Module 20.1: Revolution and Civil War in Russia

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1 Module 20.1: Revolution and Civil War in Russia th anniversary of Romanov Dynasty 1914 Huge Russian Empire Eastern Europe to Pacific Ocean March 1917 first of two revolutions will topple Romanov Dynasty Very slow to industrialize Strict autocracy good for nobles, bad for peasants Most live in extreme poverty

2 Revolution of 1905 had not solved problems Duma had no real power Nicholas II weak leader wanted to keep autocracy Corrupt bureaucracy Secret police Discontent Wanted to overthrow Tsar Marxists want proletariat to have revolution PROLETARIAT=growing class of factory & railroad workers, miners, urban earners

3 Czar Nicholas II went to the front to lead the charge. Disaster!!! Incompetent military leadership WWI united Russia w/national pride BUT.factories couldn t keep up production.no rifles no ammunition Bad leadership, no food, no uniforms Died in staggering numbers 1915 two million casualties in one year!!!

4 While Tsar was at front wife Alexandra left to run country Relied on advice of illiterate, self proclaimed holy man Rasputin Alexandra believed Rasputin had magical powers he could help her son who suffered from hemophilia FYI He was the man who wouldn t die. Drank enough cyanide to kill 10 men didn t die, got shot multiple times didn t die, thrown in freezing water didn t die for hours. WHEW!!! Hemophilia is a blood clotting disorder can bleed to death from bruise or cut 1916 Rasputin s influence weakened confidence in government Russian nobles killed Rasputin, Dec. 29, 1916

5 March 1917 battlefield disasters, food & fuel shortages monarchy collapsed Workers strike bread riots Troops would not shoot demonstrators Government helpless

6 With disaster on the battlefield and protests at home, Nicholas abdicated. The Duma set up a temporary government and began to write a constitution to create a Russian republic. Revolutionaries had other ideas.

7 There were two socialist revolutionary groups in Russia. Mensheviks Favored gradual reform Favored higher wages, increased suffrage, and welfare programs Leon Trotsky

8 There were two socialist revolutionary groups in Russia. Bolsheviks Bolsheviks means majority even though it was only small % of socialists Believed in radical change Favored total revolution Wanted to set up dictatorship of the proletariat.

9 The Bolsheviks were led by V. I. Lenin, a Marxist, who: Urged workers to unite and overthrow capitalism Called for unity among workers and farmers Promised Peace, Bread, and Land.

10 In November 1917, Lenin s followers seized power. The Bolsheviks, renamed Communists, made changes quickly. Changes under Lenin Ended private ownership of land Gave land to peasants Gave control of factories and mines to workers Withdrew from WWI

11 A brutal civil war broke out between the Communists, known as Reds, and their opponents, known as Whites.

12 Trotsky created a Red Army using former tsarist officers led by commissars. The army was well led and well positioned in the center of Russia to fight against the Whites.

13 In July 1918, the former tsar and his family were shot. By 1921, the Red Army had taken control of Russia.

14 In the early years of the revolution, Lenin adopted a policy of war communism and took over banks, mines, factories, and railroads. This policy brought the economy to near collapse, and many suffered. Cities in chaos: *horrible living conditions*orphaned children *burglary * currency collapse Communists did not appear to have any regard for ordinary people. Lenin called this a lightning flash that lit up reality

15 Agricultural Collapse 5 million die of starvation in the war communism famine The famine affected both the countryside and the cities. There were reports of cannibalism in some districts. This was written 1922 "Sometimes mothers and fathers feed their children human meat as a last resort. Sometimes a starving family eats the body of one of its junior members. Sometimes parents at night seize part of a body from a cemetery and feed it to their children.

16 Horrible conditions brought riots & revolts Lenin changed course His New Economic Policy, a compromise with capitalism helped the economy recover

17 War Communism State-controlled banks, mines, factories, and railroads Small businesses forced to give profits to the state Farmers forced to give crops to feed the army or the poor New Economic Policy State-controlled banks, trade, and large industries Small businesses allowed to keep some profits Farmers allowed to sell surplus crops for profit

18 In 1922, Lenin united Russian lands into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and adopted a new constitution. THE USSR The government had an elected legislature (in theory) Citizens gained the right to vote equal rights (in theory) Workers were given control of the means of production (in theory)

19 IN REALITY. Lenin created a government where the Communists were the leaders, not the people. Russians lived in fear of secret police (Cheka) and prison camps. Peasants forced into army & to work in factories.

20 Lenin died in His successor, Joseph Stalin, would prove to be a more ruthless dictator than any of those before him. In 1940 Stalin had Trotsky murdered In 1922 Lenin had expressed grave doubts about Stalin s nature: Comrade Stalin has concentrated an enormous power in his hands; and I am not sure that he always knows how to use that power with sufficient caution.

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