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By Georg von Rauch

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Rather than relieving it, Rasputin's assassination by members of the Russian nobility in December, 1916, considerably increased the tension. A t the beginning of the new year, 1917, an Allied mission arrived in order to survey Russia's military potential (but actually also for a spot check on the political situation), but all its attempts to persuade the Czar to make concessions to the liberals proved futile. _particular]v Enjgland, dropped the Czar and pinned all their hopes on a political upheaval ~along liberal democratic lines.

The reformist tendencies of Zemstvo liberalism carried lively hopes of attaining the first stages of democratic development in self-governing bodies operating within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. These trends found expression in the movement of the Liberation Union, which fathered the Constitutional Democratic Party (Kadets). But it was precisely these circles that were caught up in a nationalist wave after the 1905 Revolution. Under the flag of Neoslavism it appropriated the aggressive Panslavic demands— this time directed more against Austria-Hungary than Turkey.

In the following days the government managed to gather some reliable forces. Although the demonstrations continued and here and there resulted in bloody clashes, the movement gradually lost its momentum. Insurgents who had barricaded themselves in the Peter-Paul Fortress were persuaded by Stalin, Kamenev, and Lieber, a Bundist Menshevik, at the request of the Executive Committee of the Soviets, to surrender themselves not to the government but to the Soviets. It is apparent that the Bolshevik party had played a double role in the July revolt.

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