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R USSIAN R EVOLUTIONS A movement from oppressive tsarist rule to rule by the Communist Party Bloody Sunday 1905 (February) March Revolution 1917 Bolshevik.

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Presentation on theme: "R USSIAN R EVOLUTIONS A movement from oppressive tsarist rule to rule by the Communist Party Bloody Sunday 1905 (February) March Revolution 1917 Bolshevik."— Presentation transcript:

1 R USSIAN R EVOLUTIONS A movement from oppressive tsarist rule to rule by the Communist Party Bloody Sunday 1905 (February) March Revolution 1917 Bolshevik Revolution 1917 Russian Civil War

2 Life Under the Tsars  One of few European countries without a constitutional government  Cruel, oppressive tsars (Romanovs)  Social unrest  Army officers’ revolt in 1825  Alexander II assassinated 1881  Depicted in literature – War & Peace and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  Tsars resisted change  Halted reforms  Clung to autocracy  Persecuted ‘dangerous’ people: non-Russian Orthodox, non-Russian speaking, etc.  Strict censorship, even on private letters  Monitored secondary schools & universities  Political prisoners sent to Siberia

3 Oppression  Established uniform culture by oppressing national groups  Minority languages forbidden (Polish)  Persecuted Jews  Pogroms – organized violence against Jews  Police didn’t protect them from looters  Nicholas II continued tradition of autocracy, r  High officials endorsed anti- Semitism  Increasingly limited how Jews could earn a living

4 Russian Industrialization  Number of factories doubled from  Still lagged behind Western Europe  Financed through foreign investors & taxes  Boosted growth of heavy industry, esp. steel  4 th ranked producer of steel in 1900 (US, Germany, GB ahead)  Constructed longest continuous rail line – Trans- Siberian Railway from

5 Revolutionary Movement Grows  Rapid industrialization stirred discontent  Problems from factory work & urbanization  Low wages  Working conditions  Child labor  Trade unions outlawed  Strikes were organized to try to improve conditions  Movements began & competed for power  Marxist revolutionaries gained a following  Followed writings of Karl Marx  Believed workers would overthrow the tsar  Form a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’  Marxists split in 1903 over revolutionary tactics  Mensheviks – more moderate – wanted broad base of popular support  Bolsheviks – more radical – wanted small number of committed revolutionaries to lead  Led by Vladimir Lenin

6 Internal & External Crises  Crises showed tsar’s weakness & facilitated revolution  Russo-Japanese War – late 1800s  News of losses sparked unrest  Led to revolt in midst of war  Bloody Sunday – The Revolution of 1905  200K workers & families approached Winter Palace in St Petersburg  Petitioned for better working conditions, more personal freedom, and an elected national legislature  Nicholas II’s generals ordered soldiers to shoot the crowd  1,000+ wounded; several hundred killed  Provoked wave of strikes & violence  The good – did lead to creation of the Duma, Russia’s first Parliament, in 1905  Led by moderates  Few Russians could actually vote for representatives  Wanted Russia to become constitutional monarchy  Dissolved after 10 weeks of existence  World War I – unprpeared to handle military & economic costs  Weak generals & poorly equipped troops  1915 –Nicholas II moved headquarters near the front  tsarina Alexandra ran government, under influence of Rasputin  Rasputin seemed to ease son Alexei’s hemophilia  Rapsutin made political decisions  Meanwhile, soldiers mutinied, deserted, or ignored orders  Food & fuel dwindled on homefront  High inflation  7.5M casualties by 1917 – highest of all involved nations

7 The March Revolution  March 1917 – women textile workers in Petrograd led citywide strike  Riots flared over shortages of bread & fuel  200K workers shouted ‘Down with autocracy’ and ‘Down with the war’  Soldiers first abided by orders to shoot rioters, then sided with them  Tsar abdicated  Nicholas II stepped down from throne  He and his family were executed a year later  Ended 3 centuries of Romanov tsarist rule  Failed to set up strong government to replace tsar regime  Duma established a provisional government  Headed by Alexander Kerensky, who lost support as WWI continued  Peasants demanded land  City workers grew more radical  Socialist revolutionaries formed soviets – local councils of workers, peasants and soldiers – that often had more power than the government  Wanted out of WWI  Provisional government reorganized 4 times from March-October  Could not adequately cope with major problems: peasant land seizures, nationalist independence movements in non-Russian areas, and collapse of army morale  Lenin returned to Russia from exile in Germany in April 1917  Germans wanted him to stir trouble in Russia  remove Russia from WWI

8 Bolshevik Revolution  Power shared between weak provisional government and Petrograd Soviet after March Revolution  Nov. 6 & 7, 1917 – Lenin and the Bolsheviks launched nearly bloodless coup d’etat against provisional government  Occupied government buildings  Formed new gov’t under Lenin  Lenin became virtual dictator of first Marxist state in the world  Made peace with Germany  Nationalized industry  Distributed land  Fought civil war against anti- Bolshevik White Army forces

9 Civil War  Bolsheviks vs. anti-Bolsheviks  Whites - Monarchists, militarists, sometimes foreign nations  Western powers wanted to re-open Eastern Front to split German army  Not a cohesive group; often fought within each other; no unified leadership  Bad reputation for treatment of indigenous peoples in areas they controlled (peasants who would have gotten land from Lenin)  Allies withdrew from Russia after 11/11/1918  Red Army vs. White Army  Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (peace treaty with Germany) showed how weak Bolsheviks were  Only effectively controlled area between Petrograd and Moscow  Many parts of Russian empire declaring independence (Finland, for example)  Bolsheviks victorious in 1920  Men joined Bolsheviks for food  Slogan ‘ Peace, land, and bread’  Farmland distributed among peasants  Factories controlled by workers  Lenin’s secret police – the Cheka / NKVD  Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin emerged high in ranks

10 Lenin Restores Order  War & revolution destroyed economy  New Economic Policy  Small-scale version of capitalism adopted March 1921  Allowed peasants to sell surplus crops  Gov’t controlled major industries, banks, and communications  Let some small factories, businesses, and farms operate under private ownership  Country slowly recovered; back to pre-war production by 1928  Political reforms  Nationalism was threat to unity & party loyalty  Organized Russia into several self-governing republics under central government  Renamed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922 ( USSR )  Created constitution based on socialist and democratic principles in 1924  Effectively established a dictatorship of the Communist Party

11 Comparing Marx & Lenin Marx History was story of class struggle Capitalist vs. Proletariat Proletariat would grow & conditions would worsen, sparking spontaneous revolution Revolution would end with ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ and communal ownership of wealth Lenin History was story of class struggle Capitalists vs. proletariat and peasants Proletariat & peasants not capable of leading revolution; needed professionals After revolution, state needed to be run by single party with disciplined, centrally directed administrators to ensure its goals

12 Rise of Stalin as Dictator  Lenin suffered stroke in 1922  Survived  Set in motion competition for heading the Communist Party  Leon Trotsky VS Joseph Stalin  Stalin began ruthless climb to head of government  Became General Secretary of the Communist Party – moved supporters into powerful positions  In total command of the Party by 1928  Forced Trotsky into exile in 1929  Now poised to wield power as dictator

13 Check Your Learning  How did WWI help bring about the Russian Revolution?  What other factors caused the Russian Revolutions?  What groups made up the Red Army? White Army?  How was communist rule different from tsarist rule?


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