Russia 1905 - 1941

What were the problems of ruling Russia?
The Russian Empire was too big – 92 times as big as GB(22.3 km2). Difficult communications – Unpaved roads, thick with mud, new railways only connected a fraction of the country. Only 55 mill of the 125.6 mill people spoke Russian – Russification enf
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What were the Social problems in Russia?
1897 census – social inequality. Over ½ of peasants had no land or homes. Most of the land + wealth belonged to 1 mill of the 125.6 mill. Much of the farmland was poor quality + methods were old-fashioned + Food shortages.
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How was Town life in Russia?
Moscow, total population: 1.8 mill – most industrialised city. Long hours, low pay, hard + dangerous work, workers lived in the worst part of town (10 to a room) whereas factory workers live well + huge profits
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Why was Russia at a disadvantage?
Size, poor transport system, inefficient industry & agriculture
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How was the army and what did Russian soldiers that took part in attacks with no rifle have to do?
Badly trained/equipped. Soldiers with no rifle were told to take a fallen comrade’s before they got to the German trenches.
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What was one Russia’s early defeats in WW1 in 1915?
Germans pushed Russian army back + lost 2mill men (killed/wounded/taken prisoner) + large parts of 4 provinces including a major coal mining district.
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What did Tsar do in September 1915 because the war was going badly?
Took personal command of army (made things worse) + left German Tsarina as his deputy in Petrograd (her mistakes made them more unpopular).
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What effect did conscripting 15 million peasants/trained factory workers have on Russia?
Harder to grow enough food + keep up industrial production. Fertiliser production collapsed + horses for ploughing requisitioned by army – food shortages. Food eaten reduced by 25% 1914-1916 & infant mortality doubled.
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How were the leaders of Bolsheviks + Mensheviks quick to respond to the worsening conditions?
They held meetings about shortages, deaths at the front, government control + revolution & workers listened.
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Why did the people no longer make excuses that the Tsar was “badly advised” + “loved his people”?
As they no longer gave the automatic loyalty (that stopped revolution) they once did.
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How were conditions in the first few months of 1917?
Colder than usual (-15o). Bread shortages due to no fuel or flour.
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What happened on the 21st February 1917?
Managers of biggest factory in Petrograd (Putilov works) “locked out” some workers triggering a strike that spread to other factories.
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What happened on the 23rd February 1917?
Groups of women marched to demand equal rights, then women cloth workers joined to protest bread shortages. Army + Police couldn’t stop them.
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What happened on the 24th February 1917?
150,000 workers took to the streets armed with tools + metal bars & seized food from well-off areas of the city + held mass protest. Police/army helpless.
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What happened on the 25th February 1917?
200,000 striked + protested with red flags/banners saying ‘down with the Tsar’ & ‘Down with the war’
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What happened on the 26th February 1917?
Troops ordered to fire at the demonstrators –turning point. Some refused + changed sides whilst others fired.
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What happened on the 27th February 1917?
Troops refused to leave Petrograd Barracks, shot commanding officer & called on other troops to join them & the people. Got hold of 40,000 rifles + 30,000 revolvers & fought the police & released political prisoners.
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What did the President of Duma, Rodzianko do?
Wrote letter to Tsar saying that Civil war was spreading.
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What happened on 2nd of March 1917?
12 Duma deputies agreed with Petrograd soviet & set up the Provisional Government to run things ‘unofficially’ + would have the support of the powerful Petrograd soviet as long as it worked to 8 principals of government.
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Where was the Tsar during this period?
In St.Petersburg but was forced to abdicate when he was returning + as his brother refused to take his place, Nicholas II was taken prisoner.
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What were the high expectations of the people for the provisional government?
Taking Russia out of the war. Providing a more effective government. Improving conditions for workers. Solving problems of shortages of food/fuel. Redistributing property more equally.
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What did the Provisional Government decide about the War?
By April they decided they couldn’t desert Russia’s allies so it sent more troops to the front + tried hard to spread enthusiasm for fighting for the republic instead of the Tsar but the problems of supply + leadership were still there + discontented
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What were the achievements of the Provisional Government?
Had brought in the 8-hour working day. Legalised public meetings, free speech + the formation of political parties. Released political prisoners, but these freedoms just allowed free criticism of PG.
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Who was Vladimir llyich Lenin?
Bolshevik leader – excellent speaker + clear thinker
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What view did Lenin hold?
The Marxist view that communism could only come after a bourgeois revolution followed by workers’ revolution
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What did Lenin say in his speech a few days before the February Revolution broke out?
That the revolution may not come in his lifetime
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What was the name of the list of aims that Lenin sent ahead on his journey back to Russia?
April theses – PG was result of bourgeois revolution, Bol must now work for workers’ revolution, should work against PG + needed to get out of the war. Bol came round to his view after initial disagreement.
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When was the second Provisional Government established?
5 May 1917 –had members from main political groups except Bolsheviks. Non-Bol members of Petrograd Soviet joined PG but it still hadn’t taken Russia out of the war or made reforms
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Why did the Bolsheviks gain a lot of support?
As the people of Petrograd came to see the Bolsheviks as the only real supporters of radical change and ending the war.
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When did the Provisional Government introduce bread rationing?
March 1917
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When did the Russian generals lead another offensive and what happened as a result?
June 1917 – failed with heavy losses + by autumn 2 mill soldiers had deserted
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What did Lenin’s speeches include under his and Trotsky’s leadership?
“Peace, Land Bread” + “All Power to the Soviets”
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What had happened by June?
41 Bolshevik papers in major cities were criticising the Provisional Government + urging revolution
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What were the Red guards and what was Lenin’s main problem?
Armed workers (10,000 in Petrograd by July) – PG so unpopular workers may rise before the Bolsheviks ready
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What were the July Days (1917)?
Unplanned rising in Petrograd reacting to war, bread rationing + PG’s lack of reforms – smaller than Feb revolution
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How did the Provisional government respond to the July Days?
Unplanned rising in Petrograd reacting to war, bread rationing + PG’s lack of reforms – smaller than Feb revolution
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How did the Provisional government respond to the July Days?
Like the Tsar – they sent troops to clear the streets. Trotsky + several other Bol leaders arrested + Lenin escaped but had to go into hiding
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Who led the PG when it reformed following the July days?
Alexander Kerensky (member of Duma + Petrograd soviet) chose Lavr kornilov known to be against the Feb revolution to command the army.
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What did the new PG do that slowed discontent among the workers but made business/landowners unhappy?
Reforms of industry and land ownership to start before November elections. PG’s control in cities still depended on army
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What was happening in the countryside (where the PG had never had that much control)?
Peasants began to rise up and take over land and food supplies from the landowners
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What was the counter-revolution that the Bolsheviks were warning the danger of?
Those who wanted to put the Tsar (at present a prisoner) back on the throne may revolt
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What did Kornilov push Kerensky to do and why?
Kornilov was disturbed by the growing unrest + risings in towns + the countryside & pushed Kerensky to impose martial law and break the power of the Soviets.
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What did Kerensky do when he couldn’t decide between the support of Kornilov or the soviets?
Encouraged Kornilov to order his troops to advance on Petrograd thinking they were saving the PG from the soviets
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What did Kerensky then claim before he armed the Bolshevik Red guards (imprisoned in July) to stop Kornilov?
Claimed that Kornilov was leading an army coup. Pro-soviet activists persuaded Kornilov’s troops to stop their advance so there was no fighting but Kornilov + 7000 followers were arrested.
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How did Kornilov present himself and why didn’t it work?
As the saviour of the revolution which was how the people saw the Bolsheviks whom won the most seats in the Petrograd Soviet election (31 august). Bol-party of the people
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What was the third Provisional Government?
Led by Alexander Kerensky who took 3 weeks to choose a government from the soviet + Duma. Chose Lavr Kornilov (general known to be against the Feb revolution, to command the army.
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How did the third Provisional government operate?
Set out reforms of industry + land ownership – helped to slow discontent but made landowners + business owners unhappy. PG’s control in cities still depended on army but countryside peasants began to rise up, takeover land/food supplies from landowne
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What were the Bolsheviks doing while the third provisional government was in power?
Building support for opposition to the PG + warning of the danger of a counter-revolution by monarchists.
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What was the Petrograd Soviet certain was the best solution after the third Provisional government came into power?
To demand the PG pass over power to the Congress of Soviets when it met on 25 October, Lenin thought Bol should move before then
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Trotsky in Petrograd
Trotsky became Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet + ran its Military Revolutionary Committee. PG was unable to control violence in cities. German troops nearly in Petrograd + generals sent “There’s nothing to do but give up”-22 Oct.
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What did Lenin do when he secretly returned on 10th October?
Stayed in hiding in Petrograd, planning a revolution. Rumours soon spread about the planned revolution. Local Soviets organised rifle practice + patrolled the streets.
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Why didn’t Kerensky do anything when he heard of the open secret of revolution?
He seems to think that the fact that it was no longer secret meant the revolutionaries would give up, instead between 24 + 26 October following a plan worked out by Trotsky, the Bolsheviks took control of Petrograd.
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What did Lenin do when he took control?
Announced the election for the Constituent Assembly would still take place in November. Until then the CPC (Council of People’s Commissars) would rule by decree (everyone was Bol) overseen by the CEC (Central Executive Committee) also Bol controlled.
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Why had Trotsky had carefully times events so that the Bol takeover happened when the Congress was meeting?
So that those who disagreed with Bol had walked out on 25 October.
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Why did the Bolsheviks win – Bolshevik strengths?
Lenin pressed Bol to lead a revolution in October + insisted it be on Bol, the take-over was well planned + organised by Trotsky whom organised the RG + army, navy + factory volunteers to co-operate. Provided the decisive leadership that the people h
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What did the Bolshevik plan to take power include?
Taking over the telephone + telegraph offices + railway stations making it hard for the PG to send for help. On 25 October PG was besieged in the Winter Palace. Kerensky had to take a car + drive towards the front to look for help.
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What were the early decrees?
Capital punishment, Power in local towns/countryside given to the local soviets, peace decree, land decree + workers’ decree (set 8 hr working day + gave workers control over the factories).
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What did the peace decree do?
Called on all nations to negotiate for peace at once, Lenin was determined to get Russia out of the war at any price as: failure to end the war had undermined PG + he feared civil war + wanted all Bol troops free to fight that.
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What did the Land Decree do?
Took all land owned by the Tsar, other landowners + the church, gave it to the peasants to be run by land committees. Made Bol more popular with the peasants who usually supported the Social revolutionaries.
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What were the advantages + disadvantages of the decrees?
They met many of the demands of the people, but they weren’t easy to enforce. There were counter revolutionary attacks in Petrograd + other cities almost at once
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When was the Brest Litovsk treaty and were the disadvantages?
22 Dec 1917 - Lenin knew the revolution would fail altogether if Russia had to fight Germany + civil war, although the treaty made many Bol/public furious. Russia lost coalmines (80%), industry (50%), railways (26%), Farmland (27%).
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What happened when the Constituent Assembly met on 5 January 1918?
The Social Revolutionaries + other groups argued against Bol reforms passed as decrees + wouldn’t pass them as laws + were critical of the Treaty of Brest Litovsk - -> Lenin brought in the red guard to shut the meeting down.
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How was the Red Army set up?
On 28th Jan 1918 Trotsky, People’s Commissar for war began setting up the
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What were the short term effects of the Civil War?
Damaged land, property, road/rail links + telegraph lines. Caused army + civilian casualties. Meant skilled workers + professionals left the country to live somewhere safer. Shortages of food fuel. Bol leaders used to giving/enforcing orders. (milita
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What were the long term effects of the Civil War?
Red terror + War Communism lost Bol support (didn’t bring peace, land , break). Loss of farmland (Brest Litovsk), reduced planting – crop production in 1920 37% of production in 1913. Prices risen rapidly, money worthless = bartering goods.
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What was the new system of government set out by the constitution of 10th July 1918?
Local Soviets elected deputies to regional Soviets which elected deputies to the congress of soviets. Congress chose CEC which chose the CPC whom made the laws, but these had to be approved by CEC _ Congress. Dec 1920 CPC could pass urgent laws.
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What did the Constitution say?
All land + all businesses with over 10 workers belonged to the state + may be run for the benefit of the people. Free speech, press, education + medical care.
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Why was the constitution only a theory of how things should work?
Wanted workers to run factories but suppressed workers’ committees + imposing state control (civil war). Used executions to control the country + army. Used cheka to control political opposition (but in favour of free expression of beliefs).
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What was the purpose of war communism?
May 1918 = policy Lenin adopted to bring the economy completely under government control, help win civil war + destroy all opposition to communism.
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What were the main elements of war communism?
Ending the market for food (peasants couldn’t sell crops + state left only a small amount for their needs), assuming control of industries (only used for war), control of banks, money, prices + cut back on people’s rights (banned strikes, destroyed o
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Why was 1921 a year of crisis?
Civil war won by winter of 1920 but Lenin continued War Communism .Farm production in 1920 37% of 1913 levels + Industries producing almost no consumer goods. City strikes (Petrograd) + Countryside riots
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What was the Kronstadt Mutiny?
Sailors from kronstadt (naval base near Petrograd) had joined revolutions of 1905 + 1917 but were horrified by the situation and mutinied when the Red Army crushed a strike in Petrograd (March 1921).
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What did the sailors in the Knrostadt Mutiny demand?
A re-election of soviets by secret ballot, Freedom of speech – workers, peasants, revolutionary political parties. Freedom for all political parties. The end of the red terror. Freedom for peasants to run farms as they want to.
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What were the effects of NEP on Russian industry, agriculture and economy?
Agriculture production went up (77.7 mill hectares of grain growin in 1922 + 98.1 mill in 1924), Factory production increased (99% of cotton mills not working june 1921, 90 working again in 1926).economy improved, Small businesses + reintroduction o
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What did Lenin include in his testament about Stalin?
Stalin would not use his “unlimited authority” with “enough caution”. Lenin believed that Stalin was “too rude” which was be “intolerable in the post of Secretary General”
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What did Lenin include in his testament about Trotsky?
Feared Trotsky’s and Stalin’s different political views and personalities could split the party. Wrote that Trotsky was “probably the most capable man on the Central Committee” but believed he was “too self-confident”
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What were Stalin’s Strengths and weaknesses?
Most ambitious member of the Politburo, suspicious and suddenly changed his mind for no good reason +was clever and was an excellent organiser/ planner + member of Politburo and charming but quick temperes
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Why was Stalin’s belief in “Socialism in one country” more popular than Trotsky’s idea of World Revolution?
As socialism in one country focused on modernising Russia’s Agriculture + industry.
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What was Trotsky’s first mistake and why did he lose power as a result?
Wasn’t in Moscow when Lenin died and missed Lenin’s funeral (possinly Stalin’s false info)people started questioning whether Trotsky ever had Lenin’s approval especially considering the book that he wrote criticising Lenin and the NEP 1924.
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How was Trotsky removed from power?
Resigned as Commissar for War (1925), Expelled from the Politburo (1926). Expelled from the communist party (1927). Exiled to Kazakhstan (1928), Exiled from the Soviet Union (1929).
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What were the Social problems in Russia?


1897 census – social inequality. Over ½ of peasants had no land or homes. Most of the land + wealth belonged to 1 mill of the 125.6 mill. Much of the farmland was poor quality + methods were old-fashioned + Food shortages.

Card 3


How was Town life in Russia?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Why was Russia at a disadvantage?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How was the army and what did Russian soldiers that took part in attacks with no rifle have to do?


Preview of the front of card 5
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