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General Overview of Communism & the Russian Revolution

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1 General Overview of Communism & the Russian Revolution
AP World History Chapter 22 “The Rise and Fall of World Communism” (1917 – Present)

2 Communism: A General Overview
Socialism = the belief that the economy should be controlled by society, either directly or through the government Believe in: a classless society, equal distribution of wealth, gender equality, etc. How is communism different? It really isn’t very different  think of communists as “extreme socialists” Socialists believe their ideal society can be achieved slowly through progression and evolution of the government Communists believe this society can only be achieved by overthrowing the government

3 Communism: A General Overview
Cold War = 1946 – 1991 Global rivalry between the Soviet Union and the U.S. Capitalism vs. Communism Divided continents, countries, and cities Spawned the space race Spawned a dangerous arms race focused on nuclear weapons

4 Communism: A General Overview
Major countries/regions in the communist “bloc”: The Soviet Union Eastern Europe China North Korea North Vietnam Laos Cambodia Cuba Afghanistan

5 Communism: A General Overview
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and its allies were brought together by: Warsaw Pact = military alliance designed to counter NATO Council on Mutual Economic Assistance = tied together the economies of the Soviet Union and those of Eastern European countries

6 Communism: A General Overview
Communist parties also existed in non-communist countries 1950s = small communist party developed in the U.S. Sparked fear and political repression McCarthyism = movement of political repression against communists in the U.S.  involved making accusations of disloyalty and treason without proper regard for evidence Many people lost their jobs, had their careers destroyed, or were even imprisoned without any evidence that they were communists or communist sympathizers

7 The Russian Revolution (1917)

8 Pre-Revolutionary Russia
Only true autocracy left in Europe No type of representative political institutions Nicholas II became czar in 1884 Last ruler from the Romanov family Believed he was the absolute ruler anointed by God Russo-Japanese War (1904) = defeat for Russia in this war led to political instability

9 Russian soldiers running from advancing German troops
Russia in WWI Suffered harsh defeats Shortages of both food and weapons Morale in the Russian army = hit rock bottom Russian civilians suffering at home too All supplies & food went to the army, not them Demanded: “PEACE AND BREAD!” These losses in WWI made Czar Nicholas II very unpopular Russian soldiers running from advancing German troops

10 Czar Nicholas II & Alexandra
Alexandra = Czar Nicholas II’s wife Both the Czar and his wife = very unpopular because they were politically incompetent and foolish Both relied on the guidance of a mystic healer named Rasputin This also made them look weak and silly

11 Rasputin Known as the “mad monk”
Wandered around Russia, claiming to have special powers Czar & his wife asked him to cure their son He had hemophilia Built up a bad reputation in St. Petersburg Slept with dozens of women Alcoholic

12 Alexis: Alexandra’s Son with Hemophilia

13 Death of Rasputin Killed by the Czar’s relatives in 1916 to save the monarchy 1st = served cake and wine laced with cyanide No effect – stayed alive 2nd = shot several times No effect – stayed alive; staggering around wounded and bleeding 3rd = the men pushed his body through a hole in an iced-over river Moved about for several minutes before dying

14 The March Revolution of 1917
People organized strikes and protests demanding food and fuel Soldiers who were sent to stop the protests ended up joining the protestors Czar Nicholas II abdicated (gave up) his power on March 15, 1917 End of the 300-year Romanov dynasty in Russia

15 The Provisional Government
Provisional Government = temporary central government in Russia after the Czar stepped down Led by: Alexander Kerensky Saw the war effort as the #1 priority Had to deal with: soldiers deserting, transportation problems, low arms production, etc.

16 The Provisional Government
Russian masses wanted 3 things: 1) Immediate peace & withdrawal from WWI 2) Transfer of land to the peasants 3) Control of factories by workers Provisional government did not pull Russia out of the war and did not enact any social reforms Lost popularity Led to its downfall

17 The Bolsheviks Bolsheviks = radical revolutionary group in Russia
Wanted a socialist society in Russia Led by: Vladimir Lenin Slogan = “Peace, land, and bread!”

18 The Russian Revolution
November 1917 Also known as the: Bolshevik Revolution Bolsheviks staged a coup d’etat in St. Petersburg Overthrew the provisional government Members of the provisional government fled or were arrested Relatively bloodless Bolsheviks claimed absolute power

19 The Russian Revolution
Bolsheviks began building a socialist state Ended private ownership of property Distributed land among the peasants Gave workers control of factories and mines Bolshevik Party = officially renamed the Communist Party in March 1918 Wanted to spread the Communist revolution throughout the world

20 Peace Conference between Russia and Germany
Peace with Germany Lenin’s 1st order of business = get Russia out of WWI Signed peace treaty with Germany in March 1918 Russia lost much of its western territory and 1/3 of its population Peace Conference between Russia and Germany

21 Russian Civil War 1918 – 1921 Communists vs. their political opponents
Political opponents = Royalists, Liberal Democrats, Moderate Socialists, Landlords, etc. Communists = “the Reds” Their opponents = “the Whites”

22 Russian Civil War: The Red Army
Communist Army = called the Red Army Led by Leon Trotsky

23 Russian Civil War Both sides burned villages and killed civilians
In the meantime: workers and peasants were starving and the Russian economy was crumbling

24 Russian Civil War: The Terror
Bolsheviks imposed a policy called “war communism” Took direct control over all industries Forced peasants to send food to the cities Killed the imprisoned Czar & his family Set up secret police force = the Cheka Arrested (and often executed) anyone considered an “enemy of the revolution” Placed severe restrictions on the Russian Orthodox Church Communists = anti-religion

25 Russian Civil War Lenin = ruled from 1921-1924
“Whites” surrendered in 1921 Outnumbered, disorganized, poorly equipped armies Lenin and the Communists then had complete control of Russia Lenin = ruled from State of Russia = horrible From = 27 million Russians had died Economy = in shambles Peasants = still starving

26 Lenin in Power 1922 = Russia becomes USSR = Union of Soviet Socialist Republics = Soviet Union New constitution written = makes it a socialist state In theory = Soviet Union supposed to be run by the workers But really the Communist Party did

27 Lenin in Power Lenin died in 1924 at the age of 54

28 Trotsky vs. Stalin Fought for power after Lenin died
Leon Trotsky = leader of the Red Army during the Civil War Joseph Stalin = General Secretary of the Communist Party Difference = Trotsky wanted to spread Communism all over the world immediately & Stalin wanted to make it strong in the Soviet Union first

29 Trotsky vs. Stalin Trotsky = closer to Lenin and more well-known
Stalin = outmaneuvered Trotsky politically Ability to remove and appoint government officials Once he gained control of the government, he exiled Trotsky to Siberia in 1929 Trotsky eventually moved to Mexico City  Stalin sent an assassin there to kill him

30 Joseph Stalin Ruled the Soviet Union from 1929 – 1953
Responsible for the next major extension of communist control In Eastern Europe after WWII Soviet military forces already there after the war  stayed there to help impose communist regimes per Stalin’s orders Stalin wanted to be surrounded by “friendly” governments as security against invasions from the West


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