The Future of History: MIT's Russian Revolution Timeline

Do you know your Russian Revolution history? If you could use some brushing up on the proletariat uprising that took place from February to October 1917, there's an innovative online tool just for you. Learn more about MIT's Russian Revolution timeline. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Keeping History Alive

The Russian Revolution represents an important historical period that led to a radical transformation of the entire world. For those having a hard time remembering their history, the events occurring over eight months in 1917 led to the disintegration of tsarist rule in Russia. Tsar Nicholas II abdicated rule in February and by the end of October, after much fighting and political maneuvering, the Bolsheviks had emerged as the new governing power in the country.

russian revolutionary soldiers

Revolutionary Russian sailors, summer 1917

The Russian Revolution, which led to the eventual formation of the Soviet Union, was the result of a wide range of complex factors, a fact demonstrated well by the Russian Revolution timeline, a project of MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The initiative has been made possible through the support of the Offices of Faculty Support and Education Innovation and Technology at the school.

Visitors accessing the website will find a chronological listing of events that occurred between February and October 1917. In addition to listing historical developments, the website also features links to primary resources from the period, historical analyses and academic work from MIT students. The goal of the project is to provide a greater understanding of the Tsarist autocracy, the collapse of the Provisional Government and the ultimate rise to power by the Bolsheviks.

Technology Aids Understanding

But how does the information on MIT's Russian Revolution timeline differ from information that might be found in any history book? Significantly. The timeline has been designed to leverage the power of the digital technologies to portray the events of 1917 in their full complexity. The Internet gives site administrators a forum in which to display information in a way that fosters understanding through visual connections.

technology MIT russian history internet timeline

One of the primary ways in which the timeline is innovative is by bringing together disparate areas of information. The site compiles historical events related to four groups involved in the Russian Revolution - activists, soldiers, workers and peasants. By synthesizing developments into one visual presentation, the site allows visitors to easily observe how the actions of different social groups overlapped with one another, making complex relationships more clear.

Another major way in which the timeline is different from that which might be found in a textbook is that digital technologies allow users to access additional information with the click of a mouse. Updating information is also a lot more immediate and cost-effective than creating new print resources incorporating contemporary historical research. In fact, one of the timeline's greatest attributes is that it does feature the most recent research on the Russian Revolution. For students engaged with this period of history, the timeline can be an invaluable resource.

Are you a Civil War buff who also has an iPad? Check out Civil War Today, an innovative educational app for students of history.

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