Letters from the Street

Philosophy, theology, and whatever else crosses my mind.

Russian Revolution: March 27, 1917

March 27, 1917 (March 14 Old Style)

The Petrograd Soviet addresses “the people of the whole world” declaring an earnest desire for peace, an end to World War I, without annexations or indemnities.

Russian Revolution: March 25, 1917

March 25, 1917 (March 12, 1917 old style)
The Provisional Government abolishes the death penalty. Stalin arrives in Petrograd after being released from prison. Three days later, he is appointed to the editorial board of Pravda.

Russian Revolution: March 22, 1917

March 22, 1917 (March 9 Old Style)

The USA is the first government in the world to formally recognize the new Provisional Government. Two days later, France, England, and Italy would follow suit, after recieving assurance the government would continue to wage war.

Russian Revolution: March 21, 1917

March 21, 1917 (March 8 Old Style)

The Petrograd Soviet creates the Contact Commission as an organ of communication with the Provisional Government. Meanwhile, the Provisional Government refuses to allow Finland the independence it demands.

Russian Revolution: March 19, 1917

March 19, 1917 (March 6, 1917 old style)
The Provisional Government announces amnesty for political prisoners.

Russian Revolution: March 18, 1917

March 18, 1917 (March 5 Old Syle)

The first issue of Pravda is published, since being closed down as a result of its peaceful stance on the World War.

Russian Revolution: March 17, 1917

March 17, 1917 (March 4, 1917 old style)
Ukrainian nationalists respond to the political upheaval in Russia and form the Central Rada, or the Central Council. The Central Rada will issue their First Universal on June 23, 1917.

Russian Revolution: March 16, 1917

March 16, 1917 (March 3, 1917 old style)

Yesterday, Czar Nicholas II abdicated in favor of his brother, the Grand Duke Michael, ponders the situation briefly today and then declines the job offer, which was smart but not smart enough to ultimately save his life. He will be killed on June 12, 1918.

Back to March 16, 1917. Russia is no longer a monarchy.

Russian Revolution: March 15, 1917

March 15, 1917 (March 2,1917 old style)
The Provisional Committee of the Duma forms the Provisional Government.

Prince Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov becomes first prime minister and minister of the interior of the Provisional Government. He will quit his job on July 20, 1917.

The Petrograd Soviet pledges loyalty to the Provisional Government but mentions in the fine print that it won’t cooperate in case its members can’t agree. In effect, this means two groups are ruling. This time is also called the Era of Dual Authority.

Aleksandr F. Kerensky becomes vice chairman of the Petrograd Soviet and minister of justice in the Provisional Government. Kerensky is the only individual brave (or crazy) enough to hold positions in both organizations.

Nicholas II is on a train to his residence, the summer palace, at Tsarskoe Selo and gets stuck in Pskov. The Duma insists on Nicholas’ abdication and sends representatives Aleksandr Ivanovich Guchkov and Vasilii Vitalievich Shulgin to meet him there. Nicholas complies and signs the papers.

Nicholas abdicates in favor of his brother, Grand Duke Michael, also spelled Mikhail.

Russian Revolution March 14

March 14, 1917 (March 1,1917 old style)
The Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies issues Order No. 1, commanding the Russian armed forces to exclusively obey orders that have been approved by the Soviet. The Provisional Government is too weak to do anything about it and tries to look as unruffled as possible for a sitting duck.

Order No. 1 reads as follows.

Order No. 1 of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies
to the Petrograd District Garrison

To be immediately and fully executed by all men in the Guards, army, artillery and navy and to be made known to the Petrograd workers.

The Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies has resolved:

1. In all companies, battalions, regiments, batteries, squadrons and separate services of various military departments and on board naval ships committees shall be immediately elected from among representatives of the rankers of the foregoing units.

2. In all units which have not yet elected their representatives to the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies, one representative from each company shall be elected. All representatives, carrying appropriate identity cards, are to arrive at the building of the State Duma by 10 a. m., March 2, 1917.

3. In all their political actions, units are subordinated to the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies and their own committees.

4. All orders issued by the Military Commission of the State Duma shall be carried out, except those which run counter to the orders and decrees issued by the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.

5. All kinds of weapons, namely rifles, machine-guns, armoured cars and so forth, shall be placed at the disposal and under the control of the company and battalion committees and shall by no means be issued to the officers, not even at their insistence.

6. In formation and on duty, soldiers shall strictly observe military discipline; however, off duty and formation, in their political, civic and private life, soldiers shall fully enjoy the rights granted to all citizens.

In particular, standing to attention and obligatory saluting off duty shall be cancelled.

7. Likewise, officers shall be addressed as Mr. General, Mr. Colonel, etc., instead of Your Excellency, Your Honor, etc.

Rudeness towards soldiers of all ranks and, in particular, addressing them as `thou’ shall be forbidden. Any violation of this rule and all cases of misunderstanding between officers and soldiers shall be reported by the latter to the company committees.

This order shall be read out in all companies, battalions, regiments, ship crews, batteries and other combat and non-combat detachments.

Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.

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