The History of the Twentieth Century

A chronicle of the history of the twentieth century, including art, music, popular culture, science, religion, and, of course, politics and war.
By autumn of 1917, the Russian Provisional Government had failed. It lost popular support, the Army was collapsing, and the Germans were advancing on Petrograd. Lenin determined it was time for the Bolsheviks to make their move.
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Following the July Days, Alexander Kerensky became convinced that the biggest threat to his government now loomed on the political right, and he became increasingly suspicious of the new army commander-in-chief, Lavr Kornilov.
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The Kerensky Offensive was supposed to prove that the Russian Provisional Government was in control and that Russia could still field an effective army. Instead, it demonstrated that neither of these were true.
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The Kerensky Offensive provoked discontent among soldiers in Petrograd which triggered a Bolshevik uprising against the Provisional Government. The uprising was put down and evidence was made public that the Bolsheviks were being supported and funded by Germany.
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With the Bolsheviks relentlessly criticizing the Russian government, the question of war aims came to the fore. When the liberals in the government couldn't give a straight answer, a cabinet shuffle followed, giving socialists more power than before.
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The Russian Provisional Government had declared a political amnesty that allowed political exiles to return home, notably Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin, who got an assist from the German government.
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The US entered the war in early 1917, but it would take time for her to have an impact on the war. Brazil also joined the war in 1917, and in Canada, the political fight over conscription leads to a divisive general election.
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By 1917, many in German and Austrian official and military circles had given up hope of winning the Great War on the battlefield and were ready to discuss peace terms. Hindenburg and Ludendorff, however, insisted that victory was at hand.
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With Russia in disarray, and the Eastern Front in a de facto armistice, we shift our attention to the West, where the French begin the latest "final" offensive.
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Russia's allies--The United Kingdom, France, Italy, and now the United States--were pleased that Russia was taking a more liberal and democratic direction, but they also expected Russia to honor the commitments the czar had made to them, even though those commitments were unpopular at home. Meanw...
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Even the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans was not enough to push Woodrow Wilson into supporting war, but the Zimmerman Telegram made it impossible to oppose war any further. Additionally, the Russian Revolution eliminated an unsavory ally, replacing him with a fledgling...
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The revolutionary upheavals in Petrograd lead to the formation of a Provisional Government. Emperor Nikolai II abdicates, ending the 304-year old Romanov dynasty.
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With political resentments already high, the deprivations of the harsh winter of 1916-17 cause them to boil over. The Russian Revolution has begun.
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When the Great War began, Russian political factions mostly united in a common front to support the war effort, as political parties did in the other belligerent nations. But when Russia's military reversals and shortcomings in leadership became too obvious to ignore, opponents of the government ...
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With the Mexican Revolution winding down and the prospects of war between Mexico and the USA seeming increasingly remote, the German Foreign Secretary explores the idea of inviting Mexico to declare war on the United States.
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Germany was already rationing food when the bad harvests of 1916 made the situation far worse. Running out of options, the German military decides to resume unrestricted U-boat warfare.
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The European powers refused to negotiate, but private groups, including women's groups, socialists, and Henry Ford, pressed ahead with campaigns to bring the belligerents to the negotiating table.
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The automobile and the airplane, both recent inventions that make use of the internal combustion engine, become weapons of war.
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With four years of peace and progressive reform and a booming economy (due to the strong French and UK wartime demand for US imports), you would think Woodrow Wilson would cruise to an easy re-election. You would be wrong.
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In the wake of Pancho Villa's attack on the town of Columbus, New Mexico, the US Army sends an expeditionary force into Mexico in pursuit of Villa and his fighters, commanded by Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing.
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