The Bolshevik Revolution: 1917-1924


•Some background and the revolution of 1905
•Outbreak of the February revolution
•Collapse of the Provisional Government (PG) and the subsequent takeover by Bolsheviks
•Initial survival of Bolsheviks plus Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
•War communism and the social revolution
•The New Economic Policy (NEP)
•Stalin’s Emergence as Lenin’s Successor (very early).

additional practice may be found after the bibliography

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This contains lots of notes which may make it tedious and boring, and it may not cover everything. Try and make the best of this, I hope it helped somewhat.

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  • Created by: Santi
  • Created on: 26-05-12 03:59
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The Bolshevik Revolution
By: Santi Solano

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Focus of notes
· Some background and the revolution of 1905
· Outbreak of the February revolution
· Collapse of the Provisional Government (PG) and the
subsequent takeover by Bolsheviks
· Initial survival of Bolsheviks plus Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
· War communism and the social revolution
· The New Economic Policy (NEP)
· Stalin's Emergence as Lenin's Successor…read more

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Background of Russia prior to
· During the 1800s, Russian peasants were increasingly become
more bitter and hostile to the aristocracy (demanded and
obtained credit from the government to buy from the
landowners or former masters) [essentially they wanted more
land for themselves]. Social conditions were also bad as they
paid redemption money until 1906 (arising from the
emancipation of 1861), high taxes, and had little food due to
high exports of cereals required by the government to pay off
debts to the west.…read more

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Background of Russia prior to
· Revolutionary parties emerged from the peasantry as late
back as 1825, and also emerged from the intelligentsia who
wanted an overthrow of the tsarist regime.
­ The revolutionary intelligentsia were populists who were interested in
the problems of the peasantry who made up the bulk of the
population (gain their support).
­ Many had read Marx and Engels, and were against capitalism. Two
notable people are Plekhanov and Axelrod, who in 1883 founded the
Russian Social Democratic Party.…read more

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Background of Russia prior to
· Russian Marxists held a second party congress in Brussels and
London in 1903 with the purpose to solidify all Russian
­ The result of the conference was a split in the Social Democrats into
two factions: The Bolsheviks (majority) and the Mensheviks (minority).
[Lenin was largely behind the split and is considered the founder of
the Bolsheviks].
­ Difference between the two: Bolsheviks were considered more hard
and less open to cooperation with other groups.…read more

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Background of Russia prior to
· Tsar Nicholas II: believed strongly in the autocracy and that any
ideas questioning orthodoxy, great Russian nationalism and the
monarchy as un-Russian (did not like liberalism at all).
· By the early 1900s, discontent was growing; peasants were
trespassing on the lands of the gentry and took part in local
insurrections against landlords and tax collectors, and the workers
refused to work.
· Father Gapon (Little father) went to St.…read more

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The Revolution of 1905
· `Bloody Sunday' January 1905: the workers who had gathered
before the tsar's Winter Palace were shot by troops (the tsar was
not in the city and his officials were afraid of the masses).
· The result was a large wave of political strikes, peasants
overrunning the lands of the gentry, and the emergence of political
parties from the underground (Mensheviks, Bolsheviks and Social
Revolutionaries [SRs]).
· Councils or `soviets' were formed in Moscow and St.…read more

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The Revolution of 1905
· Despite the Duma promised, strikes went on, peasants and
workers were aroused and demanded respectively more land,
less taxation and a shorter working day and a living wage.
· Mutinies also occurred among soldiers at Kronstadt and
sailors in the Black Sea fleet
· The authorities still maintained their power during the
apparent revolution:
­ Many revolutionaries at this time were then arrested and executed
while others were forced into exile or into the underground again.…read more

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Results of the revolution
· The result of the revolution was the Duma (elected
parliament which consisted of the of the lower house/Russian
parliament and the State Council/upper house).
· The Duma was largely undermined by the tsar who
announced it would have no power over foreign policy, the
state budget or government personnel.…read more

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The Duma and Russia (1907-1916)
· The second Duma was elected in 1907 with the government
trying to control the elections via suppression and
­ 86 socialists were elected, resulting in the cadets becoming fearful of
the left.
­ The duma however was dissolved when the government denounced
and arrested 50 socialists as revolutionaries bent on destruction
· A third duma was elected (electoral change had occurred and
gave an increased representation to the propertied class and
guaranteed a conservative majority).…read more


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