Russian Revolution Class Starter

Russian Revolution
Class Starter
What was Karl Marx’s theory about
Communism? In other words ,
describe the type of conditions that
would have to exist for communism
to begin…?
•The “Duma” government was based on a number of “Soviets”
•These soviets were councils around the country that
had elected officials. Many Soviets were controlled by
factory workers and peasants.
•How is the term “Soviet” relevant to Russia’s name?
Russian Revolution(s)
Many influences:
• French Revolution
• Kark Marx
• WW1
• Peasant Frustration
• Russia has a h-u-g-e landmass.
• Most Russians do not own
land; they work upon it for
others for very little $/food.
• Most Russians are poor
farming peasants.
• Many would starve to death
during poor harvests and only
ate meager rations with good
• Most can’t read (pics on signs)
• 1 leading family has all the power.
The Romanov Dynasty has ruled
for hundreds of years.
• Nicholas II assumes power after
his father’s sudden death.
• Massive personal wealth & power
(Secret Police =OKHRANA)
(His word = Law)
• Nicholas has little understanding
of the common people. scansj/j-20464.jpg
Nicholas II
• Physically weak
• Not very smart
• Believed in God-given right to rule
• Often based decisions on advice.
• Often made poor choice of advisors
• Had support of the:
• Nobility + Clergy
Despite this...
Despite the disparity, most peasants are proud of their
“tsar” and worship his picture often placed on hut walls.
The two sides clash.
A) Coronation 1895…bad omen?
Traditional feast & gift giving during festivities
Attending peasants surge forward.
Thousands crushed in melee.
Nicholas unsure of what to do
Advised to continue party that night anyways.
Peasants not impressed….
B) 1905…Bloody Sunday
• Russia at war with Japan (over north China)
• Russian losing material & men…& war
• Peasants protest @ St.Petersburg Palace, begging for food.
Nicholas not there, soldiers panic,
begin shooting.
Hundreds killed,
peasants shocked.
Nicholas remorseful,
promises reforms.
• (“Duma” = share power…not..)
• Russian army extremely poorly equipped.
• Many soldiers had no guns, told to pick up
those of fallen comrades!
• Lack of food & medical supplies/treatment.
• Little training & understanding
(Often peasants spoke diff’t languages)
• By 1917 army ready to collapse
Nicholas II to the……rescue?
• Nicholas decides he’ll personally lead the Russian
army to prove courage,
increase morale.
• Leaves tsarina
Alexandra behind to rule.
Causes more problems than
• Alexandra falls under
the “spell” of
advisor/monk Rasputin
• People distrust
Alexandra & Rasputin. lostsplendor/xx.html
• Russian army continues to
lose, people at home blame
Nicholas II personally.
• Nicholas confused...
• Political unrest on the Russian Homefront.
C) 1917 (March) Revolution (i)
Widespread famine & unrest increase
Workers begin to strike
Riots occur throughout the nation
People demand changes, even Duma
Troops & police told to regain order.
Troops & police refuse. Join rioters.
Nicholas II returns to take over.
Duma refuses to recognize his authority
Tsar shocked at anger, officially abdicates
Provisional (temporary) Government
(Menshevik Party)
• Promise changes & reforms
• Land & power to be given back to peasants.
• YES!!
• BUT…
• Only when war is won.
• Peasants furious.
End war/make changes NOW!!!
Germany takes advantage of
Russian unrest.
• Germany knows USA coming to Western
front; wants to get rid of Russians on
Eastern front (easy to kill…just sooo many)
• Helps exiled Lenin to return
D)November (October) Revolution
(Bolshevik Party)
• Menshevik/Provisional Gov’t blamed for army losses, can’t handle
local attempted rebellions.
• Lenin convinces workers & soldiers of St. Petersburg that provisional
Gov’t needs to be replaced.
• With Trotky’s help/organization, St.Petersburg Winter Palace is
surrounded by Bolsheviks and all gov’t members arrested, as well as
take over all communication & power centers.
• Lenin begins to issue orders to run the country
• Lenin’s slogan “Peace at any Price” = acceptance.
Russian Revolutions Review
• 1905 Rev’n -
Hungry peasants shot
Duma created
• 1917 (Feb/March) - Demonstrations home
NichII abdicates
Mensheviks take over Duma
Kerensky leader
Promise land, etc, after war
• 1917 (Oct/Nov)
Lenin & Trotsky take over
Communism promoted