The Russian Revolution

MP/Lecture 7/27 September/Russian Revolution/Overheads
 What is a revolution?
 Why do people revolt?
 Why Russia?
 Why did the war and revolution in Russia in
1904-5 not lead to the collapse of the tsars?
 Why did the Provisional Government fail to
gain mass support in Russia?
 Why and how did the Bolsheviks succeed in
gaining support in Russia?
 Why were communists so unsuccessful
everywhere else?
1. What is a revolution?
 Transformation
 Political AND social
 Overthrow of old regime
 Violent?
 Contrast English and American revolutions
with French and Russian
 Marx
 Lenin
 Role of coup d’état
2. Why do people revolt?
 Persecution
 War
 Famine
 Direction
 Education
 Political Consciousness – what does this
 World view of pre-revolutionary
revolutionary workers/peasants
 When do people revolt: de Tocqueville
3. Why Russia?
 Changes leading up to 1905
o Declining power
o Rapid industrialisation
o Failure to modernise
o Abrogation of new freedoms
o Defeat in Russo-Japanese war
4. Why did the tsardom not collapse?
 Incoherent opposition
 Sufficient concessions by Tsar
 Tsar kept means of coercion
3 again: changes leading up to 1917
 Not enough for:
o Peasants
o Workers
o Political system
 But significant changes in:
o Trade unions and political parties
o Media
o ? Notion of a Russian ‘state’
o War experience
5. Why did the Provisional Government not
gain support?
 Authority
 Imperial inheritance
 Renunciation of means of coercion
 Existence of an alternative
6. Why were the Bolsheviks successful?
 Lenin
 Willingness to use any means
7. Why were communists so unsuccessful
 Britain
 France
 Italy
 Germany
 Hungary