Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952408 | Print ISBN: 9781412904094 | Online ISBN: 9781412952408| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
John F. Murphy Jr.
THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION of October 1917, which brought the leftist Bolshevik (or Communist) Party of Vladimir I. Lenin into power, had its origins in World War I, a war driven by monarchical alliances on the right. In August, fulfilling its alliance obligations to France, the Russia of Tzar Nicholas II entered the war on the side of France. By August 4, Great Britain would join them. These countries were opposed by imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary, sometimes called the Austrian Empire. At first, the entry of Russia into the war was felt to be a great blessing to beleaguered England and France. Yet, the immense size of the country was its own downfall. As Barbara Tuchman wrote in The Guns of August , “as the Grand Duke [Nicholas] confessed to [Raymond] Poincaré [the president of France], the problem was that in an empire as vast as Russia, when an order was ...