Russia In Revolution: Complete Set Of Notes

A complete set of notes for the Russia In Revolution: AS History Edexcel topic.

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
RUSSIA BEFORE 1881
KEY FIGURES AND CONCEPTS: RUSSIA BEFORE 1881
THE TSAR: AN AUTOCRATIC RULER WITH ABSOLUTE POWER
ALEXANDER II: THE TSAR FROM 1855-1861: `THE TSAR LIBERATOR'
SERFDOM: PEOPLE TIED TO THE LAND OF RUSSIA.
MIRS: PLACES WERE SERFS WERE FORCED TO LIVE. LAND WAS HELD COLLECTIVELY AND
THEY WERE PRESIDED OVER BY THE ELDERS.
THE ZEMSTVA: THE FIRST FORM OF ELECTIVE GOVERNMENT IN RUSSIAN HISTORY. MADE
LOCAL GOVERNING DECISIONS.
What was Russia like in 1881?
Geography & Economy
Large ­ it spanned 1/6th of the world's land.
Agriculture was the main part of the economy.
Grain was Russia's most valuable export.
It had huge amounts of natural commodity such as iron ore and coal, but it had low
industrial development.
Government & Society
The Tsar had absolute political power and was very rich.
Beneath the Tsar were the Court, who were the leading landowners and members
of the government.
They had huge social and political power.
Below them were a small group of businessmen and traders, supported by a small
class of industrial workers.
The majority of the population were serfs: servants tied to the land owned by the
nobles who were obligated to their owners.
Landowners had power over the serfs, and could administer justice. Serfs could not
leave the land without permission from the landowners.
There were a variety of ethnic minorities and religions in Russia.
How did Alexander II bring change?
The Emancipation of the Serfs: Eighty per cent of the
population were serfs. This was seen as one of the major
things stopping Russia from modernizing. It led to
subsistence agriculture: which meant that serfs produced
only enough food to feed themselves, and there was little
available to export.
By 1855, Russia was the only major power that still used
serfdom. In 1861, Alexander II issued a decree which
abolished serfdom. However, the serfs were not
completely free:
They had been tied to the land, and the owners of that land received compensation
from the state.

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
Therefore, serfs had to contribute taxes for this purpose, for forty-nine years.
Serfs were forced to live in mirs ­ places where land was held collectively.
Land would be redistributed within the mirs, according to need, which was an
obstacle to agricultural improvement.
If a peasant wanted to leave the mir, they must ask the elder's permission.
This obstructed the modernization of Russian agriculture and the movement of people into
towns. A massive rise in population also worsened this.…read more

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
Alexander III launched a campaign of repression that had widespread support from the
upper levels of Russian society. However, many groups wanted to destroy the Tsar's rule,
or have political power handed to the peasants.
Alexander III removed his father's liberal ministers and replaced them.
With their help, he released a Manifesto, declaring that political power resided in
the Tsar.
Restricted freedom: special courts set up to try government opponents (e.g.…read more

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
Alexander III was succeeded by his son, Nicholas II, who was noted for indecision and
weakness. He had a very narrow view of Russia. This raised expectations that the
repression of his father's reign might be relaxed.
The State of Russia in the 19th Century:
Russia had a very small business class, unlike other industrialized economies.
The majority of Russian peasants did not were not free to move, and could not go to
towns or cities to further industrialization.…read more

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
The Liberals Socialist Bolsheviks Mensheviks
Revolutionarie
s
Who they were Major political A loose One half of a One half of a
opposition organization of Marxist group. Marxist group.
around the time many groups Led by Lenin. More broadly
of the 1905 where peasants Made up of a based than the
revolution. were small amount of Bolsheviks and
Included the represented. highly more
Kadets, disciplined democratic.
Octobrists and professional
the Progressive revolutionaries
Bloc. under
centralized
leadership.…read more

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
The Bolsheviks and The Mensheviks were originally one group (the social democrats)
that later split.
THE 1905 REVOLUTION
THE 1905 REVOLUTION: KEY FIGURES AND CONCEPTS
BLOODY SUNDAY: AN ORIGINALLY PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION WHERE TSARIST TROOPS SHOT ON THE PROTESTORS.
THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR: A WAR BETWEEN RUSSIA AND JAPAN THAT RUSSIA LOST.
THE ST PETERSBERG SOVIET: A WORKER'S SOVIET THAT WAS THE PRODUCT OF A GENERAL STRIKE.
LEON TROTSKY: A SOCIAL DEMOCRAT WHO WAS A LEADING MEMBER OF THE ST PETERSBERG SOVIET.…read more

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
The St Petersberg Soviet: A soviet that was born out of the general strike that
worked to organize further strikes and execute co-ordinated challenges of the
government. One of its leading members was Leon Trotsky, a social democrat.
Armed Uprising: Many of the strikes turned violent e.g. the 5th December Moscow
General Strike became an armed uprising.
In response, the government released the October Manifesto, which promised reforms
such as freedom of speech, a national elected parliament, and freedom of civil rights.…read more

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
The Dumas
The first Duma was dissolved by the Tsar after only 72 days, due to its hostility and
pressure for reform aimed at the Tsar.
A group of Duma deputies went to Vyborg, in Finland, and issued the Vyborg
Manifesto, asking the Russian people to resist the Tsar's action through
non-payment of taxes. However, this backfired and they were banned from standing
for the next Duma.…read more

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
They made a mess of the politics of Russia, and left the Tsar himself discredited.
THE FEBRUARY REVOLUTION
What caused the Petrograd Demonstrations?
140, 000 workers went on strike (14TH February) and demonstrated in the streets
to commemorate the anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
Demonstrations on the 23rd February to commemorate International Women's Day
contained tens of thousands.
This coincided with a major strike at the Putilov engineering works.…read more

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RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
Problems facing the Provisional Government
Problem What action did the Provisional Success or failure?
Government take?
Government The Provisional Government did Failure: this undermined
There were two nothing to try to end the power the authority of the
governments ­ The of the Soviets. Provisional Government.
Provisional Government
and the Soviet.
Social and economic Introduced reforms: freedom of Success: this was
conditions press, abolition of the Okrana: welcomed by Western
The Provisional the secret police, release of all allies.…read more

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