The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic or Russian
Soviet Federated Socialist Republic was the largest and most populous of the
fifteen Soviet republics, and became the Russian Federation after the collapse
of the Soviet Union.
The RSFSR was established on November 7, 1917. It became part of the Soviet Union in 1922, an act formalised by the 1924 Soviet Constitution. In English, the term Bolshevist Russia is commonly used for the period 1917–1922. The country was run by the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR, its most recent title. Its capital was Moscow, also the capital of the Soviet Union.
1-4: October Revolution (1) 4th anniversary (issued in 1921)
5-8: October Revolution 5th anniversary (1922)
1-4: Hunger relief fund (1922)
5-11: 1922 definitives (overprinted Imperial Russian stamps)
(1) The October Revolution,
also known as the Bolshevik Revolution, refers to a revolution that began with
a coup d'etat traditionally dated to October 25, 1917 (under Julian calendar,
which was used in Russia at that time; or November 7 under Gregorian calendar).
It was the second phase of the overall Russian Revolution of 1917, after the
February Revolution of the same year. The October Revolution overthrew the Russian
Provisional Government and gave the power to the Soviets (workers' local council)
dominated by Bolsheviks. It was followed by the Russian Civil War (1917–1922)
and the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922. The revolution was led by the
Bolsheviks. Bolshevik troops began the takeover of government buildings on October
24; however October 25 was the date when the Winter Palace (the seat of the
Provisional government located in Petrograd, then capital of Russia), was captured.
Before WW1 Russia was ruled by Tsar Nicholas II (Nikolay II). The economic situation at that time was very bad, so the war initially served to quiet the prevalent social and political protests, focusing hostilities against a common external enemy. But situation soon begun to deteriorate as Russian army suffered disastrous losses at the battlefront. The war also caused high food prices and fuel shortages which led to strikes and civil unrest. This led to February Revolution which ousted the Tsar and established provisional government, chaired by Prince Lvov.
In April 1917, Lenin returned to Russia after having been permitted by the German government to cross Germany. The Germans hoped that the Bolsheviks would undermine the Russian war effort. Lenin galvanized the small and theretofore cautious Bolshevik party into action. The continuing military failures increased discontent with the provisional government, and disorders and violence in Petrograd led to popular demands for the soviet to seize power. The Bolsheviks assumed direction of this movement and the government took strong measures against the Bolshevik press and leaders. Prince Lvov resigned in July. He was replaced by Kerensky, who formed a coalition cabinet with a socialist majority. Army discipline deteriorated after the failure of the July offensive. The provisional government lost support from the impatient soldiers and workers, who turned to the Bolsheviks. Although the Bolsheviks were a minority in the first all-Russian congress of soviets, they continued to gain influence. Conservative and even some moderate elements, who wished to limit the power of the soviets, rallied around General Kornilov, who attempted to seize Petrograd by force. At Kerensky's request, the Bolsheviks and other socialists came to the defense of the provisional government and the attempt was put down. From mid-September on the Bolsheviks had a majority in the Petrograd soviet, and Lenin urged the soviet to seize power.
On the night of Nov. 6, the Bolsheviks staged an coup, engineered by Trotsky; aided by the workers' Red Guard and the sailors of Kronstadt, they captured the government buildings and the Winter Palace in Petrograd. A second all-Russian congress of soviets met and approved the coup after the opposition walked out of the meeting. A cabinet was set up with Lenin as chairman. The second congress immediately called for cessation of hostilities, gave private and church lands to village soviets, and abolished private property.
Moscow was soon taken by force, and local groups of Bolshevik workers and soldiers gained control of most of the other cities of Russia. The remaining members of the provisional government were arrested (Kerensky had fled the country). Workers' control was introduced into the factories, the banks and the land were nationalized.
Negotiations with the Central powers, which had begun late in 1917, resulted in the Russian acceptance of Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 6, 1918 which transferred huge territories to Germany and Ottoman Empire. Following Germany's defeat the Bolsheviks regained some of the lost territory (Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) during the Russian civil war.