I was reading General Grant's Granddaughter's memoirs of revolutionary Petrograd. It was amazing how fast the Romanov dynasty fell. The way she relates events is that the Tsar had a meeting with several of his ministers over the conduct of his Interior minister, Popototov. They demanded he be fired or they would all quit. They also said that he would have to agree that the ministry from now on would be responsible to the Duma. After a long discussion the tsar gave in and headed back to Tsarskoye selo where he would meet with Popototov and fire him. Petrograd had been seething for weeks. There were food shortages and several factories were on strike and there were frequent demonstrations. The word that Popototov would be fired got out to the streets and the marches became festive. Late in the evening word came that instead of being fired, Popototov had been given larger powers and the Duma instead of having more authority was permanently disolved. After that riots broke out in front of bread ration offices, and instead of controlling the riots, the police joined in. The army was called out, and regiment by regiment they went over to the rioters. After the word on the dissolution of the Duma was announced, most of its membership arrived at the hall to discuss what to do about the situation. Overnight it became obvious that the monarchy was doomed. The Tsar headed back from the front when he heard of troubles, but revolution rippled across the land, and he was arrested in Pskov and given the decree of abdication to sign. The whole process took less than 72 hours. Similarly, the collapse of Communism was also very fast. The committee seized control of the TV station and ran troops in on the Early morning of August 19th. As troops took station around the city, they were mobbed by residents arguing with them. Boris Yeltsin still had control of a radio in the Russian soviet building, and he issued calls for a general strike and peaceful resistance. As soliders arrived at the Russian soviet, they were met by a large mob of people and makeshift barricades. The troops at the Russian soviet immediately went over to the mob. All day all over the city people and soldiers argued back and forth, and the solders began going over to the people. The last troops still obeying orders made a half hearted second attack at the Soviet building at about 2 am, but they were turned back by molotov cocktails and they fled. One amazing feature of the protests was the revival of the old Romanov dynasty flag in the crowd as the day wore on. People hastily sewed new flags and red white and blue flags showed up all over the place in Moscow. Including, but the end of the day, over the Kremlin. The basic rule for tyrants is that they always have to live in a state of fear. The whole system can come apart in hours, and once it goes, it is unstoppable.