Degree of Support
- Tsarist Era
- Various Opposition groups, Narodniks, People's Will, SRs, SDs, Liberals.
- SRs held most widespread support up until 1917 revolution
- Bolsheviks were able to exploit the negative effects of War and Industrialisation to gain popular support for the party and the revolution
- Communist Era
- Opposition largely absent due to repression
- Kulaks with capitalist sentiments opposed collectivisation
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Aims and Motives
- People's Will broke away from 'Land and Liberty' , were successful in assassinating Alexander II , However in reality the effect of this was 'The Reaction' Under Alexander III
- Social Democrats were founded in 1898, but split into the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in 1905
- The Bolsheviks remained largely a minority group up until the revolution
- The SRs divided into left and right factions in 1905
- During the Civil War, Opposition to the Bolsheviks was split into Whites + Greens. Whites were conservative, Greens were mainly peasants who resented Bolshevik policies
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- Govt. Repression:
- Secret Police used throughout the 109 year period, with the exception of the brief liberal era of the Provisional Government.
- Secret Police under the Tsars (Okhrana, Third Section) largely used to put down strikes and riots.
- Communist Secret Police (Cheka, NKVD) used to implement a class war against so-called 'Anti-Revolutionary' and 'Bourgeois' groups
- Communist Secret Police systematically removed suspected 'wreckers' and 'rightists', i.e during the 'Ezovchina' or the Great Purges during 1936-38.
- 40 million sent to Gulags during the great purges.
- 'Guests of the Tsar' - Political Dissidents sent into prison or exiled under Alexander II
- Stalin's Show trials
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Use of Military force
- 1905 - Bloody Sunday - 200 protesters shot dead
- 1921 - Kronstadt uprising ruthlessly dealt with. Rebels were executed or deported to concentration camps in the Arctic Circle
- 1956 - Hungarian Uprising - Khrushchev stated 'My arms are up to my elbows in blood'
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Impact Of War
- Crimean War - Emancipation Decree issued as a result.
- The Zemstva proved useful as a platform to challenge the ruling élite
- Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, 1905, October Manifesto issued.
- Duma allowed the previously banned political opposition groups to express their views freely.
- The Great Patriotic War - Time of liberalisation with regard to the arts.
- The war was used to promote a feeling of national unity, and there was almost no domestic opposition to the regime
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