THE RUSSIAN
REVOLUTION
30.1 Notes
OPENING QUESTION
 When is it ok for a people to revolt against their government?
SETTING THE STAGE: CZARS RESIST
CHANGE
 1 881 Alexander III succeeded his
father as Czar
 Alexander III believed in autocracy:
form of gov’t where he had total
control; one per son has absolute
control
 He used har sh measures to wipe out
revolutionaries : strict censor ship codes,
secret police monitored schools,
political prisoners sent to Siberia
 Est a uniform Russian culture: Russian
made of ficial language, o ppressed
other groups, targeted Jews in
pogroms: organized violence against
Jews
 Nicholas II became czar in 1 894,
continued Russian autocracy
RUSSIA INDUSTRIALIZES
 Rapid industrialization changed Russian economy
 # of factories doubled between 1863-1900; still lagged
behind other industrial nations in Europe though
 1890s Nicholas II launched program to move country forward
 Gov't sought foreign investors, raised taxes=boosted growth of
heavy industry
 1900: Russia was world’s 4 th ranking producer of steel
 Trans-Siberian Railway: world’s longest continuous rail line,
began in 1891 completed in 1916: connected European
Russia in West to Russian ports on the Pacific Ocean in the
East-helped by British and French investors
TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY
THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT GROWS
 Rapid industrialization stirred discontent because of working
conditions, low wages, child labor, etc.
 Gov’t outlawed unions, workers organized strikes
 As a result several revolutionary movements grew and
competed for power
 Group that followed Karl Marx’s views established a
successful following-these Marxist revolutionaries believed
the proletariat(workers) would overthrow the czar, rule the
country
THE BOLSHEVIKS AND LENIN
 1903 Russian Marxists split over
tactics: more moderate
Mensheviks wanted broad base of
popular support for the revolution
vs more radical Bolsheviks:
supported a small number of
committed revolutionaries willing
to sacrifice everything for change.
 Leader of Bolsheviks was Vladimir
Ilyich Ulyanov aka Lenin: engaging
personality, excellent organizer,
ruthless; early 1900s fled to
Western Europe to avoid arrest ,
waited until he could safely return
CRISIS AT HOME AND ABROAD
 1904-1917 Russia faced series of
crises that paved way for revolution
 The Russo-Japanese War
 Late 1800s Russia and Japan
competed for control of Korea,
Manchuria
 They signed agreements but Russia
broke them=war; Japan won series
of battles in Feb 1904, sparked
unrest and revolt in Russia
BLOODY SUNDAY: THE REVOLUTION OF
1905
 Jan 22, 1905 about 200,000 worker s and families approached Czar’s
Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, asked for better working conditions,
freedoms, national legislature
 Soldiers fired in to crowd, 1 ,000+ wounded, several hundred killed.
Prompted nationwide strikes and more violence.
 Oct 1905 Nicholas II promised more freedom, approved creation of the
Duma: Russia’s fir st parliament. Nicholas II dissolved it af ter 10 weeks
WWI: THE FINAL BLOW
 1914 Nicholas II entered Russia into
WWI: unprepared militarily and
economically: 4 million causalities in
1 st year!
 1915 Nicholas moved his headquarters
to war front in hopes of rallying troops left his wife, Czarina Alexandra, in
charge
 she ignored chief advisors, fell under
influence of Rasputin: “holy man” who
claimed to have magical healing powers
 Rasputin took care of Czar’s son Alexis, who
was a hemophiliac
 in exchange Alexandra allowed Rasputin to
make key political decisions
RASPUTIN
 He opposed reform measures, gave gov’t positions to friends
 1916 grp of nobles murdered Rasputin because feared his
increasing role in gov’t af fairs
 Russian soldiers began mutinying, deserting, shortages on
everything, people wanted change, end war
THE MARCH REVOLUTION
 March 1917 women textile wrkers in Petrograd led citywide
strike, riots over shortages, 200,000 wrkers yelling “ Down
with the war” and “Down with the autocracy ”; soldiers at first
obeyed orders to shoot them, but later sided with them
 The local protest spread to became general uprising known as
the March Revolution, forced Czar Nicholas II to abdicate, or
give up, throne
THE MARCH REVOLUTION CONT’D
 Leaders of the Duma set up a provisional government:
temporary gov’t led by Alexander Kerensky -his decision to
continue fighting WWI lost support of people
 Peasants demanded land, socialist revolutionaries formed
soviets: local councils consisting of wrkers, peasants, and
soldiers; in some cities soviets had more influence than the
gov’t
THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION
 Germans believed Lenin could stir up trouble, force Russia to
leave WWI, so they arranged for his return in April 1917
 Lenin and Bolsheviks took control of Petrograd soviet , and
soviets in other cities
• Fall of 1917 people were rallying to
call: “All power to the soviets” and
Lenin’s slogan: “Peace, Land, and
Bread”
• The Provisional Government
Topples
• Nov 1917 armed factory workers
stormed Winter Palace in
Petrograd, called themselves the
Bolshevik Red Guards, they took
over gov’t offices, arrested gov’t
leaders
BOLSHEVIKS IN POWER
 Within days Lenin ordered all farmland to be distributed to
peasants, gave control of factories to workers, and signed truce
with Germany
 March 1918 Russia and Germany signed Treaty of Brest-Litovsk:
Russia surrendered large part of territory to Germany and allies
 Russian people angry about this, blamed Bolsheviks
CIVIL WAR RAGES IN RUSSIA
 1918-1920 civil war in
Russia: Red Army of
Bolsheviks, led by Leon
Trotsky, vs White Army
(many dif ferent grps, some
supported czar, some
democratic govt, others
socialists against Lenin)
supported by US and
western nations
 About 14 million Russians
died in the three year
struggle and famine that
followed
 Russia in chaos-in end Red
Army wins
LENIN RESTORES ORDER:
NEW ECONOMIC POLICY
 Russian economy destroyed by war and revolution -Lenin
focused on this and restructuring gov’t
 March 1921 Lenin temporarily put aside his plan for a state controlled economy
 His plan was small-scale version of capitalism called the New
Economic Policy(NEP): allowed peasants to sell surplus crops
instead of turning over to gov’t, some small factories,
businesses and farms allowed to operate under private
ownership, gov’t encouraged foreign investment
 Gov’t kept control of major industries, banks, and means of
communication
 Russia slowly recovered, by 1928 back to pre WWI levels
POLITICAL REFORMS
 Bolshevik leaders saw nationalism as a threat to unity and par ty
loyalty -to keep it in check Lenin organized Russia into several self governing republics under the central gov’t
 1922 renamed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in honor
of councils
 Bolsheviks renamed their par ty the Communist Par ty
 1924 Communists created constitution based on socialist and
democratic principles
 In reality, Communist Par ty held all power, Lenin est a dictatorship of
the Communist Par t y not a dictatorship of the proletariat as Mar x had
promoted