« ПретходнаНастави »
tions or paralyze the industrial activity of the city.
People at Last Convinced Manifestations already arranged for March 6, including a general strike and the marching to the Duma of a deputation of workingmen, were in this way averted. But the moment was only postponed. The people, who were convinced that they were being exploited by a hostile clique, received what they regarded as the last proof of the inefficiency and corruption of their
Government when they were apprised that the already insufficient supply of food had become still more meagre and that for some days it would be necessary to go without bread altogether
der had been committed, and telegraphed the Czar that the hour had struck. The Duma unanimously decided that it would not dissolve. The Imperial Council, realizing the gravity of the situation, added its appeal that the Emperor should hearken to the demands of the people. The Emperor, who was absent from Petrograd, hastily started back to the capital, but it was too late.
Hop the Flood Broke The story of the upheaval as related by accredited correspondents is as follows:
The most phenomenal feature of the revolution was the swift and orderly transition whereby the control of the city passed from the régime of the old Government into the hands of its opponents.
The visible signs of revolution began on Thursday, March 8. Strikes were declared in several big munitions factories
a "protest against the shortage of bread. Men and women gathered and marched through the streets, most of them in an orderly fashion. A few bread shops were broken into in that section of the city beyond the Neva, and several minor clashes between strikers and police occurred.
Squads of mounted troops appeared, but during Thursday and Friday the utmost friendliness seemed to exist between the troops and the people.
This early period of the uprising bore the character of a mock revolution, staged for an immense audience. Cossacks, charging down the street, did so in a half-hearted fashion, plainly without malice or intent to harm the crowds, which they playfully dispersed. The troops exchanged good-natured raillery with the working men and women, and as they rode were cheered by the populace.
Long lines of soldiers stationed in dramatic attitudes across the Nevsky Prospect, with their guns pointed at an imaginary foe, appeared to be taking part in a realistic tableau. Machine guns, firing rounds of blank cartridges, seemed only to add another realistic touch to a tremendous theatric production which was using the whole city as a stage.
Patient and long suffering by nature, this was too much for the population of Petrograd, who knew that the interior of Russia was stored with immense quantities of grain and all kinds of provisions, and, without other motive at first than to voice a demand for bread, the people paraded the streets, and this demonstration was the spark that started the conflagration.
The unrest at first expressed itself in an unusually mild manner, without excitement and with no indication of revolutionary intent, but merely as an insistent demand for a vigorous solution of the food problem.
The Duma meanwhile was actively debating the question, and the majority received with ill-concealed irritation the statements and explanations of the Minister of Agriculture.
On the 10th General Chavaloff, commander of the Petrograd district, issued a proclamation forbidding all assemblies in the streets and warning citizens that the troops had been authorized to use their arms or any means to preserve order in the capital. On the 11th the Czar put the match to the powder train by issuing two ukases suspending the sittings of the Russian Duma and Council of the Empire. This was the final stroke, and the revolution soon full grown into being.
Michael V. Rodzianko, President of the Duma, a man of strong force and firm conviction, realized that a serious blun
On Saturday, however, apparently without provocation, the troops were ordered to fire on people marching in Nevsky Prospect. The troops refused to fire, and the police, replacing them, fired rifles and machine guns.
Then came a clash between troops and police, which continued in desultory fashion throughout Saturday night and Sunday. The Nevsky Prospect was cleared of traffic by the police and notices were posted by the commander of the Petrograd military district warning the people that any attempt to congregate would be met by force.
Troops Join the Revolt Until Sunday evening, however, there was no intimation that the affair would grow to the proportions of a revolution. The first serious outbreak came at 1 o'clock, when the men of the Volynski Regiment shot their officers and revolted when they received an order to fire upon striking workingmen in one of the factory districts.
Another regiment detailed against the mutineers also joined the revolt. The Lews spread rapidly to the other barracks and four more regiments went over. Some of the revolting troops marched to the St. Peter and St. Paul Fortress on the left bank of the Neva, and after a brief skirmish with the garrison took possession of it.
Dissension spread among the troops, who did not understand why they should be compelled to take violent measures against fellow-citizens whose chief offense was that they were hungry and were asking the Government to supply bread. Several regiments deserted. A pitched battle began between the troops who stood with the Government and those who, refusing to obey orders, had mutinied, and even slain their officers.
A long night fight took place between the mutinous regiments and the police at the end of St. Catherine Canal, immediately in front of the historic church built over the spot where Alexander II. was killed by a bomb. The police finally fled to the rooftops all over the city and were seen no more in the streets during the entire term of the fighting.
Turning Point in Revolution Monday morning, March 12, the Government troops appeared to control all the principal squares of the city. Then came a period when it was impossible to distinguish one side from the other. There was no definite line between the factions. The turning point appeared to come about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. For two hours the opposing regiments passively confronted each other along the wide Liteiny Prospect in almost complete silence.
From time to time emissaries from the revolutionary side rode to the opposing ranks and exhorted them to join the side of the people. For a while the result seemed to hang in the balance. The troops appeared irresolute, awaiting the commands of their officers, who themselves were in doubt as to what they should do.
Desultory firing continued along the side streets between groups of Government troops and revolutionists. But the regiments upon whose decision th
outcome rested still confronted each other, with machine guns and rifles in readiness.
Suddenly a few volleys were exchanged; there was another period of silent suspense, and the Government regiments finally marched over to join the revolutionists. A few hours after the first clash this section of Petrograd, in which were located the Duma building, artillery headquarters, and the chief military barracks, passed into the hands of the revolutionary forces, and the warfare swept like a tornado to other parts of the city, where the scene was duplicated.
At first it seemed a miracle that the revolutionists, without prearranged plan, without leadership or organization, could in such a short time, with comparative ease, achieve a complete victory over the Government. But the explanation lay in the reluctance of the troops to take sides against the people and their prompt desertion to the ranks of those who opposed the Government.
The scenes in the streets were by this time remarkable. The wide streets, where the troops were stationed, were completely deserted by civilians, except
for a few daring individuals, who, creep rolled up to the circular drive and stopped ing along walls and ducking into court before the door, while some occupant yards, sped from one side to the other. delivered a lurid oration, and then went But the side streets were choked with on, cheered by the crowds. people.
Then came a small army of citizen solGroups of students, easily distin diers, factory workers, clerks, students guished by their blue caps and dark uni armed with rifles taken from the capforms, fell into step with rough units of tured arsenals, their pale faces and black rebel soldiers, and were joined by other Winter clothing forming a strange picheterogeneous elements, united for the ture against the snow piled high in the time being by a cause greater than parti Duma garden. san differences.
For an hour they stood in more or less Unkempt workingmen, with raggeil military formation before the building, sheepskin coats covering the conventional
and at dusk marched away toward the peasants' costume of dark blouse and top
centre of the city, followed by the revoltboots, strode side by side with well
ing soldiers. The crowd was extremely groomed city clerks and shopkeepers. orderly. A group of a dozen soldiers An Impromptu Army
pushed into the corridor of the building
and demanded to be allowed to address This strange army of people, mustered
the members. A mild-mannered young on the street corners, shouldered their
civilian of the student type took them newly acquired rifles and marched out
in hand with little difficulty and led to join the ranks of the deserting regi
them into the open. A delegation asked ments.
for food. Immediately waiters from the The economic and industrial life of the
Duma restaurant were sent out with city came to complete standstill.
trays of tea and food until the place was Street car service was supended from
cleaned out. the beginning of the disorders and stores were closed. The two leading
Last Stand of the Old Regime hotels which housed officers
At nightfall on March 12 only one wrecked. Others restricted their serv small district of the city, containing the ice to regular patrons. In response to War Office, the Admiralty Building, St. an appeal by the revolutionist commit Isaac's Cathedral, and the Military Hotel, tees, citizens distributed food to the sol still resisted the onslaught of the revodiers.
lutionary forces, and the battle for the The scene at the Duma before the rev. possession of Petrograd came to a draolution was in full flame was extraordi matic conclusion. In the Admiralty Buildnary. The members stood about the broad ing the Council of Ministers secretly corridors talking calmly, the serious gathered for a conference, and the last priest members in long black gowns, with regiments loyal to the old Government flowing hair, and members from the were drawn up as a guard. provinces in top boots and blouses min While the Council sat in the last meetgling with well-groomed and frock-coated
ing which they were destined to hold, the representatives.
building was surrounded and the besiegAt the front gates the troops began to ers poured rifle and machine gun fire assemble. They were without
upon the defenders. They were the revolting regiments. One For a few hours the fiercest battle of body in marching order entered the side the day continued; the streets were swept gate and halted before the entrance. A by a steady fusillade and the crowds Duma member spoke from the steps, ex scattered for the nearest shelter, some plaining the attitude of that body and of the people being compelled to spend assuring the regiments that the Duma the night in courtyards or corridors of was with them.
office buildings or wherever they first Auto trucks packed with men, soldiers, found refuge. and civilians, with and without arms, Toward morning there was a sudden
lull, broken by exultant shouts, which deepened into a roar, and were succeeded by the Russian revolutionary “Marseillaise.” The regiments defending the Admiralty had surrendered and gone over to the side of the revolutionists.
The Ministers in the Admiralty Building were then arrested and the Russian national colors were replaced by the red flag of the revolutionists.
Rodzianko's Telegrams During the day revolutionary publications appeared in the streets, with the simple caption “ News." These contained a résumé of developments, and they were eagerly read by all classes. Rodzianko's telegrams to the Emperor and others to the commanders of the troops at the front were reproduced. The first message to the Emperor read:
The situation is grave. Anarchy reigns in the capital. The Government is paralyzed. The transport of provisions and fuel is completely disorganized. General dissatisfaction is growing. Irregular rifle firing is occurring in the streets. It is necessary to charge immediately some person trusted by the people to form a new Government. It is impossible to linger, since delay means death. Praying God that the responsibility in this hour will not fall upon a crowned head.
Later President Rodzianko sent the following to the Emperor:
The position is becoming more serious. is imperative that immediate measures be taken, because tomorrow will be too late. The last hour has come when the fate of the fatherland and the dynasty are being decided.
Similar telegrams were sent to all the commanders at the front with an appeal for their support before the Emperor of the Duma's action. General Alexis Brusiloff, Commander in Chief of the armies of the southwestern front, and General Nicholas Ruzsky, Commander of the northern armies, replied promptly. General Brusiloff sent this message:
“ Have fulfilled duty before fatherland and Emperor.”
General Ruzsky's reply read:
The revolt seemed to overspread all Russia simultaneously. Kronstadt, the great fortress and seaport at the head of the Gulf of Finland, joined the revolutionary movement without firing a gun.
Moscow joined in with enthusiasm, as did Odessa. Within twenty-four hours news came from all parts of Russia that city after city, fortress after fortress, provinces, towns, and villages were aflame with enthusiasm, and that the revolutionists were in control, with the soldiers and workingmen in; fullest accord.
One of the most impressive scenes of the revolution at Petrograd was the arrival of the Preobrajensky Guards with their Colonel and officers at the Tauris Palace. The men, all of giant stature, were drawn up in ranks four deep the whole length of the enormous Catherine Hall. The President of the Duma came out to greet them. On the appearance of M. Rodzianko the Colonel's voice rang out,“ Preobrajensky, attention!” and the whole regiment stood at salute. M. Rodzianko saluted them as follows:
“ Soldiers of the true faith, let me as an old soldier greet you according to our custom. I wish you good health.”
“ We wish good health to your Excellency," came the thunderous response.
The President continued:
“I want to thank you for coming here to help the members of the Imperial Duma to establish order and to safeguard the honor and glory of our country. Your comrades are fighting in the trenches for the might and majesty of Russia, and I am proud that my son has been serving since the beginning of the war in your ranks. But in order that you should be able to advance the cause and interests which have been undertaken by the Duma, you must remain a disciplined force. You know as well as I do that soldiers are helpless without their officers. I ask you to remain faithful to your officers and to have confidence in them, just as we have confidence in them. Return quietly to your barracks and come here at the first call when you may be required.”
“ We are ready,” answered the Preobrajensky Guards. “ Show us the way.”
"The old authority is incapable of leading Russia the right way,” was the answer. “Our first task is to establish a new authority in which we could all believe and trust, and which would be
able to save and magnify our mother Russia."
The soldiers marched out, shouting, “ Hurrah!”
M. Rodzianko greeted in the same manner the officers and men of the Grenadier Guards and the officers and troopers of the Ninth Cavalry Regiment.
After the President's speech to the troopers their Colonel, addressing them, said:
“ Men, I intend to carry out all orders given to me by the President of the Imperial Duma. I remain with you on condition that you obey my orders. Hurrah for the President of the Imperial Duma! The troopers cheered loudly.
The Provisional Government The members of the new National Cabinet are as follows:
Premier, President of the Council, and Minister of the Interior-Prince Georges E. Lvoff.
Foreign Minister-Professor Paul N. Milukoff.
Minister of Public Instruction Professor Manuiloff of Moscow University.
Minister of War and Navy, ad Interim-A. J. Guchkoff, formerly President of the Duma.
Minister of Agriculture-M. Ichingareff, Deputy from Petrograd.
Minister of Finance--M. Tereschtenko, Deputy from Kiev.
Minister of Justice-Deputy Kerenski of Saratoff.
Minister of Communications-N. V. Nekrasoff, Vice President of the Duma.
Controller of State-M. Godneff, Deputy from Kazan.
Minister of Trade and Commerce-A. I. Konovaloff.
Procurator General of the Holy Synod—M. Lvoff.
The new Premier is the most popular man in Russia, head and chief of the combined Urban and Rural Zemstvo Committees, organizer and feeder in chief of the Russian armies in the field, the man whom all students of Russian affairs have expected to see made head of any new Government established.
He is a Russian, a Slav in fact as well as in name, and has the entire confidence of the Russian people.
The new Foreign Minister, Professor Milukoff, has been for years the courageous leader of the Russian liberals. He was banished from Russia for political
views expressed while a member of the Faculty of the University of Moscow. He came to Chicago and became Professor of Russian History at the University of Chicago, a post which he relinquished later to return to Russia.
In 1898 Milukoff, then a Professor at Moscow, was snatched from his classroom one day, subjected to a summary Russian trial, and exiled to Siberia. He was guilty of liberal tendencies. He was in exile for two years, the result of which was his “ History of Russian Culture," a justification of revolution on historic grounds.
On his return to Russia he was rearrested and led across the frontier into Bulgaria. A warrant of expatriation, issued from Petrograd, excluded him from the Czar's domain for two years. Milukoff's answer was an immediate return to Petrograd, where he was again arrested and held in jail for five months without trial. When he was released he again came to Chicago.
At the University of Chicago Professor Milukoff was looked upon as one of the most brilliant members of the Faculty. He is an eminent scholar in several lines, though he confined himself here to lecturing on Russian social conditions. In addition to his lectures here he has lectured at various times before the Lowell Institute in Boston. In all he spent four years in Chicago.
Milukoff's influence upon European opinion outside of Russia has been great. On his third visit to America, in 1908, he told interviewers that his speeches in the Duma frequently were interrupted by some shouting, “ American," or “ American citizen." In proof of his inperturbability, he added: “So now I al. most invariably begin my speeches by quoting something American.'”
Late in January a plot to assassinate Professor Milukoff was exposed. The assassination was planned by the organization known as the Black Hundred, the reactionary body which has for years been an instrument of political crimes in Russia. The man chosen, however, confessed the part he was to play before the crime was committed.