Russia - How the Bolsheviks kept power after October 1917.

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What were the four main problems/questions facing the Bolsheviks when they took power?
Could they survive at all? Could they extend their control over the whole of Russia? Could they negotiate a swift end to the war? Could they bring economic stability to Russia?
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Why did the Bolsheviks have few initial plans to run Russia?
They had spent time focusing on the October Revolution.
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What was the Marxist belief about the triumph of the proletariat over the state?
The state would 'wither away'.
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What did Trotsky say about this belief in October 1917?
"All we need to do is issue a few decrees, then shut up shop and go home".
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What position did Trotsky hold when he stated the previous quote?
Commissar for Foreign Affairs.
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What did Lenin claim the October Revolution had been?
A taking of power by the soviets.
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What had the October Revolution actually been?
A seizure of power by the Bolshevik Party.
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What was at the top of the pyramid of the distribution of power in revolutionary Russia?
Sovnarkom.
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Who did the Sovnarkom draw its authority from?
The Russian people.
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Who did the Russian people express their will through?
The Soviets at the base of the pyramid.
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What does de facto mean?
Ruling possibly without legal right to do so.
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What does de jure mean?
Ruling with legal right to do so.
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Did the Bolsheviks rule de facto or de jure?
De facto.
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Why did the Bolsheviks rule de facto?
They were in a position to make up their own rules.
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Why did Lenin have no intention of letting true democracy getting in the way?
Not all the soviets were dominated by the Bolsheviks and they were a minority party.
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What was the key body of the Bolshevik Party in taking power?
The Central Committee (later known as the Politburo).
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What provided the leaders of the government?
The organisation under Lenin's direction.
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In a way, what was the wing of the Bolshevik Party?
Sovnarkom.
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By Lenin's death in 1924, what were the two main features of the Bolshevik Party?
Sovnarkom and the Sectretariat.
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What was the Sovnarkom and what was it responsible for?
The Council of People's Commissars, responsible for creating government policies.
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What was the Secretariat and what was it responsible for?
It was the equivalent of the UK's Civil Service, responsible for carrying out Sovnarkom policies.
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By 1922, what had been outlawed and what did this make Russia?
All other political parties, Russia was a now a one-party state.
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Now that Lenin was effectively the government, what did Trotsky quote on this?
"From the moment the provisional government was declared deposed, Lenin acted in matters large and small as the government".
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What two types of class existed in Russian society according to the Bolsheviks?
The proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
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Who had Lenin written against before the October Revolution?
Landlords and grasping capitalists.
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What had Lenin not produced for landlords and grasping capitalists?
A coherent plan for their replacement.
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What was the transitional stage between the old governmental system to the Bolshevik one known as?
State capitalism.
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Where did the Bolsheviks have control in Russia when they took power?
Petrograd and Moscow.
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Give some evidence for Russian economic collapse due to the war (WW1) against Germany and Austria?
Industrial production was at 2/3 of its 1914 level due to the shortage of raw materials and investment capital, inflation had rocketed, transport system was crippled and grain supplies were 13 million tons short of the nation's needs.
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What did Russia have to give to Germany due to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk?
Ukraine.
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How did the ceding of Ukraine to Germany not help the food crises Russia?
Ukraine was Russia's richest grain-producing region.
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What two decrees were issued to the peasants in November 1917 to try and get the peasants to produce enough food to solve the food crises?
Decree on Land and Decree on Workers' Control.
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What did the key article of the Decree on Land state?
All private ownership of all types of land shall be abolished for ever and this is to be confiscated without compensation and become the property of the people and pass into the hands of those who cultivate it.
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What was the Bolshevik Party's slogan before the October Revolution to appeal to the masses?
'Land to the Peasants'.
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What were the types of privately owned land?
State, crown, monastery, church, factory, private, public, peasant etc.
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What did the Decree in Workers' Control state?
Instructed the workers' committees to maintain the strictest order and discipline in the workplace.
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What was set up in December 1917 to take charge of all existing institutions for the regulation of econmic life?
Vesenkha.
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What developments did the Vesenkha preside over?
Banks and railways were nationalised, foreign debts were cancelled and the transport system was made less chaotic.
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What was declared to be abolished by the Bolsheviks?
The old class system.
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All titles were also abolished, what was the standard greeting?
Comrade.
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What replaced the old legal system?
People's courts.
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What did the Bolsheviks create as a police force?
Cheka
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What did Cheka stand for?
The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Fighting Counter-revolution, Sabotage and Speculation.
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In essence, what was the Cheka?
The secret police.
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What military force did the Bolsheviks found?
The Red Army.
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What was the new official title of Russia in 1918?
Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic (RSFSR).
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What was the new official title of the Bolshevik Party in 1918?
The Communist Party.
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What time system was changed in Russia in 1918?
The old Russian calendar was modernised in line with the system used in the advanced world.
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What did The Marriage Code provide in 1918?
Gave husbands and wives equal rights.
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What was brought under state control in 1918?
Schools.
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The Cheka was basically a better-organised and more efficient form of what?
The Okhrana (the tsarist secret police).
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What was the expressed purpose of the Cheka?
To destroy 'counter-revolution and sabotage'.
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What immediate problems did the Bolsheviks face?
They only controlled Petrograd and Moscow, low industrial production, high inflation, acute food shortages and occupation of Germany.
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Summarise the economic measures to tackle the problems faced by the Bolsheviks.
Adoption of state capitalism, Decree on Land, Decree on Workers' Control and Vesenkha.
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Summarise the political measures to tackle the problems faced by the Bolsheviks.
Cheka.
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When was the Cheka created?
December 1917.
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What did the term 'Counter-revolution' mean that was used by the Bolsheviks?
Covered any action of which they dissaproved by branding it as reactionary and opposed to progress.
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What was Lenin's strategy of gaining intial power?
This was not to win mass support but to create a party capable of seizing power when the opportune moment came.
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What two things did Lenin's strategy prevent him form doing (on his own accord) before 1917?
He refused to join a broad-front opposition movement and he had consistently opposed any form of co-operation with the Provisional Government.
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The October Revolution had come to late to prevent what?
The election of the Constituent Assembly from going ahead in November as planned.
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How many votes and seats did the Bolshevik Party obtain in the election?
9,844,000 votes and 175 seats.
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What were the negatvie implications for the Bolsheviks due to the election?
They had been outvoted by nearly two to one by the Social Revolutionaries (SRs), they'd won only 24% of the total vote and they'd gained barely a quarter of the seats in the Assembly.
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How many votes and seats did the SRs obtain in the election?
17,490,000 votes and 370 seats.
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What political parties did the Bolsheviks beat in the election?
National minority groups, Left SRs (pro-Bolshevik), Kadets and Mensheviks.
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How many total votes and seats were counted in the election?
41,686,000 votes and 717 seats.
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Why did Lenin support the idea of the Constituent Assembly?
For purely an expedient reason: it offered a way of further weakening the authority of the Provisional Government.
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Was Lenin a democrat or revolutionary?
Revolutionary.
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When and how was the Constituent Assembly dissolved?
When it gathered in January 1918 after one day's session it was dissolved by the Red Guards.
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Why was the Constituent Assembly corrupt?
The vote was rigged by the SRs and Kadets.
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What remark about the Constituent Assembly did Trotsky recall that Lenin made?
"The dissolution of the Constituent Assembly by the Soviet Government means a complete and frank liquidation of the idea of democracy by the idea of dictatorship".
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Why did the Bolsheviks have few initial plans to run Russia?

Back

They had spent time focusing on the October Revolution.

Card 3

Front

What was the Marxist belief about the triumph of the proletariat over the state?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What did Trotsky say about this belief in October 1917?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What position did Trotsky hold when he stated the previous quote?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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