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 the death of Alexander I. The revolt failed, but it provided an inspiration to succeeding generations of dissidents.
The next revolution took place in 1905, after the Russo-Japanese War, which Russia lost. It appeared briefly that public discontent would force Czar Nicholas II to establish a constitutional monarchy. Such a change would not have satisfied either the czar or his opponents, however. Radical revolutionaries continued to fight for a democratic republic, and the czar wanted t...