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Changes and Challenges Part 1: The Russian Revolution Oh those Russians....

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Presentation on theme: "Changes and Challenges Part 1: The Russian Revolution Oh those Russians...."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Changes and Challenges Part 1: The Russian Revolution Oh those Russians....

3 Revolution=Radical Change At the beginning of the 20 th Century, Russia was ripe for change – Over 95% of the population was rural/ peasantry and VERY poor – Ruled by an autocratic Tsar (he had complete control over his subjects) – Trailed behind other countries with little industry and almost no colonies – Suffered BIG defeats against Japan (1903) and then in WWI (1914-1917)

4 Time Out... What kinds of problems might these factors cause? What might people want to change? Most revolutions happen because of social, economic and political conditions

5 Background: Marxism Karl Marx & Frederick Engels, while living in London, became horrified by the working conditions they found in factories. They blamed industrial capitalism for the terrible conditions. Capitalism- an economic system in which ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations

6 In 1848 they published The Communist Manifesto, which was a form of socialism - public ownership of all land & means of production. Everyone would share the wealth as no one person would own the profits

7 Marxism There would be no private ownership. Marx stated that people who control the means of production have all the power & wealth and thus control society. According to Marx, throughout history society has always been divided into haves (bourgeoisie) and have-nots (proletariat). Bourgeoisie=business owners / wealthy people Proletariat=workers / poor people

8 Marx predicted that the proletariat would rise up and take control of the means of production from the bourgeoisie. Why would they want to do this?

9 In Marx’s view... Once the revolution was won the proletariat would destroy the capitalists, a classless society would emerge everyone would share the wealth. Bear in mind he was writing in 1848. The Russian Revolution happened in 1917

10 Why didn’t Marxism take off? Marx's theory ultimately did not take place worldwide as peoples’ standard of living increased in the late 1800's the many abuses of the early industrial revolution disappeared. Many countries adopted Liberalism—a capitalist system with elected governments that gave the people more of a say (but still tended to favour the wealthy)

11 So what does all this have to do with the Russian Revolution? While other countries moved forward, Russia seemed stuck in the Dark Ages Many people turned to Marxist and Liberal ideas as a way to better their lives The Russian people wanted CHANGE

12 Two main political parties in Russia Liberals Bourgeoisie (businessmen and landowners) Wanted democratically elected gov’t and right to own businesses and private property (like Britain, France, Canada, etc.) Marxists Proletariat (factory workers and landless peasants) Wanted wealth and land shared among everyone (that meant taking away from those who had it!) Split into 2 factions: Mensheviks and Bolsheviks

13 Underlying Causes of the Russian Revolution Autocratic rule of Tsar Nicholas II Poor plight of peasants and factory workers Political reform demands by Liberals and Marxists Impact of Russo-Japanese War and WWI Influence of Grigori Rasputin Consider these factors as we examine the events that took place

14 The Nature of Tsarism Tsar Nicolas II ruled Russia absolutely (autocratic ruler) He made all laws and used his army to repress any dissent No freedom of the press, no political parties allowed

15 He was the head of the Russian Church as well and ruled by divine right (chosen by God to rule) There was no Duma – elected parliament- to keep his power in check The Romanov Family

16 The Russian Revolution Part 1: Rebellion in 1905

17 The Russo-Japanese War 1904-05 In 1904 Nicholas started disastrous war with Japan Made him VERY unpopular because: – Conscripted peasants – Paid low wages to workers (war IS expensive) – Suffered humiliating defeats (made worse because their opponents were non-European. Gasp!) – War caused shortages of food and fuel

18 In January, 1905 – Bloody Sunday—Nic ordered his guards to fire on peaceful demonstrators (both liberals and Marxists) Soon he was at war with his own people and finally gave into some demands

19 The October Manifesto, 1905 Nicholas granted some reforms to stop the spread of strikes and violence: – Created a Duma (but gave it little power) – Allowed freedom of speech and the press (but still censored when he saw fit) – Gave the right to form political parties (but outlawed those he feared) *So really, Nicholas seemed to be reforming but didn’t really change his ways...

20 The October Manifesto appeared to give in to Liberal demands but the Tsar still had total power over the Duma. The Marxists were outlawed and went into hiding / exile The most important such Marxist we will study is Vladimir Ilich Lenin

21 Lenin Exiled in Siberia and then western Europe, Lenin wanted a Marxist society in Russia While in exile, Lenin plotted revolution for Russia so the workers would control the country in a classless society

22 Russia struggled to modernize but still had a largely rural population and conditions in factories for workers were poor In most cities, workers organized themselves into soviets- literally, workers’ councils. Similar to trade unions, the soviets tried to improve conditions for workers and try to give them a voice since the Duma was mostly upperclass. Many members were socialists.

23 Things seemed to be improving slowly until disaster struck in 1914....

24 Impact of WWI Russia suffered heavy casualties on the Eastern Front (Tannenburg) Peasants were angry about being conscripted The army was ill equipped (shared rifles) What little food, goods and raw materials were available were sent to the front so there were HUGE shortages in the cities

25 Urban workers were unemployed by the thousands as factories shut down Socialists and Liberals started calling for an end to the war but Nicholas refused The Tsar even took over control of the army in 1915—he was then blamed for the heavy casualties The war led many to turn against the Tsar

26 The Russian Revolution Part 2: The March Revolution 1917

27 Peace! Bread! Land! Peace—wanted Russia to get out of WWI Bread—wanted an end to food shortages Land—peasants had no access to land of their own and depended on landowners for their livelihood

28 Meanwhile, back at the palace.... Rasputin lounges with the ladies...

29 Role of Rasputin Grigori Rasputin was a peasant spiritualist (monk) He gained the trust of the Tsarina Alexandria when he appeared to heal her son’s haemophelia

30 While the Tsar was away at the front in WWI, the Tsarina began to trust Rasputin more than her noble advisors They became jealous of his influence and rumours circulated he was having an affair with the tsarina Rasputin was known as quite a ladies man....

31 C’mon! Look at how hot he was!!

32 Rasputin was blamed for Russia’s problems for 2 reasons: – His affair with the Tsarina made people lose confidence in the Tsar (not very manly to have your wife fooling around on you) – Since he was a trusted advisor, the poor economic, political and social conditions were his fault

33 Several nobles finally got fed up and murdered Rasputin in 1916 He had been poisoned, stabbed, bludgeoned and finally drowned Talk about overkill...

34 Rasputin’s prediction... I write and leave behind me this letter at St. Petersburg. I feel that I shall leave life before January 1...If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you Tsar of Russia, have nothing to fear, remain on your throne and govern, and you, Russian Tsar, will have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia...if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in the family, that is to say, none of your children or relations, will remain alive for more than two years. They will be killed by the Russian people...You must reflect and act prudently. Think of your safety and tell your relations that I have paid for them with my blood. I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living." Pray, pray, be strong, think of your blessed family. Grigory

35 The Tsar Abdicates In March, 1917 women marched in the streets demanding bread. They shamed the men into joining them Hundreds of thousands took to the streets. This time when the Tsar ordered his guards to fire they refused

36 Members of the Duma demanded the Tsar abdicate (give up his power). He did. A provisional (temporary) government was set up under Alexander Kerensky until an election could be held. Kerensky allowed more freedoms than the Tsar but did NOT end the war and did NOT fix the land/food shortage problems BIG MISTAKES!

37 The Russian Revolution Part 3: The November Bolshevik Revolution 1917

38 Why did the Provisional Gov’t fall 8 months later? Kerensky and the Duma made 2 critical errors: They decided to stay in the war. They refused to abandon their allies and hoped to gain territory when Germany was defeated They postponed dealing with the land crisis until an election could be held in November. Most peasants were still hungry and without land but Kerensky was unable to deal with these problems

39 Meanwhile, the soviets (workers’ councils, remember them?) had grown more powerful in every city as workers depended on them for a voice The largest and most powerful was the Petrograd Soviet (named for its city, Petrograd) Trivia note: The city of St. Petersburg was renamed Petrograd during WWI because it sounded “too German”

40 The one on the left... St. Petersburg, RussiaSt. Petersburg, Florida

41 The Petrograd Soviet was very critical of the Provisional government It spoke for workers and soldiers In March 1917, Germany arranged to smuggle Lenin back in to Russia in a special sealed train Why would the Germans do this? They hoped Lenin would take Russia out of the war thus allowing Germany to fight on only the Western Front.

42 Lenin issued his “April Theses” He demanded an immediate end to the war Land to be taken from nobility and redistributed to peasants Power to be given to the Soviets (end of provisional gov’t) “All power to the soviets!”

43 Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks and travelled through cities, riling up the people with cries for “Peace! Land! Bread!” In November, 1917, Lenin and his Bolsheviks (especially Leon Trotsky) took control of key facilities in Petrograd, including the Winter Palace, bridges, train stations, telegraph offices, etc. Kerensky’s Provisional Gov’t was overthrown and the Bolsheviks were now in power

44 Source analysis Using the sources and your knowledge of history analyze the causes of the Russian Revolution. Carefully examine each source and use all the info you’re given to answer in essay format Source A “We want peace! We want bread! We want land!” Slogan of Russian peasants in 1917

45 Source B The Caption Reads: The Dominant Rasputin The Russian Tsars at home

46 Source A What is depicted in the source? (given info) To what does this refer? (own knowledge)

47 The Russian Civil War

48 Between 1917 and 1921 civil war broke out between supporters and opponents of the Bolsheviks I support communists! I support capitalists !

49 1. Trotsky is extremely intelligent and turned his army into a force a) effective b) organized c) motivated The Reds

50 The Whites Were the anticommunists... 2.

51 A) Tsarist officers and soldiers

52 B) Finland C) Estonia D) Poland These new independent countries wanted to ensure their independence against Russia

53 E) Rich bourgoisie and the capitalists

54 F) The Allies 1. Keep Russia in WWI 2. Destroy communism

55 Who won the Civil War? The Reds

56 Why?

57 1. Motivated revolutionary forces having nothing to lose.

58 2. The Red Army is very organized led by Leon Trotsky

59 3. The creation of the secret police- Cheka

60 Eliminating opponents and creating the red terror

61 4. Controlled the cities

62 5. Controlled the means of transportation and communication

63 6. With the end of WWI the Allies abandoned the Whites, Why?

64 The period between 1917-1921 during the civil war was known as War Communism.  Introduced to ensure the Reds won the Civil War  Factories with more than 10 workers were taken over by the Bolsheviks  Strikes were illegal  Peasants were forced to give all surplus grain to the government, which was given to the soldiers and the factory workers in the cities

65 Result of War Communism?  Peasants stopped producing surplus grain because they couldn’t sell it.  This led to the Red Army seizing all grain which infuriated the peasants  They started to rebel and burned their land and livestock


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