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Communism: How it came around in Russia? The effects?

Ashley, Nick, Kacey
by

Ashley Whitaker

on 9 November 2012

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Transcript of Communism: How it came around in Russia? The effects?

By: Ashley Whitaker, Nick Jacquez, Kacey Smith Communism: How it came around in Russia? The effects? What is Communism? Communism is when the government controls everything. Communism is said to have begun in the ancient Greek era. Generally held the belief that Karl Marx was the father of communism and together with Friedrich Engels developed his theory and was first known as "Marxism-Leninism”. Founders of Communism History The philosopher, social scientist, historian and revolutionary, Karl Marx, is without a doubt the most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the 19th century. Karl Marx was born into a middle-class home in Trier on the river Moselle in Germany on May 5, 1818. Marx's fellow philosopher Engels was born in Barmen on November 28, 1820. They both shared a common hatred towards capitalist society and they both began on a common manifest. How communism came around to Russia At the start of the 20th century Russia was an autocracy ran by the czar who presided over a country with widespread poverty and oppression. This was perfect breeding ground for communism so in 1917 the people finally rose up against the Royal Family and a communist government was installed that lasted until the fall of Russia (renamed the Soviet Union) in the early 1990's. Communism in Russia Russia’s army has not always been a powerful one. In the early years, the army was not even capable of defending itself, let alone the land area of Russia. Numbers were down, and the people that they did have were very disorganized. For the most part they were just a band of factory workers put together by the Bolsheviks to help them into power. An actual army was formed to help defend the Russian Communist Party. The Red Army, as it was called, was assembled into a large military force. The building of this army seemed good, but in the long run, it hurt the Russians. With a majority of spending going toward military expenses, the public suffered. The Communist party that was supposed to be helping the worker was actually slowly cutting its throat.

Russia has typically been known for their poor economy due to communism. The value of the ruble seems to have been on a constant decline throughout the 20th century. In class, Dr. Zbiek said that if a Russian was walking down the street, and there was a line, especially a long line that they should stand in it, because if the line is that long, there must be something worthwhile at the other end. It is not imaginable in this country to have to wait in line for a necessity. Only in times of war has there been rations on items in the US. For the Russians it was an everyday occurrence. Sure they most all had jobs under the communist reign, but what they got paid, and the limited quantity of supplies, It is hardly worth the effort. Collapse of Communism Because of the end of Communism in the early 1990's, Russia has experienced difficulties in making the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market based economy. The collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 disrupted the close economic relations Russia had previously enjoyed with neighboring communist states and other Soviet republics. Political turmoil and uncertainty inside the Russian government also contributed to the country’s economic woes. Compared with most of the former planned economies of Eastern Europe, Russia experienced a severe and protracted drop in officially reported economic output. Effects of Communism on Russia Today Since implementation of economic reform, Russia has been averaging 7% since the beginning of the decade. As recently as the first half of this year, Russia's economy grew by 7.8% from the previous year. In the first year of his term, President Medvedev outlined a number of economic priorities for Russia including improving infrastructure, innovation, investment, and institutions; reducing the state's role in the economy; reforming the tax system and banking sector; developing one of the biggest financial centers in the world, combating corruption, and improving the judiciary. Russia also improved its international financial position, running balance of payments surpluses since 2000. Statistically, foreign exchange reserves grew from $12 billion in 1999 to almost $600 billion by end July 2008. Karl Marx Friedrich Engels By March of 1917, there was rioting in the streets of St. Petersburg and disorganized revolution, with conflicting groups attempting to get control of the country. Alexander Kerensky and his followers succeeded in taking over, and the Menshevicks ruled as Liberals and Socialists. They were not Communists. The royal family was arrested, as the Mensheviks continued the war.

Lenin, who had earlier been driven into exile, watched for his opportunity to return to Russia and to put the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx into practice. Lenin got in touch with the government of Germany, promising that if it helped him get safely back into Russia, he would take over the government and see that Russia withdrew from the war. The German kaiser aided this plan. What was life like in Russia, after Lenin and his Communists took over? When the people realized the Communists' promises had been lies they refused to cooperate, as everything belonged to the government. Farmers grew only what they needed, since all surplus went to the Communist state. Factory workers went on strike and refused to work, so that production fell far below their previous output. At least 5 million Russian people died of starvation.

Religion and family life suffered greatest in Russia after the Communist takeover. Religion was considered an enemy of the Communist state. Respect for the sacredness and indissolubility of marriage was disregarded and easy divorce was made possible. A couple simply signed a governmental paper to get married or divorced. Children also had to spy on their parents and if they practiced any religion they were to report them to the Communist police. Effects on the Economy Since the Russian Communist party operated the entire economy for 60 years, they virtually controlled all aspects of production, investment and consumption decisions. The structure of the Soviet Economic operation was first established by Joseph Stalin, and revolved around 5 year plans as well as annual plans. The role of the government was to make sure the plans were carried out. They incorporated quotas for raw materials, intermediate goods and final goods and services. This failed miserably because the government alone cannot predict free market activity and would either create massive surpluses or massive shortages. The brutal rule of (Joseph) Stalin (1928-53) strengthened Communist rule and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. Sources 1. departments.kings.edu/history/20c/russia.html
2. internationalbusiness.wikia.com/wiki
3. www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/46266/george-f-kennan/communism-in-russian-history
4. schoolworkhelper.net/the-rise-of-communism-in-russia/
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