The slogan “Daite khleb – Give us bread!” echoed throughout Petrograd as 90,000 people gathered to strike against the tsar, Nicholas Romanov (“February Revolution”). The demonstration began on March 8th, 1917 when working class women marched through the capital’s streets angry over food scarcity, overgrown breadlines, and the seemingly indifferent tsar.
They ardently demanded for change – anything to at least put more food on the table. Evolving into a large scale revolution, the insurgency lasted less than a week, but their influence forced Nicholas to abdicate the throne.
The events leading to the February Revolution had left the nation simmering, and Petrograd was the outlet. Nicholas’s rationing of bread infuriated his subjects.
On top of food scarcity, Russia was poorly equipped to fight in the Great War. The tsar’s command over the army was less than stellar, and while he was commanding troops, he left his German-born wife Alexandra in charge of the country. In addition to these problems, Nicholas’s repeated dissolving of the Dumas, a “workers government” with the final say in the tsar’s laws, fueled the Russian peoples’ anger (“Why”).
The populace was suffering, and his subjects were ready to revolt.