Russian Revolution

Russian Revolution
Text pages 732 - 737
SSWH17 The student will be able to identify the major
political and economic factors that shaped world
societies between World War I and World War II.
b. Determine the causes and results of the Russian
Revolution from the rise of the Bolsheviks under Lenin
to Stalin’s first Five Year Plan.
Russia in WWI
• Unprepared militarily and technologically
for the total war of WWI.
• No competent military leaders
• Czar Nicholas II insisted on taking
personal charge of the armed forces
despite lack of ability or training
• Inadequate supply of weapons for
• Between 1914 and 1916, 2 million were
killed and another 4-6 wounded or
Beginnings of Upheaval
• Czar Nicholas II was an autocratic leader
who relied on army to hold up his regime.
• Cut off from events by his willful and
stubborn German wife, Alexandra who
had fallen under the influence of Grigori
Rasputin, who claimed to be a holy man.
• As the leadership stumbled through a
series of military and economic disasters,
the Russian people grew more and more
upset with the czarist regime.
March Revolution
• March 1917- working class women lead
strikes in capital of Petrograd (formerly
St. Petersburg)
• Women striking because of bread
rationing were factory workers
demanding Peace & Bread
• Strike shut down all factories in the city
• Nicholas ordered troops to break up the
crowds by shooting them if necessary
• Soldiers refused and joined the
March Revolution Continued…
• Duma (Legislature) established the
provisional government and urged czar
to step down
• His abdication on March 15 ended the
300 year Romanov dynasty
• Provisional government led by Alexander
• Decided to remain in WWI which did not
make the peasants or the factory
workers happy and they faced a
challenge of authority from soviets
Rise of Lenin
• The Bolsheviks began as a small
faction of the Marxist Party called
the Russian Social Democrats
• Leader of Bolsheviks Vladimir Ilyich
Ulianov – V.I. Lenin
• Party dedicated to revolution
• Destroy the capitalist system
• Lenin had been in exile but Germans
shipped him to Russia to create
Reflected the discontent of the people
Promised an end to the war
Redistribution of land to the peasants
The transfer of factories & industries
from capitalists to workers
• Transfer of government from provisional
government to the soviets
• Slogans- Peace, Land, and Bread and All
Power to the Soviets
Bolsheviks Seize Power
• By end of October, membership of
Bolsheviks has skyrocketed
• November 6, the Petrograd Soviet led by
Leon Trotsky seizes the Winter Palace (the
seat of the Provisional Govt.)
• Lenin turned over power to the Congress
of Soviets, which were really led by the
Council of People’s Commissars headed by
• Soon renamed themselves the communists
• March 3, 1918- Treaty of Brest Litovsk gave
up eastern Poland, Ukraine, Finland, and
the Baltic Provinces to Germany to get out
of WWI
Civil War in Russia
• Opposition to the Bolsheviks from
groups loyal to the czar, liberals, and
anti-Lenin socialists
• 1918- 1921
• Communist (Red) Army fought against
Whites (anti Bolsheviks- who were also
supported by the Allies)
• During this period, czar and his family
were executed
How did the Communists
• The Red Army was a well disciplined
fighting force due to the
organizational genius of Leon Trotsky.
• Disunity of the anti-Communist forces
• Communists sense of single purpose
• Policy of war communism- used to
ensure regular supplies for the Red
• Red Secret Police- the Cheka- who
began the reign of Terror
Joseph Stalin
• Lenin’s death in 1924 led to a struggle in
the Politburo– the leading policy making
body in the Communist party.
• Joseph Stalin competed with Leon
Trotsky for control of the party.
• Stalinist Era marked the beginning of an
economic, social, and political revolution
in Russia that was more sweeping in its
results than the revolutions of 1917.
Stalin’s Five Year Plan
• Ended NEP and set economic goals for
five year periods
• Purpose to transform Russia virtually
overnight from an agricultural into an
industrial nation
• First Five Year Plan emphasized
maximum production of capital goods
and armaments
• Quadrupled the production of heavy
machinery and doubled oil production.