What Happened in February 1917 and Why Nicholas Abdicated
1) Already suffering from the lack of food, the Okhrana report states
that further unrest from the proletariat especially was caused by: the
prohibition of all labour meetings; the closing down of trade unions;
the persecution of men taking an active part in the sick benefit funds
and the suspension of labour newspapers.
2) Rodzyanko was the president of the duma, and he warned Nicholas on
the 14th February that “serious outbreaks of unrest” were inevitable,
and that the tsar should trust no one near him, as “there is not one
honest man in your entourage; all the decent people have either been
dismissed or have left.”
3) 9th January 1917: the Worker’s group (of the war industries
committee) in Petrograd issue a call for all worker’s to strike in
memory of the victims of Bloody Sunday. 140,000 respond.
14th February: strike organised by same people on day of the
reconvening of the Duma to protest for more radical change in the
government. The arrest of the leader of this group, Protopopov meant
that the demonstration was called off. However, 90,000 strikers still
18th February: a full-scale strike began by the employees of the
Putilov Steel Works, the largest and most politically active factory
in St.Petersburg. It shut down on the 25th due to lack of fuel
(supplies were not reaching those in the cities due to the condition
of the railways and the army’s first claim right) and thousands of
workers were laid off. They and other workers (protesting at rumours
of a shortage of bread) swelled the masses of the strike.
23rd February: National Women’s Day brought thousand of women out onto
the streets to protest about the lack of food and an end to the war.
They joined with the rest of the strikers (their position aided by a
spell of mild weather) so that the city of St.Petersburg on the 24th
February had over 300,000 workers on strike.
26th February: Cossacks sent to disperse the crowds shot on them: by
nightfall order seemed to have returned to the city, although they’re
had been a small mutiny in the Petrograd garrison. This event inflamed
workers however, who saw the shooting into the crowds as an echo of
Bloody Sunday, which was the catalyst for the last ‘revolution’.
4) Lynch says that the revolution was between the 18th February to 4th
March (according to the Julian calendar used in Russia at the time) in
the city of Petrograd (renamed from St.Petersburg after the war had
5) The tsar returned to the Front the day after the strikes began at
the Putilov Steel Works, on the 22nd of February.
6) He kept in touch with events back home by way of letter with his
wife Tsarina Alexandra, who informed him of news from the capital.
7) Military control of Petrograd was made the responsibility of the