Moscow was one of the centres of the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat
in all three revolutions in Russia: in the first Russian revolution
of 1905-1907, the February Revolution of 1917 and the Great October
Socialist Revolution of 1917.
movement started in St. Petersburg, spread through all the marginal
regions of Russia, and mobilized Riga, Poland, Odessa, and the Caucasus;
the conflagration has now spread to the very heart of Russia," Lenin
wrote at the beginning of the first Russian revolution. In October 1905
the Moscow committee of the party decided to stage a general strike
in Moscow. In a very short time this wave engulfed the whole of Russia
and involved more than 2 million workers who came out in support of
the overthrow of autocracy. In Moscow and a number of other cities Soviets
of Workers' Deputies sprang up. These mass organizations of the working
class were to become the prototype of the new Soviet political system
established in 1917. The highest stage in the development of the 1905-1907
revolution in Russia was the armed uprising of the Moscow proletariat
in December 1905. The Presnya, Zamoskvorechye and workers' districts
in the South-East of Moscow became the centres of the uprising. Exceptional
heroism was shown by the workers in the battles in the Presnya district.
The December uprising had a tremendous influence on the growth of revolutionary
consciousness among the workers. The experience gained by the Moscow
workers helped the revolutionary proletariat in winning their victory
in October 1917. The struggle for the victory of the' socialist revolution
was one of the finest pages in the history of Moscow. On October 25
(November 7, new style) 1917 the Moscow Bolsheviks, on receiving information
from Petrograd that the revolution had begun, immediately formed a revolutionary
centre for controlling the transfer of power to the Soviets.
A complicated situation developed in Moscow.
Having suffered defeat in Petrograd, the counter-revolutionaries were
relying on a victory in Moscow. They had powerful forces on then-side,
including the well-armed and well-trained officers and cadets, and were
grouped around the Alexandrovskoye Cadet College on Arbat Street, the
Alexeyevskoye Military College, the Cadet Training Centres at Lefortovo
and the headquarters of the Moscow Military District, which was situated
on Prechistenka (now Kropotkin Street). Their objective was to take
the Kremlin and the Moscow Soviet, destroy the revolutionary centre
and ensure the arrival in Moscow of military units with whose help they
hoped to crush the revolution.
In this difficult situation the Bolsheviks suggested
the formation of a Military Revolutionary Committee. The basic forces
of the revolution were located in the workers' districts and in the
military barracks. On October 27 the headquarters of the counter-revolutionary
forces declared a state of martial law in the city and sent the Military
Revolutionary Committee an ultimatum demanding its liquidation and the
disarmament of all revolutionary units. The ultimatum was rejected.
On October 29 revolutionary troops from Moscow supported by detachments
of the Red Guard from the surrounding towns went over to the offensive.
In the heavy fighting that followed the Red Guard units suffered considerable
losses, but the revolutionary storm could not be abated and one by one
the positions of the counter-revolution fell. Between October 30 and
November 2 the basic objectives in the centre of Moscow, where counter-revolutionary
forces had lain entrenched, were liberated. The building of the Duma
(pre-revolutionary parliament), where the counter-revolutionary headquarters
were located, was taken. On November 2 Red Guards entered Red Square
amid heavy fire and on the following morning workers' and soldiers'
detachments took the Kremlin. Soviet power was established in Moscow.
The places connected with the revolutionary fighting
both in 1905 and 1917 are sacred to the hearts of Muscovites. They are
marked throughout the city with memorial plaques and .nonuments. In
Moscow and the Moscow Region there are more than 170 buildings including
factories, institutes, houses and flats where Lenin either visited,
lived in, worked or spoke at. Many of them you will come across in your
walk through the city, so the city itself will amplify our brief historical
In March 1918 a very memorable event took place-the
Soviet government headed by Lenin moved from Petrograd to Moscow. This
made Moscow the capital of the Soviet state. In December 1922 at the
First All-Union Congress of Soviets the formation of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics was proclaimed. Since then Moscow has been the capital
of the USSR.