Russian Revolution Lesson for Kids: Facts & Timeline

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

In 1917, the citizens of Russia were unhappy with their ruler Tsar Nicholas II. Their dissatisfaction led to the start of the Russian Revolution. Learn about the events of the revolution and how it changed Russian government.

What was the Russian Revolution?

Imagine if your school's cafeteria served nothing but broccoli every day. You might be able to tolerate this daily yuckiness for a little while, but if it continued for too long, you and your friends would have no choice but to protest this cruel treatment. When a group of people fight against injustice, it's called a revolution. The Russian Revolution was a revolution that took place in Russia in 1917. Russia is a large country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.

What Led to the Revolution?

Like your school's revolt against the cafeteria, the Russian citizen's revolt against the Russian government did not happen overnight. The tension and unhappiness had begun years earlier.

The story of the Russian Revolution starts in 1905. At the time, Russia was run by a single ruler named Tsar Nicholas II. Many Russians thought the ruler was doing a bad job and blamed him for the poor living and working conditions in their country.

Tsar Nicholas II was an unpopular ruler.

On January 22, 1905, a group of peasants and workers living in the city of Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) took to the streets to protest their dissatisfaction. The protest took a tragic turn after the Tsar's guards shot at the protesters killing a hundred or more of them. This mass killing is remembered as Bloody Sunday.

The citizens of Russia were outraged, and the Tsar started to fear a full-blown revolution. To calm the people down, the Tsar reluctantly gave up some of his power. He agreed to the creation of the Duma, which was a legislative body that gave the people some say in how their country was run.

The changes to the government quieted talk of a revolution for a little while, but then came World War I. The war, which began in 1914, made life in Russia hard. The loss of life, shortages of food, and stress of war spread a feeling of doom and gloom over the country. The citizens started pointing fingers at the Tsar once again.

What Happened During the Revolution?

The February Revolution

In March of 1917, citizens again took to the streets of Petrograd in protest. The Tsar could not handle the pressure and abdicated or gave up his throne. This revolt that resulted in the overthrow of Tsar Nicolas II was called the February Revolution. Did you notice that the February Revolution happened in March? That's because the Russians used an older calendar called the Julian calendar, which is a little different from the calendar you follow today.

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