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The Russian Revolution

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Jack Vaughan

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of The Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution
The Russian revolution was a compilation of all the tension occurring in Russia at the time coming to a climax in a series of revolutions and revolts in 1917. Its drastic effects caused a blueprint for a new type of government and as a result left one third of the global population in the shadow of communism
Long Term Causes
Economic Crisis
Socialist Movement
Military Failures
After the Crimean war the Russias federal treasury was crippled
Alexander II abolishment of Serfdom
Crimean War (1853-1856)

Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
Continued unrest for the current imperalistic government caused unrest umong the working class
The corruption of the heads of states (Tsars) over the recent years was becoming that of a serious national concern the socialist movment sparked the whole basis and outcome for the revolution

Short Term Causes
Tsar Nicholas II
Killed anyone he didnt like
Political Opponents
1905 Revolutionaries
Prisoners of War
Bloody Nicholas
Became known as
'Political Idiot'
World War 1
Pitiful Army
Not fed
Dying Fast
No Match For German Army
Discontent From Country
Bloody Sunday (1872)
Peacefull Demonstrators
Confronted By imperial Soldiers
- Petrograd today known as St Petersberg
- Capital of Russia
- Seat of power for Tsar Nicholas II
- People were hungry bread being rationed to citizens
February 23rd 1917
Women of russia protest due to lack of bread when they discover that the government has been hoarding what small resources Russia has
Men join
Cries of the people shift from 'we want bread'
to 'overthrow the Tsar'
10000 workers on strike
Bring In the Soldiers
On the 25th of February Russian infantry/police was brought in to try and quell the riots, this caused much violence in the streets and caused many protestor deaths. However, this only created martyrs and only strengthened the resolve of the Russian working class that action must be taken, and fast
The cossacks were a group in the russian police system that were widely feared, they were used to quell demonstrators and were infamous for their
-loyalty to the Tsar
-Their ability to quell Revolutions (1905 Russian Revolution)
Once the Cossacks saw the pitiful conditions of the working class they betrayed the state and began known as 'comrade cossacks' or 'friend cossacks' they joind the revolutionaries cause
The Response of the Tsar
The Tsar caught wind of the rebellions in Petrograd when he was on the german front commanding the Russian Army in WWI
believed he had no time
underestimated the Revolution
Basic response of bring in the machine guns and kill them all
'Political Idiot'
The Soldiers
The soldiers however 'loyal' still did not feel good about their government after they were ordered to shoot blindly into the crowd in Petrograd. Most of them knew people who were active engages in the protests and no matter how strongly they dissagreed after massacre in late February 1917 they questioned their moral conscience on the matter and eventually decided it was the best coarse of action to murder their officer and join the revolutionary cause in Petrograd
Strict discipline
Kronstadt was a naval base off petrograd that was infamous for its cruelty and was at the forefront of technology in Russia
Dangerous place
Tight control
Sailors treated badly
Sailors punished heavily for small crimes like forgetting to salut
Seen no action in WWI
Surpressed war between sailors and officers
'a bomb waiting to go off'
Curious about the situation in Petrograd
Revolutionary Ideas
Organised Rebellion
Began to stage meetings about the overthrow of the officers
Try to improve on the failed 1905 revolution
March 1st 1917 sailors gather to overthrow authority of Kronstadt
Elected a revolutionary committee
Rounded up all officers who had treated them badly and killed them
Anyone who didnt support them they killed
Killed leader admiral Viren
Old order destroyed in one day
February-March 1917
Overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II
Tsar on his way back from german front

Trapped by revolutionaries on his train
He now sits powerless
Revolutionaries pressuring him to abdicate the throne
However, the Tsar had no eligably heirs to take his place if he was to abdicate the throne
-women cannot acend to the Russian throne
-his brother had once already declined the throne
-his son Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia was a hemophiliac and was much to week to take the throne
Nicholas II abdicates the throne on 15th of march 1917
End of the Romanov Dynasty
February Revolution
April-September 1917
Provisional Government
A provisional government is put in place to govern and legislate over a broken Russia
In the eyes of the public this new government was no better and no less corrupt than the last one
Economic situation not improving
People in Petrograd still starving
Troops still dying in Germany
Revolutionary 'Honeymoon'
Many political ideas in this post revolutionary stage were running wild in Russia the two major of these were
Run by a group called the 'Soviets' (or in Russian 'Council')
Party established by the sailors of Kronsdat
Struggle for Power
Return Of Lenin
After the 1905 revolution many of the senior revolutionaries of the time were banished from Russia or the went into hiding. One such revolutionary was Valdimir Olianov Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
- Planned to take over the Russian Rev. and make it his own
- Marxist Ideals
-Pronounces the 10th of April Thesis about the running of the new Russia (communist regime)
- Strong personality, incredibly self confident and self righteous
- Slogan: Lenin, Peace, Bread and Land!
July Rebellion (Failed)
A Particular section of the Soviets was a group called the bolsheviks this particular group was under the direct influence and command of Lenin
On July 4th 1917 Bolsheviks stage a rebellion against the political government without the sanction of Lenin
With no one to lead them the mass of angry citizens becomes a sitting duck for the firing squad of the provisional government and most of the bolshevik party is killed in what is known today as the July Rebellion
Bolshevik plan backfired
Party in ruin
Negative propoganda about Lenin
Lenin goes into hiding again in Finland
Unrest in Government
Senior ministers betrayed the Prime minister) (former Minister of International Warfare, Alexander Kerensky)
Kerensky begins to defend Petrograd and the palace with troops
Army looses trust in pathetic government
Kerensky asks for help from obliterated soviets and specifically the Bolsheviks
The Bolsheviks demand the release of all their prisoners and the return of Lenin
Kerensky becomes a Soviet supporter
Kerensky stays in power, however the Soviets still lust for ultimate power in Russia and with the return of Lenin the Bolsheviks are seen as not only unstoppable but the savior that Russia needs
Political Establishment
Power Struggle
Soviets vs Sailors
Bolshevik Planning
after they were reinstated by Kerensky and Lenin had returned on the 10th of October they decided it was finally time to seize power for the Soviets and the Bolsheviks
An Army of 40,000 workers
The Soviets have an organised meeting to discuss how most effectively to take power. (organised by Lenin)
However the committee was not as enthusiastic to go and try another rebellion after what happened in July. Lenin on the other hand was advocating military action
Lenin convinces committee to reignite the revolution
Immediate Preparations
The Soviets did not want a repeat of the July rebellion so they took meticulous care to plan the entire revolution in its entirety
Again Lenin turnes to the sailors of Kronstadt for military assistance
However the Sailors believed in Democracy and did not share the same 'wants' as the Soviets they did agree that the provisional government was unstable and corrupt and needed to be brought to an end. So on these grounds the Sailors agreed to help the soviets, However it was an untrustworthy alliance
Both factions planned together and on the 24th of October 1917 the Sailors agreed to help the Bolsheviks take Petrograd
A much more organised Revolution than all the ones preceding it
Siege of Petrograd
25th Of October
Sailors leave for Petrograd
Quickly meet with soviet forces and take the city in less than 3 hours
The Winter Palace
The one problem that was not thought out by the revolutionaries was that no one in the soviet forces or the Sailors had any idea how to gt around the seat of power in Russia, The Winter Palace. Nor had they acquired any plans in their preparation
Due to this the Soviets spent precious time searching for Kerensky and his ministers in the huge palace of 360 rooms. 'It was a huge game of Hide and Seek'
This caused Kerensky to escape however his ministers were arrested
End of the Provisional Government
Fallout From Revolution
Lenin tightens leadership
Other soviet groups 'give up' and agree that the Bolsheviks command all power. The bolshevik party becomes the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
However people wanted democracy and the ability to vote for their leaders. To quell the demands of the masses the Bolsheviks set up the constituent assembly which is a democratic center where the public will vote on the new system for Russia.
The election is held and the Bolshevik party has only a 25% vote whereas the Sailors of Kronsdat have an overwhelming 67%
In response to this Lenin in all of his self righteous glory wanted a Soviet Dictatorship and believed that it was the only way to accomplish the reform that Russia needed
Lenin closes the Constituent Assembly and assumes absolute power to the Bolsheviks and takes total power
Lenin Creates Cheka to deal with counter revolutionaries
-this was a forerunner for the KGB
Sailors get angry and see lenin as a 'new evil'
The fallout from the October Revolution caused a civil war
Red Army
White Army
Lenin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Sailors of Kronstadt
But that's another story...
October Revolution
October 1917
Locations Of The Revolution
Petrograd 1917
Russian Front WWI
The Winter Palace
Russia 1917
Yekaterinburg- Place of Romanov Excecution
Figures Of The Revolution
Vladimir Lenin
- Planned to take over the Russian Rev. and make it his own
- Marxist Ideals
-Pronounces the 10th of April Thesis about the running of the new Russia (communist regime)
- Strong personality, incredibly self confident and self righteous
- Slogan: Lenin, Peace, Bread and Land!
Tsar Nicholas II
Killed anyone he didnt like
Political Opponents
1905 Revolutionaries
Prisoners of War
Bloody Nicholas
Became known as
'Political Idiot'
Felix Dzerzhinsky
A Polish-born revolutionary who joined the Bolshevik Party after getting out of prison in 1917. Following the October Revolution, Vladimir Lenin appointed Dzerzhinsky head of the Cheka, the first Soviet secret police force and an early forerunner of the KGB.
Alexander Kerensky
A member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party and an active participant in both the provisional government and the Petrograd Soviet. At first, Kerensky acted as a liaison between the two governing bodies. Within the provisional government, he served as minister of justice, minister of war, and later as prime minister. After the October Revolution, Kerensky fled the country and eventually immigrated to the United States, where he taught Russian history at Stanford University.
Joseph Stalin (a.k.a. Joseph Dzhugashvili)
A Bolshevik leader who became prominent only after Lenin’s return to Petrograd in April 1917. Although Stalin was very much a secondary figure during the October Revolution, he did gain Lenin’s attention as a useful ally, and following the October coup, Lenin gave him a position in the government as commissar of nationalities. As Stalin was a member of an ethnic minority—he was from the central Asian region of Georgia, not Russia proper—Lenin felt he would be an effective ambassador of sorts to the many ethnic minorities within the former Russian Empire. After the revolution, Stalin became increasingly powerful and eventually succeeded Lenin as leader of the Soviet Union upon Lenin’s death in 1924.
Leon Trotsky (a.k.a. Leon Bronstein)
A Bolshevik leader and one of the most prominent figures of the October Revolution. Trotsky, who was in exile abroad during the February Revolution, returned to Russia in May 1917, closely aligned himself with Lenin, and joined the Bolshevik Party during the summer. Trotsky headed the Revolutionary Military Committee, which provided the military muscle for the October Revolution. After the revolution, he was appointed commissar of foreign affairs and led Russia’s negotiations with Germany and Austria for the armistice and subsequent peace treaty that made possible Russia’s exit from World War I.

Source Portfolio-
Direct Accounts
The April Thesis
The ideas for Russia’s future that Vladimir Lenin expressed upon his return to Russia in April 1917. They were published in the newspaper Pravda on April 7. In short, Lenin called for the overthrow of the provisional government and its replacement with a communist form of government led by the working class. He believed that other countries would follow Russia’s example.

A Biography and account of events from Leon Trotsky
This document was a perspective from one of the Bolshevik parties most influentual figures along with Lenin and Stalin these were the most influential people in the 1917 revolution. This account of the situation gives insight into the thought process of one of the leaders of the revolution and gives us a greater understanding on how the Soviets believed that Socialism was the only way to conquer the corruption in russia pre-1917. This primary source is very usefull when determining the motives of the Bolshevik party
The Ten Days that shook the world
By John Reed
John Reed was an american journalist that was corresponding in russia during the time of the Bolshevik revolution and was widely regarded as the only truly reliable source of impartial information on the situation occurring in Russia. Most of the other accounts were coming out of either side of the political spectrum, however this unbiased account was the rest of the worlds first source of information. And for this he claimed international fame. His book 'The Ten Days that Shook the World"
The Years of Revolution
By Alexandra Kollontai
This is another account from th point of view as a regular revolutionary, and a woman, that went on to be an ambassador it describes the situation of the regular citizen and gives us a better idea on weather this regime was actually benefitial overall to the country or a huge detriment that has branded Russia to some extent 'savage'.
from this account we can see that the regular conditions of the people of russia never really improved with the revolution but only caused massive amounts of death to their friends, family and neighbors. Allexandra Kollantai describes the absolute savagery of this revolution and she says she would not wish her experiences on her worst enemy.
What is a revolution? How does the Russian Revolution fit this definition?
Revolution is such a broad term it can mean anything from the forceful overthrow of a government and subsequent execution of the head of state to the full circle of a rotating sphere on it’s axis. These many definitions can become blurred and it becomes hard to know what one means by the term ‘revolution’. Before we embark on defining this word we must have a look at the etymology of said word, the word ‘revolution’ was adapted from the French word ‘revolucion’, which derived from the original Latin word of ‘revolutionem’, which finds its roots from the even earlier ancient Greek word of ‘revolvere’, which meant ‘to turn, or roll back’. This word began to occur in the English language in the original forming of the language. Originally it was a term to define the action of celestial bodies as they seemed to orbit and turn around their respective orbital centers. However this translated later on to the turning of any spherical (or spherical-like) object. Away from geometry the general sense, as we know it today, as a sort of “Instance of great change of affairs” did not come about in any language until the late 15th century. Its Political meaning "overthrow of an established political system" first recorded in 1600, derived from French, and was especially applied to the expulsion of the Stuart dynasty under James II in 1688 and transfer of sovereignty to William and Mary. As for the actual definition of the word today in a social sense, it has become to mean any radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence. This is an all-encompassing term for all the uses of revolution in a political sense. This encompasses the American Revolution as a direct overthrow of the government by the governed to the Industrial Revolution, which was a time of huge social structure change and reform. Often these types of social reforms would accompany the overthrow of existing governments by the governed as they go hand in hand but on occasion the two are separated

So, from this can we draw that the branding of Revolution on the Russian Revolution is one of accurate thought and not just a rule of thumb that gets plastered onto any coup d’état. The Russian Revolution, like many revolutions was not simply new government in power but a complete social reform that shock the countries foundations, that some may even argue was a bad idea and left Russia in a worse state than it had ever found itself in before. However, there are also others that fiercely argue the point that without the revolution, although perhaps lost control in the Civil war, the corruption of Imperialistic Russia would have had its grip over the country for a much longer period and the suppression of its people by uninformed politicians that only ascended the throne through some ‘birth right’ inflicted on them.

However way you look at it the Russian revolution by all accounts is the quintessential Revolution it had all those classic elements that make up a revolution. An overthrow of government, the citizens put in power and Social reform idealized to bring better conditions to the underprivileged ‘working class’. Therefore, by all accounts I conclude that the Russian Revolution, at least, can be considered a Revolution by title

1. Fordham University. (1997, September 22). Russian Revolution. Retrieved August 22, 2013, from Fordham University Source Collection: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook39.asp
2. Hickey, M. C. (2010). Conspiring Voices from the Russian Revolution. London, United Kingdom: Greenwood Pub Group.
Smith, V. (Director). (2007). The Russian Revolution [Motion Picture].(Documentary)
3. Wood, A. (1986). The Russian Revolution. Los Angeles, Calafornia, United States of America: Tallship Publishing.4 (Book)
4. SparkNotes Editors. (2005). SparkNote on The Russian Revolution (1917–1918). Retrieved August 20, 2013, from http://www.sparknotes.com/history/european/russianrev (website)

1. http://www.marxists.org/glossary/people/q/pics/queneau-raymond.jpg
2. http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/filepicker%2FGpBVNIqsRiS3WwMNhzSX_Joseph_Stalin.jpg
3. http ://en.academic.ru/pictures/enwiki/65/Alexander_Kerensky_LOC_24416.jpg
4. http://quotationsbook.com/assets/shared/img/7307/Leon_trotsky.jpg
5. http://www.arthermitage.org/Drawings/Winter-Palace-The-Plan-of-the-First-Floor.jpg
6. http://mappery.com/maps/Kronstadt-Tourist-Map.mediumthumb.gif
7. http://www.ekaterinburg.tv/images/Maps/ekaterinburgmap3.jpg
8. http://www.barnsdle.demon.co.uk/russ/petro2.gif
9. http://www.historyonthenet.com/WW1/images/eastern_front.jpg
10. http://go.grolier.com/map?id=mh00113&pid=go
Information Biliography
Image Bibliography
Full transcript