THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION, 1917 To what extent was the Revolution a triumph of Enlightenment ideas? To what extent did the revolutionaries achieve the ideals they sought to establish? According to Crane Brinton’s Theory on Revolutions, Phase I: What was wrong with Czar Nicholas’ government? [The Old Regime] Social Political Economic Phase II: “The Trigger” -- What actually started the Revolution? Women textile workers strike in Petrograd. How did this lead to Revolution? III. A MODERATE PHASE The March Revolution A. MODERATES SEIZE POWER AND ATTEMPT REFORMS Ex. The Mensheviks seized power and made these reforms: • • • Broad civil liberties Amnesty for political prisoners End of religious persecution – Who is setting the agenda? Who is benefitting from these reforms? Much disagreement in this new government: LEFT / RADICALS Bolsheviks: believed in a small, disciplined group to instruct and lead the rest in Marxist revolution CENTER /MODERATES Social Revolutionary Party / Mensheviks: wanted more radical reforms; wanted to win WW I; willing to cooperate with other parties RIGHT /CONSERVATIVES Cadets: republic; democracy; land distribution with compensation to owners Alexander Kerensky – Head of the Provisional Gov’t. B. Counter-revolutionaries & foreign countries oppose these moderates, often by invading • Germans arranged to send Lenin by sealed train back to Russia to agitate and undermine the Russian war (WW I) effort • Lenin’s plan: Bolsheviks should gain control of the Soviets and thus the government so that Russia could join in the international revolution of communism (where the Soviets would represent the proletariat) C. Lower classes have rising expectations and want similar reforms • April 1917 – Lenin’s return led to more Bolsheviks in the Soviets • July 1917 – Bolsheviks led a coup against Kerensky – failed; many Bolsheviks arrested – Lenin fled to Finland • Strikes in cities; looting, burning and killings in countryside (like the Great Fear in French Rev. – how so?) D. A TURNING POINT OCCURS • Sept. 1917 – Military leads a coup against Kerensky’s government • Kerensky asked the Soviets’ (mostly Bolsheviks’) to help resist the coup, thus freeing many Bolsheviks from prison • Bolshevik propaganda, slogan “Bread, Land & Peace” led to their control of the Soviets in Moscow and Petrograd – Why would this help the Bolsheviks gain control? • Provisional government left “alone” (without support) in Petrograd (city) IV. FEARFUL THAT ALL GAINS WILL BE LOST, RADICALS/EXTREMISTS SEIZE RADICALS / EXTREMISTS RADICALS USE FORCE & CONTROL A BLOODBATH FOLLOWS SEIZE CONTROL OF THE GOV’T. • NOV. 6 – RED GUARDS, SAILORS & SOLDIERS CAPTURED THE WINTER PALACE ; LENIN SEIZED POWER AT CONGRESS OF SOVIETS (NOV. 7) • FIRST COMMUNIST GOV’T. IS ESTABLISHED: TERROR VS “ENEMIES OF THE REVOLUTION” • ONE ASSEMBLY ELECTION: NOV. 1917: BOLSHEVIKS 25%; OTHER SOCIALISTS 60%; OTHERS 15%>>Which group really won? • ASSEMBLY ADJOURNED / DISMISSED (WHY?) LENIN’S RATIONALE: “DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT” – WHY IS A DICTATORSHIP “NECESSARY”? AND MANY LEADERS ARE ELIMINATED • REIGN OF TERROR: SECRET POLICE – CHEKA AND REVOLUTIONARY TRIBUNALS ORDERED THE CONFISCATION OF PROPERTY; LOSS OF RIGHTS AND EXECUTIONS OF THOUSANDS • Russia plunges into Civil War after Lenin signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (see map on next page) • “WAR COMMUNISM” – ADOPTED TO WIN THE CIVIL WAR LED TO BOLSHEVIK / LENIN VICTORY IN CIVIL WAR AGAINST THE WHITES In what way is this similar to the Jacobins and the C.O.P.S. of the French Revolution? Russia – before and after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Russia at the beginning of WW I Why would the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk be detrimental (hurtful) to the Allied powers? Russia after the Treaty Russia lost Poland, Finland, Belorusia, Don Cossac, Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia – Why would it agree to that? Does it fully explain why there would be civil war afterwards? Bolsheviks’ / Lenin’s policies Initial Policies: How did Lenin go about changing the society, government and economy of Russia? VLADIMIR LENIN V. POWER VACUUM A. CHAOS & CORRUPTION RESULT FROM MASS HYSTERIA B. PEOPLE DESPERATELY SEEK ORDER, A NEW GOV’T OR LEADER • “WAR COMMUNISM” MADE THE COMMUNIST PARTY VERY POWERFUL • BANDITS / CHAOS IN RURAL AREAS; • CITIES ABANDONED; • MILLIONS IN EXILE; MILLIONS DEAD; • FOREIGN TRADE CEASED; MANUFACTURING DROPPED; • THREAT OF FAMINE • • LENIN’S N.E.P. [NEW ECONOMIC POLICY PEASANTS COULD PAY A TAX RATHER THAN REQUISITIONS SMALL PRIVATE BUSINESS ALLOWED NATIONALIZED INDUSTRIES COULD BE LEASED TO FOREIGN CO.’S TO TRAIN RUSSIANS IN BUS. METHODS STABLE CURRENCY OTHER POLICIES (not NEP): EDUCATION: MASSES COOPERATIVES/TRADE UNIONS ORTHODOX CHURCH ALLOWED TO FUNCTION (UNDER SUPERVISION) Lenin died in 1924. Who would replace him? Leon Trotsky – had a global / international vision of communism Josef Stalin – had a domestic vision of Communism (focused on one country) How did Stalin’s dictatorship affect the USSR and its people? Globe? What does the image suggest about Stalin’s role vis-à-vis (in relation to) the people of the USSR? Crane Brinton’s Theory: Phase VI. DICTATORSHIP A. SICK OF REVOLUTION, MASSES ACCEPT A STRONG LEADER B. THE STRONG LEADER ABUSES HIS POWER AND DICTATORSHIP FOLLOWS • LENIN DIED AFTER A YEAR OF ILLNESS • IN A LETTER, LENIN HAD ASSESSED TWO LIKELY LEADERS: TROTSKY (TRADITIONAL VISION OF GLOBAL COMMUNIST REVOLUTION) AND STALIN (“A REVOLUTION IN ONE COUNTRY”) • STALIN GOT THE SUPPORT OF THE POLITBORO; TROTSKY SUPPORTERS FORCED TO RECANT OR EXPELLED FROM POLITBORO; TROTSKY EXILED/DEPORTED GOALS: • TO CREATE A SOCIALIST ECONOMY • TO CREATE A TOTALITARIAN REGIME UNDER THE COMMUNIST PARTY METHODS: • FIVE-YEAR PLANS: COLLECTIVIZATION; TAXATION; NATIONALIZATION AND RATIONING • TERROR / VIOLENCE: KULAKS / GREAT PURGE • MASS ORGANIZATION; • SOCIAL DISCIPLINE REPLACED REVOLUTIONARY FERVOR • SOCIALIST REALISM • WOMEN’S RIGHTS RESTRICTED • MASS PROPAGANDA (ART & LITERATURE) Socialist Realism: How do these images serve as propaganda? Who is the suited man in the center? What is he probably speaking about? To whom? How does this promote Stalin’s communist agenda?