3 What markers are told“Candidates are expected to demonstrate understanding of the issues in each question over a period of at least a hundred years.Candidates are reminded of the synoptic nature of the Unit.Answers are required to demonstrate understanding of the processes of historical continuity, development and change across the full breadth of the period studied”.
4 How to be synopticThose who write synoptically include references to various sections (or rulers) of the 100 year period in each paragraphBetter candidates make cross references, comparisons and links between different periods in each paragraphThe highest scoring essays will make consistent comparisons between different historical events relevant to the themes, often on a sentence by sentence basis.
5 How to achieve A*‘Several candidates scored full marks on both essays. They demonstrated a remarkable ability to write synoptically. They produced a good overview introduction, then cross-referenced, thoughtfully selecting evidence to support their argument and counter-argument before concluding with a clear judgement based on their prior arguments’.Chief Examiner’s Report – January 2012
6 How to get stuck at C‘There seems to be a reluctance or inability amongst some candidates to structure answers in such a way which provides direct cross comparison of material from different historical periods. This is a pity, because many candidates clearly have plenty of relevant knowledge at their disposal, and could boost their overall mark by a whole grade by simply making more direct cross comparisons within paragraphs’.Chief Examiner’s Report – June 2011
7 How to get stuck at C‘Weaker candidates, graded at C or below, adopt a chronological approach, with synoptic assessments being made in a more random manner, often being left until the conclusion, or emerging fairly infrequently in the course of the essay’.Chief Examiner’s Report – June 2011
8 How to do really badly‘Answering a question that has been written or prepared in advance rather than the EXACT QUESTION ON THE PAPER leads to candidates being marked down as their answers are insufficiently focused on the key words in the question’.Chief Examiner’s Report – Every Year!
9 How to plan in the examThe most effective answers were usually preceded by a brief outline or plan of the candidates' intended approach. This practice is strongly recommended.Better plans indicate the key words of the question and the direction in which the answer is to go.‘Candidates who want to achieve high grades must focus their answer on the key word or phrase in the question’.‘Candidates need to spend a significant amount of time planning their answer and thinking about the themes they will use before they begin to write’.Chief Examiner’s Report – June 2011
10 Introducing yourself First impressions are important! ‘The candidates who perform best are those who indicate some cross comparison in their opening paragraph as a way of establishing a particular argument in relation to the question.In this opening paragraph, they establish which themes are relevant to the question, then structure the rest of the essay around discussion of these themes’.Chief Examiner’s Report – June 2011
11 Turning Point EssaysIn the June 2011 and January 2012 Chief Examiner’s reports these essays have been identified as causing candidates problems.This is because ‘they simply produce a list of possible turning points and then analyse each one in turn, but this does not allow synthesis or comparison between different turning points’.In other words although 4 or 5 possible turning points are discussed, each has its own separate paragraph with comparison missing until the end.
12 Turning Point Essays The Chief Examiner recommends 2 good approaches: Select 4 or 5 major events and then approach the essay thematically by analysing their impact in terms of issues such as political, social, economic etc. In this way candidates will ensure that they compare the events in each paragraph and can conclude that event X might be most important in terms of political change, but event Y is more important in terms of economic development.However this approach is hard to use if the question specifies ‘most important turning point in the development of Russian government’. Then writing about social or economic developments seriously damages the essay.
13 Turning Point Essays The Chief Examiner recommends 2 good approaches: Select 4 or 5 major events and then analyse events separately, but in each paragraph make comparison with both the named turning point in the essay question and with other possible turning points so that synthesis is clearly present.
14 How to annoy the marker‘Unfortunately some candidates still use abbreviations such as Alex II, AIII, N2 or PG; some even state at the start that this is what they will do. This short-hand neither looks good nor reads well’.Chief Examiner’s Report – June 2011
15 The ExaminationTwo essays60 minutes eachChoice of 3 titles
16 The Specification4 topic areasExaminer will set one essay from 3 of the 4 topic areas in each examination season
17 The SpecificationRussian rulers: similarities and differences in the main domestic policies of Alexander II, Alexander III, Nicholas II, the Provisional Government, Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev.The nature of government: autocracy, dictatorship and totalitarianism; change and continuity in central administration; methods of repression and enforcement; the extent and impact of reform; the extent and effectiveness of opposition both before and after 1917.The impact of the dictatorial regimes on the economy and society of the Russian Empire and the USSR: changes to living and working conditions of urban and rural people; limitations on personal, political and religious freedom; extent of economic and social changes.The impact of war and revolution on the development of Russian government: the effects of the Crimean War, the Japanese War, 1905 Revolution, 1917 Revolutions, World War One, World War Two, the Cold War.
18 Question styles Government before / after 1917 Aims – what did each ruler want to achieveMethods – how did each ruler rule; their policies (reform / repression)Outcomes – how successful was each ruler in achieving their aimsEssays asking whether one ruler was better than the rest at ‘something specific’.Essays comparing the nature of Russian government before and after 1917TURNING POINT essays especially related to turning points in how Russia was governedEssays about oppositionWhich ruler / regime controlled opposition most successfullyWhen and why was opposition more / less successfulLiving and working conditions – society and the economyPeasantsProletariat (or BOTH together)Essays about whether WARS or REVOLUTIONS changed Russian government most
19 UNITF966Question/ Topic AreaJAN2010“The nature of Russian government was changed more by Stalin than by any other ruler.” How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1855 to 1964? Assess the view that all the rulers of Russia had similar aims in domestic policy in the period from 1855 to Assess the view that the lives of the peasants in Russia did not improve in the period from 1855 to JUNEHow far do you agree that the October Revolution of 1917 was the most important turning-point in the development of Russian government in the period from 1855 to 1964? [4}Assess the view that Russia’s communist leaders did less than the Tsars to improve the lives of the working class in the period from 1855 to “Opposition to Russian governments was ineffective in the period from 1855 to 1964.” How far do you agree with this view? 2011Assess the view that the 1905 Revolution changed Russian government more than other events in the period from 1855 to ‘Communists and Tsars ruled Russia the same way.’ How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1855 to 1964? Assess the view that economic change in Russia was more successful under Stalin than any other ruler in the period from 1855 to Assess the view that the condition of the peasantry in Russia was transformed in the period from 1855 to ‘The communist rulers were effective autocrats; the Tsars were not.’ How far do you agree with this view of Russian government in the period from 1855 to 1964? ‘‘All Russia’s rulers tried to modernise Russia.’ How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1855 to 1964? 2012‘Lenin was more successful in dealing with opposition than any other ruler of Russia in the period from 1855 to 1964.' How far do you agree with this view? ‘The development of Russian government was influenced more by war than any other factor.’ How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1855 to 1964? How far does a study of living and working conditions in the period 1855 to 1964 suggest that the Russian peoples lost more than they gained after 1917? See also past questions from previous very similar specification (ended in 1956 not 1964)
22 Aims, Methods & Outcomes To secure the throne:Make himself, the Romanov Dynasty and autocracy more popular.METHODSReform ‘from above’OUTCOMESAlexander II faced a rising tide of opposition and ultimately the Peoples Will assassinated him in 1881.
23 Turning PointsAn good case could be made that Alexander II’s accession to the throne in 1855 was a significant turning point in the government of Russia. His decision to ‘reform from above’ led to the Emancipation Edict in In one fell swoop he ended serfdom and brought Russia and its peasants out of mediaeval feudalism.This case is flawed. The inadequacies of emancipation were quickly apparent. The lives of the peasants remained grim as exemplified by the famine of 1891.For the purposes of an essay about RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT is it relevant? How can you make this relevant by explaining how freeing the serfs led to changes in government?
24 Turning PointsIn 1881 the assassination of Alexander II, the ‘Tsar Liberator’, brought a final end to the period of reform dominated by his emancipation of the serfs in His successor, Alexander III, ruled repressively and autocratically; his reign is often referred to as ‘the Reaction’.It has been argued that the assassination of Alexander II marked the last chance that the Romanovs might reform sufficiently to save their doomed dynasty. This argument has some validity but Alexander II, faced with a rising tide of opposition abandoned any serious attempt to reform and modernise Russia long before the Peoples Will sentenced him to death.
26 Aims, Methods & Outcomes To secure the throne:To restore traditional autocracy.METHODSThe ‘Reaction’ – increased repressionBut allowed Witte to commence ‘the Great Spurt’OUTCOMESRe-established secure government (but Trotsky argued that Alexander III ‘bequeathed Nicholas II a revolution’).
27 Turning PointsAlexander III’s reactionary policies restored stability during his reign, but as Trotsky has argued, his legacy to Nicholas II was to be the revolutions of 1905 and 1917.The Romanovs were on collision course with catastrophe; Alexander II’s assassination was a significant event but it was not the most important turning-point in the development of Russian government in this period.
29 Aims, Methods & Outcomes To secure the throne:To maintain traditional autocracy.To ‘rule like my late, unforgettable father’.METHODSRepressionReform (when forced into it by revolution)OUTCOMESAbdication in February 1917 and ending of the Romanov dynasty (and of autocracy)
30 Turning PointsThe Russian Revolution of 1905 led to the October Manifesto, the apparent abandonment of autocracy and introduction of a constitution & the formation of the Duma, 4 of which existed between 1906 and 1917.It could be argued that this was an important turning-point in the development of Russian government because it was the only period in which Russian government deviated from its autocratic / dictatorial norm.However, Nicholas II’s announcement of the Fundamental Laws and reassertion of autocracy before the Duma had even sat, his sacking of the first two Dumas within months of the elections and his blatant rigging of subsequent elections for the third and fourth Dumas all suggest that this was a façade.Nicholas II announced the October Revolution as a ‘divide and rule’ strategy to avoid being overthrown in The differences this made to the reality of absolute rule were negligible and short-lived.
31 Turning PointsThe revolutions of 1917 profoundly changed the course of Russian history, ending the Romanov dynasty and creating the world’s first communist state. Even if Berdiaev was correct when stating that ‘All of the past is repeating itself, and acts only behind new masks’, this was a fundamental change of significant importance in Russian and world history.The replacement of autocratic Tsarism with the world’s first communist government during the revolutions of 1917 was of major importance. By 1956 a significant part of the world was communist and predominantly under the direct influence of the USSR. All of this was a direct result of the events of 1917 and the Bolshevik seizure of power.
32 February (March) - October (November) 1917 THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT From Autocracy(or did that end in 1905)February (March) - October (November) 1917THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENTTo Communist Dictatorship
33 Aims, Methods & Outcomes DemocracyA temporary (provisional) government until elections for a Constituent Assembly could be held.METHODSGreater freedoms / liberal reformsBut stayed in the WAR and failed to re-distribute the landOUTCOMESOverthrown by the Bolsheviks in October(Lenin’s slogan: ‘Peace, Bread and Land’).
34 Turning PointsThe ending of autocracy when Nicholas II abdicated in February 1917 gave Russian Government a window of opportunity in which to develop a constitutional and democratic model.However the Provisional Government made so many mistakes that it was swept aside in October before the planned elections to the new Constitutional Assembly could take place.
36 Aims, Methods & Outcomes To secure powerTo introduce communism / MarxismTo modernise Russia and catch up with the WestMETHODSThe ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’But key reforms in 1917 and again in 1921 (NEP)OUTCOMESCommunists securely in power by 1924 when Lenin died
37 Turning PointsLenin seized power in October 1917, finally ending the liberal dream that Russia might develop a constitutional / democratic government in the period studied.He established the world’s first communist state and destroyed the power of the old elites – the Russian Orthodox Church and the landowning class; everyone was a ‘comrade’ now;However his dictatorial style of government, including his banning of factions in the Communist Party and crushing of the Kronstadt Revolt owed much to the ‘autocratic’ model.
39 Aims, Methods & Outcomes To secure powerTo defeat and eliminate all possible rivalsTo modernise Russia and catch up with the WestMETHODSTerror, Show Trials and purgesThe Five Year Plans and collectivisationOUTCOMESThe USSR was victorious in the Second World War and was challenging the USA in the Cold War when Stalin died in 1953
40 Turning Points Stalin’s rise to power was of immense significance. Stalin’s acquisition of total power had a huge impact as the countless victims of de-kulakisation, the terror, the gulags and the Show Trials could testify. As Khrushchev admitted in 1956 under Stalin ‘Soviet citizens came to fear their own shadows’. Stalin’s betrayal of the principles of the revolution led to what Lynch has described as ‘the replacement of one form of state authoritarianism by another’.Since the opening up of the old Soviet archives many historians now claim that Stalinism grew directly out of Leninism, Volkogonov, stating: ‘everything done in Russia after Lenin’s death was done according to his blueprint’.
42 Aims, Methods & Outcomes To secure power in power struggle after Stalin’s deathTo defeat and eliminate all possible rivalsTo modernise Russia and catch up with the WestMETHODSDe-Stalinisation (the ‘Secret Speech’, 1956)Changed industrial focus to include consumer goodsOUTCOMESOn 14th October, 1964, the Communist Party Central Committee forced Khrushchev to resign.
43 Turning PointsKhrushchev’s announcement of de-Stalinisation in his ‘secret speech’ of 1956 promised the Russian people reform from above.Khrushchev’s ‘Thaw’ was a welcome respite after the brutal excesses of Stalin but his reforms didn’t lead to a significant overhaul of the communist system.In 1956 Khrushchev crushed the Hungarian Revolt despite his criticisms of Stalin’s regime and his announcement of ‘peaceful co-existence’.
45 Three questions to plan 11.00 – 11.20‘All of Russia’s rulers ruled Russia in the same way.’ How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1855 to 1964?11.20 – 11.40How far do you agree that the 1905 Revolution was the most important turning-point in the development of Russian government in the period from 1855 to 1964?11.40 – 12.00Assess the view that Russia’s communist leaders did less than the Tsars to improve the lives of the people in the period from 1855 to 1964.
46 (Which different periods to compare) QuestionKey Words and Phrases in the questionKey issues to be discussedLine of ArgumentPointIdeas and line of argument.(How does this tie to the key words in the title)Content(Which different periods to compare)Introduction22.214.171.124.5.Conclusion
47 ‘All of Russia’s rulers ruled Russia in the same way ‘All of Russia’s rulers ruled Russia in the same way.’ How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1855 to 1964?
48 First thoughts Key Words Key Theme to focus on My argument and counter-argumentMy probable overall judgement
49 Five ParagraphsWhat can I focus each paragraph on to enable me to then write synoptically, cross-referencing and comparing several rulers in each paragraph (if not sentence by sentence)?P1P2P3P4P5
50 How far do you agree that the 1905 Revolution was the most important turning-point in the development of Russian government in the period from 1855 to 1964?
51 First thoughts Key Words Key Theme to focus on My argument and counter-argumentMy probable overall judgement
52 Five ParagraphsWhat can I focus each paragraph on to enable me to then write synoptically, cross-referencing and comparing several rulers in each paragraph (if not sentence by sentence)?P1P2P3P4P5
53 Assess the view that Russia’s communist leaders did less than the Tsars to improve the lives of the people in the period from 1855 to 1964.
54 First thoughts Key Words Key Theme to focus on My argument and counter-argumentMy probable overall judgement
55 Five ParagraphsWhat can I focus each paragraph on to enable me to then write synoptically, cross-referencing and comparing several rulers in each paragraph (if not sentence by sentence)?P1P2P3P4P5
56 Good Luck!!You have until Tuesday 12 June to use what you have learned today to really get yourself prepared for this synoptic paperUse the time wiselyIf you want to prepare a range of essay plans you can submit them for approval to