Russian modernization at the beginning of the twentieth century was accompanied by difficulties in the transition from traditional society to industrial one. Economic devastation, food shortages caused by Russia’s participation in the prolonged World War I, increased the social discontent. Revolutionary events of February — October 1917 began with the spontaneous general strike in Petrograd on February 23* and ended with the armed uprising.
On February 27, the new authorities emerged — the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies and the Provisional Committee of the State Duma, which formed the Provisional Government on March 2. On March 2, 1917, Emperor Nicholas II abdicated, and on March 3 his successor Grand Duke Mikhail signed the abdication. Officially, power in revolutionary Russia belonged to the Provisional Government, but in reality, the Petrograd Soviet also had it: before the July crisis, there was dual power in the country.
During the Provisional Government work, four of its structures were changed. At that time, civil rights and freedoms were proclaimed, political amnesty was declared, death penalty was abolished, and political parties were legalized. At the same time, the solution of the most important political and economic issues was postponed until the convocation of the Constituent Assembly.
Qualitative changes also took place in the political life of the country: its activation, the creation of new public organizations, change in the structure of multiparty system, return of political emigrants to Russia. In the conditions of the growing crisis, in order to establish order in the country in August 1917, the Supreme Commander Lavr Kornilov organized the armed attack on Petrograd, which was suppressed by the Provisional Government. The decision of the Provisional Government to transfer power to the Directory and the proclamation Russia as the Republic on September 1, 1917, became the attempt to get out of the political crisis.
* All dates up to February 14, 1918 are given in the old style.