The Russian Revolution Chapter 23 AP European History

The Russian Revolution
Chapter 23
AP European History
Unrest in 1800’s and early 1900’s
– Decembrist Revolt (1825)
– Loss of war= demand for reform
 Crimean War
 Russo-Japanese War
Reforms of Alexander
– Prompted by loss in
Crimean War
– Created local
government positions
– Emancipation of serfs
Social and economic inequality helps
popularize various ideas (Marxism, etc.)
 Intelligentsia help to spread these ideas
– Government will attempt to “shut them up”
Assassination of Alexander II leads to a
– Russification
Revolution of 1905
Russia’s loss in the Russo-Japanese War
again leads to revolt
 Thousands of people marched on the
tsar’s Winter Palace demanding reform
– Troops fired on the crowd
– “Bloody Sunday”
News of the massacre spread, leading to
anti-government demonstrations
Bloody Sunday
Revolution of 1905
Nicholas II (ruled
from 1894-1917)
agreed to a few
– New constitution
– Creation of a parliament
– Forgive redemption
payments that former
serfs were required to
pay in return for
communal lands (mir)
– Relaxation of
Russification policies
The Last of the Russian Tsars
Alexei’s illness
The Emperor wrote to his mother: “The days from the 10th to the
23rd were the worst. The poor child suffered greatly; the pain was
sporadic, occurring every 15 minutes. He hardly slept at all, did not
have the strength to cry but only moaned, repeating the same
words all over again: “Lord have mercy on me.” I could not stand it
but had to remain in the room in order to relieve Alix who had
exhausted herself completely, spending every night at his bedside.
She bore this trial better than I, especially when Alexis’ sufferings
were at their worst.”
An eye witness of Alexei’s illness write: “The crown-prince lay in
bed, and moaned pitiably, pressing his head to his mother’s hand,
his fine face bloodless, unrecognizable. From time to time he
stopped moaning to whisper only one word: “Mama,” in which he
expressed all his suffering, all his heart-break. And the mother
would kiss his hair, his forehead, his eyes, as if by this caress she
could lighten his pain, breathe into him some of that life which was
leaving him.”
Russia During WWI
Fought with Allies
 Highest casualty rates
 Poorly equipped
 Dissatisfaction among troops
 Food shortages and civil unrest
The February Revolution
February, 1917: Revolution broke out in
Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg)
 Workers went on strike in memory of “Bloody
– Tens of thousands demonstrated in the streets
Discontent and mutiny in the military
 March 2, 1917: Nicholas II abdicates throne
– March 15 in the western calendar
Abdication of Tsar Nicholas II
In the days of the great struggle against the foreign enemies, who for
nearly three years have tried to enslave our fatherland, the Lord God has
been pleased to send down on Russia a new heavy trial. Internal popular
disturbances threaten to have a disastrous effect on the future conduct of
this persistent war. The destiny of Russia, the honor of our heroic army, the
welfare of the people and the whole future of our dear fatherland demand
that the war should be brought to a victorious conclusion whatever the cost.
The cruel enemy is making his last efforts, and already the hour approaches
when our glorious army together with our gallant allies will crush him. In
these decisive days in the life of Russia, We thought it Our duty of
conscience to facilitate for Our people the closest union possible and a
consolidation of all national forces for the speedy attainment of victory. In
agreement with the Imperial Duma We have thought it well to renounce the
Throne of the Russian Empire and to lay down the supreme power. As We
do not wish to part from Our beloved son, We transmit the succession to
Our brother, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, and give Him Our
blessing to mount the Throne of the Russian Empire. We direct Our brother
to conduct the affairs of state in full and inviolable union with the
representatives of the people in the legislative bodies on those principles
which will be established by them, and on which He will take an inviolable
oath. In the name of Our dearly beloved homeland, We call on Our faithful
sons of the fatherland to fulfill their sacred duty to the fatherland, to obey
the Tsar in the heavy moment of national trials, and to help Him, together
with the representatives of the people, to guide the Russian Empire on the
road to victory, welfare, and glory. May the Lord God help Russia!
Provisional Government
A provisional government was created,
largely under the leadership of Alexander
Kerensky (Prime Minister)
 Soviets (workers’ councils) were created
to lobby for the rights of workers and the
 Despite the efforts of the provisional
government, the revolution continued to
Vladimir Lenin:
leader of the
– had been exiled to
Switzerland in 1900
Lenin returned to
Russia in April, 1917
 Began to buildup his
“April Theses”
– Series of publications by Lenin in which he
advocates revolution
– Outlines the views of the Bolsheviks
 Major ideas:
Demand that Russia withdraw from WWI
Opposed to the provisional government
Attempt to spread the revolution to other countries
Redistribution of land to the peasants
– Calls for Soviet control of the state
The July Days
Despite the revolution, the provisional
government kept Russia in WWI
– Ordered a new offensive in June, 1917
July, 1917: Bolsheviks lead another
 Known as the “July Days”
October Revolution
October, 1917: the provisional government
 Also known as the Bolshevik Revolution
Russia withdraws from WWI
December, 1917: Russia signed an
armistice with Germany
 March, 1918: Russia and Germany signed
the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
The Bolshevik Revolution
In 1918, a civil war broke out between the
Bolsheviks and their opposition
– “Reds”- Bolsheviks
– “Whites”- anti-Bolsheviks
The government nationalized all land
– Land redistribution
The Bolshevik Revolution
July 17, 1918: Royal family brutally
 Bolsheviks became known as the
Communist Party
 September, 1918: “Red Terror” began
– Forced labor camps to eliminate opposition
– Fighting continued between the Red Army and
the White army.
The Bolshevik Revolution
June, 1919: Large-scale industries are
 New Economic Policy: (NEP)
– Lenin’s economic plan for Russia
– Government maintained control over industry
– Peasants were still permitted to use land for
market agriculture
– Created a “mixed” economy
The USSR is born
1922: The Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR, also known as the
Soviet Union) was formed
The Power Struggle
1922: Lenin suffered a
– A power struggle began
between Joseph Stalin
and Leon Trotsky
1924: Lenin died and
Stalin takes over
Under Stalin’s rule, the
Soviet Union became
even more totalitarian.