December : The Bolsheviks introduce reforms to private property ownership, marriage and divorce laws, and the legal status of women.
December 2nd : The new government forms the Vesenkha , the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy.
December 7th : Lenin decrees the formation of the CHEKA, a small agency led by Dzerzhinsky and tasked with combating counter-revolutionary activity. It begins with 26 agents.
December 9th : Members of the Left SRs are admitted to Sovnarkom , the executive government body of the new government.
Workers also had good reasons for discontent: overcrowded housing with often deplorable sanitary conditions, long hours at work (on the eve of the war a 10-hour workday six days a week was the average and many were working 11–12 hours a day by 1916), constant risk of injury and death from poor safety and sanitary conditions, harsh discipline (not only rules and fines, but foremen's fists), and inadequate wages (made worse after 1914 by steep wartime increases in the cost of living). At the same time, urban industrial life was full of benefits, though these could be just as dangerous, from the point of view of social and political stability, as the hardships. There were many encouragements to expect more from life. Acquiring new skills gave many workers a sense of self-respect and confidence, heightening expectations and desires. Living in cities, workers encountered material goods such as they had never seen in villages. Most important, living in cities, they were exposed to new ideas about the social and political order. [nb 2]