soviet as the collective body of workers and soldiers' deputies (most of whom were not Bolsheviks). And the sailors, who were mostly anarchists.
The Bolsheviks completed the revolution, put an end to powerlessness in Russia, the end of anarchy and chaos, put things in order.
The Bolsheviks won because no one besides them could offer order in Russia in the 1917 year.