The other main parties had proved their limitations in dealing with the challenges of the revolution, even though their relationship to Marxist theory was murky.
The time had come for the Bolshevik Party to show what it could do.
The proletarian-socialist revolution in Russia could be expected to connect with the proletarian-socialist revolution in western Europe.
Russia's role was to give the necessary spark to the so-far insufficiently bold proletariat of the west.
Russia was the weakest link of capitalism and breaking that link would lead to a new era of revolutions in Europe and the world.
It was an exciting vision, but it involved a wild gamble, so much so that a number of leading Bolsheviks resisted Lenin's urgings to take power in Russia before proletarian revolution in western Europe had actually appeared.
They argued that the revolution was too small.
Since it seemed to recognize the right of the peasants to establish private plots of land formerly owned by the large landowners, granting land to the peasants had to be counted as dangerously catering to "bourgeois" demands.
The transfer of land to millions of private owners could be described as revolutionary, but it wouldn't be a good basis for a socialist revolution.
The establishment of a politically conservative countryside in France was the result of giving land to the peasants after the events of 1789.
The narodniks had long maintained that Russia's peasants were different from those in western Europe, and at this point peasants were voting in great numbers for the Socialist-Revolutionary Party.
Worker control of factories, nationalization of the mineral wealth of the country, and other socialist measures were approved by the Bolsheviks.
The soviet rule was called socialistic in tendency since there was a socialist majority in most of the soviets by late 1917.
It was tempting to conclude that the part of the program that was bourgeois was the most significant since the peasants constituted the majority of the country.
The more industrially developed sectors of the Russian economy, where proletarian numbers had been highest, had shrunk dramatically in the chaos of the period, making this conclusion all the more tempting.
After late 1917, a mass exodus from the urban areas to the countryside began.
The seizure of power by the Bolsheviks on November 6-7 was relatively easy, even though it was confusing.
Kerensky didn't have enough support to offer effective resistance to the Bolsheviks.
The soldiers of the Petrograd garrison gave weapons to his enemies after he tried to send them to the front.
The key locations in the city were quickly secured by the Bolshevik-led forces.
The head of the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Soviet, a body that had been established in anticipation of the move on the capital, was used by Trotsky to manage the takeover.
Kerensky tried to resist but was forced to flee.
He tried to organize forces outside the capital, but they were not willing to join him.
After escaping to western Europe in 1918, he spent the rest of his life in the United States.
The second general congress of the soviets was to be held at the same time as the takeover.
The congress members gave their approval to the destruction of the government.
The soviets were directly responsible to the Council of People's Commissars.
The head of the organization was Lenin and the minister of foreign affairs was Trotsky.
The soviets assumed all power.
The leaders of the soviets were not in charge of the new executive body of the soviet government, but members of the Bolshevik Party were.
Another important point was laid out.
The second congress of the Bolshevik Party was not a good one.
Most of the delegates were ready to vote for a transfer of power from the government to the soviets, but not necessarily to approve the initiatives taken by the Bolshevik Party in violently driving Kerensky from power.
The delegates to the soviet congress bitterly criticized the Bolsheviks for what they termed a coup d'etat.
Some Bolsheviks initially preferred to see a broad socialist coalition.
There was no effective opposition to the monopoly.
The word went out to the rest of the country and the world that the Soviets had taken over from the Provisional Government.
Russia would be ruled by the Bolshevik Party for most of the twentieth century.
It was always through the soviets in a purely formal sense, but it became involved in manipulating the votes to the soviets and following the principles of one-party rule.
There was a strong competing claim to speak for all of Russia after the elections to the Constituent Assembly.
All parties, including the Bolshevik Party, had expressed their support for the elections, which were initiated in the spring.
Given the size of the country and the turmoil that prevailed in many areas in 1917, holding such elections was an ambitious project, but one that by most accounts was successful in the sense that a large part of the population of the Russian empire actually participated in it.
Universal speach, male and female over the age of twenty, with a special category of eighteen years of age for members of the military, was the basis for the elections to the Constituent Assembly.
The Socialist Revolutionaries won 40 percent of the vote, while the Bolsheviks won 25 percent.
The Bolsheviks were not as disappointed by this quarter of the vote as one might think, since they still registered impressive majorities among the urban workers and soldiers, two elements of the population that were relatively cohesive and thus more easily mobilized than the peasants.
On January 5, 1918, the Constituent Assembly refused to accept the legitimacy of rule by the Council of People's Commissars.
It was denounced by Lenin as a counterrevolutionary body and he took measures to prevent it from meeting again.
The general population's apathy towards the dispersal of the Assembly reinforced the confidence of the Bolsheviks.
Most of the leaders of the other socialist parties refused to be associated with armed opposition to Bolshevik rule.
There were many reasons for the weak opposition to the Bolsheviks.