A Comparison of the American and Russian Revolutions

Essay by buryyourdead8High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2006

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In 1781, the Articles of Confederation were ratified, providing a one-house Congress with each state having one vote. The Articles of Confederation failed because the central government lacked power. In 1787, delegates met in Philadelphia to create a new constitution providing a stronger central government. The delegates elected George Washington the presiding officer and adopted a federal system of government. The federal government could now coin money, declare war, make treaties, raise armies, and regulate trade with foreign countries. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches were created. To define individual rights, the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, were issued in.

The American Revolution resulted in a representative government. The Senate, House of Representatives, and the Office of the President were made up of elected officials, giving the people a way to influence change in government. However, a liberal provisional government took control of Russia after Nicholas II abdicated.

Another body, the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, wanted more radical change in Russia. Some members were socialists called Mensheviks, while another group of radical socialists were called the Bolsheviks. The socialists called for peace, while the provisional government continued to war. Lenin emerged as the leader of the Bolsheviks, and in 1917 he went to Russia calling for "peace, land and bread." Lenin was a Marxist and wanted to train the working class to become a revolutionary force. On November 7, 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government in what is called the October Revolution. In 1918, the Bolsheviks renamed themselves the Communist Party. After the war with the Whites, the Communists renamed the lands they ruled to the Soviet Union.

The Russian Revolution resulted in absolute governmental control of power. The Communists took control of Russia and made policies that citizens, having...