Russia in Revolution 1881-1924

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What did Alexander III do?
Russification - Insisted on the use of the Russian language, including all official documents and all other languages were forbidden in schools (even when other races were in the majority). Manifesto - Stating that ultimate power lay with the Tsar.
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Government Courts - Set up to try political opponents for Tsarism (No Jury = No Fairness) and if Alexander III won then the opponent could be exiled or executed.
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What did Nicholas II do?
Known for his indecision and weakness, and often regarded as 'soft' by his father. Often kept his views to himself and wouldn't express his opinion so would tend to go along with things he didn't agree with. (Commander-in-chief!)
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What were the economic and social threats to the Tsar?
Serfdom - Approximately 80% of the population were peasants and over half of these were serfs (agricultural laborers who were tied to the land and subject to extensive control by those who owned the land).
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Serf unrest - encouraged subsistence agriculture which failed to produce the grain surpluses needed to create enough economic wealth for industrialisation.
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Emancipation did not bring complete freedom - former serfs had to pay redemption payments to govt. over a period of 49 years. Population Growth - doubled between 1861 and 1914 to 130 million.
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Who was Sergei Witte?
The Finance Minister. Aimed to make Russian economy strong enough to remain Russia's position as a Great Power. 'Witte System' - govt. placed emphasis on capital goods (iron & steel, coal & machinery).
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Trans-Siberian Railway - provided communication essential to exploit the economic potential of Siberia.
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Who were the opposition parties opposing the Tsar?
Social Democrats: Lenin was leader, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, radical ideas of Marxism. Social Revolutionaries: Believed Russia's future lay with peasentry, Victor Chernov, wanted support of industrial workers, anarchists & a 'terrorist wing'.
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Populists: peasants as the political base of the future, replace Tsars rule with a system of govt based on independent peasant communes. Octoberists: after 1905 revolution, october manifesto, supported Nic II.
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Kadets: saw OM as beginning not end of political reform, wanted a truly parliamentary system of govt.
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What were the causes of the 1905 revolution?
- Overthrow Tsars - Shortages of food - Help peasantry - Loss control of armed forces - Mutiny on battleships (Potemkin) - Riots on Petrograd - Bloody Sunday - Loss war with Japan - Okhrana (secret police)
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What was the nature, extent and significance of the 1905 revolution?
- October Manifesto: promised freedom of speech, right to form political parties, established a Duma. - Broken Promises: Voting system unfair (rich had more influence than poor), Duma had little influence over Tsar and new laws.
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Why did the 1905 revolution fail?
- Japan released prisoners to aid the Tsar - October Manifesto divided opposition - No clear leader - No coordination between workers strikes and peasant uprisings
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What happened in the First Duma?
(May - Jul 1906). Dominated by liberals and reformists. Asked for changes promised in the OM. Nic II said "curse the Duma" and closed it down (fundamental law)
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What happened in the Second Duma?
(Feb - June 1907). Passed important land reforms. Nic II accused Duma of trying to undermine his authority as they were accused of trying to encourage mutinies so Nic closed it down.
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What happened in the Third Duma?
(Nov 1907 - June 1912). Tsar's chief minister, Stolypin, changed electoral laws so only 1 in 6 men could vote. Cooperative to govt. Supporters of Tsar were appointed, and Duma did virtually nothing that Nic would object to.
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What happened in the Fourth Duma?
(Nov 1912 - Mar 1917). Stolypin assassinated in 1911. Still included members from Third Duma, so wasn't too radical. Public opinion influenced, debates reported in the press. No. of strikes rose. Former Tsar supporters began to protest. Nic closed it
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Who was Peter Stolypin?
He joined the Council of Ministers as Minister of the Interior in April 1906, and became its chairman (equ. to PM) in July.
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What did Stolypin do?
- Fought terror with terror (in 1907, approx. 1200 govt officicals murdered in terrorist attacks by revolutionaries. Stolypin mtwt by using field court martial's, 1144 death sentences were handed out between oct 1906 & may 1907).
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- Between 1906 & 1912: a thousand newspapers forced to cease publication and 600 TU's forced to close. - 1908 & 1909: Stolypins courts convicted 16,500 people of political crimes, 3600 sentenced to death and 4500 to hard labour in prison camps.
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What were Stolypin's reforms?
- Nov 9 1906: freed peasans from control of commune so they didn't need permission from the maj. of its members to leave any more. - Nov 15: Peasant Land Bank introduced to give loans to peasants who wanted to leave commune. - NYD 1907: Redemption Pa
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- NYD 1907: Redemption Payments abolished. - June 1910: dissolved the communes where no distribution of land had taken place since the Emancipation of the Serfs in 1861
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What was the impact of war on Russia?
- Battle of Tannenburg: 30,000 troops killed or wounded, 95,000 captured, Russian general (Samsonov) shot himself rather than report loss of army to Tsar. - 1915: Russian forces completely driven out of Russian Poland, commander-in-chief. - Xmas 1916
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- Xmas 1916: 1.6 million soldiers dead, 3.9 million wounded, 2.4 million taken prisoner. - Economy: Govt. printed more money which led to inflation, prices rose over 200% between aug 1914 and xmas 1916.
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What were the causes of the Feb 1917 Revolution?
- Military defeats - Leadership (Nic to war, Alexandra in control of govt) - Rasputin - Inflation - Petrograd Demonstrations (Nic dismissed it as a 'hooligan movement'): Feb 14, 100,000 workers striked against food shortages & poor working conditions
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Feb 23: 10s of thousands of women took to street for International Women's Day which coincided with a strike at the Putilov Engineering Works, no's rose to over 100,000. Feb 25: Number of demonstrations to 200,000
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Why did the Tsar abdiate?
March 1: Tsar board train to get back to Petrograd. March 2: Train stopped bc anti-govt. soldiers had gained control on railway line. Here Nic II was visited by State Duma members who asked him to abdicate and he agreed.
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What was the Provisional Government?
- Formed due to Tsar abdication - Made up of members of State Duma - Means temporary government - Faced many problems: took over govt of Russia during a world war, had a major economic and political crisis
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What problems did the PG face?
- Crisis in the countryside: Govt had control in cities but not country, led to peasants deciding to take law into their own hands by seizing large proportions of land and performed violent acts towards land owners.
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- War: Millions of soldiers had been killed, wounded or captured. Russia continued to fight in war bc they were desperate to ensure they could keep getting loans from Britain and France.
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- Soviets: PG's main rivals from power, both compromised for shared power but Soviets were made up of smaller groups and eventually gained most power, Soviets introduced 'Order Number 1' which meant they took control of the armed forces
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What were the causes of the Oct 1917 revolution?
-Lenin's return from exile: April Theses (climbed on top of armoured car, addressed crowds for 90 minutes, said he condemned Feb revolution, called for immediate Socialist revolution, no support given to PG, power to soviets, Peace, Bread, Land
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-Trotsky: Joined Bolsheviks in May, organised revolution so well it was almost bloodless. - Summer Offensive: PG planned to try & regain initiative in war but was a disaster & were mass desertions (soldiers had lost faith, tempted to join Bolsheviks)
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-The July Days: Demonstrations reminiscent of Feb revolution, dispersed but the Bolsheviks were accused of complicity and Lenin fled to Finland, neither Soviet of PG were fans of Bolsheviks but this forced them together,
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called loyal army units to arrest Bolsheviks and tries to label Lenin a German spy.
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- Kornilov Affair: Peasants were seizing land, soldiers were deserting. Kornilov had become commander-in-chief, ordered more troops to petrograd fearing a left-wing uprising. Kerensky saw this as a direct threat and believed Kornilov was planning a
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coup, therefore dismissing Kornilov and armed groups of workers to fight against the army. Released Bolsheviks from prison and armed them.
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How did the Communists win the Civil War (1918 - 1921) BOLSHEVIK STRENGTHS?
- Leadership: Lenin. Lenin provided energy and drive needed to inspire success, he had definite aims and objectives. - Trotsky and Red Army: founded Red Army from Red Guards (Bolshevik workers militias) and from remnants of old Tsarist army.
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Held families hostage in order to ensure soldier loyalty, political officers assigned to all Red Army units to ensure they complied with Trotsky's orders and remained loyal to the Communists. Men who showed initiative and courage: promoted rapidly.
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- Geography: at start of Civil War, Bolsheviks controlled key areas of Russia (Petrograd and Moscow). Most of Russia's railways were in this area (communication between the various battlefronts much easier). Trotsky could move troops and supplies to
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areas under attack (such as weapons, ammunition etc). - Ruthlessness: Closed the Constituent Assembly, other parties and newspapers. Introduced the CHEKA (secret police) who arrested anyone who was suspected of opposing the Bolsheviks.
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- Propaganda: speeches, newspapers, & leaflets the people continually told they were now in charge of Russia. Through Soviets life would be better & wealth would be distributed more equally. Also told White armies would bring old system back.
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- Terror: Cheka, peasants who tried to resist grain requisitioning were executed, villages thought to be hiding political opponents were burned, civilians/would-be opponents offered choice of execution or joining Red Army
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How did the Communists win the Civil War (1918 - 1921) OPPONENT WEAKNESSES?
- Divided leadership: White forces had several rival leaders (Yudenich, Wrangel, Kolchak, Denikin) and fought for different reasons (many to re-establish Tsarism, some liberals who wanted return to PG). No cooperation, fought independently (easy for
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Reds to defeat them one by one). - Geography: Whites geographically dispersed, launched offensives at different times, hard to move forces and supplies over huge distances. - Brutality: White forces cruelty to areas they controlled, burning towns/
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destroying property etc, meaning they became hated and feared so support for Bolsheviks increased dramatically.
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What was War Communism?
-A Supreme Economic Council formed to run the economy. -Decree on Nationalisation in summer 1918 made all large industries liable to nationalisation without compensation. Private trade banned. Grain surpluses seized from peasants. Decline in use of £
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What impact did War Communism have on Russia?
-Helped Communists win Civil War (could concentrate on production of weapons and military equip.) -Peasants stopped producing so much grain when realised it would be taken off them... uprisings - Failed to stop fall in industrial production
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What came after the end of War Communism?
THE NEP (NEW ECONOMIC POLICY)
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What happened under the NEP?
-Requisitioning of foodstuffs abandoned (peasants only had to give part of their produce to govt and rest could be sold on open market). -Private trading allowed...Nepman (1922) -New currency which bought end to high inflation
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-Scissors Crisis: widening gap between agricultural and industrial prices, meaning that peasants had to pay more & more for manufactured goods when they were receiving less and less for their produce. -Factions: Lenin placed a ban on factions within
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Party at first, but then on all other political parties.
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What was the creation of the USSR?
Dec 29 1922: Lenin created the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. -Contained aspiration of worldwide revolution. -Political power firmly in hands of Communist Party, and other political parties allowed in USSR. Only Communists could stand for
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Soviets so the Communist Party controlled the govt. Lenin ruled the Communist Party and Govt (envy of any Tsar). Propaganda portrayed Lenin as father of the nation. -Controlled media, Russians only told what he wanted them to know.
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Government Courts - Set up to try political opponents for Tsarism (No Jury = No Fairness) and if Alexander III won then the opponent could be exiled or executed.

Card 3

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What did Nicholas II do?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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What were the economic and social threats to the Tsar?

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Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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(Continued)

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