The emergence of a communist dictatorship, 1917-41

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What political ''organisation'' did Lenin establish in 1917?
Sovnarkom - a Bolshevik only government
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Who walked out of the Congress of Soviets?
Mensheviks, and right-wing SR's.
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Who was able to govern considering that these parties had walked out?
The Bolsheviks and the left wing SRs.
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What was Lenin's role in Sovnarkom?
He was the chairman.
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What was Trotsky's role in Sovnarkom?
Commissar for Foreign Affairs.
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What was Sovnarkom?
A government of political commissars (all Bolshevik)
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What did Sovnarkom have the power to do?
Rule by decree without consulting other parliamentary bodies
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What was the Decree on Peace?
An immediate end to the war.
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What was the Decree on Land?
All land was to be divided and shared equally and was now the property of the people.
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What was the Decree on Worker's Control?
Gave workers control of the factories.
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What did Lenin nationalise in 1917?
The banks and Church lands.
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Which decree was popular with the peasantry?
The Decree on Land - people believed land should be shared out equally.
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What did many factory committees want from government?
A representative government (all of the socialist parties).
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Who were the burzhui?
The bourgeoisie/class enemy.
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Why did the concept of burzhui come about?
Lenin encouraged class warfare between the people with a propaganda campaign.
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What were closed down to prevent the spread of Anti-Bolshevik propaganda?
Anti-Bolshevik newspapers.
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What happened to the Civil Service?
There was a purge on the civil service and untrusted members were replaced by Bolsheviks.
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When was the Cheka established?
December 1917
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Members of which political parties were arrested in fear of opposition?
Kadets, Mensheviks and right wing SRs.
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What did Lenin's political opponents hope for?
A Constituent Assembly (where they would hopefully be elected).
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Why did Lenin allow elections to go through, even though he was reluctant?
He knew he would face opposition if he did not allow the elections to take place.
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Which party won the most number of seats?
The SRs.
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Which day did the assembly meet (for the first and last time?)
5th January 1918
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What did Lenin decide the Bolsheviks would do as a result of this?
Rule ''on behalf'' of the proletariat.
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What happened to those demonstrating in favour of the assembly?
They were shot down by Red Guards.
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What did Lenin outline in his book ''State and Revolution'' 1917?
The main principles of his ideology.
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What did the peasants do to their nobles' land?
Divided it and shared it equally.
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Why were Lenin's ideas so popular?
They reflected those of the Russian people - the Russian's wanted to end social privilege.
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What did the workers do the in the factories?
Took control and made middle class men do manual labour and share their properties. (Decree on Worker's Control)
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What did the creation of socialist society depend on, according to Lenin and Trotsky?
Worldwide socialist revolution.
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When was the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk?
3rd March 1918
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Why was the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk signed?
Lenin had promised peace to the Russian people.
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Why did Lenin sacrifice the chance of ''worldwide socialist revolution''?
He believed it was better to save the social progress that had already been made in Russia.
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Who didn't Lenin want to share power with?
Other socialist parties
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What was the significance of the Bolshevik-only Sovnarkom?
Russia became a one-party state.
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When did the Bolsheviks become ''the Communist Party?"
March 1918
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When was the Russian Civil War?
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What did the government do as a result of the Civil War? (government itself)
They were forced to adopt a more centralised system and reverted to terror to enforce laws.
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Which ''ban'' did Lenin introduce to maintain party unity?
''Ban on factions'' 1921.
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Which things did Lenin do that Stalin also made a part of his ideology?
Ban on factions, Church persecution, the powers of the secret police were extended, ''show trials'' were used to condemn political enemies
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Which party bodies shaped party policy?
The Central Committee and the Politburo
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How many members were there in the Politburo?
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Who were important members of the Politburo?
Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin
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Which post was created in 1922 (Politburo)?
General Secretary (Gensek)
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Who filled the post of General Secretary during Lenin's rule?
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What was the main problem that the Bolsheviks faced in consolidating their power?
They lacked mass support
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Who were the Bolsheviks opponents?
SR's, Mensheviks, Kadets, Tsarist army officers etc.
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What was the cause of food shortages in 1918?
Peasants were reluctant to sell any extra grain they produced because there was little to exchange for it.
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What happened in the factories?
There was a lack of raw materials so industry went into decline.
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What were the key elements of War Communism?
Grain requisitioning, industry placed under state control, factory discipline was imposed with fines for lateness etc., Food rationing was introduced with lowest priority = bourgeoisie.
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How did Lenin justify the use of terror/Red Terror?
He said it was necessary to ensure the survival of the regime.
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How many were estimated to have been killed between 1918 and 1921?
Around half a million people.
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Why did Lenin realised state intervention in the economy/industry was necessary?
The workers did not have the necessary skills to run the factories - production fell. Peasants hoarded grain which meant people went hungry. It was necessary to feed the workers and soldiers to win the war.
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Who was especially targeted in terms of grain requisitioning?
Kulaks/class enemies.
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What does ''NEP'' stand for?
New Economic Policy
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What was the rate of production in 1921 compared to 1914?
Production was only 20% of what it had been in 1914
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How did peasants escape grain requisitioning?
They deliberately grew less and less grain.
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When did Russia become ''the Soviet Union''?
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When was the Kronstadt uprising?
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How did Trotsky describe the Kronstadt sailors?
''The pride and glory of the Russian Revolution''.
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When did Lenin announce NEP?
Aug 1921
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What was included in NEP?
Grain requisitioning ended - peasants were instead taxed @20% of their grain. The state continued to control heavy industry. Small businesses and private trade were allowed.
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What were some positive results of NEP?
An increase in grain into towns and cities meant that restaurants, cafes and shops were reopened. By 1923, cereal production was up by 23% from 1920. There was an end to revolts and civil unrest.
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What were some negative results of NEP?
Revival of the kulak class and NEPmen traders and speculators. Agricultural prices fell while industrial ones rose.
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What was the imbalance of agriculture and industrial prices known as?
The Scissors Crisis (1923)
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What measure did the government introduce in order to recover from the ''Scissors Crisis"?
They brought industrial prices down and began taxing peasants in cash rather than in kind so they could not withhold grain.
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When was Lenin's death?
21st January 1924
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What happened to Lenin towards the end of his life?
He suffered a series of strokes and was unable to lead competently.
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What did Lenin dictate in 1922?
His ''Testament'' in which eh gave his opinion of his fellow Politburo members.
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What did Lenin say about Stalin?
Lenin was particularly critical of Stalin and suggested his removal from the position as General Secretary.
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Who were Politburo members more afraid of (than Stalin)?
They were more afraid of Trotsky who was seen as the hero of the Civil War.
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What did Trotsky believe in that Stalin did not?
Permanent, worldwide revolution.
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Give some reasons for why Stalin gained power:
As Gen.Sek Stalin could control who spoke to Lenin and even told Trotsky the wrong date for his funeral, also set the agenda for the Party Congress. Stalin and Trotsky's pact weakened Trotsky's position. No one believed him to be a threat.
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When was Trotsky forced out of his position ''Commissar for War''?
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When was Trotsky exiled?
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Define ''factionalism'':
The forming of factions or groups within a party which argue about policy and ideology
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Define ''united opposition'':
Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev's campaign to the workers to try and gain support.
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Define ''right deviation'':
Stalin's grounds to lead Bukharin and Rykov astray for not being proper communists.
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Define ''orgburo'':
Organisational bureau - puts things into practice.
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By what year was Stalin the undisputed leader of the USSR?
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When were the Five Year Plans launched?
December 1927
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What was the inspiration behind the Five Year Plans?
Stalin's ideal of Socialism in One Country, wanted to keep up with already industrialised Western Powers, NEP was ideologically capitalist rather than Communist, wanted central control over the economy (one-party state).
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What was ''Gosplan''?
The government department which ran the FYP's. Set targets for every factory, mine etc. in the USSR.
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What was ''vesenkha"?
The Supreme Economic Committee - also set targets for factories etc.
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What was the focus for the first three FYPs?
Heavy industry - coal iron and steel, oil, machinery and electricity.
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Which direction were targets set from 1929?
They were revised upwards in the hope that workers would achieve more than expected by 1932.
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By how much did electricity output increase by 1932?
It trebled.
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What did Stalin often do to the FYPs?
He would cut them short to make production levels seem more than they actually were.
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When was the first FYP?
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What did the first FYP focus on?
Heavy industry. 1,500 enterprises were opened.
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When was the second FYP?
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What did the second FYP focus on?
Heavy industry, large projects ''Gigantomania'' e.g Moscow Metro, Magnitogorsk.
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When was the third FYP?
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What did the third FYP focus on?
Heavy industry and armaments (prediction of war).
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What was maintained throughout the 1930's?
Huge growth in industry.
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Name three ''Gigantomania'' projects:
Magnitogorsk, Dnieprostroi Dam (1932), and Moscow Metro (1935)
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By how much did the Dnieprostroi Dam increase electricity production by?
5 times!!!
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When was the Stakhanovite Movement?
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What was the Stakhanovite movement?
Alexeii Stakhanov (an ordinary man) allegedly mined 102 tonnes of coal in 5 hours, which was 6x his quota. His ''success'' was used to encourage other workers to work harder and increase production.
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What was Stalin's idea for agriculture?
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What is the Russian word for ''collective farm''?
Kolkhoz (Kolkhozi = plural).
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By 1930, how much of Russian land was collectivised?
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How much Russian land was collectivised by 1939?
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What percentage of farm produce was taken by the state?
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Why was so much farm produce taken by the state?
To feed the expanding workforce and later soldiers. This was similar in Lenin's War Communism.
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How many Russian farmers were killed for resisting?
3 million
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How many peasants died of famine?
5 million
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Which Pravda article in 1930 was released about the success of collectivisation?
1930 - Dizzy with Success
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What were the results of collectivisation?
Millions protested and refused to hand over produce. Decline in food production. Famine 1932-33. Soviet Union did not recover pre-war levels of grain production until 1939. Millions forced into labour camps, peasants way of life was ended.
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What did Lenin and Stalin both encourage (living)?
Communal living
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Why did they encourage communal living?
Opposition could be deterred easily.
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What was the name for the new class elite?
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What did Lenin make easier for men and women?
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What did Lenin legalise (that Stalin later reversed)?
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After a falling birth-rate in the 1930's, what did Stalin revert back to?
Traditional family values
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What percentage of the workforce did women make up by 1940?
43% (remember - war factor).
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What was seen as crucial for the development of a socialist society?
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What did Lenin provide as a part of education?
Free schooling for all Russians.
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Which subjects were a part of the new curriculum?
Maths, science, Russian language and literature with vocational training and ''socially useful labour''.
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What percentage of people under the age of 50 are literate by 1941?
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When was Komsomol formed?
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When were the Pioneers formed?
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How many members did Komsomol have by 1940?
10 million
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What did Lenin think about religion?
He tolerated religious worship.
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Name an opposition group?(opposition of religion)
League of the Militant Godless (1922)
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How many churches were open for worship in 1940?
Just 500 (1% of 1917)
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What did Lenin give to ethnic minorities?
Greater freedom and rights.
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Which language was more widely used under Lenin's rule?
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When did Russian become the official language of the Soviet Union?
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What did Lenin think about art and literature?
''It should serve the people''.
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When did all writers have to be a member of the Soviet Union of Writers?
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What did Stalin call his movement of literature and art?
Socialist Realism
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Name a popular novel in the 1930s:
''How the Steel was Tempered"
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Name two authors who were condemned by the Stalinist regime:
Shostakovich, Boris Pasternak.
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Did Lenin and Stalin appreciate the value of propaganda?
Yes - especially visual propaganda.
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Name a propaganda film:
Lenin in October 1937
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When did Stalin's wife commit suicide?
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When did the annual purges commence?
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Who was assassinated in 1934?
Kirov - a popular figure and potential rival to Stalin.
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When were Zinoviev and Kamenev assassinated?
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Who was assassinated in 1938 (three important people)?
Bukharin, Rykov and Yagoda (former head of the NKVD).
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When did Stalin call a halt to the terror?
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What did Stalin claim the 1936 constitution was?
''The most democratic in the world''.
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What did the 1936 Constitution promise?
Autonomy for minority regions, elections every four years, civil liberties e.g freedom of speech (all of these were ignored).
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Card 2


Who walked out of the Congress of Soviets?


Mensheviks, and right-wing SR's.

Card 3


Who was able to govern considering that these parties had walked out?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What was Lenin's role in Sovnarkom?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What was Trotsky's role in Sovnarkom?


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