The February Revolution of 1917 was a disorganised series of protests and demonstrations in Russia which ultimately led to the downfall of the Russian Tsarist Dynasty of Romanov, which had ruled Russia since 1613.
The revolution was largely a spontaneous combination of demonstrations against Tsar Nicholas II and his administration in the last week of February 1917. Russia had been fighting in World War One against Germany since 1914, and the shortages of food, military supplies, public war weariness and strain on the economy was causing discontent amongst the Russian public.
On 22nd February, workers at the Petrograd industrial plant Putilov (Petrograd's largest industrial plant) announced a strike. The striking atmosphere spread to other plants across Petrograd and over the following days bought the capital to a standstill.
The next day just happened to be International Women's Day, which quickly turned into an organised demonstration against the Russian Government.
On 25th February, Tsar Nicholas II sent a rather large battalion of soldiers to Petrograd to stop the uprising. However, these soldiers became quickly sympathetic to the demands of the Russian public, and ended up by giving them support.
Tsar Nicholas II returned to Petrograd on 1st March to calls of abdication from his remaining staff in the capital. Nicholas II resigned on March 2nd, ending the 304 year old Romanov dynasty.
A Provisional Government was formed in Petrograd in the wake of the revolution - a government which was largely comprised of former Tsarist officials who had refused a direct order from Nicholas II to dissolve parliament in the first few days of the demonstrations.
The weakness of the Provisional Government due to its lack of political legitimacy and failure to address the needs of the nation ultimately led to the success of the October Revolution later that year. A major cause of the downfall of the Provisional government was its choice to continue the war with Germany when the country, and the people's will for war were long past exausted.