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Russia in 1917
Problems of Ruling Russia

The Russian Empire was huge (92 times the size of Britain). It covered 22.3 million
square kilometres and it was the size of it that made it hard to govern.

- Communications were difficult; roads unpaved and slow, no proper
railways. Under half…

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First World War - The army was badly equipped and poorly trained. The
conscription of trained factory workers and peasants made it harder to grow
food. Fertiliser production stopped to make way for war production so food
shortages were worse.

1917 February Revolution

Socialist Revolutionaries ­

Biggest group
Peasant Party…

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Provisional Government Problems

People wanted Russia taken out of the war, a more effective government,
improving workers conditions, solving shortages and redistributing property.
However, the Provisional Government has problems; it saw itself as temporary, it
had no real power and needed support from both Petrograd Soviets and the army

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October Revolution

21st October ­ most army units promise their loyalty to Trotsky and the MRC

24rd October ­ Kerensky shuts down Bolshevik newspaper offices and orders
arrest of the MRC but the MRC fight back and take over offices and get control of
main bridges and military headquarters.


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Reds ­ the Bolsheviks or Communists ­ led by Trotsky (ex-Menshevik) and Lenin.

Whites ­ all opponents of Bolsheviks ­ tsarists and nobles, middle-class
constitutional democrats, Mensheviks (the ones left) and Socialist

- Bolsheviks moved the capital to Moscow as it was more central, safer and
had better communications.…

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Resulted in a major famine; this was brought on peasants refusing to hand
over food and destroying it instead.
Many tried to evade the state control by trying to bring food into cities and
selling it.
Kronstadt Rebellion

The Kronstadt Rebellion in March 1921 was the final straw that convinced…

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The Leadership Contest
Lenin had a stroke in May 1922 and a second one in December. This left him unable to run the
country and so he wrote a testament about who should take over. He said it should be read out
after his death at the Congress of Soviets.…

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Purges ­ this was a way to destroy the enemy. Failures were blamed on sabotage by political
opponents rather then the incompetence of officials. Many were exiled to camps, exiled abroad
or executed. The years 1936-1938 were known as the `Great Terror' when millions were purged.
Many different people were…

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J Flett


Good notes for lower ability students

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