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Problems with Ruling Russia- with Tsar Nicholas II

  • Population: the size and diversity of the population made it diffuicult to control. 125 million people made of over 20 different (subject) nationalities. Many resented the process of Russification and non russians were second class citizens.
  • Religion: 70% of the population was part of the Orthodox church, it basically ruled the country and had almost all the wealth. Rasputin claimed to heal haemophilia, so was given influence in the palace, but people did not like him.
  • Economy: 85% of the population lived in the country, but only 5% of the land was used for agriculture, its poor farming methods resulted in dealyed industrialisation, but growth did happen. The war with Japan had been a huge blow and resulted the 1905 revolution, causing the tsar to create the October manifesto, promising the establishment of the duma.
  • Social Classes: the aristocracy was 1% but owned 25% of all land, the new middle class was emerging due to industrialisation. Peasants and workers had poor living conditions, the latter forming trade unions. Father Gapon had led a march in Jan '05 for working conditions but thousands were killed when the army panicked.
  • Autocracy: The Okhrana was the secret police in charge of dispose of any opposition to the Tsar, who was not strong of widely liked. Stolypin was a minister who helped a lot of growth but also executed over 3000. The duma had no power, it was dissolved three times by the tsar, he refused to share more land and went against his manifesto.
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Opposition to the Tsar

  • Social Democratic Party led by Lenin. Belived in Marxist ideology (proletariat revoltuion etc). Split into Bolsheviks (who wanted rapid change & and elite party) and Mensheviks (slow change and mass membership) in 1903.
  • Socialist Revolutionaries led by Kerensky, believed that the peaseant would revolt and would share out land equally to communities. Would often use terrorism.
  • Constitional Democratic Party led by Milyukov, wanted a contsitutional monarch and an elected government.
  • Octobrists led by Guchkov, believed in the terms of the October Manifesto and was supported by the middle class.
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The War, its greeeeat

  • Involvement: Russia was the protector of Serbia and wanted to help France and UK, they suffered heavy defeats in Tannenburg and the Masurian Lakes, millions died and was only protected by the winter.
  • Poor Communication: The poor railways lack of industrialisation resulted in huge stockpiles of aid not being transported (like in Archangel) and huge shortages of weaponry and food.
  • Poor Leadership: The Tsar became commander in chief of the army in 1915, taking responsibitly for failures and leaving the German tsarina and Rasputin in charge, the generals did not ensure the army's efficiency and caused many defeats, there were thousands of desertions and women lay on the track of Baku to stop their men leaving in 1914.
  • Effects on workers: inflation and food shortages due to men serving in the army, the lack of fuel and supplies led to job loses, factories closing and people working longer for less money.
  • Effects on Middle Class and Aristocracy: Alexandra's incompetency and news of the poor war efforts led to a rise in opposition, as well as factory owners losing their buisnesses and competent ministers being replaced by poor ones at Rasputin's request.
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Viva La February Revolution

  • Strikes started to become an everyday occurance in 1917, icnluding strikes at the Putilov engineering works, on International Womens day 100,000 men and women were striking, two days later the numbers had exceeded 300,000
  • The Petrograd Soviet was set up, and ruled Petrograd alongside The Provisional Comittee:12 members of the duma which had just been dissolved.
  • Rasputin had been killed by Romanov's, in a desperate attempt to be seen as listening to the population's fears of him controlling the counrty.
  • Nicholas Abdicated  in March 1917, leaving the Provisional government and the Soviets in charge.
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Rated PG (Provisional Government)

  • Policies  that the PG introduced included freedom of religion, freedom of speech, amnesty for political prisoners, recognition of trade unions, abolishment of the okrhana, 8 hour working days and the promise of an elected parliament (constitutent assembly)
  • Problems that the PG faced included its lack of representation, defeats in the war, deserting soldiers, peasants looting, soviets being set up, demands for food shortages to end and for subject nationalities to gain independence
  • Soviets were the PG's biggest issue and when Soviet Order Number One was released, demanding Russia to pull out of WWI, the PG was undermined.
  • Lenin was sent to Russia by Germany to stir up a rebellion, he wrote the April Thesis to improve Bolshevik popularity and created the Red Guard as the Bolshevik army.
  • July soldiers from the Austrian front came back to Petrograd and took to the streets with the Reds to overthrow the PG, Kerensky persuaded the army to squash the rebellion. Kerensky became pm, the Bolsheviks were seen as traitors & Lenin sloganed.
  • Kornilov started a coup against the PG, attacking Bolsheviks, war and calling fot the CA to be set up. Kerensky armed the Red Guard and let the squash the revolt, the Soviets gained power led by Trotsky and Bolsheviks were freed from prison after the July Days.
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Children of The October Revolution

  • Meetings of the All Russian Congress of Soviets and Constituent Assembly were about to take place, Bolsheviks were unlikely to get a majority so getting power would mean having to overthrow PG, when Kamenev & Zinoviev revealed plans they were forced to go.
  • Trotsky became a Bolshevik after returning in May, Trotsky led the Petrograd Soviet and member of its MRC, he organised the revolution
  • Lenin had peruaded the Bolsheviks to oppose the war, gave slogans like "Peace, Land and Bread" and "All Power to the Soviets", he brought the german money to make the RG.
  • 24th Oct key buildings were captured and Kerensky escaped the Winter Palace, the Amazons and cadets surrendered as the last soilders willing to defend them, the navy helped ensure the PGs surrender and only 6 died whist 18 were arrested (most of PG).
  • ARCoS met and Bolsheviks got majority and SR & Menshies left. Council of peoples commissars was set up with Lenin and Trotsky in leading roles.
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Bolshevik scuring control (dont mention the war)

  • Sovnarkom's reforms in Novermber included sharing land fairly, employment insurance, intending to make peace, 40 hour week and holiday entitlemtn, equality and banning news
  • December reforms incleded nationalisation of factories and banks, cheka set up, banning CD party and couples allowing to have non religous marriage and easier divorce.
  • The CA was dissolved after the Bolsheviks only got 175 of 707 seats, after trying to limit their power, Lenin gave orders to destry it, 100 people were killed or wounded in protest and the elected representitives were stopped from entering Tauride Palace.
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was made in Feb 1918, Trotsky led the negogitations, the terms were harsh but the Bolsheviks were just looking forward for world domination, Russia lost 50 million people, 27% farmland, 26% railways, 74% iron and coal, Ukraine and 3 billion roubles, but the treaty had no legality after Germany lost WWI
  • Civil War broke out in 1918 because of 4 main opposers: Whites, Greens, Czecs & Ex allies. The Bolsheviks won after some pressure, Russia was surrounded but Reds won
  • Red's Strengths: War communism, blackmailing ex troops, peasant support and cheka
  • White's weaknesses: not united, Romanovs death, bad communication, morale and half hearted support from the ex allies helping.
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War Communism and NEP

  • War Communism was introduced during the civil war to ensure that troops were fed, combat inflation, make the peasants work and follow communist ideology. Lenin set up the Vesenkha to monitor the rationing of food, stop private training, nationalise factories and also caused the use of bartering instead of currency.
  • Kronstadt Naval Officers hald a mutiny in 1921 becuase of the power the communist took from the soviets, the cheka's terror and the lack of utopian state that War communism failed to create because Peasant refused to work which resulted in a famine killing 7 mil, the worker's opposition was also opposing the reds, 20,000 were wounded by red army.
  • NEP was introduced to meet the need for food and help industrialisation. It allowed the selling of surplus grain, tax cuts for productiveness, reprivatising small factories, a new rouble and the electrification of Russia. A new class of kulaks were created called NEPMEN, despite criticism agriculture nearly doubled and industry boomed.
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Rise of The Man of Steel

  • Lenin died in 1924 caused a leadershpi crisis, there were five main candidates to take over: Trotsky (the favourite), Kamenev, Zinoviev, Bukharin and Stalin (who played little role in the October revolution and was given boring jobs, he was the least likely to take over)
  • Lenin's will said that Stalin was not to be trusted, but Stalin convinced K & Z to hide it
  • Lenin's Funeral was held whilst Trotsky was ill, Stalin had told him it was on another day
  • Zin & Kam worked with Stalin, helping him stop Trotsky's control over the Red Army
  • Bukharin & the right wing members supported Stalins Socialism in One Country, they expelled Zin & Kam, but in 3 yrs later Stalin turned against them and expelled Bukharin
  • Trotsky was expelled from the USSR in 1929, in 1940 he was assasinated. He was seen as weak because of he was a Jew, Menshevik, not very tactical & wanted world revolution.
  • Stalin used his boring position as Gen Sec to appoint supporters as officials, he convinced poeple that he was close to Lenin, played off his opponents and Socialism in One Country was a popular idea, because it would focus on home issues firts before WR
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Stalin's Urgen for a Purgen

  • What: anyone who criticised or opposed Stalin was killed, tortured, deported or imprisoned, ordinary party members, kulaks, bad managers and workers were the first to be accused.
  • Why: To stop threats to his postition of people who may form alternative governments, To force mass labour for industrial projectsand as a convienient scapegoat for setbacks, Stalin had a perseution complex, & some think that things just spiralled after Stalin started
  • How: prisoners were sent to labour camsp called gulags where 13 million died , the cheka chagned to OGPU in '22 and NKVD in '34, they got more power and encouraged everyone to inform on each other, show trials for Old Bolsheviks where public trials took place  for them to confess to rimes they didnt commit (because Stalin threatened them, their families and were tortured to do so)
  • Effects: Stalin had total control, but millions died and many officer were killed, threatening USSR in WWII, intellectuals were lost causing industrial setbacks, people informed on work rivals to take their jobs and poeple who were expelled from the party couldn't get jobs
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Ch ch ch changes

  • Russification started again, Christian leaders were imprisoned, 60000 places of worship were closed and were smashed, Islamic law and the study of hebrew was banned.
  • The Cult of Stalin was created, making Stalin appear as a god in newspapers and in huge parades in his honour, history had to be rewritten and glorified his role and the events of the october revolution and his relationship with Lenin, who was also worshipped
  • Culture was controlled too, writers and artists had to conform to the poicy of Social Realism, everything had to be accessable for thee ordinary peasant and glorify the USSR.
  • Education was also changed, traditional methods were introduced such as examinations and fees in advanced schools, they learnt Stalin's version of history and communism as well as focusing on technical & scientific skills required by workers for the 5 year plans.
  • 1936 New Constitution was introduced to convince everyone that USSR was free, ruling the 11 socialist republics: the old congress had become the supreme soviet composed of 2 chambers: soviet of union and nationalities. Stalin was the PM of every parliament, Gen Sec and Chairman, it involved secret ballots, candidates approved by commies, elections every 4 years, universal suffrage and civil liberties (all within approval of the party)
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  • Causes: Fear of invasion from Britain France & USA, low industrial production , create strong communist principles & discredit NEP supporters to consolidate power
  • Aims: create surplus food by using machinery by combining farms, ensure supplies for towns and industrial workers, destroy the kulaks as scapegoats and control rural areas
  • Kolkhoz Farms were lead by a chariman from the party, 80 families would famr 500 hecs, they had to provide a fixed amount of food and keep surplus, machinery was provided as well as MTS set up for every 40 farms to carry out ploughing for several farms
  • Sovkhoz Farms  were completly owned by the state, they were larger and had their own machinery, the peasants were paid labourers, a factory without a roof.
  • Effects: enough food was produced and there were schools and hopsitals for the workers, however a famine killed 6-10 mil, production fell due to peasant opposition who were forced to stay on the farms, the farming methods were still inefficeient and Stalin gained control over the country whilst growing industry, causing movement from farms.
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And his brother, Industrialisation

  • Firts Five Year Plan 28-32: focus on heavy industry and new industries, but consumerism was neglected, it started off as a success but the twice revised targets weren't met
  • Second Five Yr Plan 33-37: consumer goods were originally targetted but fear of Nazi invasion caused the production of arms to take the most focus
  • Third Five Yr Plan 38-41: originally focused on household and luxury items but was called off when the Germans invaded, overall output increased rapidly, USSR was 2nd to USA
  • Stakhanovites wereinspired by Stakhnov, a worker hwo claimed t shift X15 amount of coal, people had to emulate him and those who did got medals, houses, holidays etc.
  • Benefits: a skilled workforce came from investments in education, creches and free schools & healthcare were set up to allow women to work after babying, large projects as a part of gigantomania, including Dneiper Dam & Magnitogorsk emplyed thousands
  • Costs: unskilled workers from the country cost thousands, they were often late and absent so most products were unusable, educating the workers created an elite workforce paid more, awful living and working cnditions caused crime, also helped by the youths with working parents, the gosplan set unrealistic targets & slaves built the huge projects.
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C'est La Vie

  • Workers: those who weren't moving uop the ladder of becoming a prty member, were becoming higher in industry, unemployment finishd but overpopulation caused poor living
  • Peasants: Kulaks had been removed but did not earn much money, many oved to towns
  • Women: families were ncouraged to stay together by paying child allowances, making divorce difficult and restricting abortion, they gained more employment but could often not work full time, politically they remaind second class citizens, 20% of the party were female
  • Ethnic Minorities: as well as Russification, these groups had to deal with purges, immigrants were deported to the borders including all the koreans by NKVD
  • Living Conditions: improved due to emplyment, tax benefits and more leisure activities, but worsened due to overcrowding in towns and families fell apart from new rules
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