Russian Revolution Notes/Study Guide

Topics: Soviet Union, October Revolution, Communism Pages: 23 (6664 words) Published: June 3, 2013
Notes: Russian Revolution
March Revolution 1917
1917 protests spread through St. Petersbug and the Royal palace is taken over Czar abdicates
Provisional government (Duma) takes control lead by Alexander Kerensky Provisional government unpopular after decision to stay in WWI Marx wrote that a communist revolution can only occur in advanced capitalist system. Russia in 1917 had a feudal economy How could revolution occur there? Through a radical party of intellectuals to lead the workers Lenin’s revision of Marxism called Marxism-Leninism

Lead by VI Lenin promised “Peace, Land and Bread”
Won support of people (especially peasants)
1918 March the Bolsheviks accepted peace of Brest-Litovsk, ending WWI with Germany. Reading
collapse of provisional government
Bolshevik forces had no need to storm the gates
Red guards simply stormed in through the back doors
didn’t take much pressure
speed and easy of Bolshevik’s power surprised everyone
14 people - all left now ruled, the right wing people walked out and protested 5 reasons for the Bolsheviks success
failure of previous government to resist, existence of the MRC (the new political band they created), weaknesses of the non Bolsheviks, The provisional government was considered unworthy to save
it had limited strength, many weaknesses (only temporal government) Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Calendar
Tsarian calendar based on Julian calendar
Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582
Russia kept old
1918 - difference of 13 days between 2 calendars
Bolshevik government adopted Gregorian on Jan. 31st 1918
Next day declared Feb. 14th
The Russian Calendar
The Changing Title of the Capital
1st. St. Petersburg (Nicholas II)
2nd. Petrograd (sounded less German 1914)
3rd. Leningrad (In honor of Lenin, 1924)
4th. St. Petersburg (1991)
Tsar: indecisive, weak leader. Didn’t want to let the Duma have more power. Political System: repressive, often corrupt and outdated. Autocracy. Middle Class: growing class. Wanted greater roll in national government. Urban Workers: alienated and disaffected. Strikes increasing. Peasants: still mainly poor, hungry for more land. Becoming more hostile. Impact of the War

defeats hit morale of army. Soldiers reluctant to fight
Tsar: personal responsibility for army. Personally blamed for losses. Tsarina and Rasputin run government into ground. Middle class saw government as incompetent. desired more representative government. devastating impact on economy. (inflation, unemployment, shortages of food, fuel, raw materials) peasants losing sons and animals in war effort.

Support for Tsar: crumbling
Army generals tell him they would no longer support him.
The Liberals
Main Beliefs
parliamentary democracy
civil rights
free elections (all men could vote)
Social Revolutionaries (SRs)
Main Beliefs
main hope for revolution in the peasants, would provide the main support for popular uprising in which the tsarist government would be overthrown & replaced by democratic republic. Land would be taken from landlords and divided up amongst the peasants Social Democrats

Lenin believed that a revolutionary party should be:
1) be made up of a small # of highly disciplined professional revolutionaries 2) operate under centralized leadership
3) have a system of small cells (3 people) make it easier for police to infiltrate them Mensheviks
They believed the party should
1) be broadly based and take in all those who wished to join 2) be more democratic, allowing members to have say in policy-making 3) encourage trade unions to help working class improve their conditions Marxist Stages Theory

Primitive communalism
Slave society
Agricultural capitalism
Industrial capitalism
Summary of Events
Feb. 23 1917: rumor of bread shortages swept capital city. Happened to be International Women’s Day. Women/Citizens took to the streets protesting the government,...
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