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History of the Soviet Union

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Rohan Narain

on 19 May 2014

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Transcript of History of the Soviet Union

History of the Soviet Union
Pre-World War I Russia
Power hungry, autocratic Tsar Nicholas II
Steel production program in 1890s makes Russia 4th largest steel producer in the world
Full title: Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias
Growth of factories brings long working hours, leads to angry workers
Government outlaws labor unions, causes anger among citizens
Pre-WWI Russia
Tsar Nicholas II
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin)
Outlawing of trade unions causes Marxist groups to form in Russia
Believed in large numbers and popular support for successful revolution
Believed in small numbers of extremely committed men for successful revolution
Pre-WWI Russia
Led by Vladimir Lenin
Russo-Japanese War
Russia loses to Japan in Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905
Humiliates Russian people
Shows weakness of Nicholas II
Bloody Sunday
January 22, 1905
200,000 workers approach tsar's palace with a petition
Better working conditions, national legislature, more freedom
Nicholas II's generals order soldiers to fire into the crowd, massacring the workers
1000 wounded, several hundred killed
Russia During World War I
Grigori Rasputin
Nicholas II decides to enter World War I despite Russia being unprepared
Not prepared for economic costs
Weak army and poorly equipped men
Nicholas II moves headquarters to the Eastern Front in 1915
Tsarina Alexandra rules while he is away
Nicholas II's son suffers hemophilia
A man named Grigori Rasputin claims to have magical healing powers and seems to ease the pain of the hemophilia
Alexandra lets Rasputin make political decisions
Rasputin gets his friends into government, makes social reforms
Rasputin is murdered in 1916 for fear that he will gain too much power
Russia During WWI
Inflation in Russian economy
Soldiers become restless during fighting and begin to disobey
Resources like food and fuel slowly dwindle
Talks of revolution and a way to end the war began
Nicholas and Alexandra become uncapable handling these problems
Revolutions in 1917: March Revolution
Women workers lead a citywide strike in Petrograd
Riots happen over lack of bread and fuel
Soldiers shoot at rioters initially, but eventually join them
Protest spreads to rest of Russia
Nicholas II steps down
Executed in 1918 along with royal family
Russian Duma (Parliament) is formed
A provisional government led by Alexander Kerensky is formed
Revolutions in 1917: Bolshevik Revolution
Kerensky decides to keep fighting in WWI
Because it's not like they just had a revolution about specifically that or anything
Kerensky greatly worsens the conditions, obviously
Workers, peasants, and soldiers form local councils in their cities called "soviets"
Lenin rises to prominence and gains control of the Petrograd soviet
Spreads phrases like "All power to the soviets!" and "Peace, Land, and Bread!"
Revolutions in 1917: Bolshevik Revolution
November 1917 - armed factory workers storm the Winter Palace
Called themselves the Bolshevik Red Guards
The Red Guards take out the provisional government by force
Lenin leads the new government
Under Marxism, gives factories to factory workers and farmland to farmers
Lenin takes Russia out of the war by signing a treaty with Germany
The Russian Civil War, 1917-1922
Russian Flag before formation of USSR
Soviet Union Flag
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk made Russins lose a significant amount of territory to Germany
Enraged some Russians, anti-Bolsheviks appeared in Russia
Anti-Bolsheivks form the White Army
The White Army is made of anti-Bolsheviks in Russia, pro-Germans, and Allied Forces
The White Army is barely united: they all have varying political views
Some wanted monarchy, some wanted democracy, some wanted socialism (but not Lenin's socialism, becuase that's too socialist for them)
Leon Trotsky skillfully commanded the Red Army
Fighting raged on until 1922, Bolsheviks won out
White Army was bound to lose from the start
Civil war was devastating, famine and disease broke out during the fighting
There was a horrible worldwide influenza breakout after the First World War ended in 1918
The hammer and sickle, the symbol of the Soviet Union
Lenin forms the Ussr
Lenin begins the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1921
Replaces complete socialism with small-scale capitalism
Big industries still under control, but peasants can sell surplus crops and small businesses can run privately
The economy recovers by 1928
Lenin reforms the government: organizes the country into several self-governing republics
Lenin renames the country to the Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
The Bolsheviks become the Kommunisticheskaya Partiya Sovetskogo Soyuza
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Rise of Joseph stalin
Stalin in 1943
Lenin suffers a stroke in 1922, forced into semi-retirement
Stalin is sad. Poor Stalin.
Competition appears to see who will run the Communist Party
Leon Trotsky vs. Joseph Stalin
Stalin slowly but surely gains supporters behind the scenes
Lenin believes that Stalin is dangerous and doesn't really want him running the Communist Party
Stalin is promoted to General Secretary of the Communist Party
Wow, thanks Lenin!
Lenin dies in 1924
Stalin takes command of Communist Party in 1928
Stalin's Totalitarianism
Wanted a perfect Communist state
Had secret police (NKVD) that would spy on people and arrest "traitors"
Great Purge of 1937
Campaign of terror eliminating those in the state that could be "threats," including former Bolsheviks
8-13 million dead in 1937-1938
Controlled all newspapers, movies, radio, and any sources of information
Would not allow art that didn't glorify the state or himself
Replaced religion with Communist ideals
NKVD destroyed churches and killed religious leaders
Deported people that he believed resisted Soviet rule or collaborated with Germans
Used spies to make sure that foreign Communist Parties were pro-Stalinist
Stalin's command economy
Stalin calls for command economy in 1928
Government gains full control of economy
A collective farm
Calls for Five-Year Plans to increase production of coal, steel, oil, and electricity
Plans set impossibly high goals
Government limited production of consumer goods
Caused lack of housing, food, clothing, and other goods
25% increase in steel production 1928-1937
Seizes over 25 million private farms and makes them government-owned collective farms
Peasants worked with terrible, overcrowded conditions to produce food for state
Resistance came from wealthy peasants
Resistance would mean automatic execution
5-10 million peasants were executed
90% of peasants lived on collective farms by 1938
Wheat production was twice as high in 1938 compared to 1928
Soviet Union Involvement in World War II
The Battle of Stalingrad
August 1939: Nazi-Soviet
peace pact
Stalin uses this to buy time,
knows Hitler will invade
Moves industrial centers
to Eastern Russia
A secret part of the
pact divides Poland
between USSR and Germany
September 17, 1939:
Stalin invades Poland

Pact allows USSR to have Finland,
Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia
Hitler has annexed Western Poland
Stalin occupies Eastern Poland
and invades Baltic countries
June 22, 1941 - Operation Barbarossa:
Hitler invades Soviet Union
Germans push
Soviet soldiers back
to Leningrad
Hitler goes for Moscow
Winter comes,
Soviets counterattack
push Germans out
soviet union involvement in wwii
The Battle of Stalingrad: August 1942 - February 1943
Germans invade city of Stalingrad
with two armies and German Air Force
Germans push Soviets back
to a narrow spot against the Volga River
close-quarters combat
Disregard for civilian casualties
hold out and eventually
by attacking Romanians and Hungarians protecting Germany's main army
Soviets encircle the German army
them there until German ammunition runs dry
had to pull troops back to the west and
could never recover from Stalingrad
The Battle of Kursk: July 1943 - August 1943
Hitler wanted to
take out Soviet soldiers
in Kursk
He wanted more
troops back in Germany
intercepted German messages
and let USSR know of attack
set up anti-tank and anti-personnel

Germans stopped before breaking through Soviet lines
Last German offensive
in east
Germans lost significant power
in east
Soviet union involvement in wwii
The Soviet Union Gets Its Revenge
Soviets invade Manchuria
, which they had fought the Japanese over in the
Russo-Japanese War
Soviets rapidly defeat
weakened Japanese
Japan backed away
from Manchuria
They realized that the
Soviets could invade their home
Contributes to
Japanese surrender
Left to right: Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill
1945-1953: Postwar tensions and the cold war
Yalta Conference, Feb. 1945: Germany is divided
United Nations is formed June 1945, USSR becomes permanent member
Stalin agrees to join war against Japan and let Eastern European countries have free elections
Stalin breaks Yalta agreement late 1945, occupies Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, and Yugoslavia and installs Communist governments
Wanted a buffer to protect from invasion
Wanted to spread communism
Iron curtain
" through Europe:
Europe divided
into Communists and non-Communists
1945-1953: Postwar tensions and the cold war
U.S. President Harry S. Truman
U.S. adopts "containment" policy
Worry about spread of communism
U.S. provides aid to war-ravaged anti-communist countries
Tensions over Germany: Stalin wanted to keep Germany divided, other Allies wanted it to rebuild
1948 - 1949: USSR blockades West Germany
U.S. airdrops food and supplies to West Germans until USSR gives up
1949: U.S. and Canada form North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with Western European nations
1949: USSR develops atomic weaponry
1952: U.S. develops and tests nuclear fusion bomb
1953: USSR develops a nuclear fusion bomb as well
Nikita Khrushchev: De-stalinization
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev becomes Soviet leader in 1953 after Stalin's death
Begins purging of Stalin's memory in 1956: eases repression
Hungary 1956: Imre Nagy begins revolt against Soviet control
Khrushchev sends in tanks and puts down uprising, installs pro-Soviet government
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
1959: Communist leader Fidel Castro overthrows anti-communist, U.S.-supported Fulgencio Batista
April 1961: U.S. invades Cuba, failed Bay of Pigs Invasion
July 1962: Khrushchev begins building secret missile sites in Cuba
Failed Bay of Pigs Invasion convinces him that U.S. can't resist
October 1962: American spy plane discovers missile sites
John F. Kennedy announces missile building to be a threat, builds naval blockade of Cuba
Khruschev, wanting peace, removes missiles, U.S. agrees not to invade Cuba
Castro completely relies on USSR for economic support
Fidel Castro
Leonid Brezhnev: Repression AGain
Khrushchev is voted out of power in 1964 because of Cuban Missile Crisis
Leonid Brezhnev
Did not tolerate political disagreement
Limited freedom of speech and worship
Did not tolerate dissent from Eastern European countries
Alexander Dubcek rises to prominence in Czechoslovakia, new ideas for government
Prague Spring of 1968
August 1968: Warsaw Pact nations invade Czechoslovakia and end Prague Spring by force
Richard Nixon elected in 1969, U.S. begins detente policy
Nixon visits USSR in 1972, Strategic Arms Limitation Talks leads to SALT I Treaty with USSR
Limits amount of submarines and missiles in each nation
President Jimmy Carter is concerned with treatment of protesters in USSR in late 1970s, SALT II Treaty signed in 1979
Congress refuses to ratify when USSR invades Afghanistan that year
Tensions between USSR and USA
mikhail gorbachev
Brezhnev died in 1982, Gorbachev came to power in 1985
Announces "glasnost" in 1985, a policy of openness in society
Hopes for societal change to stimulate stagnant USSR economy
Made remarkable change to society
1985: Introduces "perestroika," or economic reconstruction
Gave people incentive to innovate by giving them ownership over farms and factories and letting small businesses run
Kind of like restoring NEP
December 1987: Reagan and Gorbachev sign Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
Bans nuclear missiles with ranges of 300 to 3400 miles
Mikhail gorbachev: dissolution
Reform and democritization caused nationalist groups of varying ethnicities to demand self-rule
March 1990: Lithuania attempts to gain independence, attempt shut down by Gorbachev
Boris Yeltsin
Slow economic progress and reforms; people looked to parliament member Boris Yeltsin
Yeltsin criticized shutdown of Lithuanian revolt and wanted faster reforms
Hard-liners (conservative communists) did not want to lose power and vowed to remove Gorbachev
June 1991: Yeltsin voted President of Russian Federation
dissolution of the Ussr: august coup
August 18, 1991: hardliners detain Gorbachev and demand that he resign
August 19, 1991: tanks and armored vehicles roll into Moscow
Protestors gather at parliament building
Yeltsin climbs on top of a tank and declares the Soviet Union illegal
August 20, 1991: Hardliners order troops to attack the parliament building; they are met with refusal
August 21, 1991: military withdraws from Moscow
dissolution of the union of soviet socialist republics
August Coup sparked anger in Communist Party
Parliament votes to stop all Party activities
December 1991: All 15 republics had delcared independence
Gorbachev resigns as General Secretary
A modern map of Europe
Yeltsin forms the Commonwealth of Independent States with former Soviet states
Soviet Union ceases to exist
December 25, 1991 - a Christmas gift to Russia: Gorbachev resigns as president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Only Baltic republics and Georgia decline
Nation founded by a successful coup, destroyed by a failed coup
basically a video that explains it better than i ever could:
And it's really cool too!
russia today
President: Vladimir Putin
Full name: Russian Federation
Still the largest country in the world
Government: semi-presidential constitutional republic
The Kremlin
Vladimir Putin
Still struggles to establish democracy
Permanent member of the UN Security Council
2014 Ukraine crisis:
March 1, 2014: Exiled Ukranian President asks Putin to send troops into Ukraine
Putin sends in troops and occupies Crimea
Crimean parliament asked citizens if they wanted to be a part of Russia or a part of Ukraine
Crimea and Sevastopol declare themselves the Crimean republic and asked to be annexed
Russia and Crimea sign a UN-opposed annexation treaty
Full transcript