Russian Reform and Revolution
became the Soviet Union and changed the shape. Siberia, which was unaerable,
which means it, is not able to grow stuff, so they sent convicts there.
Peter the Great. Progress was so slow because Napoleon never got that far,
although his ideas gave a glimmer.
Persia becomes Iran. Railroads are in the west to connect to the rest of
Europe. Languages, cultures, and climate in Russia are difficulties.
- Attained some freedoms
- More taxes
- People moved to cities
- Took land control away from land owner (Emancipation
to free serf [from Alexander])
Nihilists: Get rid of the present
government and start a completely new government
Russification: Leads to pogroms
during Alexander III and Nicolas II.
Killing of the Tsar and his family
-Lenin takes the family to a place
to kill them-Parents, 4 daughters, 1 son (Alex), and the dog
-The bodies were all found except
Local governments (zemstovs)
Reduced military service terms
Power of secret police increased
Elected Legislature (Duma)
CLASS NOTES: RUSSIA: REFORMS AND REACTION
- Why was Russia
called the colossus?
Russia was the largest, most
populous nation in Europe by 1815, and other countries in Europe were both
owned by, and suspicious of Russia. It had great resources and its vast size
made its interest global-but it had an autocratic
government with expansionist aims.
- What is an
A government in which one person
rules with unlimited authority called autocracy-Russia’s rulers had maintained
an autocracy for many years.
- Why did the
Russian Empire have very little industrialization?
Peter the Great and Catherine the
Great were rulers who wanted to westernize Russia-but it was difficult to do.
The slow industrialization in Russia was due to its deeply entrenched economy
and a rigid social structure-it was still governed by agricultural serfdom.
- What is meant
by the “cycle of reform-repression-reform” that plagued Russia under the
The tsars would try reforms for a
short time and then it would backfire-so the next tsar would be a reactionary
and “crack down” on any liberal ideas. (See sheet on tsars)
- Who were the Decembrists?
They were a group of military
officers who were in secret societies-these socialists wanted economic reforms,
a constitutional government, and the freeing of serfs. Nicolas I had just
become tsar (after Alexander I’s death) and the Decembrists tried a military
- Who was tsar
when the Decembrists revolted-and how did he react to the revolt?
Nicolas his government and I put
down this revolt, but the close call made Nicolas I become a ruler of
reactionary repression. For example, the secret police had unlimited power to
arrest and imprison people.
- After the
Decembrist revolted, how ere the Decembrist remembered?
They were remembered as
inspirational martyrs to later generations of revolutionaries.
- How did emancipation change the lives of
Alexander II known as Tsar
Liberator, freed the serfs in 1861, and this meant many changes. Peasants were
given some freedom, but they had to pay heavy mortgages and taxes-many left
land to work in cities.
- What were the
Locally elected assemblies set up
after emancipation took away power. There was a downside for peasants because
voting was weighted so that the wealthy and nobility dominated.
- What were some
of the other reforms of Alexander II?
Aside from emancipation and establishing the zemstvos.
Alex II modernized the judicial
system, limited the authority of the secret police, expanded the education
system, and reduced the rime men had to serve in the army-and although he gave
some freedom to the press; it was not completely
free to print whatever it wanted.
- Who was left
unsatisfied by Alex II’s reforms? And what is the difference between
anarchy and nihilism?
Many intellectuals and students
thought that Alex’s reforms didn’t go far enough. Anarchy is the absence of any government. While Nihilism called for
the destruction of government and completely rebuilding it into a new
- Alexander II
was assassinated and his son, Alexander III took his place. What were his
Alexander III reversed many of his
father’s reforms and he went one more step-Russification to awaken nationalism,
but it had an opposite affect because of a pogrom intolerance and persecution
- Who were the
Mensheviks and Bolsheviks?
They were two revolutionary groups.
Mensheviks believed that the working class would lead the Revolution when
Russia became more industrialized. The Bolsheviks (led by Lenin) believed that
a small party of professional revolutionaries could use force to bring about a
socialist society in the near future.
- Who did the
peasants usually react to revolutionaries who tried to interest them in
Most peasants looked on them with
suspicion and distrust.
- What were
there three causes of growing dissatisfaction during the reign of Nicolas
There was the growing persecution
of national minorities the poor conditions of urban factory workers and middle
class desire for a more democratic government.
- Why was the
outcome of the Russo-Japanese War so economically devastating to Russia?
IT strained the economy and had the
result of increasing food prices while keeping low wages. Emotionally strained
because Japan-a small country beat them because they were industrialized, and
Russia underestimated them.
RUSSIAN REVOLUTION NOTES
- List three reasons why World War I was the breaking
point for tsarist rule in Russia:
Army morale reached
a bottom: lack of equipment, food, etc. They were losing because of Nicolas
II’s bad direction.
bad-made food storage worse
C) Nearly all country’s resources went to wars
supplying troops, so economics/human costs unbelievable.
- How was Nicolas II’s handling both the war and the
WAR: Russia was losing the war
badly-people saw it as his fault
GOVERNMENT: Dissolved the Duma for
OVEALL: Nicolas took over command of
Eastern front and he left his wife and Rasqut in charge of the country.
- The March revolution was unique because of both its
leadership and its costs. Explain why.
LEADERSHIP: It occurred spontaneously
by the people, without military intellectuals to direct them.
COSTS: Relativity little loss of
- Identify Alexander Kerensky’s political stand and his
roles in government.
He was a moderate socialist
who served first as the minister of justice and then as its prime minister. He
was a member of the executive committee.
- List the three goals of the soviets throughout the
A. Immediate peace
Transfer of land to
Control of factories
by the workers (Marxist)
- Explain why the provisional government stayed in the
war, despite public opposition.
They were intensely
pressured by Allies to keep fighting.
- Explain how the beliefs of the Mensheviks and
Bolsheviks determined their plans to fill the vacuum left by the struggling
Mensheviks had no solid plans to seize the government because they thought a
socialist revolution would be a slow process (the masses would have to do it).
Bolsheviks wanted to
take government by force because they thought a smaller number of
revolutionaries could force a revolution faster.
- Describe Lenin’s background from birth to his return
to Russia in 1917.
Lenin was born in 1870-he had
middle-class parents. Lenin was strongly affected by his brother’s execution
for plotting the death of Alexander III. Lenin was arrested in 1895, exiled to
Siberia, and then went abroad to await his comeback to Russia. Germany helped
him return after the March 1917 Revolution.
- Explain why the Bolshevik revolution of November 1917
was relatively bloodless.
leader of the Provisional government quickly surrendered because Bolsheviks had
seized control of the major forms of communication, electric power, and
transportation. They then turned the guns of warship Aurora on the winter place
where the government was headquartered.
- Describe the goals of the three groups who made up
wanted to reinstate the czar
liberals wanted a capitalist democracy
wanted both democracy and a state-controlled economy
- List the Russian provinces lost to Germany in the
Treaty of Brest.
Baltic provinces of Ukraine and Poland
- List the three repressive measures taken by Lenin to
strengthen his control during the civil war.
ordered the deaths of Nicolas II and his family
Set up secret police
(Checka) to arrest antirevolutionary who were extremely aggressive.
C. He placed severe restrictions on the Russian
Russia Notes: The Soviet Union
After Lenin signed the Treat of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, and
surrendered so much territory, a civil war ensued. What were the two sides
in the civil war called? Who won?
Answer: Reds and the Whites. The Reds won the civil war.
- How many Russian people died as a result of WWI, the
civil war, disease and starvation by the year 1921?
- Define Nationalism:
Government own and controls all major industries and natural
- List the major elements of Lenin’s New Economic
- Some private businesses were permitted
B. Some farmers
could own land and sell products.
- How did the NEP deviate from Marx’s theory?
Communist theory permits no
privately owned businesses or farms.
- What did Russia change its name to in 1922? What was
the significance of this name change?
Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics-Indicates important changes: now communists are in charge!
- Who are the proletariat and did they really control
They are the workers-in
theory, the workers were supposed to control the state, but in reality, communist
party leaders were in control.
- What was Lenin’s policy toward non-Russians in the
Non-Russians were given
their own republics, but Lenin’s government still had tight control over
- Look at the map (in your textbook) on page 738. Why
was the land regained by 1922 so valuable to the nation?
This land game Russia greater access to the Black Sea and
created a larger buffer region between Germany and Russia.
- Lenin died in 1922 and two people wanted his
position. What were the opinions of Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin about
the direction the Soviet Union should take?
Trotsky believed that the
perfect socialist society could be built in the Soviet Union only when the
Russian Revolution had sparked uprising worldwide. Stalin believed that
socialism could and should be built in the Soviet Union.
- Stalin won leadership even though Trotsky really had
a better chance – what happened to Trotsky?
Killed in Mexico…. Did
Stalin order it? Probably because evidence points to him.
- How did Stalin’s Five Year-Plan affect the Soviet
- Industry: The focus was on building heavy
industry-especially iron and steel production with limited production on
- Collectivization farms:
Government took farms and forced peasants to farm and meet production
- What three outcomes did Stalin Intend for
- The production of enough food for the people and
- Money from exported food to pay for
- The system would
intimidate the peasants.
- Who were the kulaks?
Most prosperous peasants
who opposed collectivization, many were sent to prison or Siberia.
- How did Stalin ensure the compliance of the Soviet
He used terror and fear-
Powerful secret police encouraged spying and suspected dissidents were exiled
to Siberian labor camps or shot. Stalin did not invent these tactics-they were
also used by two contemporaries Hitler and Mussolini.
- Did the 5-Year-Plan industrialize the USSR? (Yes) Were the people happy? (No)
- What does purge mean? How did Stalin deal with people
he believed to be a threat to him?
To “purge” meant to remove people from positions where they
could threaten Stalin. In the Great
Purge, Stalin had many Communists removed from the party, arrested and send
to labor caps. And shot. He had some old Bolsheviks removed from their
positions, arrested, and tried for crimes they did not commit.
- Which world leaders do you suspect continue to use
secret police even today?
Iran, Iraq, Libya, old
Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
- How were artists restricted under Stalin?
They were required to
point out the achievements and heroes, and dispel negative rumors in their
work. If they did not, they were exiled or imprisoned. (Socialist realism)
- The arts were really used for propaganda.
Hitler and Mussolini did
this too-but Stalin was the most extreme.
- Peter the Great: Czar of Russia who along with
Catherine the Great expanded Russia on the Baltic and Black Seas. They
tried to westernize Russia, but it didn’t work.
- Catherine the Great: ((See above))
- Autocracy: A government in which one person
rules with unlimited authority called autocracy. Russia’s rulers had
maintained an autocracy for many years.
- Russification: A program aimed at the
suppressing the cultures of non-Russian peoples within the Russian empire.
It was enforced by Alexander II and insisted on one language-Russian, and
one church-Russian Orthodox. Leg to pogroms during Alexander III and
- Alexander I:
- Nicolas I: Came into power after Alexander I
in 1820, and crushed the Decembrist Revolt and “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and
Nationalism” under absolutism was his motto.
- Absolutism: Political theory stating that
monarchs hold supreme power and are responsible for their actions to God
- “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationalism”:
Nicolas I embraced the three pillars of Russian absolutism symbolized in
this motto. Orthodoxy referred to the strong ties between the
- Alexander III:
- “Tsar Liberator”:
- Alexander III:
- Nicolas II:
- Empress Alexandra:
- Gregori Rasputin:
- Anarchy: No government
- Nihilism: The nihilists wanted to get rid of
the present government and start a completely new government.
- Emancipation: After being pressed for reforms
from all sides, Alexander II issued a royal decree called emancipation,
which freed the serfs.
- Decembrist Revolt: An uprising led by a group
of army officers after the death of Alexander I because they had picked up
liberal ideas when fighting Napoleon in Western Europe. They wanted a
constitution and other reforms.
- Zemstovs: Locally elected assemblies set up
after emancipation took away power. There was a downside for peasants
because voting was weighted so that the wealthy and nobility dominated.
- Colossus: Russia was called the colossus
because its was the largest, most populous nation in Europe by 1815, and
other countries in Europe were both owned by, and suspicious of Russia. It
had great resources and its vast size made its interest global-but it had
an autocratic government with
- Pogroms: Groups of violent mob attacks on Jews
encouraged by Russification.
- “Bloody Sunday”: An Orthodox priest organized
a peaceful march to the czar’s winter palace, and has a petition to the
czar for reforms. The czar’s people told him to leave, and the guards
stood outside the palace injuring and killing hundreds of people. This led
to the Russian Revolution because the people thought the czar was
- Duma: An elected national legislature, which
Nicolas II agreed to after, he promised “freedom of person, conscience,
speech, assembly, and union” in the October Manifesto. He declared that no
law would go into effect with out its approval, but at its first meeting
it was dissolved.
- October Manifesto: Nicholas II announced this
after much uprising due to Bloody Sunday. In this he promised freedom
of ____________ and also had a
Duma. This won over modernists and left socialists (led by Lenin) out.
- Revolution of 1905: After Bloody Sunday which
forced the czar to order the October Manifesto.
- March Revolution: When disasters on the
battlefields and food and fuel shortage forced unhappiness of the people.
- Proletariat: The growing class of factory and
railroad workers, miners, and urban wage owners.
- Karl Marx: At factory gates, socialists handed
out pamphlets that preached the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx.
- Vladimir Ilyicch Lenin:
- “Peace, Land, and Bread”
- November Revolution:
- Bolsheviks: Revolutionary group led by Lenin
who believed that a small party of professional revolutionaries could us
force to bring about a socialist society in the near future.
- Red Army: The Communist Party
- White Army (Whites): The
counterrevolutionaries which were made up of three groups: A- Royalists
who wanted to reinstate the czar
liberals who wanted a capitalist democracy
socialists who wanted both democracy and a state-controlled economy
- Cheka: A secret police organized by the
Communists. They executed ordinary citizens even if they were only
suspected of taking action against the Cheka
- Provisional Government:
- New Economic Policy: After peasants stopped
producing grain out of anger, Lenin adopted this policy in 1921, which
allowed some capitalist ventures such as:
small businesses to reopen for private profit
being able to freely sell their surplus of crops.
- Treaty of Brest-Litovsk:
- Leon Trotsky:
- Alexander Kerensky:
- Joseph Stalin:
- Maxim Gorky:
- Stalin’s Five Year Plan:
- Commissar: Communist party officials assigned
to the army to teach party principles and ensure party loyalty.
- Nationalization: Converting an industry from
private ownership to government ownership “those who eat must work” was
the principle behind it. It required everyone from ages 16-50 to hold a
- Dictatorship of the Proletariat:
- Collective/ Collectivization: Large farms
owned and operated by peasants as a group. The peasants were permitted to
keep their houses and personal belonging, but all farm animals and
implements were to be turned over to the collective. The state set all
prices and controlled access to farm supplies.
- Kulak: Wealthy peasants who Stalin sought to
destroy by confiscating their land and sending them to labor camps.
Thousands of them were killed or died from overworking.
- Command Economy: Government officials made all
basic economic decisions. Under Stalin, the government owned all
businesses and allocated financial resources.
- USSR: The Union
of Soviet Socialist Republics or Soviet Union
that was the new government which united much of the old Russian Empire.
It was a multinational state made up of European and Asian peoples. In
theory, all the member republics shared certain equal rights.
- Purge (Great Purge): A reign of terror which
Stalin and his secret police cracked down especially on Old Bolsheviks
(party activists from the early days). They also attacked army heroes,
industrial managers, writers, and ordinary citizens. Over 4 million people
were purged during the Stalin years, and they increase his power.
- Atheism: The belief that there is no god,
which became the official state policy in accordance with the ideas of
Karl Marx. The party seized religious property and converted churches into
offices and museums. Many priests and other religious leaders were killed
or died in prison camps.
- Comintern: Communist International which aided
revolutionary groups around the world and urged colonial peoples to rise
up against imperialist powers which was formed by Lenin.
- Totalitarian State: Stalin turned Russia into
a state in which a one-party dictatorship attempts to regulate every
aspect of the lives of its citizens.
- Socialist Realism: Stalin forced writers to
this style of ___________so that it could boost socialism by showing
soviet life in a positive light.