GCSE History - Russia Notes

Notes for the Russia topic in GCSE History

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  • Created on: 21-06-12 15:02
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First World War
Why did Russia go to war?
Wants to be seen as a great power
o Needs trade + navy routes into Mediterranean to be powerful
o Germans could block the Turkish Straits (their only way into the
War Plans + Agreements
o 1894 ­ Franco-Russian Alliance
If France goes to war, then Russia must also go to war
o 1912 ­ French supported the modernisation of Russia's transport system
Needed to transport troops + munitions to the war front
For communication
Effects in Russia:
Food shortages = Inflation by 300%
o less farm workers since they were conscripted for war effort
o Food didn't reach cities since it was diverted for war
Coal + Industrial material were short
o Factories closed
o Unemployed workers
o Lack of fuel = cold + hungry
Prices were rising but wages remained the same (Inflation)
o Starvation
Inadequate railway
o Railways had grown from 13,000 miles to 44,000 due to French aid
o But still too much stress esp. with war
o Not enough locomotives to supply food
Available trains diverted for war
Munitions factories located in cities
o Population doubled in St Petersburg and Moscow since 1880 to 1914
o Overcrowding ­ Shortages ­ Starvation
Gang Mentality
Effects on Soldiers:
Losses mounted ­ Over one million killed by end of 1914
Inadequate medical supplies
o Thousands of casualties left unattended
o 18,000 left on St Petersburg station for one week
Inadequate military supplies

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Not enough steelworks or explosives factories
o 6,000,000 men with only 4,500,000 rifles
o Soldiers had to pick up weapons from dead comrades
o Soldiers did not have boots or winter coats
o Since generals believed in the bayonet, there was a lack of machine guns
No strategy
o Russian generals underestimated Germans
o Generals moved troops too quickly into East Prussia
o Russians heavily defeated by Germans at Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes
o 1915 - Tsar Nicholas became Commander-in-Chief ­ he had no military…read more

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February Revolution
Tsar became Commander-in-Chief
Tsar was absent from Petrograd and misinformed by wife
(see above)
Key Features
22nd Feb ­ 40,000 workers from Putilov engineering works went on strike for higher
23rd Feb ­ International Women's Day ­ parades and demonstrations strikes
25th Feb ­ Half the workers were on strike
Rodzianko and Tsarina both reported different information to Tsar
Tsarina told him there were only minor disturbances
Rodzianko said there was a serious crisis and a new govt.…read more

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Provisional Government
Key Features:
Set up in March 1917
Promised to bring about reforms in Russia
Intended to be a temporary govt.
Promised elections for a new Constituent Assembly (a permanent parliament) in
November 1917
First Prime Minister was Prince Lvov
Composed of middle-class politicians
Initially supported by the Bolsheviks
It was only a temporary govt.…read more

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Germans may enforce a heavy price if they surrendered
o Govt. also wanted to keep Allies on their side
o But, people wanted it to end since it compounded all their problems
o Plus there was a major defeat in June 1917
60,000 died
o Peasants wanted to own land
o Provisional Govt. felt this was such an important decision so it had to be left
for the new Constituent Assembly
o Govt.…read more

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October Revolution
Key Features/Events
10th Oct 1917
o Lenin returns from exile in Finland
o Persuaded Bolsheviks to carry out revolution
21 Oct 1917
o Army units in Petrograd (340,000 soldiers) promise loyalty to Trotsky and the
MRC (Military Revolutionary Committee)
23 Oct 1917
o Soldiers in main fort of city agreed to obey the MRC
o Trotsky uses position in the MRC to move army soldiers loyal to the Prov.
Govt.…read more

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Army hates Prov. Govt. and Kerensky
Prov. Govt. continued the war
Army had many peasants who opposed the war
o Kornilov Revolt
Kornilov (Army Commander) mutinies
Kerensky frees + arms the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks were the saviours because they had agreed to help
Kerensky even though he was the one to arrest them
Prov. Govt.…read more

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Treaty of Brest-Litovsk…read more

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Civil War 1918-1919
Causes of the Civil War
Uprisings broke out against the Bolsheviks in 1918.
The Czech Legion (South East)
o 45,000 Czech soldiers (prisoners-of-war) seized control of the Trans-Siberian
railway in 1918 after Bolsheviks tried to disarm them on 14 May 1918
o Joined the Whites + Began to attack the Reds
o Set up Komuch (Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly)
Organised enemies of Bosheviks into a People's Army
People's Army advanced to Moscow gained 650mill.…read more

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No strategy
The armies were small + spread thinly not as effective as the
coordinated Reds in the centre
Insufficient number of troops (only 250,000)
o Conscripted peasants who didn't want Tsar regime
Not loyal Joined the Red Army
Death of Tsar ­ weakened support esp.…read more


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