The roots of the Russian Revolution of 1917 were deep. Russia had suffered under an extremely oppressive form of government for centuries under the rule of the czars. During the 19th century the nation was filled with movements for political liberalization.
In the long run there were several revolutions, not one. The first rebellion, known as the Decembrist uprising, took place in December 1825. Members of the upper classes, including many former soldiers, staged a revolt after
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controlled by its Central Committee and increasingly by smaller units. Effective control passed finally to the Secretariat of the party.
When Lenin died in 1924 power passed to the first secretary of the party, Joseph Stalin. Under him still one more revolution took place: the centralization of all political and economic power in his hands and the transformation of the Soviet Union into a completely totalitarian state.
Compton's Encyclopedia Online v3.0 © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.