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Russia in the 19th Century


Russia in the 19th Century Russian society remained semi-feudal and backward, with much popular discontent. Russia remained isolated from Western culture and did not ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Russia in the 19th Century

Russia in the 19th Century
  • Russian society remained semi-feudal and
    backward, with much popular discontent.
  • Russia remained isolated from Western culture and
    did not modernize.
  • Oppression censorship increased and the
    government was inefficient.
  • Czars were anti-liberal
  • Russia was weak internationally began to lose
    foreign wars (Crimean, Russo-Japanese)

  • Russia Decembrist Uprising (1825)
  • Alexander I (1810-1825) initially favored
    Enlightened despotism but after 1815 grew
    increasingly reactionary. His death led to a
    power vacuum.
  • Nicholas I assumed the Russian throne after death
    of Alexander I.
  • Decembrists (junior military officers)
    upper-class opponents of the autocratic Russian
    system of govt, who supported popular grievances
    among Russian society. Failed in their revolt.
  • Nicholas became Europes most reactionary monarch
  • Intellectuals developed two opposing camps in
    this period
  • Slavolphiles believed that Russian village (the
    mir) culture was superior to that of the West.
  • Westernizers wanted to extend the genius of
    Russian culture by industrializing and setting
    up a constitutional govt.

Nicholas I (1825-55)
  • Dictatorial ruler who stood for strong
    nationalism, autocracy, and religious orthodoxy.
  • He did the following
  • Expanded the royal bureaucracy
  • Published a new legal code
  • Fostered industry and Railroads
  • Enforced strict censorship with secret police
  • Had strong control over the military
  • Lost the Crimean War
  • Put down a Polish revolt

Alexander II (1855-81)
  • A conservative reformer, who abolished serfdom in
  • Zemstvo Laws created local assemblies to solve
    local problems in 1864.
  • As reform led to radical demands, many groups
    began to plot and carry out terrorist acts.
  • 1881 Alexander was assassinated.
  • 1881-1894 Alexander III a determined reactionary!

Nicholas II (1894-1917)
  • Industrial progress occurred during his reign,
    but urban rural conditions remained miserable
    and the population was on the verge of
  • Serge Witte (1892-1903) great finance minister
    who thrust Russia towards industrialization
  • 1905 Russia lost the Russo-Japanese war.
  • 1905 Revolution occurred which included the
    Bloody Sunday massacre.
  • The czar was forced to accept the October
    Manifesto which created the Duma (pop-elected
    parliament w/ legislative power).

Nicholas, continued
  • Nicholas failed to uphold his promises made in
    the Oct. Manifesto and instead promoted more
    conservative policies under his chief
    agricultural advisor, Stolypin.
  • Stolypin was assassinated by rebels

Problems in Russia
  • Although the czar had not followed through on his
    promises made after the Revolution of 1905,
    dissatisfied parties in Russia tried to cooperate
    with the govt in the defense of Russia in 1914.
  • After the armies began to lose, the czar fired
    competent generals and replaced them himself, at
    the front.
  • opposition grew more discontented, as a result.

More Russian Problems
  • As war losses mounted, food shortages at home led
    to rioting in Russian cities.
  • On the front, Russian soldiers were finally
    limited to 2 bullets per day, and many mutinied.
  • Rasputins influence on Czarina Alexandra further
    alienated the public, and soon, revolution was
    nearly inevitable.

The Revolution of (February) March, 1917
  • The March revolution began with a general strike
    in St. Petersburg (Petrograd, Leningrad).
  • The strike was followed by a mutiny among the
    troops and the dissolving of the Duma.
  • The new govt that took over was known as the
    Provisional Govt it was run by Kerensky and
    Prince Lvov.

The Provisional Government
  • On March 17, 1917, Czar Nicholas abdicated.
    Shortly afterward, the royal family was arrested.
  • They were eventually executed by the Bolsheviks.
  • The new govt declared full civil liberties for
    all Russians, freed Poland and Finland, and
    called for a constituent assembly to pass needed

Problems for the New Govt
  • Russians wanted to get out of WWI, because they
    were losing so badly, and because supplies were
    so short on the homefront.
  • Hunger was a problem all over Russia.
  • Most Russians wanted land reform.
  • The Prov. Govt did nothing to help the
    distressed population.

Provisional government
  • Replaced the tsar
  • Primarily constitutional democrats and moderate

The Soviets
  • Soviets were small workers councils which had
    been established following the revolution of
  • Soviets in Revolution were more radical,
    consisted of workers, soldiers and sailors.
  • The Petrograd Soviet was under the control of
    Trotsky and was the most radical group calling
    for further action. Like Paris Commune in Fr.
  • The Soviets called for an immediate end to the
    war, for peace with Germany, and for the seizure
    of land by the peasants workers.

  • Lenin had been active in the Social Democratic
    Party (Marxists) since its inception in Russia.
  • 1902 He wrote What is to be done? in which he
    laid out his plans for revolution. Lenins goal
    to Russify Marx.
  • The same year, he took control of the more
    radical wing of the party, the Bolsheviks.

The Road to Revolution
  • April 16, 1917 Germany ships Lenin back to
    Russia from his exile in Switzerland in a sealed
    rail car.
  • Germany did this, believing that Lenin would sue
    for peace after leading the revolution in Russia.
  • Lenins motto Peace, Land, Bread.
  • This was exactly what the people wanted to hear.

The Road to Revolution
  • Lenin called for the resignation of the
    provisional government and the transfer of power
    to the soviets, but this demand was premature.
  • July, 1917 The provisional govt armed the
    Bolsheviks so they could help the govt fight off
    a military coup (The Kornilov Affair).
  • These arms were later turned on the govt.

The October Revolution
  • Nov. 6, 1917 Led by Lenin Trotsky, Bolshevik
    leaders, soldiers, and workers quickly took over
    Petrograd, stormed the winter palace, arrested
    the remaining members of the provisional
  • Alexander Kerensky escaped and lived in exile.

The Revolution Continues
  • Nov. 7, 1917 Lenin declares the revolution a
    success and renames the country the Union of
    Soviet Socialist Republics.
  • Lenin head of state
  • Trotsky foreign minister head of the Red army
  • Stalin commissar for national minorities

Soviet Russia 1917-1928
  • Between 1917 and 1928, the new Bolshevik
    government established Soviet power in Russia and
    enacted Soviet policies.
  • There are three major themes of this period in
    Soviet history
  • Military internal problems
  • Development of economic policies
  • Power struggle between Stalin Trotsky

Internal Problems Begin
  • The Bolsheviks expected worldwide revolution to
    follow their successful revolution in Russia and
    so they immediately began to prepare.
  • In preparation, the Soviets nationalized and
    communized sugar, petroleum, and textile
    production and all mining, and by 1920, all
    industries employing more than 10 people were
  • The govt requisitioned all farm produce, and
    only govt officials could buy sell goods.

Military Internal Problems
  • March 3, 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk took
    Russia out of the war and ceded large amounts of
    territory to Germany.
  • Russia gave up most of the area in the vicinity
    of the Ukraine and lost about 1/3 of its
  • Civil War was raging between the Reds
    (Bolsheviks) and the Whites (everyone who opposed
    the Reds).
  • By 1921, the Reds won the civil war.
  • 22 Red Terror eliminate class enemies. Cheka
    (forerunner of KGB) leaders of this. Killed
    bourgeoisies, gentry, white army

Economic Problems
  • Though the Whites were put down, the Soviet
    internal situation remained critical in 1921,
    with the economy being below pre-war levels.
  • The anarchists and peasants began to revolt in
    the countryside in an attempt to do something
    about the starvation suffering of the masses.

The New Economic Policy (NEP)
  • This was Lenins stop-gap measure to retain
    control and provide temporary relief.
  • Under the NEP, peasants were allowed to keep part
    of their produce, which they were allowed to sell
    for cash profit on newly-recreated local markets.
  • The govt kept control of heavy industry
    internatl trade, but light manufacturing and
    internal trade was returned to private hands.

NEP, continued
  • The Kulaks (large peasant farmers) and other
    entrepreneurs made large profits by taking
    advantage of this liberalization.
  • As a result, some Bolsheviks, such as Trotsky,
    wanted to kill them
  • Some other people wanted to extend the NEP to
    include even more private business
  • Lenin believed both groups were wrong, and that
    the NEP was necessary until a full communist
    society could be realized in the future.

The Power Struggle Stalin vs. Trotsky
  • Lenin had a series of strokes between 1922
    1924. He finally died in 1924.
  • Trotsky Stalin both wanted to be Lenins
  • Trotsky was a theorist who had organized the red
    army and the Petrograd Soviet.
  • Stalin was an activist who had been instrumental
    in forcing the minority republics to unite into
    the USSR. He also had control of the machinery
    of govt.

Stalin vs. Trotsky
  • Trotsky wanted to promote world revolution ASAP,
    while Stalin was willing to wait instead
    concentrate on rebuilding the USSR, 1st.
  • When Trotsky publicly criticized Stalins foreign
    policy in 1927, Stalin had him exiled to Siberia.
  • Trotsky eventually escaped to the west was
    assassinated by Stalins men in 1941.

Lenins Testament
  • In his will, Lenin stated that Stalin was too
    power-hungry and too brutal and uncouth to become
    his successor.
  • Lenin believed Trotsky should be the next head of
    the USSR.
  • Stalin, however, gained full control of the USSR,
    after the exile of Trotsky.

Long term Causes of RR (1861-1905)
  • 2 perennial, irresolvable problems
  • Technological and economic backwardness
  • Inability to form a government that successfully
    harnessed the will of its people.
  • RR is a drastic solution to these problems
  • After Alexander IIs reforms Russia seems to be
    moving in right direction