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Historical Geography of the Soviet Era. Marxism Karl Marx’s class analysis of Germany, Britain Working-class power –“Dictatorship of Proletariat” –“People’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Historical Geography of the Soviet Era. Marxism Karl Marx’s class analysis of Germany, Britain Working-class power –“Dictatorship of Proletariat” –“People’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Historical Geography of the Soviet Era

2 Marxism Karl Marx’s class analysis of Germany, Britain Working-class power –“Dictatorship of Proletariat” –“People’s Democracy” First need capitalism/ industry to create workers Socialism stage to Communism

3 Russian Marxism - Bolsheviks (Majority radicals) –Mensheviks (Minority moderates) –Also anarchists, other social revolutionaries Russia had mainly peasantry

4 Internationalism before WW I European socialists vs. “War of the Bosses” But when war came, moderates voted for it Radicals against war (incl. Bolsheviks)


6 World War I (1914-18) Central Powers –Germany, Austria- Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Turkey Allied Powers – Britain, France, Russia, Italy, U.S., Canada War for democracy? –Russia, Central Powers dictatorships

7 Russia in WWI Russia in WWI St. Petersburg (capital) renamed Petrograd Losing on Eastern Front Immense ruin, hardship Bolsheviks looked like prophets

8 REVOLUTION, 1917 Czar Nicholas II deposed in February; Provisional Gov’t Soviets (Councils) of workers, soldiers, peasants govern themselves Bolshevik coup in October for Soviets Surrender west to Germans, 1918

9 Russia after WWI Revolutions collapse in Germany, Hungary Peasants like breakup of aristocratic holdings, but want to keep their own private land Bolshevik (Communist) Party amasses centralized power, not Soviets

10 Civil War (Reds vs. Whites), 1918-21 Brits, French, Poles, Americans, Japanese intervene for Whites Russia under siege “War Communism,” railroads win it for Reds

11 Vladimir Lenin era, 1917-24 Workers and peasants together (Marxism-Leninism) Faced “Socialism in One Country” Died 1924; then 3-year power struggle –Petrograd renamed Leningrad

12 Lenin on national self-determination Nationalism of the oppressor vs. Nationalism of the oppressed Criticized Russian majority nationalism Independence for Poland, Finland, Baltic states Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), 1922

13 Eastern Europe after WWI Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Poland Czechoslovakia Austria Hungary Yugoslavia Romania gains Bessarabia (Moldova)

14 Josef Stalin era, 1927-53 Centralism of Czarist Russia Ruthless murder of dissidents; purges of leaders Millions killed

15 Stalinist “State Socialism” Central planning of “Command Economy” Heavy industrialization to catch up to West Forced collectivization of private farmlands Discredited socialism as led by The People

16 Ukraine (Donbass) Urals Siberia (Kuzbass) Industrial regions Ukraine (Donbass) Urals Siberia (Kuzbass)

17 Stalin on nationalism Ethnic Georgian (Dzhugashvili) but pro-Russian Feared, repressed ethnic minorities & religions Russification of minorities (Cyrillic) Ruled republics through Russified elites, money

18 Stalin on nationalism Constructed ethnic groups from local identities Divide-and-rule through ethnic boundaries –“Time bombs” of minorities within republics Yet boundaries strengthened identity later

19 S.S.R.s Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR) _________ Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) : Ukrainian Kazakh Byelorussian Kirghiz Georgian Turkmen Armenian Tadzhik Azerbaijan Uzbek


21 Ethnic minority areas within S.S.R.s

22 Ethnic minority areas within S.S.R.s (mainly within RSFSR) Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) Autonomous Oblast (Region) Autonomous Okrug (District)

23 Nagorno-Karabakh Ethnic Armenian region, but part of Azerbaijan; War in 1988-94

24 WW II, 1939-41 Pact with Germany (to delay inevitable?) Annexed eastern Poland, Baltics, Bessarabia (Moldavia) Invaded Finland (Winter War) Nazis invade USSR, June 1941 Stalin allies with Brits, U.S.


26 WW II, 1941-45 Germans besieged Leningrad through winter Failed to seize Moscow (government moved east) Halted at Stalingrad, before Caspian Sea 20 million Soviets dead, country devastated

27 Russian nationalism in WWII Stalin used “Mother Russia” to rally USSR “Traitorous” minority ethnic groups –Some initially welcomed Germans (or outdid them) –But Nazis wanted Lebensraum (Living Space) –Stalin relocates ethnic Germans, Chechens, etc.

28 USSR after WWII (Re)annexed territory Baltics, Moldavia, E. Poland. Took E. Prussia (Kaliningrad) Troops stay East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria Independent Communist “partisan” states Yugoslavia, Albania, China (1949)

29 Poland, 1945 USSR annexes eastern Poland, which takes eastern Germany

30 Ivan’s border changes Born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (before WWI) Grew up in Czechoslovakia (after WWI) Fought in Hungary (during WWII) Grew old in the Soviet Union (after WWII) Died in Ukraine (after 1991) All without leaving his hometown of Mukachevo

31 Iron Curtain 1946-89 Churchill speech, 1946 Divided West from all Communist states Berlin Airlift 1948

32 Cold War Massive refugee Crisis, poverty Marshall Plan for recovery in West Western military “containment” Proxy wars in Greece, etc.

33 NATO vs. Warsaw Pact W. Germany in NATO Warsaw Pact formed 1955 NATO-Soviet nuclear race

34 Revolts in Eastern Europe East Germany, 1953 Hungarian Revolution, 1956 Broad-based opposition to Stalinism

35 Nikita Khrushchev, 1953-64 Russian from Ukraine “Destalinization”: less repressive Consumer goods emphasis “Virgin Lands” settlement Visited, confronted U.S. but backed down in Berlin, Cuba

36 Leonid Brezhnev, 1964-82 Stalin & Khrushchev policies –Economic stagnancy –Military superpower Invaded Czechoslovakia, 1968 Rivalry with China; clash 1969 Détente with U.S., 1972 Invaded Afghanistan, 1979

37 Polish Solidarity, 1980-81 Poles revolted 1956, 1968, 1970 Poland looser than others, 1970s –Hungary also “Goulash Communist” –Polish Pope, 1978 Workers strikes spread from Gdansk, 1980 Polish military crackdown, 1981

38 Last days of USSR Yuri Andropov (ex-KGB), 1982-84 War fears, spending on “Euromissile” race Konstantin Chernenko (Brezhnev clone), 1984-85 Mikhail Gorbachev (glasnost) 1985-91

39 Soviet era in your region?

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