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Russia Revision Tuesday 31 May 2011 Topics for Today The Peasants Did their lives remain the same? Were their lives uniformly poor (or bleak) / consistently.

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Presentation on theme: "Russia Revision Tuesday 31 May 2011 Topics for Today The Peasants Did their lives remain the same? Were their lives uniformly poor (or bleak) / consistently."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Russia Revision Tuesday 31 May 2011

3 Topics for Today The Peasants Did their lives remain the same? Were their lives uniformly poor (or bleak) / consistently miserable? Did their lives improve / not improve across the period? Linked to Rulers Treated better / worse by communists than Tsars? Which ruler did most to improve their lives? Russian Government Comparison of their aims / methods / outcomes Comparison between individual rulers or between communists and Tsars Turning points in Russian government Comparisons on some specific aspect: – Dealing with opposition – Improving lives of the people – Modernising or industrialising Russia

4 Assess the view that the lives of the peasants in Russia were consistently miserable in the period 1855 – 1964.

5 First thoughts Key Words Key Theme to focus on

6 First thoughts Key Words peasants consistently miserable Key Theme to focus on Was life for the peasants uniformly poor? Did life for the peasants sometimes improve? Did life for the peasants sometimes get worse?

7 The Russian Peasantry Tsarist Russia Expectations The Romanovs had a paternalistic attitude as the Little Fathers of their people Serfdom had existed throughout the Romanov dynasty from 1613 to Improvements 1861 Emancipation Bunges more progressive policies as Finance Minister ( e.g.1883 Peasants Land Bank; 1886 abolished poll tax) Stolypins Kulak policy Bad Treatment / Conditions Terms of Emancipation Decree Imposition of Land Captains Taxation Policy i.e. Monster Tariff 1891 Famine e.g 1891 Communist Russia Expectations Under Marxist theory the exploitation of the people would be replaced by Utopian equality Improvements 1917 Decree on Land 1921 NEP Bad Treatment / Conditions War Communism 1929 Collectivisation Stalins persecution pf the Kulaks Famine e.g

8 Possible structure Introduction Overview of generally miserable lives (brief) Focus on periods where lives became significantly worse Focus on periods where lives became significantly better Conclusion

9 Assess the view that the Russian people swapped one form of autocracy for another in 1917.

10 First thoughts Key Words Key Theme to focus on

11 First thoughts Key Words swapped one form of autocracy for another in 1917 Key Theme to focus on A comparison between the Communists and Tsars – Aims – Methods – Outcomes

12 How was Russia governed? BEFORE 1917 Autocratic: Tsars (Romanov dynasty) Claimed Divine Right to rule by birth Supported by Orthodox Church Secret police (Third Section / Okhrana) Tried to silence /crush opponents Alexander II (some reforms) Emancipated the serfs Set up Zemstva (local councils) Faced opposition / assassinated in 1881 Alexander III (reactionary) Abandoned reforms – was very autocratic His reign nicknamed the Reaction Silenced opposition Appointed Land Captains to control peasants Nicholas II (abdicated) Tried to be as autocratic as his father Described plans for constitution as senseless dreams Faced revolution in 1905 Survived by granting a Duma (parliament) From 1907 rigged Duma elections Stolypin used terror (the Stolypin necktie)to crush opponents Influenced by Rasputin from 1906 Had to abdicate in 1917 during WW1 AFTER 1917 Dictators: (Communist Party) Claimed to rule on behalf of the proletariat Banned organised religions Secret police (Cheka e.t.c.) Banned all opposition parties Lenin also banned factions within the CP Lenin Shut down Constituent Assembly Banned all opposition parties Defeated White Armies in Civil War Cheka used Red Terror against opposition Crushed the Kronstadt Revolt Banned factions in Communist Party Ill from 1922 (a triumvirate ruled for him) Stalin c.1925 – 1953 Defeated rivals in power struggle to be firmly in power by 1928 In 1930s used terror: (purges, show trials, dekulakisation; the gulags) Ruled through fear: Soviet citizens came to fear their own shadows Khrushchev c.1954 – 1964 Defeated rivals in power struggle to be firmly in power by 1956 Used secret speech to launch destalinisation Tried to reform but failed: resigned 1964 SIMILARITIES Autocracy & Dictatorship – two very authoritarian systems Both very undemocratic (e.g. Nicholas II rigged Duma elections/ Lenin shut down Constituent Assembly) Both systems used secret police (Okhrana / Cheka) to crush opponents (but the communists did this more efficiently) Both used terror (e.g Stolypin & Stalin) though the scale of terror much greater under communism) Under both systems the ruler who tried to reform came badly unstuck (Alexander II assassinated / Khrushchev forced to resign)

13 Possible structure Introduction Arguments in support of view that swapped one form of autocracy for another Arguments against the view that swapped one form of autocracy for another Conclusion


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