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The Russian Revolution

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Ms. Bartolone

on 29 November 2013

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Transcript of The Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution
Tzar Nicholas II
Crowned in 1894
Bad omen
Political reforms
Disregard for people
Russo-Japanese War 1904

Revolution of 1905
...and More Downward Spiralling
WWI creates added stress for Russian population
Bloody Sunday--January 22, 1905
People took to the streets to protest their lifestyle
Marched to Winter Palace
Palace guards open-fire into crowd
Defining moment
Downward Spiral
Revolution ends October 1905
Social Democrats
Russia at War
Lenin saw imperialism as the final stage in the development of capitalism
War begins with patriotism, which changes within a year to demands for reform
In 1915 Tzar Nicholas moves to the front lines
Tzarina Alexandra is left in charge
By 1917 15 million troops have been drafted
People are starving
Requests for reform or withdrawal are ignored

An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state
The February Revolution
Petrograd and food
February 23-25 massive strikes
City shut down
Tzar orders soldiers to stop demonstrations
Mutiny (!)
Tzar heads to Petrograd on February 27
Petrograd Soviet (Mensheviks)
Tzar abdicates on March 2, 1917
...So Now What?
The Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet
With the fall of Tzar, political parties in Russia are placed in an awkward position
Order Number One
They have different ideologies and continue to clash as they try to gain favor with the public
The Provisional Government
They initially wanted Tzar to implement political reforms
They no longer have faith in Tzar and his ability to put the nation's interests first
March 8 they granted new civil liberties
Right to strike
Amnesty of political prisoners
Formation of Constitution
The Petrograd Soviet
They were revolting against oppression
Made up of workers and soldiers who had overthrown the Tzar
They chose to stay back and see what the Provisional Government would do
After the civil liberties were granted they demand immediate social and economic reforms
Problems...Once Again
PG unable to resolve war, land reform, and autonomy for national minorities
The PG felt that Russia should remain faithful to her allies
Soviet also not sold on leaving war because they wanted to regain Russian territory that was occupied
April Crisis
PG want war until 'decisive victory'
PS and people protested, demonstrating that the PG needed the support of the PS
Peasants are starting to speak up about land issues
Led to the formation of a coalition government
July Crisis
Soldiers and workers in Petrograd became radical and mutinied when there was talk of sending them to the front
July 3, Bolsheviks tried to start revolt but called it off
Lenin flees to Finland (political lines harden)
Many Bolsheviks manage to escape arrests and Coalition Government is further discredited because of repressive measures (Pravda/Bolshevik headquarters)
Bolsheviks continue to grow and taint other parties
Lenin (Vlad not John)
April 1917 Lenin returns to Russia (he had been exiled to Switzerland)
Lenin rallied Bolsheviks with 'April Theses'
1) Russian withdrawal from war
2) No support for Coalition Government
3) Revolution in other European countries
4) Seizure of land by peasants
Kornilov Affair Aug-Sept
1) War
No consensus & little regard for what people wanted
2) Land
Peasants wanted land and felt that they should control the land they cultivated
3) National Minorities & Autonomy
Made up half the population of the empire
PG could not satisfy or suppress the large cry for nationalism
The Kornilov Mutiny
Bolsheviks were the only ones uncompromised by cooperation with the bourgeoisie
Bolsheviks gradually achieved majority influence in the Soviet (both in Petrograd and Moscow and the decision to start a revolution was now theirs
Karl Marx & His Crazy Good (or just crazy?) Idea
Free lower class from poverty
Government controls production
There are three phases to make this happen
1) Revolution to overthrow existing government
2) Dictator or elite leader assumes absolute control over workers (proletariat) including their personal choices to put the communist system in place
3) Utopia!! All people will be communist and there will only be one equal class within society
Communism: all property should be publicly owned and there needs to be a phase where the workers control the capitalists before a utopia is reached
Socialism : the means of production and distribution should be held by the community as a whole; socialism can take over when capitalism is overthrown
The October Revolution
On October 10th Lenin returns to Petrograd in disguise and convinces Bolsheviks that a second insurrection (revolt) can succeed
October 16th a committee was formed to organize revolt
Kerensky expected the army to stop the fighting, but most men stayed in their barracks
The Coalition Government collapsed and officials fled
By October 26th, all local authority was transferred to the soviets (council of workers)
By December a new police authority was formed (Cheka) to root out Bolshevik enemies
Bolsheviks fail to win majority in election
"Declaration of the Rights of the Toiling and Exploited People"
Aimed to use a revolutionary government to implement socialist organization in societies
Lenin starts negotiating for peace
All land becomes national property in February 1918 (but peasants can cultivate the land as if it was their own)
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Why did it work?
Military men (followers of Kornilov) refused to come to the defense of Kerensky
The PG underestimated the Bolsheviks and were dedicated to war effort
Mensheviks and other political groups were not totally against the revolt

Bolsheviks came to power in circumstances that were unforeseen and unfavorable
They believed that the Russian Revolution would initiate a global revolution

The Beginning of the End
I've Got the Power!
The Next Few Days/Weeks/Months
The Civil War
A Breeding Ground for Civil War
War on Russia's Front Porch
Began in 1918 when Kornilov and other opposing generals formed armies to fight the Bolsheviks
White vs Red
July 1918 royal family is executed
There was little global support given to the Reds, though support was provided to the Whites
Public image of Whites
"Red Terror"
Heightened Bolshevik resolution not to tolerate movements for national autonomy
Why Bolsheviks?
Whites had many advantages, but did not have a concrete way of controlling or imposing order on an unwilling population
Their ideology was able to maintain peasant support and resulted in army of ~5 million
Cheka and their rigidity
War Communism
Full transcript