Tsar Nicholas II was responsible in part for the Russian Revolution due to his continued repression of the Russian Peasantry. The one incident that turned the tide completely against the Tsar was the shooting of unarmed demonstrators in St. Petersburg Square in January 1905. That day went down in Russian history as "Bloody Sunday." It set off a wave of strikes and massive demonstrations throughout the Russian Empire.
The Tsar had a knee-jerk reaction to these disruptive acts. Over one thousand people in the Baltic were executed and thousands more were exiled to Siberian prison camps. The Tsar's actions backfired. The people didn't back down; they gained more energy and power from his edicts so Nicholas II had to make some sort of gesture that would ease the tension. He granted the people representation in the Russian Government in the form of the Imperial Duma. The Dumas didn't have a lot of power, but they did teach the Baltic leaders some valuable lessons, which they later used in the revolutions of 1917.
When World War I broke out, the Russians felt they had enough military experience to defeat the Germans, but the Germans were too strong for the Russian army. The Russian rail system was inferior and there was not enough modern industry in the country to support the war effort. Once again Nicholas II's popularity dropped. Unemployment was high, food and other supplies were very low, and inflation was totally out of control.
Those conditions, as well as the 385,000 workers that went on strike in Petrograd, formerly St. Petersburg, created a combustible mixture of emotion and fear. With no bread on the table the workers, peasants and soldiers joined forces and demanded redistribution of land. On February 17, 1917 Nicholas II abdicated his throne and his forces surrendered, and the Tsar's ministers were arrested. That was the official end of Tsarist regimes in Russia. A Provisional Government, which consisted of liberals, moderates and conservatives, was put in place.
During the 1917 revolution year there was dual power in the country. The Provisional Government and the proletariat controlled Russia. But the Provisional Government dropped the ball in terms of political reform, plus they didn't stop repressive actions. Vladimir Lenin was one of the key political leaders that returned after Nicholas II left and he energized the crowd with statements like, "Bread, Land, and Peace."
On October 24, 1917 pro-Bolshevik soldiers, sailors and Red Guards, who had made an alliance with the Social Democratic Party, stormed the Winter Palace and arrested members of the Provisional Government. When elections were held a month later the Bolshevik's lost, but they dissolved the Constitutional Assembly and took control. A civil war erupted with the "Whites," which was the White Guard Volunteer Army.
The White Army was a mixture of Cossacks, nobles, moderate socialists and military leaders. The White Army was no match for the Bolsheviks, or Red Army. They were defeated. The Bolsheviks, who are now referred to as Communists, battled the allies as well as the Whites for three more years and survived with help from Latvia.
When the Allies finally withdrew their troops from Russia in 1920, the civil war and the Russian Revolution ended. However, controversy lingers on. There are many critics of the history of the Russian Revolution. Within the alternative media there is plenty of suspicion – seemingly confirmed by facts – that Wall Street helped fund the Revolution and actually wanted to set up a communist system against which the West could compete. This also helped with the West's militarization. The Cold War was the outcome of this strategy, along with the continued militarization that has continued since.