Russian Revolution

These are some of the notes that i made during class and i hope they help everyone who needs it :D

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Some words & parties and political views

Constitution: written rules for how a country runs including its people’s rights.

Monarchy: Rule by king or queen

Democratic: People have the power (voting)

Constituent: Different areas have a representative

Assembly: Gathering of political parties

Kadets: reformists

Intelligensia: reformist

Peasants: Reformists

Bolsheviks: revolutionaries

SRs (Social revolutionaries): revolutionaries

Populists: revolutionaries

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How did the war show the weakness in the Tsars gov

Conscription/enlistments: shortage in factories and farms

Army: poor equipment (boots, medical, rifles, training), Leadership were incompetent, unequal society.

Lost battles of Tannenburg.

Not as industrial as Britain and France

Autocratic: all power went to the tsar.

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Why did the people resent the government?

Food shortages: 1. Peasants conscripted 2. Railways transported the military.

Factories close, unemployment, starvation.

Tsar took control of the army – took blame for errors and death.

Tsarina (Tzarina) in charge of the government. She was German, under influence of Rasputin and she was arrogant and didn't like the Duma.

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Why was the March 1917 revolution successful?

Failures in the war: Thousands of men had died fighting against the Germans.

Mutiny in the army: They were poorly equipped with hardly any rifles and barely even had boots, so they were not equipped properly. They killed their own officers, linked with the failure of war.

Formation of Soviets: They set up Petrograd soviets and took control over the food supplies. Shortages of food took place before they took control.

Duma setting up alternative government: People protested to the Duma that they should take control, the Duma reluctantly agreed and set up another government i.e. Kerensky government.

Strikes: The peasants, middle class and aristocracy went on strike because there were shortages of food, fuel and sometimes water.

Food shortages: Linked to strikes and discontent in the countryside, as food was taken off of them.

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The problems facing the provisional government

-Continue war or make peace

-To distribute land to the peasants (who already started to take it) or ask them to wait until the elections.

-How best to get food to the starving nation

Alexander kerensky was a respected member of the petrograd soviets and in the provisional government.

Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks

Slogans such as 'Peace,land and bread' (april theses) or 'all power to the soviets'

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An overview of the march revolution

The march revolution was when the tsar was overthrown and the provisional government made several other parties like the petrograd soviets. the provisional government did not want to end the war as the peace terms would be hard on them and they had promised Britain and France that they would keep fighting. The peasants took land and were told to wait until the elections. in the end the Russians lost the war when Alexander Kerensky rallied the men for another offensive and lost.

Lenin the leader of the bolsheviks returned from exile with the april theses and made slogans such as 'Peace, land and bread' WHich appealed to the member of the public who were on strike. The Bolsheviks had their own private newspaper 'Pravda'or The Truth. and their own private army 'The Red Guard' the members increase during the April theses.

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The July days

A premature attempt tp seize power took place by the Bolsheviks against lenins wishes in july 1917

The Russian people were fed up with the failures of the provisional government. In the June 1917 in Galicia (Austria) 

Street demonstartions by sailors from Kronstadt naval base, demanding soviets take control.

The provisional government decided to send the troops from the petrograd garrison to the front line to get them out of the way

Some Bolsheviks joined in but the demonstration was put down by loyal troops

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Kornilov Affair

August 1917 the kornilov affair worried lots of Russians and caused some to turn to the communists.

General kornilov was an army affair who thought that the provisional government under Kerensky was too weak and couldn't defend the country.

He demanded that the provisional government should get tough with the soviets and he gathered troops together to take control himself.

Kornilov was stopped by workers and the soldiers supporting the petrograd soviets.

A new force called the Bolsheviks Red Guards helped the soviet put down the revolt.

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How did they seize control?

Lenin had promised the kronstadt sailors what they wanted (how did lenin keep control part 2)

The red guard seized important buildings such as the post offices, telegraph posts, rail way stations and electricity supply.

The 'Aurora' (a warship) was to fire its gus to signal the attck on the winter palace.

Kerensky went to get loyal troops from the fron line and could not find any so he fled.

Everyone in the winter palace was arrested (execpt Kerensky who had fled)

Weapons were obtained from the Kornilov affair.

There was minimal resistance by the police or other armed forces members.

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How did Lenin keep control of Russia? Part 1

  • Seized power in 1917
  • November 1917 votes for the Government
  • SRs got nearly double of the Bolshevik votes.

In November 1917 , people voted for parties in the new constituent assembly.

The most seats were the social revolutionaries and the Bolsheviks had less than half the number of seats the social revolutionaries had.

Lenin would never comprimise with other parties.

LEnin sent in the Bolshevik Red Guards to close down the constituent assembly and rules with out them.

Lenin never regarded the assembly as representing the workers, he had said that the workers would be represented through the soviets.

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How did Lenin keep control of Russia? Part 2

March 1921 sailors at kronstadt wanted:-

Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press adn free trade union.

Wanted to end speacial rations given to some communist party members

secret ballot for new soviets

All Bolshevik supporters, lenin had promised these freedom, elcetions and equality

Crush the revolt and those who challenged his power.

This is what he did . the revolt was savagely put down with thousands of death, lenin would not tolerate criticism.

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10th Bolshevik party congress - March 1921 Part 1

Workers said leaders had a privileged lifestyle while workers starved, more open debates within the party because civil war was over.

Dismantled the workers opposition party and banned all discussions within that party that he did not approve of.

Lenin wanted absolute power so that the party did not break up.

Peasants were unhappy about the requistioning  of grain and the workers were also un happy about low wages and high costs of goods.

Strikes and rebellions increased

Not enough food there was a famine and 5 million died

Someone tried to assasinate lenin in 1921

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10th Bolshevik party congress - March 1921 Part 2

Gave into demands and Trotsky made the New Economic Plan (NEP) allowing peasants to sell grain and small factories were allowed to be privately owned so they could mkake a profit.

He had to give in and realised he had to give some concessions but he could take them back.

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The Russian Civil War

Who were the Whites?

-Genreal Denikin who attacked from south Russia

-General Yudenich Who attacked from North Russia

-Admiral Kolchak who attacked from the East of Russia

-General PIlsudski (Polish) who attacked from Poland (West of Russia) He fought for the inddependance of Poland from Russian rule.

And on the Whites side (But never fought were France and Britain)

Who were the Reds?

-The Bolsheviks 

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Why did the Bolsheviks win the Civil War?

The whites had several weaknesses

-Their armies were thousands of miles apart. The different commanders concentrated on winning their own victories, instead of working together, as a result their attacks were not co-ordinated.

-Some of the leaders were ruthless , GEneral Deninkiin was accused of killing 100,000 JEws in Ukraine. This 'White Terror' Drove many russians into supporting the Bolsheviks.

Meanwhile the bolsheviks controlled the towns and the railways, so they could transport their men and supplies to any part of their front line under threat.

The Bolsheviks had a cause.Communism. Trotksy succeeded in motivating people to fight for their cause.  

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A Communist Society Part 1

The Media: Absolute state control of the media, this meant that they can control what people were told and make them think what they want.

Industry: State control means no private industcould nomake money and individuals did not earn.

Religion:  Banned, many churches were destroyed and priests were killed because it questions society and gives people ideas to do stuff against society, this means communism would not be challenged by religion.

Schools: Huge campaigns to teach people to read, sciences were encouragedd 'Useless subjects' banned meaning people woould support lenin but this means he can teach them communism.

Land: Confiscated land from nobles and given to the peasants this means that he kept promise to peasants so they would support him.

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A Communist Society Part 2

Workers Rights: LAbour laws gave workers an 8 hour day, unemployed benefits and pensions. This meant that workers would support lenin and would be less likely to riot and people would be happy.

Divorce, Abortion, Sex: Social rules were released these were all allowed.

New Economic policy

Violence in countryside and strikes in towns also sailors at kronstadt revolted, leniun saw war, communism was bad and made a 'New Economic Policy' (Trotsky's idea)

The Government relaxed its control over the countryside and returned smaller factories to private industry. Grain was no longer seized from peasants so they could sell the extra grain.

Lenin called the NEP (New Economic Policy) a 'breathing space'

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carl langbjenne


doop coment

Miss E


A good set of revision cards on the details of the two revolutions and the Russian Civil War, already summarised for you although it doesn't deal with problems/weaknesses of the Tsar before WWI. Also a useful key word section at the beginning.

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