World War I and the Russian Revolution

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World War I

The First World War was a military conflict that took place between 1914 and 1918. Various European countries were involved, as well as Asian and African colonies. The USA, Japan, China, and some Latin American republics also took part.

Causes of the War

The war started due to various crises between European powers over the control of areas like Morocco or the Balkans during the Armed Peace in Europe. These caused tension in international relations and brought Europe to the brink of war.

Phases of the War

  1. Initial German Offensives: The Schlieffen Plan was put into effect, a rapid offensive. When France was defeated, troops advanced to fight the Russians, but this plan did not succeed.
  2. Trench Warfare: Unable to advance, both sides defended their positions, building trenches for defense using new weapons. The Battle of Jutland saw the use of battleships and submarines, with the British fleet winning.
  3. Incorporation and Withdrawal of Allies: The USA joined the war because German submarines had sunk neutral merchant ships. The Russian Empire signed the Peace of Brest-Litovsk and withdrew.
  4. End of the War and the Armistice: American troops allowed the Allied forces to advance on the Western Front. Central Powers sought peace and signed the Armistice in 1918. A year later, representatives of the victorious countries met at the Paris Peace Conference to impose their conditions of peace on the defeated countries.

Russian Revolution

The Russian Empire underwent a revolutionary process that ended the autocratic government of Tsar Nicholas I. His autocratic power decreased due to:

  • The Russo-Japanese War, which caused increased public hostility towards the tsar.
  • The appearance of political parties that opposed the tsar.
  • The 1905 Revolution, which imposed new political reforms and formed a new parliament, Duma. However, this was dissolved, and autocracy was re-established.
  • The participation in the First World War, where continuous defeats caused discontent among the people.

Phases of the Russian Revolution

  1. February Revolution: The tsar was forced to abdicate, and a provisional government led by Alexander Kerensky was imposed. It was a democratic regime, but the provisional government failed, and the Bolsheviks led by Lenin gained power.
  2. October Revolution: A new proletarian government was established. Lenin's first actions included signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, changing the name of Bolshevik to the Communist Party, expropriating lands and redistributing them to the peasants, and giving control of industries to the workers' committees.

A civil war broke out in Russia, and in the end, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was created.

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