Year 9

The Bolsheviks

I can explain how the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia and the immediate impact of their rise to power.

Year 9

The Bolsheviks

I can explain how the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia and the immediate impact of their rise to power.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The Bolsheviks were a revolutionary party led by Vladimir Lenin.
  2. The Provisional Government was toppled by the Bolshevik Party in October 1917.
  3. Lenin withdrew Russia from WWI and by agreeing to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918.
  4. The Bolsheviks shot Tsar Nicolas and limited opposition in Russia.

Common misconception

The Bolsheviks revolutionary background meant that they were completely different to the tsar.

The Bolsheviks treated opposition similarly to the tsar, using a secret police and re-introducing censorship.


  • Exile - exile involves being sent or kept away from your own country, usually for political reasons

  • Provisional - something is provisional if it is only temporary

  • Seized - something is seized if it is taken suddenly and by force

  • Secret police - a secret police force is used to make opposition to a government weaker, often using illegal and violent methods

Task C could be re-imagined as a debate or role play activity. Students could be classed as either Bolsheviks, members of the Provisional Government or Tsar Nicholas II and asked to respond to the statement.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains conflict or violence.


Adult supervision suggested.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

The Russian word for emperor is .
Correct Answer: tsar, Tsar
The February Revolution in Russia occurred during which conflict?
Russo-Ottoman War
Russo-Japanese War
Correct answer: World War One
World War Two
Which group made up a majority of the Russian population in 1900?
industrial workers
middle classes
Correct answer: peasants
What happened to Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution?
he was executed
he was forced into exile
he was forced to accept restrictions on his power
Correct answer: he was forced to abdicate
Which statement is most accurate?
Russians tsars had no power before 1917
Russian tsars had limited power before 1917
Russians tsars had moderate power before 1917
Russian tsars had a lot of power before 1917
Correct answer: Russian tsars had absolute power before 1917
Which two reasons help to explain why WWI contributed to the February Revolution in Russia?
millions of soldiers fought during the war
Russia fought alongside Britain and France during the war
Correct answer: Tsar Nicholas II took over personal command of the Russian army
Russia had the largest army in Europe
Correct answer: food shortages occurred in Russian cities

6 Questions

Match-up each key word with its correct definition
Correct Answer:exile,being sent or kept away from your own country

being sent or kept away from your own country

Correct Answer:provisional,something which is only temporary

something which is only temporary

Correct Answer:seize,to take something suddenly and by force

to take something suddenly and by force

The leader of the Party was Vladimir Lenin.
Correct Answer: Bolshevik, bolshevik
Who seized power in Russia during the October Revolution?
The Tsar
The Provisional Government
Correct answer: The Bolsheviks
Which of the following occurred as a result of the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk?
Russia went to war with Germany
Russia joined an alliance with Germany
Correct answer: Russia made peace with Germany
Which example best demonstrates that the Bolsheviks restricted the freedom to oppose the government in Russia?
Correct answer: They created the Cheka
They signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
They argued the Provisional Government had done too little for the proletariat
Starting with the earliest, sort the following events into chronological order.
1 - Karl Marx developed his theories of communism
2 - WWI begins
3 - Tsar Nicholas II abdicates
4 - Bolsheviks seize power
5 - Tsar Nicholas II murdered

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