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Defenders of the MotherlandThe Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia$
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Matthew Rendle

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199236251

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199236251.001.0001

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The February Revolution

The February Revolution

Chapter:
(p.33) 2 The February Revolution
Source:
Defenders of the Motherland
Author(s):

Matthew Rendle (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199236251.003.0003

This chapter argues that sections of the tsarist elite played an important role during the February Revolution of 1917 as popular unrest broke out in Petrograd. Duma leaders saw an opportunity to enact the political change that they had desired for years. Military leaders, whose support was crucial to the Tsar, came out in support of the Duma, believing that political change offered the best chance of victory in the war. The Provisional Government was formed before the majority of elites had a chance to react, but its liberal ideals and their fear of further unrest persuaded them to support it. Elites felt that they had participated in the revolution alongside other social groups, but the extent of the political change had been further than most had initially desired, whilst popular demands for social reform threatened their future position.

Keywords:   Tsarist elites, February Revolution, Petrograd, Duma, officers, military leaders, Provisional Government

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