Over 200 Flashcards on Russia in Revolution 1881-1924 and Stalin's Russia 1924-1953

cards 1-75: Russia in Revolution 1881-1924

75-  206: Stalin's Russia 1924-1953

What was Tsar Alexander II's nickname?
Tsar Liberator because he conducted important reforms, such as the emancipation of the Serfs in 1861
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How big is Russia?
Over 5000km from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok
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Describe the structure of Russian society.
Tsar, the Court (aristocratic landowners and members of the government), Russian Orthodox Church, businessmen and traders, industrial workers, farm workers/peasants/serfs
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List some of the ethnic groups to be found in Imperial Russia.
Finns, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, Ukrainians, Georgians, Armenians, Turkmens, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Tartars
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What percentage of peasants were Serfs before the Emancipation Act in 1861?
80% (25 million)
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What is a ukase?
An imperial decree
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What did Serfs have to pay to the Government to pay for their freedom and compensate their former owners?
Redemption taxes for 49 years
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What happened in 1891, making the Government of Russia even harder?
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What was the name of the first elected body introduced by Alexander II in 1864?
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What did the Government introduce in 1870 to improve the justice system?
Trial by jury
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What happened to Alexander II on 13th March 1881?
He was assassinated by People's Will
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What is the name of the conservative advisers of Alexander III who wished to preserve Russia's traditional culture and language?
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Between 1879 and 1880, how many attempts were there on Alexander II's life?
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Who was Konstantin Pobedonostev?
Chief adviser to the Tsar and Procurator of the Holy Synod.
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What did Alexander III declare in his 1881 Manifesto?
Absolute power resided with the Tsar
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What powers did the Statute of State Security give the Government?
The power to put political opponents on trail without the need for a jury
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Who were the Okhrana?
The secret police
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What steps did Alexander III take to control public opinion?
14 major newspapers were banned betwenn 1882 and 1889; foreign books and newspapers were consored
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How did Alexander III deal with the universities in Russia?
Fees were increased to exclude all but the wealthy, they came directly under government control from 1884
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What were Land Captains?
Government appointed officials who enforced law and order locally, replacing elected Justices of the Peace
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How did Alexander III limit the powers of the Zemstva?
Land Captains were made members, franchise was limited to give more prominence to the landed classes, some (such as doctors or teachers) were forbidden from standing in elections
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How did Alexander III reform juries?
Government was given the ability to select members
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How did Alexander III reform primary education?
It was put under the control of the church
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What was the policy introduced by Alexander III to encourage all Russians to speak the same language and share the same culture?
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How did Finance Ministers Bunge and Vyshengradsky improve Russia's economy?
Established a Peasant Land Bank offering loans to peasants, encouraged peasants to migrate to Siberia, encouraged foreign investement loans
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Who once said that Russia was 'a riddle wrapped inside an enigma'?
Winston Churchill
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How wide was the Russian Empire in 1855?
6000 miles East to West
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What were Russia's largest two cities?
Moscow and St. Petersburg (Petrograd)
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What percentage of the population of Russia lived in towns or cities in 1855?
1.6% (100,000 people)
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What is the term for unlimited government by one person?
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Why was the Russian Orthodox Church important to Tsarism?
It preached unquestioning loyalty to authority
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What is the name of the main railway route that runs across Russia to the pacific?
Trans-Siberian Railway
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What was the average annual rate of growth in the economy under Alexander III?
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How much did foreign investment increase in the last 20 years of the 19th century?
from 98 million roubles (1880) to 911 million roubles (in 1900)
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How many working class people were living in the cities by 1913?
11 million
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How many people did the average apartment in St Petersburg house in 1904?
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What event struck Russia in 1899, hitting workers especially badly?
World economic depression
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By the end of the 19th century, how much was inflation?
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Which community was the focus of fierce attacks following the assassination of Alexander II in 1881?
The Jewish community
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How big was the population of Russia by 1905?
125 million
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What occurred in 1892, 1898 and 1901?
Harvest failures
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How many assassinations did the Socialist Revolutionaries perpetrate between
Over 2000
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What was the name of the war fought by Russia over control over China and Korea between 1904-05?
Russo-Japanese War
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Which important naval base in China were the Russians forced to surrender the Russo-Japanese War?
Port Arthur
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Why was the Battle of Tsushima so embarrassing for the Russians?
It was against the supposedly weaker Japanese fleet; the Russians lost 25 out of 35 warships
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Who led the famous 'Bloody Sunday' protest which sparked the 1905 Revolution?
Father Gapon
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In response to 'Bloody Sunday', by the end of 1905 roughly how many Russians were on strike?
2.7 million
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What is the technical term for peasant uprisings which occurred during the 1905 Revolution?
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What event sparked a mutiny in the Black Sea fleet in 1905?
The crew of the Battleship Potemkin took control of their ship and bombarded the port of Odessa
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What did the Tsar publish in 1905 to appease protesters?
The October Manifesto
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Which pro-Tsarist group put down the rebellions?
Black Hundreds
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Why did the 1905 Revolution fail?
Lack of central coordination, lack of clear aims, divisions between the different political groups, promises made by the Tsar in the October Manifesto
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What was the Fundamental Law?
A follow-up to the October Manifesto which laid out the structure of government after the Revolution but also included Article 87 retaining the right for the Tsar to govern by decree if nessesary
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What was another name for the Populist Party in Russia?
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Who did the populists appeal to for support?
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What did the Populists want to replace Tsarist government with?
A system of government based on independent peasant communes
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What was the name of the radical alternative to the Populists who were prepared to use violence to achieve their aims?
The People's Will
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Who was the leader of the Social Revolutionaries?
Victor Chernov
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Who did the SRs target?
Peasants and Industrial Workers (Proletariat)
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Which political thinker inspired the ideas of the Social Democrats?
Karl Marx
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What were the four phases of the Marxist revolution?
Feudal phase (Serfs exploited by landowners), Capitalist phase (Proletariat explioted by the Bourgeoisie), Socialist phase (government tries to equalize wealth and power) and Communism (no need for government)
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What did the Social Democrat Party split into?
Bolsheviks (majority) and Mensheviks (minority)
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Who were the Liberals?
Professionals, who supported the idea of legitimate, constitutional reform.
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Who were the Octoberists?
Supporters of the terms of the October Manifesto (1905), to create a constitutional monarchy
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Who were the Kadets?
A more radical group than the Octoberists, who wanted to set up a parliamentary system of government
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What was the name given to the unprecedented industrial expansion under Finance Minister Witte?
The Great Spurt
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Which 2 Finance Ministers laid the foundations of the 'Great Spurt'?
Bunge and Vyshnegradsky
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What challenges faced Witte when he began to reform Russia's economy?
Small business class, most peasants had little freedom of movement, lack of investment in industrial growth
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What was the name of Witte's plan for economic development?
The Witte System
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What did the government try to increase production of under the Witte system?
coal, steel, iron and machinary
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Which countries invested in Russian economical development?
Belgium, France and Britain
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What was the most important construction project undertaken as part of the Witte system?
Trans-Siberian Railway
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What impact did industrial growth have on the cities in Russia?
Population grew from 1 million (1890) to 2 million (1914)
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What was the name of the engineering works in St. Petersburg which often was the centre of industrial disputes and strikes?
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How many kilometers of railway had been completed in Russia by 1914?
70,000 km
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What did the members of the Soviet Government call Stalin and why?
The Grey blur, there seemed to be nothing outstanding about him
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What qualities did Stalin have that made him a strong contender for the Soviet leadership?
Gift for administration, peasant background appealed to ordinary Russians, had played a part in the October Revolution and Civil War
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What chance event helped Stalin in his quest for power?
Lenin's Testament was not published (it was highly critical of Stalin)
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What were Trotsky's strengths?
Key player in the October Revolution, gifted orator, clever theorist, supported by the Red Army, praised in Lenin's Testament
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What challenges did Trotsky face?
Lenin's Testament was not published, seen to be arrogant and too pro-Western
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What were Bukharin's strengths?
Clever orator and theorist, young and enthusiastic, described as 'favourite' by Lenin, pragmatist, supported the NEP
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What challenges did Bukharin face?
Hardline Communists were suspicious of his policies, Lenin's Testament criticised his theories as 'not fully Marxist'
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What were the strengths of Zinoviev and Kamenev?
Lenin's closest friends, among the first members of the Communist Party.
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What were the weaknesses of Zinoviev and Kamenev?
Criticised Lenin's plans for the October Revolution and saw out the Civil War from a luxurious hotel in Petrograd
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List Stalin's key roles in the Communist Party
People's Commissar for Nationalities, Head of Orgburo, Head of Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate, Head of Central Control Commission, Secretary General of the Party
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Who were the Leninstry?
New members brought in during the Lenin Enrollment (1924-25) who were loyal to Stalin, party membership doubled to 1 million, most were young and inexperienced and likely to be politically malleable
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What percentage of delegate to the Party Congress were appointed by Stalin in 1923?
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What characterised the views of those on the left of the Communist Party after Lenin's death?
High taxes to fund industrialisation, collectivisation to increase productivity, rapid state-funded industrialisation
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What characterised the views of those on the right?
Low taxes, allow peasants to own farm lands, free market, slow state-funded industrailisation
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Who supported the left?
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Who supported the right?
Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin (initially)
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What was the NEP?
New Economic Policy which developed during the Civil War to allow a degree of Capitalism to enter the economy.
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What were the problems with NEP?
Compromised true Communist beliefs by allowing a form of Capitalism, wages didn't keep up with prices, grain hoarding led to food shortage
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Why was the NEP slowly abandoned?
Grain production began to dwindle by 1927, fear of another war led many to a more centrally-planned economy, it grew out of favour with those on the left
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What characterised the left-wing view of foreign policy?
They believed in permanent revolution, the idea that revolution needed to be spread around the world for it to survive
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What characterised the right-wing view of foreign policy?
They believed in socialism in one country, the idea that it needed to be established in Russia first before trying to cause revolution elsewhere
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Who supported socialism in one country?
Bukharin and Stalin
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Who supported permanent revolution?
Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev
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Why did socialism in one country appeal to many Russians?
It stressed Russia's importance as the number one Communist country and appealed to national pride
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What were the problems of permanent revolution?
Seen as too costly, focus would be taken from Russia's economic development and too risky as it could lead to future conflicts
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Who were the members of the Triumvirate (1923-25)?
Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin
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Who were the members of the Duumvirate (1925-28)?
Bukharin and Stalin
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Who eventually emerged as overall leader of the USSR in 1929?
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Who had originally used terror to strengthen his regime?
Lenin used the NKVD during the Red Terror in 1918
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Give reasons for Stalin's paranoia
Death of his wife Svetlana, Red Army traditionally loyal to Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev had powerbases, Yagoda had sided with Bukharin, Stalin lost a vote to Kirov at the Congress of Victors
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What were the economic advantages of starting the Great Terror?
Stalin needed scapegoats for the 5 Year Plans' failure, he also needed a labour force for industrial projects
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How was Kirov's murder used as an excuse to start the Great Terror?
Stalin argued it was part of a conspiracy against the Communist Party in an attempt to restore Capitalism to Russia
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How many show trials were there in Moscow between 1936 and 1938?
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What were the key events at the Trail of the Sixteen?
Zinoviev and Kamenev charged with Kirov's murder, conspiring with foreign nations and undermining Stalin's economic plans. Both were executed and the judge famously said 'shoot the mad dogs, every one of them'
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What were the key events at the Trail of the Seventeen?
Trotsky and his supporters also charged with Kirov's murder, evidence was shown to be suspect. Trotsky couldn't be executed as he was in exile in Mexico
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What were the key events at the Trail of the Twenty-One?
Defendants again charged with Kirov's murder, Bukharin charged with plotting to kill Lenin, all the defendants were executed
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How did Stalin tackle the army?
8 generals were put on trial in secret in 1937 and brutally tortured to extract confessions, 34000 soldiers purged from the army
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What effect did the changes have on marriage rates?
In 1937, 91% of men and 87% of women in their 30s were married
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Why were the show trials so significant?
They removed Stalin's rivals, silenced those who knew about Lenin's Testament, removed from power those who had been appointed by Lenin and provided useful propaganda that there were enemies within
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What was Yezhovschina?
Period when the NKVD was headed by Yezhov after execution of Yagoda
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What was the conveyor belt system?
NKVD agents worked in shifts to torture and interrogate victims, targets were set for arrests and executions
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Give examples of terror outside of Moscow.
Workers imprisoned managers, local Party officials put on trial for luxurious living standards, Communist Party officials denounced as 'enemies of the people' (330 000 convicted between 1934-38)
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What were the economic effects of the Great Terror?
Changes in the directed of the Five Year Plans towards rearmament, chaos and confusion of Gosplan, loss of expertise among managers of industry
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What were the social effects of the Great Terror?
10% of adult males fell victim, children humiliated or taken out of schools and universities, majority of victims were men aged 30-45
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What was the name of the new art form typical of the Stalin era?
Socialist realism
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What were the characteristics of socialist realism?
Art needed reflect the country's new Communist values, it would be accessible and realistic, it should celebrate the lives of ordinary Russian workers
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Give 3 examples of socialist realism in Art
Voting to Expel the Kulak from the Collective Farm, Training Cadets for Magnitogorsk, Leader Teacher Friend
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Give 3 examples of socialist realism in literature
Forward Oh Time, Quiet Flows the Don, How the Steel was Tempered
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Give 3 examples of socialist realism in architecture
The Moscow Underground, Theatre of the Red Army, Palace of the Soviets
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What was the celebration of Stalin's life and achievements known as?
Cult of personality
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What was the aim of the cult of personality?
To generate support for the regime and its policies by brainwashing ordinary Russians into celebrating the genius of Stalin
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Give 2 examples of official histories which helped form this cult of personality
A Short Course of the History of the All Union Communist Party (1939) and Joseph Stalin: A Short Biography
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How were events falsified by Stalin's propaganda team?
Photos were doctored, paintings showed Stalin playing a lead role in the October Revolution
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How did Mikhail Romm's film 'Lenin in October' rewrite history?
It created a myth of 2 leaders by showing Stalin and Lenin side-by-side during the October Revolution
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How was the cult of Stalin celebrated?
Stalin's birthday became a national holiday, souvenirs and collections of his speeches could be purchased
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What was the name of the organisation which administered the Five Year Plans (FYP)?
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What was Gosplan's job?
Co-ordinate the FYP, determine resources needed for each industry, set targets for each industry, liaise with the supreme economic council
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What were the priorities of the First FYP?
Rapid industrialisation to put Russia on a War footing, emphasis on heavy industry
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Give examples of successes of the First FYP
Russian economy grew by 14%, output exceeded production under the NEP, iron coal and oil output doubled.
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Who were the 'Red specialists'?
150 000 rapidly promoted workers and party members who replaced middle-class factory managers who had run industry under the NEP
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Give examples of failues of the First FYP
Gosplan's targets were rarely met, focus was on quantity rather than quality, statistics were altered to suggest output had increased or targets had been met, living standards declined, new industrial towns were poorly planned and constructed
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What was the focus of the Second FYP?
Electrification, transport, new industries, labour productivity and consumer goods
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Why was there a change in emphasis with the Second FYP?
Moderates within the Politburo, pressure on Stalin to moderate speed of industrialisation and improve living standards, resources produced as part of the First FYP couldn't be transported around Russia
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Why did rearmament become a key focus of the Second FYP?
Germany was rearming, Kirov had been assassinated and his followers purged during the Terror.
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Give examples of successes of the Second FYP
Moscow Metro (1935) and Volga Canal (1937) completed, bread rationing ended, production of consumer goods doubled between 1934 and 1935, Stakhonovite movement inspired greater productivity, steel output trebled, coal production doubled, rearmament
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Give examples of failures of the Second FYP
New houses lacked proper sanitation, 650 000 people in Moscow lacked access to bath houses, new clothing remained difficult to obtain, inequality
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What was the focus of the Third FYP?
Rearmament and heavy industry
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Give examples of successes of the Third FYP
Investment in rearmament doubled, 9 new aircraft factories were built, increases in coal and oil production
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Give examples of failures of the Third FYP
Internal passports, purges removed skilled workers and managers, food rationing introduced, limited availability of some consumer goods
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Why did Trotsky label the 1930s as the 'Great Retreat' for Russian society?
More conservative attitudes towards women, family values prevailed compared with liberal attitudes under Lenin
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How much did the employment of women increase in this period?
Women in industry increased from 3 to 13 million, 41% of workers were women in heavy industry
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What percentage of farmers were women?
80% by 1945
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Who was Pasha Angelina?
Leader of the Tractor Brigade
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Why was Maria Demchanko widely praised?
She increased production of sugar beat by 400%
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What evidence is there that inequalities between men and women remained?
Women earned 40% less than men
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What were wife activists?
Women who were championed by the Communist Party who supported the traditional role of women as wives and home-keepers rather than ambitious employees
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In what ways were traditional attitudes to relationships reasserted?
Adultery and homosexuality were made illegal, contraception and abortions were banned, state support was given to families with more than 6 children
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How did the Soviets support marriage?
Wedding rings were reintroduced as well as special wedding certificates, men who had affairs were named and shamed in newspapers, divorce became more costly and expensive, men who left families had to contribute 60% of their wages to their families
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What effect did the changes have on marriage rates?
In 1937, 91% of men and 82% of women in their 30s were married
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What was the name of the Soviet youth organisation?
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How did the Komsomol promote Soviet ideas of family values?
Promoted sexual abstinence among young people, medical virginity checks, young women encouraged to dress moderately
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What was the focus of the school curriculum under Stalin?
Discipline, national tradition, literacy, numeracy
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How was the curriculum divided up?
30% to Russian language and literature, 20% to Maths, 15% to Science and 10% to History
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How was History taught under Stalin?
Focus on great Russian leader, Communists seen as the liberators of Russia from the oppression of the Tsars
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How were teachers encouraged to support the regime?
They were set achievement targets and praised if these were achieved, they were blamed for poor planning if under performed.
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List economical reasons as to why Stalin needed to modernise the Soviet economy.
Failure of the NEP to increase productivity, the Grain Procurement Crisis (1926), industrial output never exceeded pre-War levels, need for efficiency in agriculture and industry
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List ideological reasons for modernisation
NEP was counter to Communist ideology, reforming agriculture would make peasants see the benfits of Communism, improvements would increase living standards of the working classes
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List political reasons for modernisation
Buukharin favoured the NEP, by adopting centrally planned economy the country would be endorsing Stalin's policies, need to prepare Russia for war.
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What was collectivisation?
Merging smaller farms into large, mechanised ones where resources could be shared leading to greater efficiency
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Who did Stalin suspect had caused the Grain Procuement Crisis?
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List emergency measures introduced by Stalin as part of collectivisation
Rationing was introduced in the cities and grain requistioning began again (1928)
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What was dekulakisation?
Compulsory collectivisation by removing kulaks from farms and forcing them into exile or labour camps
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Who were the Twenty-Five Thousanders?
27000 volunteers sent to help out in collectivised farms and to assist with dekulakisation
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How did Stalin excuse some of the failures of collectivisation?
He temporarily halted the process in 1930 because he said Party members were 'dizzy with success'
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List reasons why famine broke out in Russia in 1932
Dukulakisation removed most successful peasant farmers, forced collectivisation led to destruction of grain and livestock, unrealistic targets meant farms had all their grain confiscated, exports of grain increased to raise capital for investement
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What impact did collectivisation have on rural areas?
Dekulakisation led to 10 million peasants being sent into exile, harvests were down, BUT machine tractot stations did increase numbers of tractors by 75000
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What impact did collectivisation have on urban areas?
Standards of living fell, bread was rationed, overcrowding in cities as peasants fled the countryside
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When was the Nazi-Soviet pact signed?
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Why did Stalin sign a pact with the Nazis?
No alternative as other European nations wouldn't form alliance with Communists, it enable him to buy time to prepare for war, he was carrying on the policy of Lenin towards Germany, Stalin admired Hitler's strong leadership style,
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What was the code name of the invasion of Russia by Germany in 1941?
Operation Barbarossa
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Which Russian general repelled the German seige of Moscow in 1941?
General Zukhov
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Why was the Battle of Stalingrad (1942) a turning point in the War?
Red Amry demonstrated its strength, first major defeat for the German Army
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What were the Ten Great Victories?
A name give to a series of victories over the German Army in Eastern Europe in 1944
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When did the Red Army finally take Berlin?
April 1945
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How well was the Red Army prepared for war?
Discipline had been tightened, Tsarist system of titles and punishment reintroduced for offences BUT purges weakened the Army and removed many senior,experienced officers
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How well prepared was the Russian economy?
Chaos and confusion caused by FYPs had blurred lines of responsibility between governemnt departments, statistics on rearmamet unreliable, poor quality of some weapons and equipment BUT 6 new aircraft factories built and 24 explosive factories
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How well informed was Stalin at the start of the War on enemy preparations and movements?
Stalin had an extensive spy network BUT his paranoia meant he often didn't trust the information received and for much of 1930s espionage focused on tracked down Trotsky
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What was the human cost if the War?
10% of the population or 20 million lives lost, another 10 million died of injuries or as PoWs
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How many Russia were dislocated (forced to move)?
85 million lived under German occupation during WWII, 20 million fled Russia to escape Communism at the end of WWII
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What part did women play in the War?
They were responsible for the home front, running households on rations and working in factories
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What was the economic cost of WWII according to Gosplan?
It estimated that all the progress of the First and Second FYP was wiped out by WWII
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How many factories were destroyed during the War?
Approximately 32000
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How many kilometers of railway was destroyed?
Approximately 65000
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What percentage of grain was requisitioned?
90% for the Army
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How did Gosplan help Russia win the War?
It could organise the economy centrally, it could draw upon a huge labour force including slave labour, it was able to relocate factories (1523 factories taken down and reassembled further West at start of War)
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By 1942, what percentage of national income was devoted to the War?
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How much did armament production increase between 1941 and 1944?
It doubled
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How did patriotism help Russia win?
Stalin emphasised in his speeches that Russians were fighting for 'the Motherland' and it was 'The Great Patriotic War', nationalist nicknames for Germans such as Fritz were encouraged, patriotism masked the unpopularity of Communism
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What was Stalin's attitude towards the Church during WWII?
Stalin formed an alliance with the Church to encourage religious leaders to support the war effort
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What did the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church describe Stalin as?
God's Chosen Leader
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How many churches were reopened during the War?
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Who were 'the enemy within'?
Non-Russians living in the USSR who the NKVD suspected might be traitors
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Give an example of enemies with and what happened to them
Kalmyks, 130000 exiled to Siberia, by 1953 60% had died
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What mistakes did Hilter and the Nazis make which explain why the Russians succceeded?
Hitler opened two fronts and lay seige to Moscow and Stalingrad rather than taking them by force
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What was the Grand Alliance?
Russia, Britain and the USA
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How did the Grand Alliance help Stalin?
Opened a new front in North Africa and one in the West with the D-Day landings
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What was lend-lease and how did it help the USSR?
Allowed access to equipment and food at a fraction of the cost, provided USSR with 10% of tanks used in the War and 95% of trains, provided 17% of calorie intake of Russian soldiers
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Give reasons why Russia emerged as a superpower after WWII?
Collapse of the Grand Alliance, victory in WWII, military strength, geographical influence, economic strength
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What was Russia's sphere of influence?
Eastern European nations it occupied during WWII, which remanined under Soviet control, adopted Communist rule and formed a 'buffer zone' against the West
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What evidence is there that USSR was an economic superpower by the end of the War?
The Fourth FYP made Russia the fastest growing economy in the World, by 1952 total industrial production was 2x that of 1940
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How large was the Red Army by 1946?
3 million men, largest army in the world
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What other evidence is there that Russia was a military superpower?
Spent 7.4 billion roubles on defence, by 1949 it had its own atomic bomb, had its own rocket programme.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


How big is Russia?


Over 5000km from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok

Card 3


Describe the structure of Russian society.


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


List some of the ethnic groups to be found in Imperial Russia.


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What percentage of peasants were Serfs before the Emancipation Act in 1861?


Preview of the front of card 5
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