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From Tsardom to Communism: Russia 1914-1924

Why did the rule of the Tsar collapse in February/March 1917?

In 1900 Russia was ruled by Tsar Nicholas II, who had absolute power. He ruled
without a parliament, and was not elected ­ he believed that he had the divine right to…

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a. Bolsheviks ­ wanted a small, secretive unit to carry out a planned takeover.
E.g. Lenin
b. Mensheviks ­ wanted as big a party as possible to rise up spontaneously. E.g.
3) Liberals/Cadets- support of educated middle class, wanted freedom of speech and
free elections.

Causes of the February/March…

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a. The people distrusted her because of her German background, and
suspected her of being a spy. Her close relationship with Rasputin (see
below) contributed further to the collapse of her reputation. He seemed to
be in charge of her government, and there were rumours that they were

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c. They looked up to him as the `Little Father', but since he failed to solve
their problems, the workers and peasants started to see that he was just as
human as everybody else.

The February/March Revolution (1917)
7th March Workers from Putilov engineering works went on strike demanding

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The PG decided to wait until the November elections. They were afraid that
soldiers would desert to rake part in a land grab. However, peasants started to
take the land and ignored the government.

April Theses (1917)
The Bolshevik leaders had been in exile during the February/March revolution, with

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1) The Bolsheviks had strong leaders: Lenin and Trotsky. Lenin had the determination
and the public speaking skills; Trotsky had the brainpower and the tactical skills.
2) The Bolsheviks had a clear plan and were well organised. (e.g. the way they took out
3) The war continued to deteriorate…

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Lenin was forced to hold elections in November 1917. The railway workers threatened
to shut down the railways if he didn't go ahead with Russia's first free election. The
Constituent Assembly was to work out how Russia would be governed in the future.
The Socialist Revolutionaries won with 370 seats.…

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4) They lacked good leaders. Often the commanders were cruel, treated their men
with disrespect, drank and took drugs.
5) The white generals did not trust each other and would not coordinate their attacks.
This allowed the Reds to pick them off one by one.
6) The Whites' armies had…

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Terror was again used to stop any opposition to the regime. The Cheka became increasingly
brutal, and anyone opposing the government was arrested and shot, or taken to labour

Results of War Communism
1) Widespread famine.
2) The rich lost their homes and belongings.
3) Money became worthless.

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4) Levels of unemployment stayed a serious problem, particularly among young
people, and there was a high crime rate as a result.
5) By the end of the 1920s, food had become a problem again. People wanted to see
more socialist policies.
6) Successful peasants could employ other peasants, undermining…




Great resource mate. Thanks a lot!

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