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USSR through Stalinist Years

Academic Decathlon 2012-2013

Andreas Moghimi

on 10 March 2013

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Transcript of USSR through Stalinist Years

The U.S.S.R The Revolutions
of 1917 Revolution Different
Interpretations The Soviet Interpretation Highly propagandistic
Historical Materialism
Claimed that the Revolutions were inevitable
Defend and Promote the interests of the Proletariat Liberal Interpretation Liberal Perspective
Emphasizes the actions of a skilled and ruthless minority of radical ideologues and their ability to organize vast segments of the Russian population into the service of their cause Libertarian Interpretation Highlights the ability of Russian workers to self-manage and self-organize
Believed the Bolshevik leadership hijacked an authentic workers revolution Impact of World War I 15.5 million Russians were mobilized
1.65 million were killed, 3.85 wounded, and 2.41 captured by enemy forces
Casualties included 35% of the Russian Army
Monetary inflation
Agricultural production came to a standstill Provisional Government March 1917- Revolt overthrows the Russian Government
March 11- the Duma was formally resigned
March 12- Provisional Government and Petrograd Soviet was founded
March 15- Nicholas II abdicated the throne for himself and his son, Alexei, naming his brother Michael Alexandrovich the tsar of Russia
March 16- Michael II abdicated the throne, thus ending the house of Romanov in Russia Provisional Government was headed be Prince George Lvov
Lvov strove for a more modern and liberal Russia
Attempted to institutionalize democratic reforms, provide equal protection before the law, and promulgate a set of sociopolitical liberties
Unification of Russian society Petrograd Soviet More Democratic, nimble, and Radical than the Provisional Government
Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies
Compatible with demands of the workers
Challenged authority of the Provisional Government
Order Number 1- military units should be run by electing committees with officers only serving to oversee tactical maneuvers
Creation of Soviets throughout the country, covening the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets in June 1917 Struggles
Inability to respond effectively to invading German and Austrian Forces
Increased number of national movements and uprisings
peasant seizures of land and other resources
Challenges to the Pertograd Soviet
July 17- Bolshevik activists led an uprising against the Provisional Government
As a result of the "July Days", Lvov resigned, leaving Kerensky Kerensky Socialist approach
Rivaled General Lavr Kornilov, a conservative who sought military reform in response to Order Number 1
In an attempt to destroy the Soviet, Kornilovs troops marched on Petrograd, but gave up due to many strikes and obstacles on the way there
Kornilovs debacle undermines any authority the Provisional Government still possessed
In the eyes of the general population, only the Bolsheviks retained any trust and confidence The Great October Revolution September- Bolsheviks captured majorities in the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets
October- Vladimir Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders returned from exile in Finland, convincing the Petrograd Soviet that a socialist revolution was imminent
Lenin, along with his intellectual colleague, Leon Trotsky, and a bare majority of Soviets began to plot a Bolshevik Revolution
November 7- Bolshevik troops occupy various locations throughout the capital
November 8- Bolsheviks storm the Winter Palace, arresting the Provisional Government and establish a Leninist soviet Government Marxism-Leninism Karl Marx German economist
Applied scientific thought to the history of mankind in order to isolate factors that would end human suffering and liberate humans from oppressive conditions
Composed a work of literature discussing socio-political and economic materialism. These philosophies created what is known as Communism
Communism was taken on by Vladimir Lenin Communism Marx believed the costs of industrialization outweighed the benefits
Believed that industrial capitalism created an exploited class of people and inequalities in distribution of wealth, placed undemocratic limits on constitutional rights, and created unemployment, excessive poverty, and child labor
Historical Materialism- Economic forces governing the production and consumption of goods are responsible for determining the course of human history G.W.F. Hegel's theory of the dialectic- 3 step process of change involving a thesis, antithesis, and synthesis
Marxist Thesis- Dominant economic system
Marxist Antithesis- challenges posed against the dominant economic system
Marxist Synthesis- New economic system that results from a resolution of the thesis and antithesis
Economic system serves as a base on which society's social, political, and cultural institutions, known as the superstructure, rest. Inherent tensions, or contradictions within the economic system then cause a structural revolution in which the previous "base" is replaced. Labor Theory of Value Prolitariat- workers who are exploited by the bourgeoise
Bourgeoise- Capitalists who own the means of production because the capitalist extracts more value from the worker's labor than is paid back to the worker
1) labor alone creates value
2) capitalists recieve value of products generated by labor
3) laborers recieve less value than they create
4) laborers are exploited by capitalists Marxist Economic Prediction Hunting and gathering -> Ancient Communal Ownership -> Communal Private Property -> Feudal Ownership (reliant on serfs) -> capitalism (Boergoeoise ownership) -> Socialism -> Communism

elimination of ownership of property, state institutions, and non-exploitative socioeconomic classes
Self governing Society where individuals are free of economically determined relationships Lenin's Modifications to Marxism Development of the Vanguard of the Proliteriat in order to organize and motivate a socialist Revolution
Democratic Centralism- allowed for democratic decision making, thus centralizing rather than democratizing, leading to bureaucratic authoritarianism
Promoted Global Socialist Revolution
Created Communist International (Comintern) in 1919 Taboo Review Soviet Interpretation
Liberal Interpretation
Libertarian Interpretation
World War I
1.65 Million
35% Provisional Government
"July Days"
Petrograd Soviet
Order Number 1
October Revolution Taboo Review Karl Marx
Economic Materialism
G.W.F. Hegels Theory of the Dialectic
Labor Theory of Value Marxist Economic Prediction
Vanguard of the Proletariat
Democratic Centralism
1919 Early Communist Russia Vladimir Illych Ulyanov "The Father of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Union
Disliked the autocratic monarchical system, and thus idolized the works of communist thinkers Marx and Engels
Organized the radical social democratic League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class in 1895, resulting in his arrest and exile to Siberia
Created Propoganda under the pseudonym Lenin to avoid arrest
Published What Is to Be Done?, a text depicting the inability of the Proliteriate to self-organize, for they needed inspiration from a vanguard, or party with bourgeoise origin
Bolshevik regime was challenged by the Constituent Assembly, a body created by the outgoing Provisional Government Bolsheviks needed to dispatch any remaining institutional vestiges of the Provisional Government 1 Three Bolshevik Problems 2 January 19th- The Red army is dispatched against the Constituent Assembly, banning further meetings of the body Russia's Engagement in World War I Lenin broke with Trotsky, assenting to Germany's Conditions in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
As a result of the treaty, Russia lost territories, including Ukraine, resources, and population
Germany's Defeat resulted in many of the treaties conditions not going into effect 3 Lenin was confronted with the need to implement revolutionary change and consolidate the transitional regime without a "blueprint" Lenin allowed peasants to seize land from bourgeois estates
The Bolsheviks nationalized all of Russias Banks, confiscated private property, and asserted control over all foreign trade
Comprehensive overhaul of state institutions
Bolsheviks confiscated all property held by thr Russian Orthodox Church, banned religious instruction, and founded the Extraordinary Commission, or Cheka, a state police designed to persecute political enemies War Communism Deepened and expanded many of the initial state reforms while shifting the burden from enemies of communism to ordinary citizens
The state nationalized every major industry, eliminated private property, and made markets for the exchange of goods illegal
Workers were stripped of their ability to strike
All consumer goods were rationalized by the government
Any extra agricultural products were handed over to the state for redistribution
Peasant resistance increased with boycotts on food production
Industrial workers fled to the countryside
Black Market was created for the exchange of goods under governmental supervision
Reduced agricultural output, drought, and famine resulted in massive casualties Taboo Review Lenin
League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class
What is to be Done?
Constituent Assembly
Three Bolshevik Problems and Solutions
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk War Communism
Black Market
Famine The Russian Civil War Volunteer Army- a counterrevolutionary force with designs on overthrowing the Bolshevik Government
White Movement- Conservative army officers, Cossacks, students, the bourgeoise, highly educated liberals, and other politicians who opposed the methods of the Bolsheviks
The Whites took part in political sabotage, domestic strikes, terrorist acts, and rebellious activities within the military
Significant gains against the Red Army in the summer of 1918
July 18- Lenin ordered the execution of Nicholas II and the royal family, eliminating any chance of future Romanov rule
After making gains towards Moscow and Petrograd, the Whites were ultimately contained by the Red Army in March 1920 International Involvement The Bolsheviks were challenged with the intervention of foreign powers, the outbreak of war with Poland, and numerous nationalist movements for independence
Efforts by Japan, Great Britain, France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, and the United States provided the Whites with much needed supplies in efforts conducted in the eastern portion of Russia
International participants withdrew troops and supplies once the Whites defeat was obviously imminent War with Poland April 1920- Poland invaded Russia in order to recapture portions of Ukraine and Belorussia
Red Army pushed the Poles back, nearly capturing Warsaw in the process
With the help of foreign aid, the Poles regrouped and ultimately emerged victorious
Treaty of Riga (1921)- Poles are awarded nearly all initially desired territories National Independence Movements Several Russian territories sought to achieve independence from Russian rule
Most Belorussian, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, and Ukrainian independence movements, along with attempts at independence by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia ultimately failed due to the organizational strength of regional soviets
Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania all achieved independence Bolshevik Victory and the Founding of the U.S.S.R. Bolsheviks emerge victorious due to the Whites' inability to develop a concentrated effort to dispose the Bolshevik regime
Nationalist movements failed because they were geographically concentrated, internally divided, and lacked the resources to wage serious campaigns for independence
The Red Army proved resourceful in taking advantage of soviet control over production, communication and transportation lines
Whites eventually supported the communists December 30, 1922 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the U.S.S.R., a socialist regime created by the Bolsheviks, is comprised of a federation of the Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Transcaucasian Soviets Taboo Review Volunteer Army
White Movement
July 18, 1918
Treaty of Riga
Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania December 30, 1922
Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Transcaucasia The New Economic Policy (NEP) Poor Socioeconomic conditions due to World War I and the revolutions of 1917
Droughts of 1920 and 1921 produced widespread famine
Epidemics, wartime casualties, economic collapse, and starvation contributed to the loss of over 20 million lives
Economic production in nearly every sector was significantly lower than prior to World War I Lenin couched his NEP as a strategic and temporary retreat from institutionalizing real socialism
Allowed Communists to take over political institutions
Farmers were taxed on goods prior to their being sold in the marketplace
Market reforms allowed for private exchange of personal goods and services. Financial system was overhauled with the introduction of a new legal tender
NEP expanded the class of small business owners, referred to as kulaks, who benefited from the liberalization of the marketplace
Josef Stalin initiates dekulakization, where kulaks are targeted for extermination, for they were feared to be counterrevolutionary Taboo Review NEP
20 million Communists
Agricultural reforms
Market reforms
Dekulakization The Stalin Era 1927-1952 Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili Organized strikes and protests in Baku
Sent to Siberia (naturally)
Stalin- Pseudonym; "Steel" in Russian
Bolshevik involvement in Russian Revolution and Civil War

Leon Trotsky Nicholas Bukharin radically leftist
promoted foreign revolution
necessary immediate global revolution communism's failure was due to impatience
continuation of NEP #1 (1928-1932) Stalin's Five Year Plans #2 (1933-1937) Ended a year early
Sovkhoz- agricultural factories owned by the state
Kolkhoz- agricultural collectives
Increased industrialization & consumer goods
Dekulakization- eliminated class of entrepreneurs who were prosperous during the NEP, resulting in their persecution, arrest, death and/or disappearance in the 30s
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