100 years after the February Revolution - Forum Thu 7pm
Kia ora comrades,
In 1917, Russia was a vast empire covering much of modern-day Poland in the west, Armenia and Azerbaijan in the south, and Kazakhstan and Siberia in the east. It had been ruled for centuries by an autocratic monarchy that gave little space to any democratic institutions. While Europe's other empires had all, to one degree or another, re-balanced the relationship between their monarchies and parliaments, granting greater power to institutions which were at least formally democratic, the Russian Tsar retained the status of "supreme autocrat."
In the space of five days in February 100 years ago, all of this changed. The people of Russia removed the Tsar from power, and replaced his rule with not one, but two democratic institutions. In doing so, they set the stage for a dramatic year of revolution.
This year will be marked by countless conferences, articles, books and reminiscences about what remains one of the biggest sources of inspiration, fear and fascination in history. This forum, however, will consider its first, dramatic months. How was it that one of Europe's great ruling powers fell from grace so rapidly that they not merely ended a monarchy, but made it possible to usher in an entirely new system of social life?
This Thursday, 7pm at Unite Union 6a Western Springs Road, Kingsland