Russia's people and collapse of Tsarism
- 80% of russia's people were peasants who worked on the land as part of small farms.
- 4% were of russians were industrial workers based in urban areas.
- For three centuries, Russia had been ruled by the romanov dynasty headed by the Tsar.
- Tsar had absolute power and was responsible to no parliament or court of law.They had no civil rights.
- Tsar has ignored radicals who called for reform but in 1905, a year of revolution revealed the risk of Tsar's position.
- After admitting the truth, promising civil rights an elected parliament, the Duma.
- For a short while the outbrake of the first world war rallied Russians behind their Tsar.
- Russia was too weak to fight the war as they did not have enough weapons and supplies.
- In early 1917, imminent economic collapse and military defeat, the people of Petrogard and moscow revolted.
- The Tsar ordered his army to crush the uprising.Without the support of his army, the Tsar was forced to abicate.Handing power to a hastily formed 'provisional Goverment'.
The rise of Bolshevism
During the social democrat party congress of 1903, the party split in two. one faction known as the Bolsheviks - meaning the majority - and the other faction became known as Mensheviks. the Bolsheviks favoured Lenin's ideas, where as the Mensheviks rejected them in favour of a traditional version of marxism.
- In April 1917, Lenin, the leader of Bolsheviks, returned to Russia.Lenin argued about needing a new Government.
- As the Tsar's fall, councils were set up spontaneously across the country. The Government broke down, these councils- soviets- took over the management of the local affairs.
- The soviets were highly democratic and represented the workers, peasants and soldiers.
- But for Lenin , the soviets were represented a form of workers' democracy that was superior promised by the provisional Government.
- He demanded that the soviets seize power on behalf of the workers and peasants.
- By late 1917, the provisional Goverment had lost credibility and against this backround.
- Lenin's audacious plan was carried out late on 25 october, and in the early hours of 26 October Lenin proclaimed the birth of the world's first socialist republic.
Marxist- leninist theory
Marxist- leninism is an amalgamation of the ideas of two men: marx and Lenin. It is Lenin's bold decision to take power in Russia was motivated by particular ideaology.
Stages if the Marx's theory.
- Primitive communism: Human beings sharing all they have in a classess society. There is no Government.REVOLUTION
- Feudalism: society becomes highly stratified. The monarch rules, the kinghts and feudal lord keep the peasants in order.REVOLUTION
- Capitalism: Following an industrail revolution, society becomes dominated by two classes: the bourgeoisie ( who own the factories), and the proletariat (who work in the factories).REVOLUTION
- Socialism: Following a workers' revollution, the proletriat take power and crush the bourgeoisie.REVOLUTION
- Communism: As class conflict dies out, human equality is achieved and government ceases to be necessary.
The Bolsheviks in power
Following the power in october 1917, Lenin and the Bolsheviks attempted to build the world's first socialist society.
Early measures, 1917-1918
Within the first 24 four hours Lenin's government commanded an ending to Russia's involvement in the war, and gave land to the peasnts.
In December 1917, Lenin established the cheka; a political police force who persecuted the enemies of the new Government.
Cenosorship was introduced to middle-class newspapers, but became widespread to socialist newspapers.
The new Economic policy
- In 1921, the sailors of Kronstadt threatened military action against the communists unless the democracy was restored and war communism ended.
- Many of the Kronstadt sialors were revolutionary hereos who had supported the communists from the first days of the revoltuion.
- Lenin ordered an assault on the Kronstadt naval base. Over three days, forty thousand Red Army troops slaughtered the ten thousand Kronstadt sailors.
- Lenin then accepted that war communism could not continue.
- at the tenth party congress, he argued that the new government must embrace a limited form of capitalism as a temporary measure.
- Lenin's New economic policy legalised private trade, replaced grain reuistioning with a tax-in-kind and, once the economy had estabilised, reintroduced money.
Tax-in-kind: tax usually collected grain, animals, raw materials or labour- rather then money.
The structure of party and government
The goal of the communist party was to establish control over the state and to use its power to transform society. The state is dominated by a single party for a prolonged period, the boundaries become confused.
The structure of the soviet state
- Each town or region was administered by a local soviet that was elected by the people.
- Each soviet elected representatives to All-russia congress of soviets.
- All-Russia Congress which elected, called the 'sovnarkom'.
- The sovnarkom ran the government on a day-to-day basis, like the British Cabinet.
- The Chairman of the sovnakom was both Head of Government and Head of state.