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Russian Revolution Ms. Pugh What was it? Actually TWO revolutions: 1. February/March of 1917 – overthrow of the Tzar 2. October/November of 1917 – Bolshevik.

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Presentation on theme: "Russian Revolution Ms. Pugh What was it? Actually TWO revolutions: 1. February/March of 1917 – overthrow of the Tzar 2. October/November of 1917 – Bolshevik."— Presentation transcript:


2 Russian Revolution Ms. Pugh

3 What was it? Actually TWO revolutions: 1. February/March of 1917 – overthrow of the Tzar 2. October/November of 1917 – Bolshevik (Communist) Revolution

4 Why Important? 1. Led to Russia withdrawing from WWI to deal with internal problems. 2. “Communism” put into effect instead of just an “idea.” 3. Conflicting ideologies – communism vs. capitalism – was the reason for the Cold War.

5 So what is Communism Anyway? Communism is an ECONOMIC system. Part of Karl Marx’s theory of economics. Says that all the “means of production” should be owned by the government for the good of the people – everyone “owns” everything and shares in the profits. Nice ideas – no hunger, everyone works to the “best of their ability,” and everyone gets just what they need. Fails to take into account that we humans are greedy and lazy!

6 “Intellectual Marxism” Karl Marx said that all of history is based upon economics (very good argument). Marx saw an evolution of economics – hunting and gathering  small farming  manoralism  commercial enterprise (small business)  cottage industry (make stuff at home to sell)  industrial revolution (so far, so good)

7 More Intellectual Marxism Marx was living during the Industrial Revolution and what he saw was very disturbing.  Workers paid just enough to survive  Factory owners making huge profits and getting greedier – how to make more money? Longer working hours, same pay, poor working conditions, dangerous working situations – up to 40% of workers would be seriously injured or killed while working in a factory  Marx said that the working conditions and poor wages of the factory workers would not continue, that SOMEDAY workers would join together (“workers of the world unite”) and the proletariat would overthrow the owners and seize property to own jointly and to benefit EVERYONE

8 What does Marx have to do with Russia? Very little – Marx said that first a country had to go through the Industrial Revolution – Russia had not been industrialized and it was still a feudal society! Russia had SOME factories, but 90% of the population of Russia were either serfs or peasants – they lived on the land – feudalism.

9 Wait! I thought the serfs were freed in 1861? Technically they were; HOWEVER, they had to actually “buy” their freedom and they had 20 years to do so, BUT how can you pay for your freedom when you can’t leave your land and find a job? Oh, wait, there weren’t any jobs except on land and only peasants and serfs could work on the land!

10 How did some do it? They fought in the army, but most of them died – very high casualty rates!

11 So we have peasants and serfs and… NOBLES – made up about 5% of the populations, were basically all related through one of eight noble families (Romanov, Stroganov, etc.), and they owned about 80% of the land (and they are not selling it for anything).

12 What about the other 20% of the land? Well, some serfs became peasants and did buy some land. These land-owning peasants are called Kulaks. They got this land through the same law that freed the serfs – said if they could buy their freedom they also had 20 years to pay on a small piece of land. The nobles aren’t giving up anymore land!

13 So why choose horrible communism? We know it doesn’t work! We know because hindsight is 20/20, but it sounded good to 90% of the Russian population in 1917.

14 So they made this choice? Stand in long lines and hope to get items to survive! Instead of… Land of Mickey Mouse and McDonalds!

15 No they made this choice…? Living in abject poverty with no chance of ever advancing! Utopia – everybody has something and no one goes hungry!

16 Let’s Get Back to the Revolution

17 Nicholas I (1825-1855) Was the third son of Paul I Was the Brother of Alexander I, who died childless Nicholas strove to serve country’s needs – Good Czar

18 Alexander II (1855-1881) Son of Nicholas I. He came to the throne during the Crimean War Emancipated the serfs in 1861 – still a good Czar

19 Alexander III (1881-1894) Increased the repressive powers of the police Limited the power of the local assemblies Programs against anyone who was not Russian Sounds like a mean Czar

20 Nicholas II (1894-1917) Humiliating outcome of the Russo-Japanese war led to The Revolution of 1905. Soon curtailed the Dumas (parliament) Decided to lead troops into battle during WWI – stupid idea by a stupid man. In 1917, unrest continued and he had to abdicate

21 Bloody Sunday-January 22, 1905 Began in St Petersburg Disaster of Russo-Japanese War revealed corruption and incompetence of czar Octobrist Party Constitutional Democratic Party

22 World War I/ Rasputin Had control over the Tsar Nicholas II and the Tsarina Was murdered in December 1916 World War I was a disaster.

23 The Revolutions of 1917 February Revolution (March 8, 1917) Czar Nicholas Abdicates

24 Then what happens? For the next few months there is a “president” – Kerensky – who rules and keeps Russia in WWI. In April, VI Lenin arrives in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) with the help of the Germans Lenin believes the communist system could work in Russia Lenin calls for armed resurrection October 16, 1917/November 6, 1917 (Russian Calendar) revolution led by the Bolsheviks (communists) Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin are now “in charge”

25 What happens next? Glad you asked – Civil War Civil War broke out between two groups of Marxists (Communists)  Bolsheviks (means “majority” in Russian, but in fact they had fewer members) – REDS  Menshoviks (means “minority” in Russian, had fewer members, but this is what the Bolsheviks called them, so it stuck) -- WHITES

26 What was the difference? Politics – they both agreed on the economic system of government; however, should people be allowed to “vote” or should those most “capable” rule. Lenin voted for the later and by 1920, Russia was firmly under his control.

27 Treaty of Brest Litovsk— March 3, 1918 March Lost 32% of the land Lost Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania Much of the Ukraine Much of Belarussia Lenin didn’t care – this was a capitalist war

28 Civil War and Lenin’s Rule From 1918- 1921 Reds Whites Creation of USSR Nationalization of all land and banks New Economic Plan (NEP) Lenin dies of a stroke

29 Power Struggle after Lenin’s Death and Stalin’s Rule Forced collectivization “The Great Famine” “The Great Terror” Purges Gulag

30 Winners and Losers Winners  Communist Party  Some Workers  Massive Literacy Project— all those who learn to read and write  Vastly improved health care—all those who lived longer and healthier  Women Losers  Poorest peasants  Traditional Russian upper classes  Many of those in traditional Russian middle classes  Those killed or imprisoned because of oppressive regime  Jews, Muslims, other ethnic minorities  Romanovs – the royal family was killed, and their bodies were “secretly” disposed of – led to rumors of their survival  True communists  Democracy

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