On the assumption of the analysis of economical and political situation in the country in autumn of 1917 the leader of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party V.I. Lenin made the conclusion that a favorable moment to seize the power had come. As a part of preparatory work for an armed revolt in Petrograd and Moscow there were formed the Red guard of workers that were ready to struggle for Bolshevists. In the capital the headquarters of the revolt were created that was called the Petrograd military-revolutionary committee. The Party was developing a detailed plan of the revolt, of the alignment of forces and the most extensive agitation in masses.
At the insistence of Lenin the revolt began the day before the opening of the Second Soviet congress, on the night of October 24 (November 6). From the very beginning the rebels managed to isolate the government having cut the access for its faithful forces. The bridges, the telegraph and the State bank were seized.
On the night of October 25 to 26 (November 7 to 8) 1917 the Red guard of workers, revolutionary soldiers and sailors took by storm the Winter Palace in Petrograd. The provisional government was deposed, its ministers arrested and forwarded to Peter and Paul fortress.
The new government, the Soviet of the Peoples’ commissars, was formed at the Second Soviet congress where the majority of the voices belonged to the Bolshevists Party. The government elected at the congress consisted only of Bolshevists and left socialist revolutionaries. Other fractions refused to participate in the government body headed by the Bolshevists. Many of the members of these fractions later took part in the armed struggle against the Bolshevists that took place during the Civil War that followed the revolt.
As a result of the October revolution the position of all the classes and levels of the population and its parties had radically changed. The Bolshevists became a governing party that was at the head of creation of a new state and social system.
On November 7, 1918 the Soviet country celebrated the first anniversary of the revolution. According to the old Julian calendar the revolution took place on October 25, 1917. And in spite the fact that from February 1918 the Gregorian calendar was introduced in Russia and even the first anniversary of the revolution (as well as all the following ones) was celebrated in November, the revolution still continued to be associated with the month of October. This fact was reflected in its name.
Lit.: Голиков Г. Н., Кузнецов М. И. Великая Октябрьская социалистическая революция // Большая советская энциклопедия. Т. 4. М., 1971; Октябрьское вооружённое восстание. Семнадцатый год в Петрограде. Л., 1967.
From the Presidential library materials: