Archives for category: Russian Revolution
  • Social Realism
    • Goal: Perfect communist state
    • Secret Police
      • Cheka (KGB)
      • Censorship, spies
    • Great Purge (1937)
      • Removed original Bolsheviks
      • Removes all potential rivals
        • Dead or at labor camps
    • Propaganda
      • Control of media
      • Censorship of creativity
      • Stalin and Russia are Heroes
        • Glory of Military
        • Glory of State
    • Indoctrination
      • Schools must teach conformity
        • Worship communist party
      • Sacrifice rights for the state
        • Work hard for country
      • Religious Persecution
        • Thank Stalin for the good life, not God
  • Modernization
    • Abandons Lenin’s New Economic Policy
      • No longer necessary
      • Economy is healthy enough to proceed
    • Implements the Five Year Plan
      • Collectivization
        • Combining small farms into larger government farms
          • Farmers work on the farm and are heavily taxed
      • Industrialization
        • Emphasis on heavy (capital) industry
        • Create capital goods, not consumer goods
          • Causes shortage of consumer goods such as food and clothing
      • Urbanization
        • People go to cities
          • Have to meet production quotas
            • If you fail, you are sent to the gulag (labor camps)
          • Working taxes
            • People agree to these taxes as a “sacrifice” for the good of the state
  • Stalin’s Society
    • Limited Freedoms
    • Demand for Skilled Workers
      • More education, more indoctrination
    • Women’s Power’s increase
      • Produce loyal babies
      • Help meet five year plan
    • Constitution of 1937
      • Stalin tries to show people their rights
        • Right to employment, religion, etc
      • Not really true
    • Complete dictator

Intro:

Stalin succeeded Lenin and transformed the Soviet government. He got rid of opposition and tried to gain total control over everything in the Soviet Union. He controlled the government, economy, and many other aspects of the people’s private lives.

  • A Government of Total Control

    Totalitarianism is a system of government where there is complete state control over life. These leaders claim to be providing security and guiding a better future. In the 20th century, mass communication made it easier to reach into everyone’s life.

    The totalitarian leaders often used secret police to crush opposition and make everyone afraid of accusations that they were an enemy of the state.

    The totalitarianism system was the opposite of Western democracy – there was no reason, freedom, dignity and personal worth.

    The leaders used terror, propaganda, censorship, and other persecution to control and persuade people.

    • Police Terror
      • Dictators of totalitarianism states used terror and violence. In normal situations, the police respond to criminals and protect citizens. In totalitarian states, the police enforce government policies through spying and intimidating citizens. They would even use brutal force or murder to achieve their goals.
    • Indoctrination
      • Totalitarian governments use indoctrination to change people’s minds. Indoctrination involves teaching citizens to glorify the leader and his policies, molding people into being unconditionally loyal. This policy started with very young children and were enforced by schools.
    • Propaganda and Censorship
      • Totalitarian states used propaganda and biased information to persuade the people. Their control over the mass media made this easy. Nothing could be published or created without permission from the state. Anyone suggesting that the information was false was severely punished for treason. Dissident individuals had to retract their work or be killed.
    • Religious or Ethnic Persecution
      • Totalitarian leaders created “enemies of the state”, fall guys incase anything happened. These groups were often religious or ethnic groups, subjected to terror and violence. Some were even forced to live in certain areas and subjected to special rules.
  • Stalin Builds a Totalitarian State

    Stalin tried to create a perfect Communist state by creating a totalitarian state. He began be crushing all his enemies.

    • Police State
      • Stalin’s secret police had tanks and armored cars to stop riots. They spied on telephone lines, read mail, planted informers. They even persuaded children to report what their parents were saying. Everyone feared the “knock on the door” in the early morning, which led to the arrest of a family member. These police arrested and killed millions of these traitors.
      • In 1934, Stalin turned against the Communist party. In 1937, the Great Purge killed anyone who was a threat to his power. Many of his old Bolshevik supporters were put on trial. When this ended in 1938, Stalin gained complete control. He killed anywhere from 8 million to 13 million deaths.
    • Russian Propaganda and Censorship
      • Stalin had control over the media. He did not allow creativity, censoring all unauthorized work. The media glorified his achievements.
      • The arts were also used for propaganda, showing heroic labor and positive initiatives.
    • Education and Indoctrination
      • The government controlled everyone’s education. Everyone had to learn the virtues of the Communist Party. Anyone who questioned them were imprisoned. Party leaders lectured workers, stressed the importance of hard work, and State-supported groups trained future party members.
    • Religious Persecution
      • Communists tried to remove religion. The League of Militant Godless was a government sponsored group of atheists who sent propaganda which attacked religion. “Museums of atheism” were setup to show how religion is superstition. However, these attempts failed and people still clung to their faith.
      • The Russian Orthodox Church was a target. Others also suffered as the police destroyed churches, synagogues, and killed religious leaders.
      • A perfect Communist state was very costly, eliminating personal rights and freedoms for the stability of the state.
  • Stalin Seizes Control of the Economy

    Stalin’s control of society increased and he began to overhaul the economy. He tried to catch up to other advanced countries in 10 years. In 1928, he created a command economy, giving the government complete control over the economy.

    • An Industrial Revolution
      • The first of the Five-Year Plans involved high quotas for steel, coal, oil, and electricity production. The government limited production of consumer goods, making people face severe shortages of food, housing, and other goods.
      • These difficult methods did produce impressive results. Though most of the targets fell short, the Soviets still made gains. The 2nd plan was launched in 1933, and was equally successful. In 10 years, industrial production of steel increased by 25 percent.
    • An Agricultural Revolution
      • In 1928, the government seized private farms and combined them into collective farms. Hundreds of families worked on these farms, producing food for the state. The modern machinery used on these government owned farms boosted food production and reduced the number of workers. Wealthy peasants resisted and were eliminated.
      • Peasants fought the government’s attempts to take over land. Many protested by killing livestock and destroying crops. Secret police moved peasants onto farms with bayonets. 5 to 10 million peasants died as a result. By 1938, 90 percent of all peasants worked on government owned farms. Russia produced twice the wheat they had before.
      • In hard to farm areas, the government created state farms which were operated like factories. Workers had wages and produced wheat.
  • Daily Life Under Stalin

    Women gained more roles, people became better educated, and drastic changes occurred. However, this came at a great price as citizens had their personal freedoms limited.

    Stalin’s economic plans created high demand for skilled workers, making education key for a better life.

    • Women Gain Rights
      • The Bolshevik revolution in 1917 made men and women equal. New laws were created and women helped the economy prosper. Women joined to workforce as a result of the Five Year plan. Children were taken care of by the state for working mothers. Some women performed the same jobs as men. However, men still had the best jobs.
      • Given the oppurtunity, women began to study science, especially medicine. By 1950, 75 percent of doctors were women.
      • They paid a heavy price as they had jobs, were responsible for housework, and child care. Soviet women were expected to provide the state with loyal citizens.
  • Total Control Achieved
    • By the 1930s, Stalin had complete control and had changed Russia into a industrial and political power. He brought a period of total control and rule by terror.
    • Soon, China also fell under Karl Marx’s influence and Mao Zedong also paved way for a totalitarian Communist state.
  • Effects of Revolution
    • Loss of Confidence
      • State of Russia?
      • Czar?
    • People’s Desires
      • More rights
      • End hunger
      • Self-determination
        • Create their own nation
    • Anarchy
      • Radical influences
    • Return of Lenin
    • Multiple Governments
      • Parliamentary Government (Kerensky – temporary government)
      • Military Government (Kornilov)
      • Soviet Government
  • Kornilov Affair
    • Military
      • General Kornilov
    • Supported by nobility
    • Fails
      • Troops don’t follow Kornilov
      • They switch sides and become Soviets
  • Soviet Government (Petrograd Soviet)
    • More radical
    • Marxist socialism
    • Mensheviks vs Bolsheviks
      • Moderate vs radical
    • Return of Lenin
      • Supported by Germany
        • Germans want to create more trouble
  • Red October – 1917
    • Bolshevik Red Guards
      • Led by Leon Trotsky, Politics by Lenin
      • “Peace, Land, Bread”
    • Treaty of Brest-Litosk (March 1918)
      • Treaty with Germany, exits WWI
      • Treaty humiliates Russia
        • People are unhappy
    • Civil War
      • Red vs White
      • Damage, death
    • Bolsheviks Take Over
      • Give land to peasants, etc.
  • Lenin’s Order
    • New Economic Policy (1981)
      • Modernize, industrialize
        • Foreign support
      • Mini-Capitalism
        • Small industries are private
    • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1992, USSR)
      • Maintains unity
      • Prevent nationalism
        • Each republic is self-government
        • Bolsheviks oversee
    • Dictatorship of the Proletariat
      • Everyone is “equal”
        • Not really true
      • Actually dictatorship of the communist party
    • Checka (Red Army)
      • Also called KGB
        • Secret police
      • Maintain state security
        • “remove” revolutionaries
        • Execute enemy of people
        • Reign of terror
          • Kill opposing upper class
    • Followed by “man of steel”, Stalin
  • Introduction
    • Nationalism
      • Monarchs
        • Maintaining power vs pleasing the people
    • Industrialization
      • Russia lags behind
    • Conservatism, Balance of Power
  • Domestic Conflict
    • Feudal Systems
      • Working Class vs Nobility
    • Czar Nicholas I
      • Used nobles support
      • Complete, absolute monarchy
      • Against industrialization
  • Crimean War
    • Russia tries to get warm-water ports
      • Loses war
      • Russia looks weak
    • Loses because of lack of transportation
      • Army can’t get supplies
    • Shows weakness of Concert of Europe
  • Alexander II’s Reforms
    • Modernization
      • Industrialization -> Win Wars
    • Emancipation of Serfs (1861)
      • Nobility gives land to peasants
      • Peasants pay “redemption payments” to nobles
        • Try to gain support of peasants
        • Try to keep nobility happy
    • Judicial system, military
    • Reform from above
      • Try to avoid changing government
  • Alexander III’s Conservatism
    • Reforms = Weak
      • More censorship
      • Secret police
      • Uniform culture
        • Ban all others
    • Continues industrialization
  • Nicholas II
    • Industrial Lag
      • Higher taxes to speed up industrialization
      • Foreign investors
        • Borrows money
    • Continues Industrialization
      • Boosts steal production
      • Construction of Trans-Siberian Railway
        • Coast to Coast connection
    • Weak, insecure, isolated ruler
      • Relies on the wife’s advice
    • WWI
      • Joins war, goes to warfront
      • Loses
      • Withdraws from war
        • Domestic turmoil
        • People unhappy
      • Soldiers mutiny
    • Wife takes over locally (Alexandria)
      • Rasputin takes over
        • Evil, fraud
        • Assassinated by nobles
  • Nationalism
    • Rapid industrialization
      • Urbanization
      • Reform
        • Unions outlawed
        • Why should we listen to the czar?
    • Marxism
      • Educated adopts these beliefs
      • During and after WWI
      • Revolution from below
      • Mensheviks vs Bolsheviks

Intro:

The Russian Revolution officially started in 1917 but its ideas had been around for nearly a century. The rule of the 19th-century czars caused social unrest, forcing Army officers to revolt in 1825. Secret revolutionary groups plotted overthrows, acting in 1881 when they assassinated the reform-minded czar, Alexander II. Russia underwent a revolution.

  • Czars Resist Change

    In 1881, Alexander III rose to power. Once he gained power, he halted all reforms, reinstating the autocracy, a form of government where he had total power. Anyone who opposed him, did not speak Russian, or did not believe in the Russian Orthodox Church was considered dangerous.

    • Czars Continue Autocratic Rule
      • Alexander III used harsh measures to wipe out revolutionaries. He used censorship and secret police to limit free speech and watch schools and universities. The teachers had to write reports on each student and any political prisoners were sent to Siberia, in eastern Russia.
      • Alexander wanted a uniform Russian culture by oppressing all other groups. Russian became the official language and all other minority languages were not allowed to be taught in school. Jews were especially targeted and waves of pogroms, organized violence, broke out. The police and soldiers would stand by and watch Russian citizens destroy Jewish property.
      • When Nicholas II became czar in 1894, he continued these traditions. Unfortunately, he was blinded to the changing conditions of the time.
  • Russia Industrializes

    The industrialization changed the Russian economy. The number of factories in Russia doubled from 1860 to 1900 – however, they were still behind the western European nations. In 1890, one of Nicholas’s ministers launched a program to accelerate the industrialization. The government used foreign investors and higher taxes to boost the growth of industry. By 1900, Russia became the world’s fourth largest producer of steel.

    With British and French investors helping, they began to create the world’s longest rail line – the Trans-Siberian Railway. This railway started in 1891 and was completed in 1916, linking European Russia in the west to the Russian ports in the east.

    • The Revolutionary Movement Grows
      • Rapid industrialization brought many problems such as bad working conditions, low wages, and child labor. The government outlawed unions so unhappy workers organized strikes.
      • As a result, several revolutionary movements began. The Marxists followed the views of Karl Marx, believing that the industrial workers would overthrow the czar to form a dictatorship of the proletariat. Workers would rule the country.
      • However, the Marxists split in 1903 creating the moderate Mensheviks and the radical Bolsheviks. The Mensheviks wanted a broad support base while the Bolsheviks wanted a small number of committed revolutionaries willing to sacrifice everything.
      • Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) led the Bolsheviks. He was ruthless and a good organizer. In the 1900s, Lenin fled to western Europe to avoid arrest by the czar. He still maintained contact and waited for a good time to return.
  • Crises at Home and Abroad

    The revolutionaries did not have a long wait, and Russia’s government began to collapse between 1904 and 1917. At this time, a series of crises showed the czar’s failures and weaknesses, leading to revolution.

    • The Russo-Japanese War
      • In the late 1800s, Russia and Japan were fighting for control of Korea and Manchuria. They managed to reach an agreement. However, Russia broke them and Japan retaliated, attacking Russians at Port Arthur, Manchuria in 1904. Repeated losses sparked unrest and led to revolt.
    • Bloody Sunday: The Revolution of 1905
      • Bloody Sunday was an event that occurred on January 22, 1905. Around 200,000 workers approached the czar’s palace in St. Petersburg carrying a petition. However, Nicholas II’s generals ordered the military to fire on the crowd, killing hundreds and injuring thousands.
      • This bloody Sunday started a wave of violence. In October, 1905, Nicholas agreed to give people more freedom and created the Duma – Russia’s first parliament. This Duma met in May 1906 and was moderate, trying to make Russia a constitutional monarchy like Britain. However, czar dissolved the Duma after 10 weeks as he did not want to share his power.
    • World War I: The Final Blow
      • Nicholas II made the decision to join World War II in 1914. Russia was woefully unprepared and Germans crushed the Russians. More than 4 million Russian soldiers were killed in a year. This showed the weakness of the czar and military.
      • In 1915, Nicholas moved to the war front to rally his troops. His wife Czarina Alexandra ran the government when he was away. However, she ignored advisers and listened to a “holy man” named Rasputin.
      • Alexandra’s son, Alexis had a life-threatening disease and Rasputin pretended to make him better. Alexandra showed her gratitude by allowing Rasputin to make many decisions. In 1916, some nobles murdered Rasputin for being anti-reform.
      • On the war front, Russian soldiers deserted. At home, food and fuel supplies became rare and prices soared. People from all classes wanted change and an end to war. Both Nicholas and Alexandra failed to solve these issues.
  • The March Revolution

    In 1917, women textile workers in Petrograd led a strike. Riots started all over because of the lack of bread and fuel. Nearly 200,000 workers went on the streets protesting. Soldiers originally followed orders and shot the rioters. However, they soon joined the rioters.

    • The Czar Steps Down
      • The protest grew into an uprising, the March Revolution. This revolution forced Czar Nicholas off the throne and led to his and his family’s execution. The three-century czarist rule collapsed, but the new government that came to power was still weak.
      • The Duma leaders created a temporary government, led by Alexander Kerensky. He decided to continue fighting in WWI, causing him to lose support. Conditions worsened as peasants demanded land, workers grew more radical, and other revolutionaries competed for power. The socialist revolutionaries formed soviets, councils that were more influence than the government in many cities.
    • Lenin Returns to Russia
      • The Germans believed that Lenin would make Russia’s war effort weak. They returned Lenin and his Bolsheviks to Russia in a sealed boxcar, reaching Petrograd in 1917.
  • The Bolshevik Revolution

    Lenin and the Bolsheviks gained control of the soviets in many major cities. By the fall of 1917, many people wanted to give power to the soviets. Lenin’s slogan gained support and he decided to take action.

    • The Provisional Government Topples
      • In November 1917, armed workers stormed the Petrograd Palace. These “Bolshevik Red Guards” took over the offices and arrested the provisional government. Kerensky and his colleagues dissapeared.
    • Bolsheviks in Power
      • Lenin ordered that the farmland be split and given to the peasants. The factories were given to the workers. The Bolshevik government also created a treaty with Germany.
      • In March 1918, Russia and Germany signed the treaty and Russia gave much of its land to Germany. This humiliation caused anger among Russians.
    • Civil War Rages in Russia
      • The Bolsheviks also had to crush their enemies at home. Their opponents created the White Army, a mixture of different groups. These groups barely got along, and even split into 3 White Armies at one time.
      • The Bolshevik Red Army’s leader was Trotsky. He expertly commanded his troops. Many Western nations sent aid to Russia to help the White Army. However, they were unsuccessful.
      • This civil war was extremely deadly. Around 14 million Russians died in the fighting and famine. This left Russia in chaos. However, the Red Army eventually won, showing that the Bolsheviks could keep their power.
    • Comparing World Revolutions
      • The Russian Revolution was similar to the French Revolution because it tried to destroy existing social political structures. The Revolutionaries used violence and terror. This is different from the American Revolution which built a constitutional government on top of existing structures.
  • Lenin Restores Order

    War and revolution destroyed the Russian economy. Trade halted, production dropped, skilled workers fled. Lenin tried to revive the economy and restructure the government.

    • New Economic Policy
      • Lenin temporarily aborted his plans for a state-controlled economy. He decided on a small-scale capitalist system called the New Economic Policy. These reforms allowed peasants to sell surplus crops instead of giving them to the government. The government still kept control of major industries. However, small businesses could have private ownership. The government also promoted foreign investment and relations.
      • Due to these new policies, the country recovered. By 1928, Russia was back to its pre-war production.
    • Political Reforms
      • Bolshevik leaders saw nationalism as a threat. Lenin split Russia into self-governing republics under a central government to stop nationalism. By 1922, the country became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. USSR
      • The Bolsheviks renamed themselves to the Communist Party. This name came from Karl Marx, who described a classless society as a communist system. In 1924, the Communists created a constitution based on socialism and democracy. However, the Communist Party held all the actual power.
  • Stalin Becomes Dictator
    • Lenin had a stroke in 1922. He survived but the competition grew. Trotsky and Stalin were two notable men. Stalin was cold, hard, impersonal. (Stalin = man of steel in Russian)
    • Stalin started his ruthless rise to power. Lenin knew Stalin was dangerous, and was proved correct when Stalin seized complete control in 1928. Trotsky was forced into exile in 1929 and Stalin gained absolute power to become a dictator.