Russia 1881-1953

Notes with causes and consequences of key events from 1881-1924 and 1924-53

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  • Created on: 17-01-12 13:16
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Economic and social changes 1890-1911
Witte 1892-1903
sponsored and directed by government
emphasis on capital goods
financed from loans abroad
extra taxes on peasants
trans-siberian railway
production dramatically rose
railway meant more influence in east and improved communication
large cities grew
able to exploit vast natural resources
products helped military
poor living and working conditions
social unrest and support radical alternatives to Tsarism
peasants and workers disillusioned with what they would gain
still behind all other Great Powers at the time
modernise agriculture, higher yields and more prosperous class of peasants ­ loyal to Tsar
1906 freed peasants from the commune
Peasant land bank to give loans to peasants
1907 redemption payments abolished
1910 dissolved all communes which had not redistributed land since emancipation in 1861
Encouraged peasants to move to undeveloped agricultural areas with cheap land
Laid foundations to independent Russia peasantry
50% of peasants now had land in 1915
Agricultural production rose to 61 million tonnes in 1913
Disrupted by ww1
No improvement to living/working conditions
Unrest led to strikes ­Lena Goldfield massacre 1912 (strikers killed by police)
Political reform 1905
Duma ­ started off with many reformers, Tsar said only wealthy could vote, little demand to reform
Fundamental laws ­ allowed Tsar to govern by decree and ignore parliament. Right to choose own
Impact of Dumas

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Land captains introduced 1892, replacing JPs
Introduced plan to have universal primary education within 10 years
Health and accident programmes introduced for industrial workers
Improvements in navy and army
Offered a forum for political debate and reported in press
Never truly a parliamentary institution
Tsar dissolved whenever he didn't like the way it was going
Unable to make many reforms
WW1 1914
Short lived victories to begin
Battle of Tannenburg ­ massive fail
Tsar took control himself
Brusilov Offensive had to retreat
Reasons for…read more

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Food shortages and living/working conditions
Petrograd soviet ­ organised and Order Number 1
Provisional government 1917
Bad policies ­ freedom of press, religion, political prisoners, abolish Okrana
The war
Sharing authority with Petrograd soviet
Crisis in country side
October Revolution 1917
Return of Lenin and Bolsheviks (peace, bread and land)
Timing ­ act on behalf of the soviet
Kornilov affair
Civil war 1917-23
Nationalities wished to form own states
Czech legion
People wanting to return to Tsars or PG
Other…read more

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Communists won civil war
Death and famine
Stopped producing grain when they knew it would be taken from them
Peasant uprisings
NEP 1921
Economic situation ­ results of war communism
Growing opposition ­ Mensheviks had more support
Kronstadt Rebellion ­ a group who had been loyal to Lenin but became disillusioned with his rule.
Demands of end to special position of communist party, relaxation of economic controls and restore
freedom of speech.…read more

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Triumvirate - with Zinoviev and Kamenev against Trotsky. Lenin's testament, funeral, criticised his
book as disrespecting Lenin and Trotskyism. Defeated at 13th party congress in 1924. Condemned
of forming a faction and banned.
Duumvirate ­ with Bukharin against Zinoviev and Kamenev. Agreed on continuation of NEP. Able to
appoint those in favour of him to vote in congress. Stripped of their positions.
Stalin ­ against Bukharin. Break from NEP. Alliance with Tomsky. New when to retreat, manipulated
the party.…read more

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Ideological ­ believed socialism was only achievable if there was an advanced industry and the
revolution should serve the working class. Wanted red specialists who were educated by gvt and
came from ranks of the working class
Political ­ no longer content to be seen as Lenin's pupil and wanted to show it was now Stalin's
Russia.…read more

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Divorce and family break-up ­ limited availability of divorce, price of divorce and men meant to pay
wages towards child.
Raising good citizens-komosoml (soviet youth organisations). Disciplined
Formal education ­ history of great Russians ­ nationalistic. Core subjects reintroduced homework
and exams. Discipline to prepare for workplace of 5years plans. Fees as money spent on 5year
plans but offered scholarships etc.
Terror 1936-38
Congress of victors ­ Kirov received more votes that Stalin showing lack of popularity.…read more

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Ethnic groups
Stalin enforced `Russification' of all the Soviet Union.
Ordinary people
Were denounced/ arrested/ sent to the Gulag (the system of labour camps). 20 million Russians
were sent to the camps, where perhaps half of them died. People lived in fear. `Apparatchiks'
(party members loyal to Stalin) got all the new flats, jobs, holidays etc.
4.…read more

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Preparation ­ discipline in army tightened and purged to ensure loyalty (lost skill and experience).
Spied but Stalin did not trust them. Rearmament in the third 5-year plan. More powerful economy
than Germany.
Nazi soviet pact ­ increase trade, respect each other territories settle disagreements through
negotiation. Surprise as they hated each other. No alternatives, buying time, admired Hitler and
keen to recapture European territory which once belonged to the Tsar.…read more


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