Chapter 1 Summary 2N Revolution and Dictatorship 1917-1953

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  • Created on: 19-08-20 15:15
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  • Chapter 1 Summary
    • Russian War effort
      • Decision to go to war was popular initially and was met with anti-German sentiment
        • Duma dissolved itself and voted for war credits
        • St. Petersburg changed to slavonic Petrograd
      • 1914 Tsar set up military zones suspending civilian authority
        • Liberal zemstva opposed establishing Union of Zemstva to provide healthcare
          • June 1915: Zemgor formed from zemstva and municipal dumas, shunned by Tsar
    • Tsar and political authority
      • Tsarina Alexandra
        • Strong willed but her advice to Nicholas was often misguided
          • Changed  many ministers between 1915-16 (13)
        • Introduced Rasputin to her husband and was easily influenced by him
          • Rumoured to have an affair with him
      • Tsar Nicholas II Emperor of Romanov dynasty
        • Was ill suited to role as he found it boring and was naturally shy, awkward, stubborn.
        • Seemed unaware of political discontent in Russia (1913 tercentenary)
          • Violent wave of strikes in 1913
          • Established State Dumas after 1905 Bloody Sunday, but restricted its powers
          • Had chance to better his position by transferring some responsibility to Progressive bloc, but refused (Jun 195)
    • Economic and Social state of Russia
      • To pay for war, government increased taxing and took out loans (foreign and home
        • Coupled with industry and grain exports, caused inflation of rouble
      • Military conscriptions left a shortage of men in the countryside, leading to a shortage of food in towns
        • Made worse by peasant hoarding and inadequate transport network
      • Poland and other parts of Western Russia overrun by Germans, removing industrial capacity
        • Also imposed naval blockades in Baltic and Black seas and blocked land routes to Europe
          • This brought trade to standstill. Rationing did not help, many hungry
      • Railway system used to transport men and goods to the front and there were sever fuel shortages
        • Food rotted by railways and most grain sent to the front
      • Unemployment high in non-military industry in Moscow and Petrograd
        • Lockouts and strikes common, 300% rise in living costs and death rate rising too
    • Discontent in Russia
      • Frustration at Tsar was very apparent
        • Ranged from grumbling, despair, despondency to strikes and riots directed to employers or landlords
        • Outbursts in Army as well, sometimes leading to desertion
          • Rank and file soliders faced hardship and casualties. Winter 1916-17 was -35 degrees celsius
      • Political discontent also strong
        • Founders of progressive bloc talked of staging a coup with army officials
          • Lvov asked Tsar's uncle Grand Duke Nicholas if he would take over the throne
        • Little threat from the left as leaders were in exile
          • Lenin encouraged proletariat to turn against the government
            • No threat however as he only had 10,000 followers in Switzerland


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