Nicholas II: The Last Emperor Married Alexandra (German princess; granddaughter of England’s Queen Victoria) Four daughters, then son (Alexei)-had hemophilia Rasputin – peasant pilgrim, “mystic” believed by Alexandra to have healing power on son; held power over Alexandra
Beginning of The End: Bloody Sunday Bloody Sunday 1905 Revolution Russia was involved in the Russo-Japanese War, and they were clearly losing, the war and government support In January 22, 1905, a group of workers marched to the czar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to make their demands. Imperial forces opened fire on the demonstrators, killing and wounding hundreds. Strikes and riots broke out throughout the country in outraged response to the massacre, to which Nicholas responded by promising the formation of a series of representative assemblies, or Dumas, to work toward reform. The Duma had little power in reality, and not much changed.
The Revolution Builds Strength Russia enters the First World War 1915 - Following failures in the war, Tsar Nicholas II decided in September to assume control of the armed forces. The result of this decision was to remove Nicholas from the political centre of Russia and make decision making and policy implementation incredibly difficult.
It’s All Over Now Homes 1917- February. St Petersburg (Petrograd). Cold weather and food shortages led to outbreaks of violence as starving workers rioted and broke into shops and stores. In March, 1917, a Provisional Government was established in St Petersburg (Petrograd). The Provisional Government intended to continue the war effort but wanted to govern the country in a different way, led by Kerensky. Tsar Nicholas II was at the front when this was done. As he tried to return to St Petersburg to deal with the situation his train was stopped by troops loyal to the new Provisional Government and, on 15th March he was forced to abdicate.
Communism Takes Control November 1917 – Bolshevik Revolution, Led by Vladimir Lenin. Because the Provisional Government stayed in the war, the people didn’t fully support them, and Lenin and his Bolshevik Party took control of Russia. As Lenin attempted to gain control over the whole country, forces loyal to the Tsar or that were anti-communist gathered strength to oppose him. This created a three-year civil war over control of the Russian state. The forces led by Lenin and the Bolsheviks were called the “Reds,” (red has been the color of revolution since the French Revolution) while forces opposed to him where termed “White” (white has traditionally been the color of royalty).
Long Live The Party The Red Army was able to defeat the much larger White armies over the course of the three-year conflict. The Red Army was led by fanatical communists who were prepared to do what ever was necessary to preserve the revolution Lenin saw the need to stabilize the government and country by eliminating people who did not support the revolution. This period became known as the “Red Terror.” During the terror, Lenin had people inside and outside of the party eliminated to ensure the success of the communist takeover (the Bolsheviks changed their name to the Communist Party in 1918). Thousands of people disappeared during the purge, but the plan helped control the opposition to the Communist Party.
Lenin To Stalin Lenin was the leader of the party, Trotsky and Stalin were his next in line. Trotsky was far more popular than Stalin, and was gifted at rallying support and speaking passionately to the masses. Stalin was better at backdoor deals, and shaking the right hands, building loyalty within the Communist Party. Trotsky Lenin died January of 1924. Lenin hoped for shared power between Stalin and Trotsky. By 1927, Stalin had effectively eliminated all of his political rivals (Exiled Trotsky and eventually had him assassinated in Mexico) to emerge as the head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.Stalin Cruel leader Removed anyone he didn’t trust Sent to labor camps 1934- 2/3 of Central Committee executed 1937-1938: 1 million people shot; 2 million died in camps (Purges)
Stalin’s Relationship with Hitler Initial cooperation Nazi expansion – Stalin sought alliance w/France & England Secret negotiations w/Germany Continued anti-German talks w/Allies Signed non-aggression pact w/Hitler (possible expansionist thoughts for himself), shocking Allies
1939: Germany invades Poland (begins WWII) Stalin invades Poland from East Stalin deports thousands of Poles to Siberia Stalin takes Finland and parts of Baltic June 22, 1941 – Germany invades USSR
Post War USSR Stalin dies 1953 Kruschev Breshnev Gorbechev Communist rule collapses in 1991; primary surviving state: Russia