BY THE start of 1917 the slaughter of the First World War, economic ruin and hatred of the Tsar combined to spark rebellion in Russia. At the front soldiers, spurred on by Bolshevik agitators, deserted in droves and returned home. On 23 February, International Women's Day, the working class women of Petrograd filled the streets demanding bread. A revolution was under way.
The February Revolution got rid of the Tsar. Dual power then existed between a provisional government, which represented the capitalist class, and the workers' and soldiers' soviets (councils). The gap between the provisional government, which wanted capitalist order, and the Russian masses, who desired a fundamental change in society, widened.
In October a workers' revolution, led by the Bolsheviks, swept Russia. A new kind of society was born. Bolshevik leader Lenin addressed the All-Russia Congress of Soviets and declared, 'We shall now proceed to construct the socialist order.'