Russia Revision notes (Stalin)

Made these for my exam last year, which secured me an A. I hope they help.

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Stalin- Background
Background Good little throw ins for essays
WW1 and in the tsars Cossacks (30,000 soldiers), could have up to 12,000 lashings as a
punishment! Force has always been a part of Russian History
More people died on the set of `October' than actually did in the storming of the winter
palace in the October revolution 1917. Lenin wasn't a part of it, said it was too unreliable
and unorganized when revolutionizing from the bottom up!
Same size as the face of the moon, 1/6 of worlds land surface area!!!! 85% of population
peasants, illiterate! 90% of worlds gold, 30% of gov's income = vodka tax!
Lenin's motto `peace, bread and land' (said when provisional gov chose to carry on
contributing to the war effort)
Communism ­ Equal pay, equal land, equal everything. Everyone one works for the `greater
good' (ideologically anyway!!)
Marxism vs Communism ­ socialism wouldn't realistically spontaneously develop, force
from the top down and `teach' everybody that communism is the best way to live. It was the
Bolsheviks force, rather than the Mensheviks political tactics, that used fear to enforce
communism on the people; not the collective idea that Karl Marx had.
Feudal---Bourgeois (`middle class') Revolution --- Capitalist---Socialist
Revolution---Socialism---Kills middle class---Communism (the people with no
Bourgeoisie= economic climbers, took advantage of those living in poverty in order to pull
themselves out of it (factory owners exploiting employees by employing women and
children as cheaper labour). Sparked class conflict and movement from feudal to capitalism
as jel of nobility who inherited power and didn't earn it like they did!
Class conflict= debate between classes over the segregation of individuals due to their
income, land and power. Hence, the nobility didn't want to work hard as they weren't used
to it so stood up to the Bourgeoisie movement.
Proletariat= Peasants (or surfs) who became urban workers but were the ones exploited by
the Bourgeoisie (poor working conditions, low wages), theory that they would become
`class conscious' as they'd demand higher wages and equality which would lead to a demand
for communism. This theory of working communism across the class.

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Key Phrases
1.a) Source Q's
* There are certainly some similarities between sources A and B in relation to...
* ... There are also differences between the views expressed in the sources.
* Both views have some merit, and there was certainly...
* With the latte view perhaps focusing on...
* , amongst other things, (good little extra to make them go `ahhh that kid knows more')
* Similarly, Source X notes...
* Source X also notes...…read more

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NEP (New Economic Policy) 1921-1928
1914-17: WW1 total war ­ starvation, depression, no
- February Revolution
- October Revolution: CIVIL WAR. Red's (communists) vs
Whites (anti-communists supported by foreign powers)...…read more

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State control of Heavy industry
- Coal, steel, oil, banking, transport state controlled
How successful was Russia under the NEP?
Aims: Lenin's `half way house' to get Russia back on its feet, improve economy, compromise
ideology to help communism in the long term, win hearts and minds of people?
Ideologically: NOT consistent with com ideology, simply short-term emergency precaution
Marxism vs Capitalism?
How short term though? Left: Radicals (Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev) say scrap
immediately but Right: Moderates (Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky) gradualist
approach (keep…read more

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NEP exaggerated: excuse for Stalin's poor treatment of peasantry (hiding grain)
Peasants wrote loads of complaints
Said there was still class division: communists and peasants
Authorities destroyed peasant unions (fought for peasants)
Did it win the hearts and minds? No.…read more

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Economically and industrially the NEP did not necessarily succeed in helping Russia, as the
end product, in 1928, was a Russia agriculturally similar to that of 1913. Alternatively, it
could be argued that the NEP benefitted the Russian economy through it's scrapping of the
`three course rotation' and bringing on of common fields, as it meant that it was a more
efficient way of getting grain, which meant more grain for the urban workers and
peasantry.…read more

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The Leadersheep Battle
Structure of the Party
Politburo*: Inner circle, fortress of solitude, alpha base, ground zero:
the hub. 7-9 members, daily meetings (top/ nerve center of the
party) set up in 1919.
The LEFT: Radicals (Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev)
The RIGHT: Moderates (Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky)
The MIDDLE: Stalin (
Central committee: 30-40 members, votes on issues between congresses (subordinate to
Congress: Forum for debate, consisted of representatives of
cities, party organization's...…read more

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­ Lenin Dies - dictator, absolute leader of communist Russia, leader of NEP
(compromise) and endorser of show trials. Lacked clear successor
Created a power vacuum, leadership battle time!
Stalin Convinces Trotsky not to attend Funeral (damage political rep) + Stalin used
it to put himself across as Lenin's disciple
The Central committee (Zin and Kam) didn't make Lenin's Testament public 1924
when Krupskaya (wifey) gave it in:
1. Not flattering of them (Lenin critisised how they'd opposed his policies in 1917)
2.…read more

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Contender Strengths Weaknesses
Mikail Tomsky Genuine Supporter + Chairmen of Opposed Lenin (wanted to limit trade
Central council of Trade unions (big unions) + lacked character (dull,
group) boring, not politically cunning)
Alexei Rykov Was a peasant (model leader), Outspoken + frank (not politicians
Chairman of Supreme Economic best qualities), Notorious drinker
Council, Chairman on Somarkom (vodka Rykova)
(`official' sov gov)
Greg Zinoviev Old Bolshevik (1903), Confidant of Opposed Oct Revolution, Opposed
Lenin (accompanied him on train Lenin (wanted a socialist coalition),
journey to Petrograd…read more

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General Secretary Party (1922): control what was discussed and who got
told certain information! Position in Orgburo and Secretariat
Decides who attends Congress: ensures loyalty + supporters (favours...
people wanted to get into congress + Stalin's the man to do it). Builds Powerbase.…read more


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