6. The Russian Revolution


1. The Old Regime

    A. Russia

            - autocratic state ruled by Nicholas II

            - primarily an agrarian economy; peasantry saddled with debt

                and land hungry

            - limited industrial development; growth of a liberal middle class

                and a new class of discontented workers


    B. Rising Expectations > Revolution of 1905

            - creation of an elected parliament, the Duma, with no ministerial


            - limited agricultural reforms


2. The Initial Moderate Revolutionary Regime

    A. The March Revolution (1917)

            - due to discontent over the conduct of World War I, the high cost

                of bread and its rationing, hunger

            - March 8th - International Women's Day > the women of St. Petrograd


            - March 10th > a general strike, soldiers joined the worker

            - March 12th > the Duma created a provisional government

            - March 15th > the Czar abdicated the throne


    B. The Provisional Government lost favor:

            - failure to withdraw Russia from the war

            - resistance to land reform

            - refusal to allow Russian minorities their own states


3. Drift to the Left: The November Revolution

            - establishment of soviets (workers' councils)

            - Lenin returned to lead the Bolsheviks to power

            - the Bolsheviks gained the support of the workers with promises of

                peace, bread and land reform, worker control over the factories, the

                transfer of political control to the soviets

            - Night of November 6-7 > Bolshevik forces organized by Leon Trotsky

                seized the Winter Palace and overthrew the provisional government


4. The Reign of Terror and Virtue

    A. Lenin

            - supreme political authority was turned over to the Congress of Soviets,

                but real power was retained by Lenin as head of the Council of

                People's Commissars

            - Peace was obtained by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk


    B. Civil War

            - the Whites vs. the Reds

            - Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed in July 1918

            - War Communism was instituted

            - the Checka, a new secret police force, was established

            - the Third International was formed to promote communism abroad (1919)

            - Counter-revolutionary forces were defeated (1920-1921)


    C. Discontent with War Communism

            - the peasants resented having to turn over their crops to the government

                and forced labor in the factories

            - nationalization was detrimental to industrial productivity

            - 1920 to 1922 drought led to famine


5. Thermidor Reaction: the New Economic Policy (1921)

            - limited capitalism was authorized > private manufacturing and trade

                on a small scale; wages paid; grain sold on the open market


6. The Dictator: Joseph Stalin

     A. Battle over succession after Lenin's death

            - between Stalin and Trotsky

            - Stalin succeeded in having Trotsky exiled (1927) and later assassinated

                in Mexico City


     B. The Dictatorship

            - Constitution of 1936

            - 1928 the first Five Year Plan was launched to industrialize and

                 collectivize farming

            - Propaganda was used to create a "New Man" and establish

                 the cult of Stalin

            - Disillusionment?


7. Restoration?


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