Russia in Early 1917 • Severe economic crisis and unemployment • Food crisis in the cities • Humiliating losses in the war and declining morale at the front • Unrest in the borderlands at home • The BIG question: How can Russia leave the war, but maintain its honor and territory?
February 1917 • Faced with ongoing unemployment and food shortages, workers in Petrograd protested • March 7: Workers from the Putilov Factory organized a strike • March 8: Demonstrations organized on International Women’s Day; protestors demanded bread • March 10: tens of thousands of workers take to the street and the strike became general.
February 1917 • March 11-12: The Emperor mobilized troops to stop the strike • March 12-13: The troops mutinied • March 12-14: The Duma organized a “Temporary Committee” to govern the city; the socialists organized the Petrograd Soviets. • Within days of the mutiny in Petrograd, soldiers sent telegrams and representatives to garrisons throughout the empire • The munity became empire-wide
February 1917 • March 14: Nicholas II returns by train to Petrograd • March 15: At the advice of his military leaders, Nicholas II abdicated in favor of his brother, Grand Duke Mikhail • Mikhail declines the throne and suggests that Russia will instead be ruled by a Constituent Assembly
Provisional Government • March 16: The Provisional Government was announced • Initially led by the Kadets (Constitutional Democrats) • Its purpose: Prepare for the election of the Constituent Assembly • Competition from Soviets (Dual Power)
Muslims in 1917 • Kazan served as the gathering and deployment point for much of eastern Russia and Siberia • Within days of the Petrograd mutiny, the soldiers in Kazan also mutinied and formed their own organizations • Muslim soldiers form their own organization, the All-Russian Muslim Military Council (Shuro)
Muslims in 1917 • Confusion in the early days of the revolution • Some newspapers hailed the revolution • The Muslim members of the Duma called for a more cautious course • Conflict among Muslim intellectuals over whether to support the war effort • Conflict over which Russian party to support
Turkestan, 1917 • Tashkent Shura formed in spring of 1917 • Meant to serve as a Muslim counterpart to Russian Soviets • Coordinated among Muslim organizations • The politicization of the “natives” frightened Russian administrators and revolutionaries alike • The emergence of non-Islamic political organizations also upset the ‘ulama, who sided with the Russian administration to defend their status in society • By mid-April, conflicts amid Muslim factions turned violent
Tashkent, April 1917 • Muslim intellectuals and community leaders from Kazan, the Caucasus, the steppe and Turkestan met to organize a new All-Muslim congress • Conflicts over representation: Should representation be proportional or according to the political “maturity” of each region? • Conflicts over the future structure of the Muslim community in Russia: Federal units or a single community?
Moscow, May 1917 • All-Russian Muslim Congress: • Leadership dominated by Muslims out of the Volga Basin • Primary interest in institution-building • Lack of interest in regional problems • Sparks more debates over representation and community structure • Shows inability to resolve crises “Gentlemen, the Kirghiz remain in a difficult position. With every passing hour, their situation grows more desperate. While you sit here at this congress, your brothers in Semirech’e are perishing from hunger and Russian bullets…”
The Results of May • More delegates support the creation of federal units on a national basis • A second congress is scheduled for Kazan in July, but it is attended mostly by delegates from that region • Other delegates return to their home regions and hold their own meetings
Extraterritorial National Autonomy • Russia should be organized as a single parliamentary state in which all citizens are equal • All of Russia’s Muslims belong to a single Russian or Turkic nation • Russian Muslims will have the right to build and operate their own cultural and educational institutions • Official services will be provided to Muslims in their native language
Risks Extraterritorial National Autonomy • Muslims make up a minority of the overall population of Russia and can easily be outvoted; the fate of regional Muslim communities may be determined by the non-Muslim majority Benefits Protects the rights of national groups not settled compactly in a single region Preserves the cultural ties among Muslims and Turkic-speakers of different regions Does not threaten the territorial integrity of Russia
Territorial Autonomy and Federation • Russia will be divided into units on an ethnic-national basis • The units will come together to form a federal state • People within a federal unit set laws of that unit • An assembly of representatives from all units convenes to resolve federation-wide matters
Risks Territorial Autonomy and Federation • Divides the Muslim and Turkic communities • Leaves Muslims in mixed regions without the support of Muslims from Muslim-majority regions • Could weaken the territorial integrity of the Russia Benefits Good for ethnic groups concentrated in a particular territory Allows the majority group in any individual region to control policy in that region Prevents Russian dominance of all of the former empire
Summer 1917 • July Days: Disorder breaks out in Petrograd, mostly involving workers and soldiers • July: Re-instatement of the death penalty for desertion • Kornilov Affair: August, 1917; Cossack officer LavrKornilov leads troops toward Petrograd • The soldiers under Kornilov’s command were from the Caucasian “Savage” Divisions
Summer 1917 • Worsening relations between the Provisional Government and other groups in Russia • Ongoing deterioration of imperial infrastructure • Local organizations in the provinces begin to take over governing responsibilities. • July: All-Qazaq Congress held in Orenburg (creation of platform for Alash Party) • July-August: Declaration of Muslim Autonomy in Kazan • With the Volga Tatars removal from the All-Muslim movement, the Turkic Federalist Party of Ganja (Transcaucasia) attempted to promote autonomy in Turkestan • September: Second Turkestani Muslim Congress
Hunger in Turkestan • From the end of the 1800s, increasing amounts of land were used for cotton production • 1916: Uprising disrupts farming • 1917: Drought; Cossacks seize Orenburg and cut off rail transport • Conflicts between Russians and Muslims over distribution of grain • September 1917, Id-i Qurban: Soldiers stop passengers coming into Tashkent from the villages and seize the food they have brought with them • Meeting of soldiers overthrew the Provisional Government in Turkestan and the local Soviet and took power into its own hands
October Revolution • November 7, 1917 • Led by the Petrograd Soviet, which, by Fall, was dominated by the Bolshevik Party • Seized the Winter Palace and drove out the Provisional Government
The Bolsheviks and the Empire • Bolsheviks lacked support outside of Petrograd • Sought to maintain and re-establish the geographic extent of the fallen empire • Lenin issues Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia, promising non-Russians the right of self-determination up to secession.
Russia’s Muslims after October • Bolsheviks gain control of many city Soviets by February 1918 • Muslims and other non-Russians proceed with plans to establish federative national units • Nov. 1917: Turkestani intellectuals gather in Kokand to declare an autonomous Turkestan • Nov. –Dec. 1917: Declaration of AlashOrda program • Nov. 1917: Autonomous Bashkortostan declared • Nov. 1917-March. 1918: Autonomous Idel-Ural State declared. • Nov. 25: Elections for Constituent Assembly
The Bolshevik Reaction • January 1918: Bolshevik soldiers attack the Turkestani autonomous government in Tashkent • Late 1917-Eary 1918: Bolsheviks initially support Alash, but then turn to the socialists on Turkestan; Alash turned to the Western Siberia Autonomous Region • March 1918: Pro-Bolshevik factions gained control in Kazan; Bashkirs allied themselves with Kolchak • Kolchak demanded the dissolution of the Alash government • Dec 1918-Jan. 1919: Alash re-joined the Bolsheviks
Outcome of the Revolution • 1919: Autonomous Bashkir Republic (Little Bashkiria) • 1920: Autonomous Tatar Republic, The Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic, and the Bukharan People’s Soviet Republic • 1920: Autonomous Kirgiz (Qazaq) Republic • 1928: Civil war in Turkestan ends