Russian Revolution
Basic tenets of Marxism:
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Man is by nature good
• Economic relations determine all human relations
• Exploitation is an inherent failure of capitalism
• Private property is evil
• Capitalism produces two classes of people
• Only revolution can rid society of capitalism and
establish the dictatorship of the proletariat
• Classlessness and statelessness will follow only after
the revolution and a transition period
A Look At What We Will Cover
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Slides 5 -20 = Background (RS Pre-WW1)
Slides 21-26 = Russia in WW1 - Downfall
Slides 30-35 = October / March Revolution
Slides 35-47 = Bolshevik State
Slides 48-52 = A Sneak Peak at Stalin
Russian Government Before
Revolution
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Monarchy: The Czar (Tsar)
Until 1905 the Tsar's powers were
unlimited.
Russia had no constitution,
no political party system to check the
Tsar's power
A strong secret police which terrorized
the people. Called: Okhrana
Royal Background
Nicholas I
• Created the first secret police in Russia, brutal
leader, response to revolt of army officers in 1825
Czar Alexander II
• He implemented important reforms, notably the abolition of
serfdom,
• In 1867, he sold Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to the
United States.
• Killed by the Revolutionary Group: The People’s Will
Czar Alexander III
• Alexander III's reign was during an industrial
revolution in Russia .
• His reign was harsh, against revolutionaries and
other liberal movements.
Czar Nicholas II (1894)
Last Czar of Russia
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Nicholas II was a harsh and weak ruler
The Russian economy was bankrupt because
of the Russo-Japanese War and WWI Russia’s
entry into WWI became very unpopular.
Czar Nicholas II and Family
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1903
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The Social Democratic Labour Party creates sides of the
Mensheviks-minority (Martov) and Bolsheviks-majority
(Lenin)
Iskra remained a Menshevik newspaper so Lenin had to
create his own (Vperyod – “forward”)
Formal split of Mensheviks and Bolsheviks as a party in
1911
Bolsheviks believed that a small group of revolutionaries
could cause the revolution - masses uniting all at once
was unnecessary
Mensheviks focused on winning over the masses to start
a revolution
***
Russo-Japanese War (1904)
Dispute over Manchuria with
Japan
Shook national confidence in their
progress and rule of Czar.
Loss of Russo-Japanese War
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This
proverbial
“straw that
broke the
camel’s back”
was enough
to foment allout
revolutionary
action
***
Bloody Sunday
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Tsar’s troops fired on a group of protestors
who were begging the Tsar for help – led
by a priest – Father Gapon
In all, 130 were killed and hundreds
wounded
Bloody Sunday (1905)
***
Bloody Sunday – historical significance?
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It revealed how utterly incompetent the
Tsarist regime was in dealing with a
dissatisfied people
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Those who had previously supported the
Tsar broke and joined revolutionary
groups
***
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Between October 20-30th, all of Russia
was on strike
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Considered the most effective general
strike in history
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During this time, the very first Soviet was
established in St. Pete’s
October Manifesto
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October Manifesto – Tsar’s promises:
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Provided some civil liberties
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Create a DUMA – legislative assembly
controlled by the moderates
Between 1905 and 1917
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Tsar reneged on most of his promises
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Tsar bought off the moderates in the Duma
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Tsar arrested radical opposition as terrorism
grew
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Then the Great War broke out…
Film – Russia Land of the Czars
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W1b6
j8U46k&list=PL9819B471D1049AE6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqxWWRcN-4
16:00 Minutes Long
Rasputin
Russia and World War I
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Russia declares war on AustriaHungary
War becomes unpopular
Rationing leads to starvation
Nicholas II leaves St. Petersburg to war
front
***
Ra Ra Rasputin
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Won favour with Tsarina Alexandra for helping her
haemophiliac child Alexis feel better
Nicholas joins the losing war front in 1915 which allowed
Rasputin to gain favour with Alexandra
Prophesized a losing war for Russia – prophecies
gained him popularity
Often clashed with the Duma – Duma saw him as a
threat since he was so close to the royal family
1915 the Duma was disbanded and Rasputin was in
charge of the government
1916 Rasputin was assassinated
Rasputin
Rasputin with Admirers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zz0sHu-m7s Rasputin Death Scene
Rasputin – Music Video – Bony M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvDMlk3kSYg - Original
Music Vid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmkySNDX4dU - Vid With
Lyrics and Pictures
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zz0sHu-m7s - Rasputin
Death Scene
Mensheviks
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Literally means “minority” (yet were more
of them)
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More moderate, less impatient, wanted to
win over the masses
Led by Julius Martov
Bolsheviks
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Literally means “majority”
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Believed that a violent revolution was
necessary
Led by Lenin
FIRST OF TWO REVOLUTIONS
February-March Revolution 1917
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March 12 demonstration due to hunger, a
military regiment was sent to quell them (the
Cossacks), they joined instead and disarmed
the police
Russian Army commanders suggested to Tsar
Nicholas to abdicate in fears of a violent
revolution (like French)
The Army and the Duma convinced Nicholas
that the people would no longer support him
***
February-March Revolution 1917
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Nicholas abdicates on March 15 and is placed under
house arrest
A provisional government under Alexander Kerensky is
put in charge of Russia
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Kerensky favours a continuation of war to boost Russian
nationalism
Legalizes strikes
Organizes a constituent assembly (to figure out a new
constitution)
Provisional government will have a power struggle
between the Marxists and the Liberals (wanted to stop
the revolution)
Lacked legitimacy since it was not elected by the people
***
February-March Revolution 1917
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Lenin, who was in exile in Germany, was provided with
safe passage from Germany to Russia in hopes that he
would help stop the war on the Eastern front for
Germany
Lenin returns to Russia and gains more support by
criticizing socialists that supported the Duma (they’re
supposed to start a revolution, not maintain
subordination)
In April, Lenin writes the “April Theses”
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calls for immediate revolution
Peace
Seizure of aristocratic lands
All power to soviets (labour movements)
Seizure of factories
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Kerensky fails Russia
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Continues the war with a new offensive in
July (Kerensky offensive)
The unsuccessful offensive quickly cause
dissent amongst the people
Disagreement between Kerensky and
Kornilov (leader of another party in power)
causes Kornilov to attempt a coup using the
army
Kerensky turns to Lenin and his Red Guards
and Soviets (workers council) to help him
defend Petrograd and won
Kerensky realizes the trouble he created
and decides that he now needs to limit
Bolshevik power
Kerensky closes down Bolshevik
newspapers and cuts off telephone lines
Bolsheviks defeating the army won favour
from the Soviets in Petrograd
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Government troops open fire on a worker's protest in Petrograd in
July of 1917. The shootings only served to further anger the citizens
of Petrograd.
SECOND OF TWO REVOLUTIONS
October (Bolshevik) Revolution1917
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Lead by VI Lenin “Peace, Land, and
Bread”
Won support of people (especially
peasants)
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October Revolution 1917 (Bolshevik)
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Lenin rides on the unhappiness of the
people with the Duma and promises
“Peace, Bread and Land!”
Trotsky persuades Lenin to take over the
government
November 7, Lenin with his Red Guards
seized the Winter Palace
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Lenin’s Immediate Policies
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Making good on his promise, he sanctioned
peasant seizures of land, gathered grain to feed
cities, and signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk
which gave up a large portion of Western Russia
and 30% of Russia’s population
Nationalized banks
State controlled foreign trade
All opposition groups made illegal
Peasant seizure of lands
Factories under the control of Soviets
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1918
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1918 March The Bolsheviks accept the
peace of Brest-Litovsk, ending WWI with
Germany.
1919-1920
-1919 White Armies (Royal and
Menshevik troops) attack the Reds
(Bolsheviks) from all directions.
-Help sent from Western countries – leads
to Stalin’s distrust of West.
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1920- Reds defeat Whites
Rule of Lenin 1920-1924
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Economic Reforms included the New
Economic Plan (NEP)
-moderate mix of capitalism and
socialism
Political Reforms
-Bolshevik party became Communist
Party
-Russia becomes the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics
Communism
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A Form of Socialism
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Central Planning of the Economy by the State
Gov’t (Communist Party) makes decisions
on individual jobs and pay
1924
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Lenin Dies
Power Vaccuum
Leon Trotsky vs. Joseph Stalin
Stalin takes control
Now must decide how he will maintain
power
Decides to create a totalitarian state
Characteristics of a Totalitarian
State
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Dictatorship- Absolute Authority
Dynamic Leader- Vision for the nation
State Control Over All Sectors of Society
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State Control Over the Individual
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Business, Family Life, Labor, youth groups, housing,
religion, education, the arts
Obedience
Denies basic liberties
Organized Violence
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Uses force to crush opposition
Stalin’s Totalitarian State
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State Control of the Economy
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Police Terror
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Control of the individual
Propaganda (socialist realism)
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Great Purge, crush opposition
Religious Persecution
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5 year plan, collective farms
Molding peoples minds
Education
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Controlled by the government