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Political parties in Russia
l/o: to analyse the range of political
parties in Russia in the late 19th
century and early 20th century.…read more

Slide 2

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Some key terms
Reform = change (e.g. giving more people the vote)
Democracy = freedom of expression, representation through
the vote, etc
Conservative (or right-wing) = valuing tradition
Reactionary = completely against change
Liberal = favouring some change
Radical = valuing often extreme reform
Socialism = belief that all should be equal, wealth should be
shared, there should be no monarchy or class system
Nationalist = people who want their own country to be free
(e.g. Poland was controlled by Russia ­ Polish nationalists
wanted Poland to be free of Russian control)…read more

Slide 3

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Left and right wing: what do they
mean? (Click to show)
Left Right
I believe in tradition and
I believe in complete equality
conserving the past
between people: no monarchy,
(being conservative)
no richer and poorer, etc.
I believe in democracy: there
might be a monarchy, but
people should have the vote
and freedom of expression…read more

Slide 4

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Political parties around 1905.
key features of the political landscape around
· Before 1905 , the Tsar had complete political authority in Russia (no
political parties )
· As a result, the many radical political parties and groupings that were
formed were illegal. They had one thing in common ­ they wanted to see
the end to Tsarist autocracy. (this was the ONLY thing in common)
· Wide range of radical parties- moderate liberals to extremists who
advocated the use of violence to overthrow the Tsar.
· Radical parties also included nationalists (such as poles) who wanted to be
separate to Russia.…read more

Slide 5

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The Populists (p. 23)
Attitude towards
Belief in how Russia After the emancipation of the serfs, they looked at the peasants as the political basis of
should be run future society. Disliked the autocratic rule of Tsars and wanted to replace it with a
system of government based on independent peasant communes, a form of very local
democracy. With this new peasant society, it was believed that the strong central
government would fade away. (people weren't interested and many populists were
arrested and imprisoned.
Leaders Influenced greatly by a Russian exile , Alexander Herzen. He disliked the development
of Western society that he witnessed in Paris and London. His ideas were spread within
Russia through a periodical (a magazine or journal published at regular intervals,
especially weekly, monthly, or quarterly) called the Bell which was printed abroad and
smuggled into Russia . . Leading thinkers of this party were the educated middle class.
Peter Lavrov and Nikolai Chaikovsky were university students who wanted their fellow
undergraduates to go out into the Russian countryside to win support for their ideas
amongst the peasantry, which failed.
Connection with Having failed to get mass support from the peasantry they adopted more extremist
other parties tactics and formed the `people's will', which aimed to assassinate leading members of
the Tsarist state, and their most notable victim was the Tsar himself (Alexander II) in
1881. led to the founding of the social democratic party in 1898 and the social
revolutionary party in 1901.…read more

Slide 6

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The Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) (p.
Similarities with Populists Differences from Populists
Believed Russia's future laid with the In the leader's view the answer laid with
peasantry. the people and that involved both the
Leader was a member of the educated peasantry and the industrial workers.
middle class , victor chernov. promised to give all peasants would be
Contained a terrorist wing (much like the given their own land , without
people's will) compensating the previous owners.…read more

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