What are some similarities and differences between the courses of the Chinese and Russian communist revolutions?

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The contrasts between the revolutions that replaced the Romanov Dynasty in Russia with the Bolshevik movement and the revolution that brought to power in China the Communist Party led by Mao Tsetung and Zhao Enlai are far more important than the relatively minor comparisons that can be made.

The Russian revolutionary movement can be traced back to the 1825 failed Decembrist revolt against Czar Nicholas I. While the rebellion against czarist rule was ruthlessly crushed, it did plant the seeds for a more resilient, more ruthless revolutionary movement that would eventually take power in 1917. It is important to keep in mind that there were multiple revolutions during 1917. In February (or March, depending upon which calendar, Julian or Gregorian, one consults), a popular revolt against the dire economic circumstances resulting from corruption and misrule by the current czar combined with the economic strain and human losses associated with Russian participation in the Great War (soon to...

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