War in Russia between 1855-1964

The main wars in russia (similarities and differences) in the period 1855-1964 for the A2 OCR exam

  • Created by: Chantelle
  • Created on: 09-06-11 14:17

Alexander II - Crimean War

Brought and end to the Crimean War - 1856

Showed inefficient Leadership

Showed Russias backwardness and created a greater need to reform


  • End of Serfdom
  • Liberalisation of the Legal system
  • Military reforms
  • Zemtvas 1864 (Seeds of the Duma)

Was the catalyst for modernisation but not the only reason (liberal nobles)

Gave a taste for change for a potentially politically active society

Major feature is the continuation of Autocracy.

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Alexander II Russo-Turkish War

Exposed inefficiency the same as before

Showed his reforms had created little change therefore more opposition would have built up as they saw the need for more change.

It encouraged:

  • Industrialisation
  • Russification
  • Prestige of the Tsar
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Nicholas II Russo-Japanese War

Expectations were higher than previous wars therefore greater disappointment

Russia humiliated

Autocracy is based on military power which had been overcome by racial inferiors

Shattered the image of Russian Power

The concession this war induced unrest brought about were the most significant to date.


  • The reason for the Dumas (October Manifesto),1905 Revolution, Bloody Sunday
  • Most important War to show faling of the Tsar himself.
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Nicholas in WW1

Tsar did not incorporate the Duma therefore he could not share the blame for the failings

Tsarist economy could not meet the needs of War

Not successful with the use of Propoganda as the West was.

Left an unpopular Tsarina (German) in charge while he fought in the war

Troops stopped obeying orders = Tsars authority crumbled

Russias long term failing would have probably resulted the same way however War highlighted to the people the problems which created more discontent.

Led to abdication

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Provisional Government and Lenin - WW1

February Revolution - Prov Govt.

Stayed in the War even though there was discontent so that they could gain the advantages if the allies won.

If they had pulled out like Lenin would Russia have become a democratic society?

Lenin pulled out of the War signing the Treaty of Litovsk

  • Could be argued he sold Russia short
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Lenin - Civil War

Lenin doesnt loose.

The Bolsheviks were able to win as opposition was divided

  • Reds - Led by Trotsky
  • Whites - Help from outside Russia (Fear of Communism)
  • Greens - kept coming and going


  • Change from Autocracy to Communism (Ideology)
  • Change economically (NEP, War communism)
  • The state Lenin fought for became the basic principles for future dictators such as Mussolini and Hitler.
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Stalin, The Great Patriotic War (WW2)

First Leader to Win a war against another country since 1855.

First Leader to secure his place through war a Totalitarian

Although at a very high cost

He was Glorified and unquestionable

  • Began the 'Cult of Stalin'

Russia became a Super Power

The Problems with Russia and the Allies created pre Cold War tension - Berlin Wall


  • Knocked back industrial growth - Scorched Earth Policy (Ensured Germans couldnt benefit
  • Exposed lack of Infrastructure
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Stalin and Khrushchev, Cold War

First War of Words not direct - fought on other countries back doors (Vietnam)

Cuban Missile Crisis - 1962

Khrushchev was a more acceptable face to the West, improved relation e.g. communications

Needed to present to other Powers an advanced Nation - Nuclear Capability, Sputnik '57

Arguably the Cold War and Khrushchev was the beginning of the end for communism in Russia.

Neither countries wanted to loose face

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Alex II and Nicholas II

  • Were inefficient Leaders
  • Did not create the reforms needed and therefore consistently showed the backwardness to the country
  • Ultimately the end of Tsarism

The need for Rapid Industrialisation, eduacation and infrastructure was the main focus after every War.

Khrushchev and Alex II similar as they both tries to become more liberal despite their ideologies this would have been the outcome of the Wars.

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Stalin Won a War unlike the Tsars but this could be due to his repressive regime

  • Thought - If Alex III had a war would he have saved Autocracy in Russia as both leaders relied heavily on repression, Could he have won?

Communist leaders had better use of Propoganda unlike the Tsars

Cold War was not like other wars as it was not physical no loss of life.

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