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The Russian Revolution
Transcript of The Russian Revolution
Nicholas II decided to relocate his headquarters closer to the war front, leaving his wife Alexandra, in charge of running the government. Rather than abiding the czar’s chief advisers, she fell under the influence of Rasputin – a self-described holy man. Alexandra took Rasputin’s advice when making key political decisions. Opposing reform measure and giving powerful positions to his friends, Rasputin simply spread the corruption throughout the royal court and made matters worse.
In 1916, Rasputin was murdered by a group of nobles who feared his inflating role in the government.
The Russian Revolution
January 22, 1905, 200,000 workers and families approached the czar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg carrying petition requesting better working conditions, more personal freedom and an elected national legislature. Nicholas II was not present at the palace, and as a result, his generals and police chefs ordered soldiers to fire on the unarmed crowd; on average about 500-1,000 civilians were annihilated.
1905 - Bloody Sunday
This event created further protests, strikes and violent issues throughout the country. Oct. 1905, Nicholas II promised more freedom with the approval of the Duma, Russia’s first parliament.
Those who made up the Duma were moderates; they wanted Russia to transform into a constitutional monarchy like Britain.
Unfortunately, the Duma disbanded after only 10 weeks, as Nicholas II was reluctant to share his power and control.
Creation of the Duma
In 1914, Russia (Nicholas II) chose to get involved with World War I. This intensified Russia’s inability to manage military and economic costs. In less than a year, over 4 million Russian soldiers had been killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Russia was brutally defeated by the German army, loss after loss. These events unveiled Russia’s true weakness of czarist rule and military leadership.
1914 - World War 1
Russian troops are meanwhile weakening under the war. Nicholas and Alexandra both showed inadequate leadership and were incapable of tackling the growing issues of dwindling food and fuel supplies. The people of Russia were craving a change and an end to the war.
In March 1917, a strike was led by working class women in Petrograd (St. Petersburg). They had discovered that the royal family had been hoarding the scarce amounts of bread that Russia possessed. This set off a series of riots appearing throughout the country. The people of Russia wanted to be heard; they urged their discontent with autocracy and they pushed for economic reforms.
Russian police were brought in to quell the riots, but having seen the brutal conditions of the working class, they joined sides with the rioters and began to fire at commanding officers.
End of Romanov Dynasty, Execution of the Monarch
A provisional government was established by the Duma; however, the problems facing both the country and the government were no closer to being solved. Russia was still supporting World War I as conditions within the country intensified. Soviets-local councils consisting or workers, peasants and soldiers-were formed and in most cases, these soviets were more influential that the provisional government.
The Russian Revolution
Nicholas II, Valdimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin
Nicholas II was ultimately forced to abdicate his throne. Within a year, Nicholas II and his entire family was executed. The March revolution had successfully brought down the czarist rule. However, just like the French Revolution, there was no form of government ready to take its place.
Soon, Lenin, along with the Bolshevik Reds had seized the power and control of the soviets. Civilians had begun chanting “All power to the soviets.” “Peace, Land and Bread.”
Lenin Returns to Russia
Meanwhile, Lenin had returned to Russia by a sealed railway boxcar, reaching Petrograd by April 1917. Lenin was then reunited with the Bolshevik Reds.
-1917- Collapse of the
In November, the Bolshevik Reds stormed
the Winter Palace in Petrograd. Leaders of the provisional government were captured and arrested. The Bolsheviks gained control of the country.
1918 - Bolsheviks in Power
Now that Lenin had attained power, improvements were seen right away. Within days all farmland was distributed throughout the peasants and control of factories was given to the workers.
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
A truce was created between the Bolsheviks and Germany to end all fighting and start peace talks. Immense amounts of land were surrendered to Germany and its allies. This created further problems throughout the citizens as they objected this decision.
Those opposing the judgment and decisions of the Bolshevik government formed the White Army. From 1918-1920, civil war raged on in Russia. The Bolshevik Reds wanted a communist government whereas the White Army wanted a democracy.
Following the chaotic 3-year war, about 15 million Russians had died resulting from the fighting, famine, destruction and flu epidemics. The Bolsheviks were victorious, proving that nothing could interfere with their rising amounts of control and power. However, the war left the Bolsheviks facing more issues than before.
1921- Lenin Restores Order
The Russian Economy was left in ruins from the war and the revolution. Lenin shifted his role and turned to reconstructing the economy and the government. In March, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced. Reforms from the NEP included allowing peasants to sell their surplus crops rather than handing them over to the government. Certain small businesses, factories and farms were allowed to be privately owned, but the government owned major industries, banks and communication services. And finally, individuals were now able to profit from buying and selling goods.
Russia was organized into self-governing republics under the central government. The country, which was renamed to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was now controlled by Moscow, the new capital. The Bolsheviks also changed the name of their group to the Communist Party, who created a constitution based on socialist and democratic principles.
Vladimir Lenin 1870-1924
Unfortunately, Lenin passed away as a consequence of several strokes in 1924.
The USSR began to recover through the peace gained after the civil war and the new political reforms. In 1928, farms and factories were producing the same amounts that they had before Word War I.
One of Lenin’s revolutionary supporters, Joseph Stalin, seized control of the Communist Party once Lenin had passed away. Stalin was set on the development of Russia and perfecting a Communist state in Russia, ultimately transforming the Soviet Union into a totalitarian state. This meant that the government would exercise absolute authority and take complete control over every aspect of public and private life.
Soon, business, family life, labor, housing, religion, education and arts were controlled by the state. Personal freedom had vanished.
Stalin becomes Dictator
French Revolution - Execution of the Monarch
In both the French and the Russian revolution, the monarchs of the country were executed. In 1793, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were sent to the guillotine.
The Russian revolution and the French revolution both had their revolutionary leaders. For the French Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre was a radical and head of the Commitee of Public Safety.
Vladimir Lenin was head of the Russian revolution, seized control once Nicholas II was executed and lead the Bolshevik Reds.
March on Versailles
The French and the Russian revolutions were both direct results of a declining economy and weak leadership displayed by the monarchs of the country. Both countries were suffering from food shortages and both were on the edge of bankruptcy as a result from supporting the American Revolution (France) and World War I (Russia).
In France, the bourgeoisie or the third estate were extremely unrepresented.
In Russia, the working class people were poorly treated and socially unequal.
Causes of the French
and Russian Revolution
French Revolution - Storming of the Bastille 1789
This event is comparable to the storming of the Bastille during the French revolution, which was the initial riot of the French Revolution. In 1789, hundreds of angry French citizens stormed the Bastille, which was a torturous prison, to retrieve gunpowder and release prisoners.
In 1789, thousands of French protestors marched to the King's palace in Versailles to protest about the unattainable price of bread.
As a result, the royal family was obliged to move the Paris, forcing them to be closer to the heart of the revolution and giving them less opportunity to escape France.
Creation of the National Assembly
On June 20th, 1798 the National Assembly was established. It was created to represent all three estates once the king had locked the third estate out of the meeting of the Estates-General.
1804 - Napoleon becomes Emperor of France
In 1804, Napoleon was appointed as the first Emperor of France. From 1804-1814, Napoleon began to rebuild France, just as Stalin rebuilt Russia as a totalitarian state.
French and Russian Revolution :
An overall comparison
The French Revolution and the Russian revolutions were both very similar in regards to the initial foundation of the country and the causes of the revolution itself.
In both instances, the monarchs of the country (Czar Nicholas II and King Louis XVI) were soon executed after being forced to abdicate their thrones once revolutions took place.
Maximilien Robespierre (Headed a Committee of Public Safety in France) and Vladimir Lenin (Headed the Bolshevik group in Russia) are both well known as the revolutionary leaders.
Both the French and Russian revolutions attempted to abolish social and political structures. Revolutionaries in both revolutions used terror and violence to control the people.
With both revolutions a higher sense of equality among the people were achieved.
Equal Rights for Women
In 1917, women won equal rights. Due to this event, the daily working role of women would change helping the economy flourish.
How did the people
gain a sense of identity?
Throughout the revolution, the people of Russia felt an intense
to one another as a consequence of desiring the
. Because of this, the Russian revolution was made possible and the people were able to fight for what they believed in.
As a result, a collective identity was created, where everyone shared the same beliefs.
The revolution was not only a chance for the people of Russia to
for the better, but it was also a possibility of
a new sense of
Before the Revolution:
1894 : Nicholas II becomes the czar of Russia, similar to King Louis XIV during the French revolution, Nicholas II was appointed at a very young age (26).
1900's : Rapid industrialization and
increasing amounts of factories have
caused Russia's economy to boom. With
this comes many new problems such as deficient working conditions, extremely low wages and child labor. Workers suddenly began to organize strikes and unions aiming to improve their living standards.
The people of Russia were extremely unequal and similar to the French revolution, they were very poorly represented. Many revolutionary groups were formed, including a group named the Bolsheviks, who were willing to sacrifice everything for radical change. One of the
leaders of this group was Vladimir Lenin,
who fled to western Europe in the
1900's to avoid arrest from the