3The Life of a SerfSerfs [an agricultural worker] in Russia were on the bottom rung of the social ladder.They worked the land and produced the food for the giant country.Very harsh life average age of 35.Out dated techniques, short growing season, cold climate, cruel landlords, resulted in poverty for serfs
5Tsar Alexander II“It is better to abolish serfdom from above than to await the time when it will begin to abolish itself from below.”-Tsar Alexander IIto Moscow nobility, March 1856
6The “Tsar Liberator”Russia was experiencing economic pressure, social unrest, and falling behind Western Nations.Russia’s Step for Modernization byAlexander IIEliminate the system of serfdomJury trials and relaxed censorship lawsCreated zemstvos [local elected assemblies] to address local issues such as taxation and educationIncreased industrial productionExpanded transportation such as the railroad
7What steps did Alexander II take to modernize Russia? In your opinion, do you think that Alexander’s reforms were successful? Why or why not?
8Tsar Alexander IIIAlexander III believed that western ideals were incompatible with “the very nature of Russian character.”
9The Tsar Takes a Step Back Alexander III ( ) wanted nothing to do with reforms.Called for a policy known as “Russification,” which attempted to assimilate all non-Russian people.Rigid censorship was imposed on people.Secret police looked for those suspected of revolutionary ideas.
10As a result, what feelings do you think arise in the people of Russia? What steps did Alexander III take to roll back his father’s reforms in Russia?As a result, what feelings do you think arise in the people of Russia?
11Karl Marx The Haves vs. the Have Nots Workers of the World Unite! Struggle BetweenSocial ClassesWorkers of theWorld Unite!ClasslessSociety
12The Ideas of Karl Marx“We seized [take hold of] upon Marxism because we were attracted by its economic optimism [getting better], that Marxism was developing a new economy, with new social forces (including the lower working class) which would certainly sweep away the autocratic regime [the tsars rule]. With the optimism [positive feelings] of youth we had been searching for a formula that offered hope, and we found it in Marxism.”- Nikolai Valentinov
13In 1891, why did the ideas of Karl Marx appeal to so many in Russia?
14Difficult Times for Nicholas II “The tragic aspect of the situation is that the Tsar is living in an utter fool’s paradise, thinking that He is as strong and all-powerful as before.”-From the diary of an advisor to the tsar,October 1, 1905
15Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) Conflict over Manchuria & KoreaNicholas II thought war with Japan would be easyRussia possessed outdated weapons & was poorly suppliedJapan modernized (Mejii Restoration)Clear defeat for Russia
16How did the war with Japan increase tension in Russia?
17“Bloody Sunday” January 9, 1905 “I saw these looks of hatred and vengeance on literally every face; old and young, men and women. The revolution had been truly born, and it had been born in the very core, in the very bowels of the people.”-Bolshevik Martyn Liadov
18Nicholas II Attempts at Reforms “The slogan of “freedom” must become the slogan of government activity. There is no other way of saving the state…The advance of human progress is unstoppable. The idea of human freedom will triumph, if not by way of reform, than by way of revolution.”Count Sergei WitteThe October ManifestoExpanded civil libertiesA limited monarchyUniversal suffrageTrade union & political parties legalized
19How did Tsar Nicholas II attempt to deal with the situation in Russia?
20The Rise of Political Groups Liberals: Favored evolutionary change towards a more Western European system of government.Two main Liberal parties:KadetsOctobristsSocialists: They favored a revolutionary remaking of Russian society.Two main Socialist parties:Social DemocratsSocial Revolutionaries
21Mensheviks vs. Bolsheviks The Mensheviks were Marxists.Believed in a patient approach to political change.Socialism in Russia only after it had been achieved in the West.The Menshevik’s goal was to pave the way for revolution by organizing the workers toward class awarenessThe Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, were Marxists who favored a socialist party that was directed by a small elite.Only militant revolutionaries could prevail then the masses could come into the party.Workers needed the Bolshevik leaders to guide their work in the street and the factories.
22Who were the major political groups in Russia & what were their beliefs for the future of Russia?
23“We Can No Longer Live Like This” Russian peasants experienced:Food shortagesRigid social classesCorrupt governmentFew factoriesPovertyLack of clothes & food
24Men & Women stand in line to collect their bread
25How could this problems lead to unrest in Russia? What were some of the major problems that a Russian peasant experienced?How could this problems lead to unrest in Russia?
26Russia Enters the World War in August 1914 “Unarmed men had to be sent into the trenches to wait till their comrades were killed or wounded and their rifles become available”-Report from a British officer in Russia
27The Effect of War on Russia Russia leaves the war in late 1916Heavy losses of men3.6 million dead or wounded2.1 prisoner of warWeapon shortagesIncreased hunger & refugeesSpending money, but losing the war
29The Monarchy Self-Destructs Nicholas’s wife seeks help from Rasputin.A peasant “holy man” semi-literateBragged about control of governmental offices & churchCorrupt, received bribes, & sexual favorsHe damaged the monarchy
31The 1917 Revolution Begins“Comrades, if we cannot get a loaf of bread for ourselves in a righteous way, then we must do everything: we must go ahead and solve our problems by force…Comrades, arm yourselves with everything possible-bolts, screws, rocks, and go out of the factory and start smashing the first shops you find.”-A Striker