In December 1895, Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov (later known as Lenin) was arrested by Russian authorities in St. Petersburg for his involvement in the anti-Tsarist group known as “The League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class.” The League attempted to unify the many Marxist groups of St. Petersburg under an umbrella organization; it eventually evolved into the revolutionary party of the proletariat, which would lead the successful October 1917 revolution. Following his arrest, Lenin was held in solitary confinement in St. Petersburg Prison for 14 months and then exiled to Siberia. During this time Lenin kept quite busy; he produced many leaflets as well as the book The Development of Capitalism in Russia.

In 1900, after his release, Lenin emigrated to Switzerland, where he established the newspaper Iskra (The Spark). He argued for the establishment of a class of professional revolutionaries who would lead the working class to revolution. He and those Marxists who followed him became known as Bolsheviks. In 1905, he returned to Russia and began raising money, both from generous donors and criminal activity, to fund the Bolsheviks’ revolutionary activities. By 1907, with the failure of the First Russian Revolution, he was forced once again to flee the country. In 1917, Lenin returned triumphantly, leading the October Revolution that gave rise to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Author Unknown. Vladimir I. Lenin. Retrieved from

Lenin Museum. Vladimir Lenin: Beginning of Revolutionary Activity. Retrieved from

Olshansky, Dimitry. ISFP Gallery of Russian Thinkers: Vladimir Lenin. Retrieved from