war and revolution

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  • War and Revolution
    • Crimean war (1853-56)
      • Russia vs Britain, France and Turkey
        • Humiliating defeat for Russia; surrendered an signed the treaty of Paris
          • Lost Bessarabia which exposed the stagnation of the economy
      • Highlighted weakness and corruptness of leadership and inefficiency of serf conscripts
        • Inadequacy of communication and poorly equipped army
        • Outdatedness of economic and social infrastructure
      • Led to emancipation of serfs and creation of the Zemtsva
      • Signalled a change from a restrictive rule under Nicholas to a more liberal one under Alex
    • Russo - Japanese war (1904-5)
      • Conflict over who would control territory in Manchuria - Russia wanted to expand
        • Suffered a humiliating defeat at sea and lost port Arthur due to a treaty of portsmouth
      • The Tsar and the government were blamed which led to a loss of faith in autocracy
        • Sparked the 1905 revolution
        • Highlighted lack of equipment, communication and transport
          • Further investment in transport infrastructure e.g trans-Siberian railway
      • Influenced Nicholas' October manifesto promising an elected Duma and civil rights
        • Appeased the public as it appeared revolutionary until the 'Fundamental laws'
    • First World War (1914-18)
      • Russia felt obligated to protect Serbia when Hungary declared war. Russia issued a mobilization order which left them vulnerable
        • Casualties of 8 mil - 1.7 mil dead. Nicholas' incompetence led to his abdication
      • Optimist view - event was necessary to eradicate  tsarism, military failures led to economic problems and social unrest
        • Total cost = 3 billion roubles
          • Led to inflation of prices by 400%
        • Gave revolutionaries a chance to overthrow gov
      • Pessimist view -  Tsar was struggling anyway with the demands of the country (not a turning point)
        • Rising population, food requisitioning, fall in fertilizers and transport problems all caused food shortages
        • 'Shells crisis' Industry couldn't provide enough ammunition for army
    • Civil War (1917-22)
      • The tensions from the Oct revolution led to the outbreak of the civil war
        • Reds vs Whites for control
          • Reds won but the extent of the war (lasted 5 years) shows it was a serious threat
      • Led to an introduction of War communism and the Red terror
        • This was then replaced by the NEP
      • Old allies of the Bolsheviks turned on them
        • The workers' opposition and Kronstadt sailors
      • Forced Lenin to adopt a conciliatory foreign policies with other nations
    • Second World war
      • Russia was neutral til 1941 when Germany implemented operation Barbarossa and invaded
        • 28 million were killed and the economy was devastated
      • Structure of gov remained stable - Stalin still maintained complete control
        • Still used repression - NKVD and cult of perosnality
      • Western powers allowed Stalin to exert a sphere of influence over eastern Europe
        • Other powers saw this as the start pf the soviet expansion of communism
    • Cold war (1947-91)
      • Two powers emerged from WW2 - Aemrica and the USSR whose simmering tensions resulted in war
        • Fought through proxy wars, propaganda, spying and subversion
        • Cuban missile crisis and U2 spy plane incident
      • Khrushchev enacted destalinisation to present a more favourable picture to the west
      • Prompted an arms race requiring high levels of investment in heavy industry
        • This prompted unrest as there was less investment in consumer products - Noverkassk worker protest

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