2The Russian Condition Growing Rich-Poor Gap 80% of population illiterate90% of population agriculturalTrade unionism repressedWorkers radicalized
3Poverty by the NumbersPopulation of St. Petersburg doubled between 1890 and 19101.5% of the Russian population controlled over 30% of the landAverage of 16 people per apartment in St. Petersburg (six per room)Widespread food shortages …
6Revolutionary Movements Evolve Thus …. No surprise ……..Revolutionary Movements EvolveIntellectuals dominated dissident groupsPopulism (borrowed from England and America) found a following in RussiaAnarchists existed ……ButSocialists were dominant
9Friedrich Nietzsche Son of German Lutheran minister, well-educated Theology-PhilosophyInfluenced by friendship with Richard Wagner (atheism and a ‘turbulent view of the world’)Series of physical aliments and a mental breakdown lead to early deathVery little of his writing is published in his lifetime.Friedrich Nietzsche
10Nietzsche’s Arguments The highest value is to be true to yourselfKnowledge and strength are greater virtues than humility and submissionAnti-democracy, anti-religion, anti-socialist and expressed belief in a master race and the coming of a superman - "man is something which ought to be overcome"
11Existentialism Nietzsche’s legacy Assumes we are at our best when we struggle against our natureMan must know that perfection is not possible, but must be attemptedRejects religion because it presents rules, but man cannot live by the rules because a ‘sin-free’ life is beyond human natureCore of Marxist philosophy
12Georg Hegel German born theologist Argued for Teleological Ethics, a theory based on an assumption that what makes an action right or wrong is its outcomeOne ought to act in whatever way will maximize happiness.Drawn from historic perspective
13Dialectic Reasoning Hegalian model Critical thinking about problems and evaluating conflicting viewpointsTheses-Antitheses-SynthesisBecomes most critical in determining the morality of an actionLeads to Marx and Dialectic Materialism (defines historic development as a class struggle)
14Conditions Ripe for Revolt Weak leadership – Nicolas II unqualifiedSuspicious of the CzarinaRumors of Rasputin’s influenceAn economy in declineAND …………………..Losses and Failure of Russian Efforts in WWI
151.8 million killed, 2.8 million wounded 2.4 million taken prisoner
17The Provisional Government Headed by Minister of Justice, Alexander KerenskyEstablished full civil liberties, but did not guarantee land reformDid not resolve economic crisisDid not remove Russia from the WarInfluence was undercut by the creation of socialist soviets (Petrograd).
18July Crisis Led by Gen. Kornilov Appointed head of armed forces by KerenskyConspired with aristocrats to establish a military dictatorshipKerensky called on the Soviets for helpCoup was thwartedBut – more revolutionary activity was comingGeneral Kornilov
20Mensheviks Minority – wanted a more inclusive party. Bolsheviks Majority – Followers of Lenin Believed revolution should be the responsibility of ‘professional’ revolutionariesMensheviks Minority – wanted a more inclusive party.
22Red Terror September to October 1918 Response to White Terror Mass arrests and executions by the Bolshevik governmentInterrogations and torture by the ChekaBetween 10,000-15,000 dead
23Cheka ‘Temporary’ organization to control unrest Originally had no arrest powers, but quickly gained them (as well as the right to try and execute).Forerunner of Soviet KGB.
24War Communism 1917-1920 Largely determined by military events. Effort to sway the population to the BolsheviksCapital was moved from Petrograd to MoscowAttempt to create a worldwide Communist Revolution
25Russian Civil WarFollows Red Terror and during period of War CommunismWhites vs. RedsForeign intervention – Japanese, French, U.S.Leads to death of Czar and familyRed army led by Trotsky succeeds
26Trotsky Marxist exiled to Siberia in 1900 and ended in London Returned to Russia in 1905, headed Petrograd SovietExiled again, escaped again, and returned to Russia in 5/17Arrested by Kerensky, released, assisted in the October RevolutionNegotiated Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
31Kronstadt Revolt 1921 Period of economic crisis Worker unrest in PetrogradKronstadt Naval Base led the revoltCrushed by Trotsky and the sailors were deemed traitors to Communism and executed or exiledThe Party tightened ideological control, and the New Economic Policy was introduced
32The New Economic Policy Announced by Lenin in 1921Farmers were allowed to sell food on the open market - the kulaksAllowed some internal trade, state banks, and private commerceImproved food distribution – helped farmer.Resented by urban workersAbolished in 1929 by Stalin
33Lenin 1874-1924 Russian born lawyer Deported for revolutionary activity – settled in SwitzerlandReturned to Russia 10/17Leads Bolsheviks to overthrow of Provisional GovernmentStruggled with Stalin over power
34Leadership Structure Soviets Congress of the Soviets Politburo Comintern
36Stalin’s Character & Early Career He was born in 1879 into miserable poverty in Georgia (territory of Russian Empire).Ruthless - did whatever was necessary to further the cause of the Bolshevik Party, e.g. crime - rob banks & trains; endure repeated imprisonment & torture in Siberia.Devoted to Communism & Bolshevik Party, e.g. turned his back on early religious education;Steadily rose up through Bolshevik Party – eventually became part of its leadership: member of Central Executive Committee; editor of Pravda (party newspaper); after revolution - Commissar for National Minorities) and member of the Politburo (eventually Chairman); played minor role in the Bolshevik Revolution (unlike Trotsky)
37The Struggle for Power (1924 – 1929) UNDERESTIMATED BY HIS RIVALS Stalin not seen as credible successor to LeninRuthless, determined, cunning, treacherous, manipulative.As General Secretary, controlled appointments, supporters in key posts - removing those loyal to rivals.How did Stalin become the leader of the USSR?Presented himself as a reasonable politician who wanted best for USSR & Communist Party.Built Political Alliances to isolate rivalsPROPAGANDA CAMPAIGNS AGAINST RIVALS - discredit rivals & present him as Lenin’s successor.
38Stalin’s Goals :Modernise Soviet society & economy - creating a truly Communist and prosperous societyEnsure the national security of the USSR (After the death of Lenin Stalin had called for ‘Socialism in One Country’ )Maintain his position as leader
39Stalin’s Key Policies Opposition to NEP Collectivization The Five Year PlansThe Cultural Revolution (inc. the cult of personality & policies towards women, religion, education & young people)The PurgesLeading USSR during ‘The Great Patriotic War’ ( )
40The Five Year Plans“The history of the old Russia has consisted in being beaten again and again…because of her…backwardness, military backwardness, industrial backwardness, agricultural backwardness. She was beaten because to beat her has paid off and because people have been able to get away with it. If you are backward and weak then you are in the wrong and may be beaten and enslaved. But if you are powerful…people must beware of you. We are fifty to a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make up this gap in ten years. Either we do this or they crush us.”From a speech by Stalin, 1931
41The Five Year Plans (1928 – 1941)GOSPLAN, the State Planning Commission for economic development since 1921, acting under Stalin’s orders.Three ‘Five Year Plans’ between 1928 and 1942:coal; iron & steel; oil; hydro-electricity; farming– above & manufacturing– above & consumer goods BUT shifted to rearmament early on & interrupted by Nazi invasion (1941)
42Cultural RevolutionPeasantry –peasants found themselves the victims of increasing state control & famine.Industrial Working Class – Grew as a class due to the success of the Five Year Plans – their achievements in the service of the USSR were celebrated over other groups. Living and working conditions eventually improved. Healthcare improved.Women (& Families) – Some ‘liberation’ in their lives after 1917 – more freedom of choice in marriage, divorce & childbirth (abortion) – represented in Communist PartyReligion – Persecution by Lenin and Stalin seen as a rival for people’s loyalties & an obstacle to spreading Marx’s teachings
43Cult of Personality – 1930sMedia focused on Russian strength based on the programs and strength of StalinPoems praised his deeds, speeches exalted his skills, modesty, wisdom, and brilliance.People were careful to applaud long and loudly, The person who stopped first would most likely be arrested as it showed great disrespect and disloyalty.
44PurgesFrom 1934 to 1938 Stalin conducted a series of purges of the Communist Party, Red Army and other sections of Soviet society – millions died in labour camps, executions or mass killings.A product of Stalin’s paranoia and the result of the tensions awakened by the drastic agricultural, industrial and cultural policies pursued by Stalin, which made Stalin vulnerable to criticism.A series of ‘show trials’ of prominent Communists and military leaders justified the purges –Trotsky (in exile since 1929) was finally assassinated on Stalin’s orders in 1940 in Mexico.Purges secured Stalin’s hold on power, generated more labour for the GULAG system and brought the Red Army to heal, but did immense damage to the operational capability of USSR’s armed forces
45Foreign PolicyPragmatic agreements with other states – Treaty of Rapallo with Germany (1922).Less emphasis on ‘World Revolution’ as Stalin had called for ‘Socialism in One Country’