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Causes and Consequences

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1 Causes and Consequences
REVOLUTION!!! Causes and Consequences

2 REVOLUTION Tsarist Russia a huge country – difficult to manage
In 1900 – majority of population = peasants Russian autocracy – ruled by the Tsar A vast unresponsive and inefficient bureaucracy Tsars used repressive and brutal measures to keep control – bred bitterness and resentment

3 REVOLUTION Nicholas II ineffective and weak – couldn’t cope with the pressures of modernising Russia – trying to maintain the autocracy. 1905 Revolution – a missed opportunity – Tsar not willing to make democratic moves The negative effect of WWI on Russian Society and economy

4 REVOLUTION REVIEW: How did the February Revolution actually start? “One of the most leaderless, spontaneous anonymous revolutions of all time” (This is exactly what Marxists believed would happen! Karl was right all along!) What did Nicholas II do? With the Romanovs gone, who now governed the country? Where was Lenin?

5 REVOLUTION “The February Revolution in 1917 was the spontaneous outbreak of a multitude exasperated by the privations of the war. The revolutionary parties played no direct part in the making of the revolution. They did not expect it and were at first somewhat non-plussed (confused) by it.”

6 REVOLUTION Later research: 1997 – 2007: “ February was the product of … concentrated effort by revolutionary cadres (small band of activists) from a number of groups. They planned for it – they agitated for it. They were accountable to each other.” Various Interpretations exist!!!!!

7 Provisional Government
Why was the Provisional Government in Russia unable to consolidate and maintain its power in 1917? “SOVIET HAD POWER WITHOUT AUTHORITY AND THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT HAD AUTHORITY WITHOUT POWER” Prince Lvov

8 Provisional Government
Who made up the new ‘unelected’ government? When an old system of government collapses (in this case, the tsarist autocracy) a new system of government has to be set up. But somebody has to work out what the new system will consist of: Will there be a president? Will there be one house of representatives or two? How will these be elected? And so on……

9 Provisional Government
Who was the new government? Leading figures of the various liberal parties. New PM = Prince Lvov, a popular choice GOAL: To run the country until a Constituent Assembly had been elected. Petrograd Soviet also reformed and meeting = Menshivik intellectuals (Leon Trotsky is here!) Note that the soldiers were part of this group as well! Alexander Kerensky = a socialist and a member of both the government and the soviet

10 PETROGRAD SOVIET Made up of: Workers’ and soldiers’ representatives
Socialist intellectuals, mainly Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries GOAL: To protect the interests of the working classes and soldiers.

11 Challenges for the Provisional Government
Consisted of a mixed group. E.g. intellectuals like lawyers – Alexander Kerensky and angry revolutionaries. NOT UNITED To continue the war or make peace To distribute land to the peasants (who had already started to help themselves) or wait for elections? How to get food into starving cities. Social reform needed: Improve the working conditions of people. How far could it go? National minorities – the Poles, Ukraine…..break up of Russia? During the early months of the revolution the Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional Government worked together! It was never going to last! WHY?????

12 Dual Power: Provisional Government and Petrograd Soviet
Provisional Government set itself up in the east (right) wing of the Tauride Palace. Soviet established its headquarters in the west (left ) wing of the palace.

13 Dual Power Making Policy in the political parties: It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the political parties in Russia had fixed policy lines and stuck with these all the time. NOT IN RUSSIA 1917! Many were loose- knit organisations. Many internal disagreements. They had not expected to find themselves in power. They were working things out as they went along! “Policy on the run”!

14 Enter Lenin

15 Lenin “Lenin’s train pulled in at Finland Station in Petrograd, where an excited crowd was waiting for him. He was greeted by the Menshevik chairman of the Soviet, who told Lenin politely, but firmly, that the revolution was going very well and that they did not need him, Lenin, to rock the boat. But that was exactly what Lenin intended to do. He brushed the Chairman aside and immediately made a speech welcoming the revolution.”

16 Lenin This is what Lenin called for:
A worldwide socialist revolution. Exactly as Marx had said! Lenin was not going to be happy with just a change for Russia but wanted change for the world’s working class!! An immediate end to the war No more co-operation with the Provisional Government.

17 “All Power to the Soviets”
Lenin 4) The Soviet to take power 5) Give land to the peasants. Land reform! = APRIL THESES BREAD PEACE LAND “All Power to the Soviets”

18 Revision of the Political Parties
Liberals – dominated the Provisional Government – Moderate Moderate Socialists from Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries – running the Petrograd Soviet Both groups had radical wings Bolsheviks – led by Lenin – Disciplined and centrally controlled!!! RADICAL POLICIES!!!

19 Problems faced by the Provisional Government: April - August
The War Not only defend Russia – but go on the offensive. Get more territory. Other groups wanted a defensive war. “Hold on to what they’ve got!” RESULT! Disagreements! In the end the Mensheviks and the SR’s chose to support a govt. that continued the war. TSK! TSK! Big mistake Menshies!

20 The War continued……….. Didn’t go well. Offensive was a disaster. Many losses. Desertions, Mutiny. Why bother getting rid of the Tsar and one system of government when the new one was doing the same thing! Result: Hundreds of thousands of soldiers were killed and even more territory was lost! An armed uprising in Petrograd. Became known as the “July Days”.

21 Problems faced by the Provisional Government: April - August
The Land Peasants hungry – taking land. No central control now so they were just helping themselves! Provisional government agreed that land reform was needed but wanted it to occur through a Constituent Assembly. In other words….. Wait until elections! BUT WHEN!!!!

22 Problems faced by the Provisional Government: April - August
National minority demands Centralised government is now gone - opportunity now for national minorities to seek independence! Ukraine was particularly important to Russia. The new government gave them some reform – more than the other groups! What a mess – so inconsistent!

23 Problems faced by the Provisional Government: April - August
Deteriorating economic situation! Some due to continuing to fight in a war! Food shortages Unemployment Railways system broken down Shortages of fuel and raw materials Price rises Strikes The Provisional Government didn’t seem to be able to do anything to solve the food shortages! WORKERS ANGRY!!! VERY ANGRY!!!! VERY VERY ANGRY!!!

24 Enter Kerensky Second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government Came after Prince Lvov and before Vladimir Lenin

25 Kerensky A lawyer. Came from the same town as Lenin. His father was Lenin’s headmaster! Socialist – but not Marxist or terribly radical – more moderate. A good link between the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet. Popular with the workers BUT

26 Kerensky Vain and temperamental Energetic and tenacious
Saw himself as the ‘Saviour of Russia’

27 Problems for Kerensky LIBERALS were moving to the right no land reform
defence of property military discipline restored law and order established

28 Problems for Kerensky 2. The Soviet was declining in influence
out of touch with the workers and soldiers lacked decisive leadership Economic situation worse. peasants un cooperative shortage of raw materials factory closures high prices of food and goods

29 Problems for Kerensky Increasing lawlessness robberies house break-ins
street beatings of well dressed people. Army disintegrating whole regiments deserting widespread violence and drunkenness complete lack of discipline

30 Problems for Kerensky 6. Rural areas disintegrating
land seizures were continuing violence increasing country houses burned down some landlords murdered Bolshevik support increasing! workers, soldiers, sailors becoming radicalised. WORKERS WANTED REFORM IN THEIR WORK PLACES!!!

31 What could Kerensky do? Make peace with Germany
Find a loyal military force to restore order, discipline and law Suppress the Bolsheviks who were gaining support. Bolsheviks wanted to overthrow the government. Hold elections HE DIDN’T DO ANY OF IT SUCCESSFULLY!!!! WHY?

32 Problems for Kerensky The Provisional Government was not a united government with a common purpose or goal. They could not agree on: Land reform Ending the war with Germany Being consistent when dealing with other nationalities Worker’s rights How to restore law and order Stabilise the economy

33 Why the Bolsheviks? Promised an end to the war
Would control the employers. Empower the workers (PROLETARIAT) Land reform

34 Workers and the Political Parties
It is easy to think that workers supported one or other of the socialist parties. But soon after the February Revolution in 1917, workers did not think in party terms. Many would not even have understood the difference between a Menshevik and a Bolshevik. They tended to identify with their own craft or industry and placed most of their trust in their workplace committees and local soviets, most of which were multi-party or non – party organisations. However, it seemed that by June many workers were becoming aware of the Bolsheviks as a separate party with a different programme – one which tied in with their own demands and aspirations.

35 JULY DAYS Frustrated workers and soldiers erupt on the streets – uncontrolled rioting. Cause? The failed war offensive. Soldiers don’t want to return to the front. Economic situation is dire! sailors from the Kronstadt base arrived in Petrograd, marched up to the Tauride Palace – demanded that the Soviet take power.

36 JULY DAYS Chernov, socialist leader went outside to try and calm them down. Even Leon Trotsky went out and risked his life and tried to calm them down. Who was behind this?? The Bolsheviks? Not really. Quietly supported the protest, but not an active lead in it!

37 JULY DAYS Leaked letter from the Government. Trying to show that Lenin was in the pay of Germany. Try to discredit him. He is playing with the enemy. Bolsheviks arrested – Trotsky (now a Bolshevik) Lenin – forced into hiding – Finland Soviets ‘denounce’ the Bolsheviks in their paper

38 JULY DAYS - 1917 Was Lenin in charge? Different views:
Was it Lenin’s conviction and force of personality alone that was driving them forward? Was Lenin in control of a highly disciplined party that obeyed orders?

39 AUGUST to OCTOBER Revolution
Bolsheviks out! Power reduced! BUT….Problems still abound! WAR….still going on LAW AND ORDER… there isn’t any THE BOLSHEVIKS… can’t repress too much may cause more riots ECONOMIC SITUATION … can’t do much while fighting a war WHAT WOULD YOU DO??

40 AUGUST to OCTOBER Revolution
CALL IN THE TROOPS! The ones that are there and loyal to Russia.

41 AUGUST to OCTOBER Revolution

42 AUGUST to OCTOBER Revolution
To restore law and order and, discipline the troops, Kerensky asked General Kornilov to assist. Kornilov had some sympathy to the revolutionary movement. He was liked and supported by his troops. Right wing politicians believed that he could calm the waters of revolutions and riots. Could he become a military dictator?

43 AUGUST to OCTOBER Revolution
Kornilov sent his troops marching towards the city in what was the beginning of an attempt to seize control of the government and establish military control. Kerensky panicked when he realised that this might be a military take over. He called on the Soviet troops to repel Kornilov’s troops

44 AUGUST to OCTOBER Revolution
And the Soviet troops did! They didn’t want a return to the old ways. It was the Bolsheviks (Red Guard) secretly trained militia - Helped defend the city from a military coup. Kerensky was good enough to supply weapons. AND THIS PLAYED RIGHT INTO THE BOLSHEVIKS HANDS!

45 OCTOBER REVOLUTION. Kerensky’s reputation was damaged. The Provisional Government looked incompetent The Mensheviks and the SR’s were also discredited as they had been part of the Provisional Government and attached to Kerensky The population did not trust the liberals in the Provisional Government. Believed them to be still loyal to the wealthier classes

46 OCTOBER REVOLUTION. Soldiers were furious and thought it was an officers plot. They murdered hundreds of officers. Military generals could depend on loyal troops. Generals felt betrayed by Kerensky so not willing to trust or fight for him The Bolsheviks were now the most popular political party. Saviours of the city. Bolsheviks now in control of the Petrograd Soviet!!! Trotsky elected president of the Soviet.

47 OCTOBER REVOLUTION. Lenin returns from Finland.
The time is ready for a takeover: The Bolsheviks have control of the Soviet Their popularity is at an all time high Liberals and other conservatives are demoralised after Kornilov affair Provisional Government is helpless. Lenin returns from Finland.

48 OCTOBER REVOLUTION. SEIZING POWER: From our viewpoint the Bolshevik seizure of power looks very easy, with little risk involved. But it would not have appeared so for the Bolsheviks. Lenin and Trotsky were quite gloomy on the night of the take over. They were concerned that Kerensky might turn up with troops loyal to the Provisional Government and they had not idea how the mass of the working class and other socialists would receive the news of their actions. Just a few days earlier, Bolshevik activities had reported that workers would not come out en masse in support of the Bolsheviks alone.

49 The Bolsheviks Seize Control

50 Soviet Russia’s View Historians and writers who produced their work in Soviet Russia before its collapse in The October Revolution was a popular uprising which was led and carried out by the working class, supported by the poorer peasants. The working class created the soviets which acted as the power bases through which the revolution was accomplished.

51 Revised View The October Revolution was a coup carried out by a small group of revolutionaries, The Communist regime, which grew out of this was inherently tyrannical and dictatorial. The political views of a minority were imposed on the unwilling majority of Russians.

52 Recent Views Lenin was a key figure – without his his drive and persistence the October Revolution would not have occurred. HOWEVER…… A lot of independent actions at local levels of the party helped with the take over in October. Sailors, soldiers, workers and peasants were radicalised. Their involvement is crucial when assessing the October Revolution

53 Enter Leon Trotsky Trotsky had finally joined the Bolsheviks in August. He was anxious for the Soviet to take power. A valuable addition to the party. He was by far the best orator and could really sway the crowds. He was better known than Lenin due to his role in the 1905 Revolution where he had been Chairman of the St Petersburg Soviet. Due to his activities and organisation before the seizure of power has led some to suggest he could have been more important than Lenin at this time!


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