History GCSE Notes - 20th Century Depth Studies

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History Notes

 

20th Century Depth Studies

 

Russia - from Tsarist to Communism

 

Events leading up to Tsar’s Abdication

Growing unpopularity of the Romanovs

·         As the deaths mounted, Nicholas became more unpopular

·         His wife was treated as a German spy

Rasputin

·         Seemed to control the internal bleeding of Nicholas’s dying son

·         Womaniser, drunk

·         Assassinated in December 1916

Tsar Abdication

·         February 1917, 40,000 workers strike

·         Discontent spreads quickly

·         Queues turned into riots

·         Troops ordered to put down the riots, many refused to obey orders

·         Persuaded to abdicate

·         Duma took control

Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in October/November 1917?

Problems facing the Provisional Government

·         Sharing power with the soviets

·         Poor economic situation

·         Peasants taking over land

·         Less censorship

·         War

Failures of the Provisional Government

·         Lenin announced ‘April Thesis’ - outlining how they would overthrow the Duma

·         Waged an offensive against Germany to try and gain support; failed and led to desertions

·         Kornilov tried to overthrow him them in September 1917, stopped by the Bolsheviks who had weapons from the Duma.

Growth of the Bolsheviks

·         Lenin returned to Russia determined to make use of the mass discounted of WWI

·         A half-hearted attempt in May 1917 at a takeover which failed made them look weak

·         Defeat of Kornilov in September 1917 made them look like heroes

·         September - largest party in Petrograd

Bolshevik seizure of power in October/November 1917

·         6th November - Took control of key positions (banks, stations, bridges etc.)

·         7th November - Attacked the winter palace with little opposition

·         8th November - Lenin announced the Bolshevik control over the government. Within a week          they also controlled Moscow

Reasons for Bolshevik success

·         The P.G. was very unpopular

·         Bread, Peace, Land

·         800,000 supporters in key places

Initial Establishment of Totalitarian rule by the Bolsheviks

·         Provisional Government replaced by Lenin’s council

·         Govern Russia for the good of the workers and peasants

·         Not interested in democracy

·         Elections held in late 1917 showed that the Social Revolutionaries’ were more popular than the Bolsheviks

·         Lenin became a dictator, using the Cheka on all the opposed him

·         Abolished private ownership of land

·         Control was strong in the cities but weak in the countryside

·         Food shortages and dis-trust

The end of WWI for Russia

·         Ceasefire in December 1917

·         March 1917 - forced to sign the treaty of Brest-Litovsk

·         Russia lost vital, resourceful land, 1 third of its population and 300 million gold roubles

The Civil War

Causes of the Civil War

The Bolsheviks didn’t have the support of all the Russians…

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