During the 19th century, Russia made some efforts to modernise itself by trying to free the serfs or peasants. But this did not go well. Tsar Alexander II, who made these reforms, was assassinated in 1881. His son, Tsar Alexander III, undid most of the earlier work. All of this added up to the desperations of Russians – which the History would call The Russian Revolution.
The first rebellion broke out in 1905, but it was crushed by the regime, and the rebel leaders including Lenin went into exile.
Soon, the first world-war would begin, which would bring the life in Russia from bad to worse. The economy almost crashed. There was a severe shortage of basic necessities including food.
In 1917, riots broke out. It was also the year when Lenin returned to Russia. This time the troops joined the rebels, and Nicholas II (the tsar) had to abdicate. A temporary government was formed by Alexander Kerensky, which did not solve the problem. It was only in November, 1917 when Bolsheviks led by Lenin seized power, the situation got under control. Russians call it The October Revolution, since they used a different calendar. Five years later, the Russian empire was renamed as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.