15 November

'Steadily, amid the chaos of shocking change, the Council of People's Commissars hammered at the scaffolding of the Socialist order. Decree on Social Insurance, on Workers' Control, Regulations for Volost Land Committees, Abolition of Ranks and Titles, Abolition of Courts and the Creation of People's Tribunals ...'

November 15, 2009
1 min read

On 15 November 1917, Moscow fell to the Bolsheviks. The American writer John Reed continued to record events in his epic account of the revolution, Ten Days that Shook the World.

‘Army after army, fleet after fleet, sent deputations, “joyfully to greet the new Government of the People”.

‘In front of Smolny, one day, I saw a ragged regiment just come from the trenches. The soldiers were drawn up before the great gates, thin and grey-faced, looking up at the building as if God were in it. Some pointed out the Imperial eagles over the door, laughing …. Red Guards came to mount guard. All the soldiers turned to look, curiously, as if they had heard of them but never seen them. They laughed good-naturedly and pressed out of line to slap the Red Guards on the back, with half-joking, half-admiring remarks …

‘The Provisional Government was no more. On November 15th, in all the churches of the capital, the priests stopped praying for it. But as Lenin himself told the Tsay-ee-kah, that was “only the beginning of the conquest of power”.’


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