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Presentation on theme: "THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION"— Presentation transcript:


2 Watch this video

3 Russian Empire

4 How did World War I Impact Russia?
WWI strained Russian resources Factories could not manufacture enough war supplies Poor transportation system meant insufficient supplies arrived at the war front Not enough weapons, rifles, and ammunition Poor equipped soldiers and badly trained 1915: 2 million Russian casualties

5 The Czar’s Response Czar Nicholas II went to the war front to take command of his armies Nicholas II was equally incompetent to lead as were his Russian generals

6 Who was running the Russian government in the czar’s absence?

7 Rasputin Nicholas II went to Eastern Front to rally his troops
Left his wife, Czarina Alexandra in charge of Russian government Alexandra fell under the influence of the mysterious Rasputin who claimed to have magical healing powers Alexandra believed Rasputin cured her son Alexis of hemophilia (uncontrolled bleeding when blood does not clot effectively)

8 Rasputin’s Influence To reward Rasputin, Alexandra allowed Rasputin to make key political decisions Rasputin put his friends in high government positions and was corrupt Opponents assassinated Rasputin for his excessive involvement in government affairs

9 Crisis Worsens in Russia
Increased military disasters and battlefield deaths Food and fuel shortages; prices increased Striking workers marched in the streets demanding bread Government military troops refused to open fire on the protestors With no more military support to support his leadership, the Tsar abdicated and fled

10 Temporary Government Politicians in the Duma (legislature) established a provisional government after the czar abdicated (surrendered his throne) Alexander Kerensky was the leader of the Provisional Government Provisional government continued fighting against Germany in WWI Revolutionaries secretly were plotting to overthrow the provisional government Revolutionaries established soviets (council of soldiers and workers) and, at first, worked with the provisional government Radical revolutionaries called Bolsheviks were intent on overthrowing the Provisional (democratic) government The Bolsheviks were led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

11 Lenin and the Bolsheviks
V.I. Lenin ( ) Lenin hated the tsarist governments Lenin became a revolutionary at a young age when the tsar executed his older brother for planning to kill the czar Lenin planned a revolution based on the writings of German Karl Marx Lenin believed the proletariat (working class) would revolt, overthrow the government, and establish a socialist state

12 Bolsheviks vs. Mensheviks
Bolsheviks (“majority”) believed that socialism could be achieved through swift, violent, and radical changes to society Mensheviks (“minority”) believed socialism could be achieved through gradual and moderate reforms such as higher wages, increases suffrage, and social welfare programs

13 Marxists Bolsheviks (majority) Mensheviks (minority)

14 Lenin Returned from Exile
Lenin had been exiled in Switzerland Germany knew that Lenin was a Russian revolutionary Germany wanted Lenin to return to Russia and spark the Russian Revolution Germany felt that Russia would be unable to continue fighting the war IF Russia was also involved in a revolution

15 Lenin’s Promise to the Russian People
Lenin and the Bolsheviks promised to the Russian people “peace, land, and bread” Peace = withdrawal from WWI Land = poor peasants would own the land Bread = starving Russians would receive sufficient food to avoid starvation

16 Lenin addressing a crowd in 1920

17 Continued Mistakes of the Provisional Government
Continued fighting World War I Russians tired of war Thousands of soldiers deserted Kerensky launched a disastrous military offensive in July, 1917 Failed to deal with land reform Peasants demanded land City workers wanted food and fuel

18 Bolsheviks Attacked November, 1917
Armed factory workers (Red Guards) and rebelling sailors attacked the provisional government Lenin’s Bolsheviks seized power in just a few days without a struggle Kerensky’s Provisional Government collapsed Moscow became the Bolshevik’s capital Kremlin became the Bolshevik HQ

19 Moscow

20 Kremlin – Bolshevik HQ (Moscow)

21 What actions did the Bolsheviks take after seizing power?
Ended private ownership of land Distributed land to peasants Workers given control of factories and mines New red flag symbolizing workers and peasants created Bolsheviks renamed themselves Communists

22 End of World War I Lenin sought peace with Germany
Soviet Union (USSR) signed Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany (March, 1918) USSR surrendered much territory and population Terms of treaty angered and humiliated Russians Lenin wanted peace with Germany to concentrate Russian resources to defeat the communist enemies Germany transferred the troops on the Eastern Front to fight the Allies on the Western Front

23 Russian Civil War Russian Civil War erupted between the Reds (communists) and the White (counter-revolutionaries, Mensheviks, democrats, etc.) Civil War lasted three bloody years “White” armies wanted to defeat the communists Allies supported the White army Allies hoped that White army would defeat the communists and support fight against Germany Britain, France, and USA sent soldiers to fight in the Russian civil war The Communists (Reds) defeated the Whites (Mensheviks)

24 White Army Enemies of the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks had the responsibility to eliminate all enemies Leon Trotsky commanded the Bolshevik army and fought a three year civil war to secure absolute control of Russia 15 million Russians died in civil war Civil war caused famine, hunger, and flu epidemic Russia was left economically in ruins Leon Trotsky

25 What happened to Czar Nicholas II and his family?
Communists executed Czar Nicholas II, Czarina Alexandra, and their five children in July, 1918 Communists felt that Czar would serve as rallying symbol for the White army

26 Cheka Secret Soviet police force
Used terror tactics to control the people Executed many citizens suspected of being against the revolution

27 Gulag Forced labor camps
Political prisoners and counter revolutionaries sent to the gulag to work in hard (bitterly cold and scorching hot) labor conditions

28 “War Communism” Policy of taking over banks, mines, factories, and railroads Rural peasants were forced to deliver their crops to feed urban dwellers and the military Peasants were drafted into the army Peasants forced to work in urban factories

29 Commissars Trotsky turned the Bolsheviks into a superior fighting force Commissars – communist party officials – were assigned to monitor the army officers Commissars taught communist party principles and demanded absolute loyalty – or risk imprisonment or execution

30 Building the Communist Soviet Union
Russia was in chaos Millions of Russians died in WWI and the Russian Civil War Thousands died from starvation, illness, and disease The communists under Lenin faced enormous challenges to repair a destroyed economy Girl starving during Russian famine (1921)

31 New Government Russia united into the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (Soviet Union) Constitution established Elected legislature (Supreme Soviet) Right to vote over age 18 All means of production belonged to workers and peasants The Communist party, however, was supreme over the people – hardly a social democracy! USSR used the army and secret police to enforce its will

32 End of war communism War communism damaged the Soviet economy
Mine and factory production decreased Peasants stopped planting and harvesting crops knowing the communist party would seize the crops Lenin elected to halt the policy of war communism

33 New Economic Policy Lenin launched his New Economic Policy (NEP) to replace war communism Peasants allowed to sell crops instead of giving crops to government People could buy and sell goods for profit Government controlled banks, major industries, and communication Small factories, businesses, and farms operated under private ownership Foreign investment encouraged

34 Advantages of the New Economic Policy (NEP)
NEP restored some confidence in the Soviet economy Ended armed resistance to the new communist government Food and industrial production climb back to pre-war levels by 1928 Standard of living improved Lenin believed NEP would only be a temporary flirtation with capitalism Lenin’s goal was to bring the USSR to a pure communist state

35 Death of Lenin Lenin died of a stroke in 1924 at age 54
Power struggle – who would take control of the Communist Party? Top two contenders: Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin Lenin’s embalmed corpse is on display in Moscow.

36 Stalin vs. Trotsky Leon Trotsky Joseph Stalin
Brilliant Marxist thinker Leader of Bolshevik Revolution Urged support for a worldwide revolution against capitalism Fled to Mexico Continued to criticize Stalin Stalin’s secret agent murdered Trotsky in Mexico in 1940 Joseph Stalin Clever political operator Behind-the-scenes organizer Desired to build socialism (communism) at home before exporting it globally Isolated and stripped Trotsky of membership in communist party Stalin became ruthless dictator of USSR

37 Powerpoint Questions 1. What was the slogan the Communists promised to the people? 2. What treaty ended WWI between Russia and Germany? 3. The last czar of Russia was ____. 4. Who was the mysterious man who promised to cure Alexis of hemophilia, the son of the czars? 5. The leader of the Provisional Government was __. 6. The Communists who were the majority were known as the __________.

38 Powerpoint Questions 7. The working class people who were to stage the revolution were known as the _________. 8. The Russian secret police were called the _____. 9. If you disagreed with the communists, you could be arrested and sent to a _______. 10. Whose job was to teach communist party principles and ensure loyalty to the party? 11. What was “war communism”?

39 Powerpoint Questions 12. The Russian civil war was fought between the ___ and the ___ armies. 13. Who succeeded Lenin as the leader of Russia following Lenin’s death? 14. What economic policy replaced “war communism”?


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