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The Russian Revolution

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THE WAR AS A REVOLUTIONARY FORCE: it tested the West and undermined capitalism. Results of the war: ... were killed in battles. At least 1.3 mln. fell victims ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Russian Revolution


1
The Russian Revolution
2
State Emblem of the Russian Empire, 1890s
3
State Emblem of the Russian
Federation, 2007
4
Nicholas II, Russias last Tsar (reign
1894-1917)
5
  • The Russian battle order
  • The effects of wars on the Russian system
  • successful wars (1721, 1815, 1878, 1945)
    reaffirmed the status-quo, strengthened the
    state, discouraged reforms
  • unsuccessful wars (1856, 1905, 1917, 1989)
    fostered reforms and revolutions

6
1904 How Russia expected to
beat Japan
7
The Battle of Tsushima, May 1905 Japanese Navy
sinks Russian fleet
8
The 1905-07 Revolution
  • January 1905
  • Defeats of the Russian army and navy in war with
    Japan trigger off discontent over socioeconomic
    conditions and lack of political rights
  • January 9 The Bloody Sunday
  • In St. Petersburg, 140,000 workers, led by a
    priest, march to the Royal Palace with a petition
    to the Tsar, asking for reforms
  • They are met with troops who fire on the crowds
  • 200 killed, 800 wounded the first victims of
    the Russian revolution

9
January 9th
10
January 9th, 1905
11
  • Classic confrontation between state and society
  • Repression backfires
  • Society revolts against the state, demanding
  • Resolution of pressing social issues, such as
    land reform
  • Political freedoms
  • Accountable government
  • Peace
  • Industrial workers
  • Peasants
  • Soldiers
  • Students
  • Intellectuals
  • Businessmen
  • Clergy
  • Non-Russian nationalities

12
  • Forms of struggle
  • Demonstrations
  • Strikes, many of them political
  • Takeovers of farmland
  • Armed revolts
  • Mutinies in the armed forces
  • Political self-organization of civil society
  • Creation of political parties from Left to
    Right
  • Creation of labour unions, independent
    professional associations, etc.
  • Creation of Soviets as new bodies of democratic
    government, challenging the autocratic state

13
(No Transcript)
14
Mutiny on battleship Potemkin, June 1905
15
  • The governments response
  • Peace with Japan
  • Repression
  • Reforms, beginning with the Tsars October 1905
    Manifesto, granting political freedoms and
    parliamentary elections
  • By 1907, the revolution subsides
  • But no viable new form of state-society relations
    has been created
  • Stalemate
  • The Tsar is a reactionary, rejects democracy
  • The nobility is stuck in the old order
  • The capitalist class is too dependent on the
    state, too afraid to show initiative

16
  • The gap between the rulers and the ruled
  • Reforms stimulate radical protest
  • THE ATTRACTIONS OF SOCIALISM
  • When the state resorts to repression, that only
    makes the state-society gap even wider
  • Russias options
  • A liberal-capitalist path what it would require
  • An authoritarian-capitalist path what it would
    require
  • A non-capitalist path

17
EUROPE 1914
18
  • World War I 1914-1918
  • Resulted from
  • -Rivalries between states (Germany-Britain,
    France-Germany, Russia-Austria, Russia-Turkey,
    etc.)
  • -Social tensions within states
  • -Nationalist struggles against empires
  • The war for power and influence inside the global
    capitalist system
  • Expected to be brief
  • The reality a bloody 4-year stalemate
  • Ended by revolutions in Russia (1917) and Germany
    (1918)
  • 15 mln. deaths, incl. 9 mln. combat
  • The flu pandemic of 1918-1919 20-40 mln. deaths
    a direct environmental effect of the Great War

19
  • Causes of Russias involvement in World War I
  • - own imperial goals (the Balkans and
    Transcaucasus) natural behaviour of an empire
  • - influence of Britain and France
  • - a war to avoid a revolution
  • The clash of empires
  • The interstate conflict
  • The internal factors
  • - interplay of nationalisms
  • - class conflicts
  • - struggles over democratic reforms

20
  • THE WAR AS A REVOLUTIONARY FORCE it
    tested the West and undermined capitalism
  • Results of the war
  • -Collapse of 4 empires Russian,
    Austro-Hungarian, German, Turkish
  • -World capitalism severely undermined North
    and South (economically, politically, socially,
    ideologically)
  • -The rise of social protest and revolutionary
    movements everywhere

21
1917
  • The protracted, stalemated war puts heavy burden
    on Russia
  • The growing mood of anger and protest
  • February 1917 mass demonstrations break out in
    Petrograd
  • The government orders troops to fire on
    demonstrators
  • Soldiers turn on their officers and join the
    protest
  • Massive revolt engulfs the country
  • The tsar abdicates
  • The state authority collapses within a week

22
Abdication of Nicholas II
23
February 1917 Crowds in front of the Royal Palace
24
Long live the Soviet of Workers and Soldiers
Deputies!
25
Women demand voting rights
26
Armed citizenry
27
Citizen militias patrol streets
28
Arrest of generals
29
Down with autocracy!
30
  • 8 months in 1917 February-March
  • Dual Power
  • The caretaker Provisional Government
  • The Soviets, created again as democratic bodies
    of government
  • The Provisional Government has limited control,
    little legitimacy, but continues the war
  • The Soviets are divided between reformist and
    radical parties
  • Radicals push the Soviets for full takeover of
    power in Russia

31
The Provisional Government the Rodzyanko Cabinet
32
1917 cartoon The Provisional Government
depends on war victory
33
Alexander Kerensky, head of the Provisional
Government, July-October 1917
34
Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924)
35
  • Russian Communists
  • Russian Social-Democratic Workers Party
    (Bolsheviks)
  • Russian capitalism is underdeveloped but it is
    already bankrupt, unviable
  • The Russian state is unreformable
  • The only solution to the Russian crisis is to
    move directly to socialism, bypassing the
    capitalist phase
  • Overthrow of the old ruling classes
  • Establish a new state run by workers and peasants

36
  • But Russia is backward how can it go socialist
    when Europe is still capitalist?
  • The Bolsheviks were convinced that the disaster
    of the First World War was bound to produce
    socialist revolutions in major European countries
    in Germany, above all
  • Faith in the inevitability of world revolution
    was a crucial element of their thinking
  • Success of the Russian revolution depended on the
    spread of revolution beyond Russia

37
  • Lenins plan
  • Advance the most radical demands to gain popular
    support
  • -a democratic peace
  • -radical land reform
  • -worker control of factories
  • -self-determination of non-Russian nationalities
    of the Empire
  • Push the Soviets to take power
  • Overthrow the Provisional Government by force, if
    necessary

38
  • November 7 (October 25), 1917 Bolsheviks and
    their allies stage an armed coup, overthrow the
    Provisional Government, and organize a Soviet
    Government, led by Lenin and confirmed by the
    All-Russian Congress of Soviets Deputies, which
    proceeds to implement the radical program
  • The Decree on Peace
  • Russia exits the war, offers immediate peace
    talks to all warring parties to conclude a
    democratic peace
  • The Decree on Land
  • Distribution of all farmland to peasants on the
    basis of equality (the same amount of land per
    capita)

39
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40
(No Transcript)
41
The arrest of the Provisional Government, Nov.7,
1917
42
The Council of Peoples Commissars the first
Soviet Government, October 1917
43
(No Transcript)
44
  • In October, 1917, the Bolshevik Party had 0.3
    mln. members in a country of 140 mln. people with
    a collapsed state
  • Bolshevik chances of establishing a new state
    seemed non-existent
  • The essence of their strategy was to recognize
    and accept the new reality in the country as
    irreversible and
  • Russia has lost the war, and its army has
    dissolved
  • Peasants have taken over farmland and divided it
  • Workers have taken over factories
  • Soviets have been set up throughout the country
    without the Bolsheviks
  • Non-Russian provinces of Russia were organizing
    themselves as new independent states
  • The new Soviet Republic was to organize this
    new order and make it stay

45
  • The first Soviet government is a revolutionary
    dictatorship
  • A civil war is inevitable
  • Old ruling classes fight back
  • Political opponents of dictatorship (including
    many leftists) resist the coup
  • Popular opposition
  • Foreign powers intervene

46
  • The Civil War (1918-1922)
  • The main question of the Civil War
  • Will the Bolshevik dictatorship (the Reds) be
    overthrown?
  • The anti-Bolsheviks (The Whites) represented a
    wide spectrum of political forces, with a range
    of motives for opposition

47
  • The Whites
  • The Right forces trying to restore autocracy and
    empire
  • The Center (liberals) oppose the dictatorship,
    argue for a democratic, constitutional republic
  • The Left oppose the Bolshevik dictatorship,
    committed to socialism to be achieved by
    democratic means

48
  • The Right controlled the main military forces of
    the Whites -
  • But its program was deeply unpopular with the
    masses
  • The Centers liberal ideas were out of place in
    the atmosphere of the Civil War so the
    centrists supported the Right
  • The anti-Bolshevik Leftists found found
    themselves in the position of an appendage of the
    Right
  • The only viable left-wing force were the Greens
    in Ukraine anarchist socialists led by Nestor
    Makhno who built their own peasant army and acted
    independently between the Reds and the Whites

49
Lenin and Stalin, 1919
50
General Anton Denikin, first commander of the
White armed forces
51
Lev Trotsky, the Commissar of War
52
Red Army personnel, Civil War
53
Baron Petr Vrangel, succeeded Denikin as
commander of White armed forces
54
Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak, White Supreme Ruler
of Russia, 1918
55
Mikhail Frunze, Red commander who defeated
Kolchak and Vrangel
56
Semyon Budenny, Commander of the First
Cavalry Army
57
Nestor Makhno with his staff
58
War Communism
59
  • Economic policy
  • Abolition of private ownership and market economy
  • The state organizes direct exchange of goods
    between the city and the countryside
  • Full nationalization of industries
  • Requisition of surplus foodstuffs from the
    peasantry
  • Goods and services are distributed by the state
  • Equalization and naturalization of wages
  • Forced collectivization
  • Forced labour
  • Militarization of industrial work

60
  • Politics
  • One-party dictatorship
  • The Soviets are purged of any opposition and
    fully subjected to Party control
  • Fusion of the Party and the state
  • Exploiting classes are expropriated, denied
    basic rights, and forced to do manual labour
  • Repression of opposition and dissidents
  • Party takeover of mass media
  • Militarization of state and society (a new battle
    order)
  • Creation of a new military (the Red Army) and a
    new agency for political repression the Cheka
    (All-Russian Emergency Commission for Struggle
    Against Counterrevolution and Sabotage)
  • Revolutionary legality state terror instead
    of rule of law

61
  • Red and White Terror
  • Lenin, in October 1917, about the decision of
    Congress of Soviets to ban death penalty
    Nonsense! How can one carry out a revolution
    without executions?
  • K. Danishevsky, Chairman of the Supreme
    Revolutionary Military Tribunal, 1918
  • Military tribunals are not and must not be
    guided by any judicial norms. They are punitive
    organs created in the course of intense
    revolutionary struggle, which formulate their
    sentences, guided by revolutionary necessity and
    by the legal consciousness of the Communists.
  • Admiral Kolchak
  • I forbid the arrests of workers. They must be
    shot or hanged
  • http//www.auditorium.ru/books/4530/ch5.pdf

62
  • Dont look for evidence in a case that the
    defendant rebelled against Soviet power with
    weapons or words. The first thing you must ask
    him is which class he belongs to, what his
    education is, and what profession he is in. These
    are the questions which will decide the
    defendants fate. This is the essence of Red
    Terror.
  • http//www.auditorium.ru/books/4530/ch5.pdf
  • The VCheka is not an investigative or judiciary
    body it is a combat unit of the party of the
    future the communist party. It destroys without
    trial or isolates from society by incarcerating
    in a concentration camp. Its word is law. Its
    work must spread to all spheres of public life
    where counterrevolution is rooted the army, food
    supply, public education, all economic
    organizations, health system, fire brigades,
    communications, etc. etc.
  • http//www.hrono.info/biograf/lacis_mi.html

63
  • In the Arkhangelsk region, 38,000 people were
    arrested by White authorities (10 of the
    population). Of them, 8,000 were executed and
    1,000 died of beatings or diseases.
  • A year ago, the population saw us as those who
    freed them from the heavy Commissar yoke. Today,
    it hates us as much as the Comissars, if not more
    and what is worse than hatred, it no longer
    trusts us, expecting from us only the worst.
    A. Budberg, War Minister in the Kolchak
    Administration, August 1919

64
Red Terror
65
White Terror
66
  • Ideology and ethics
  • The cult of Revolution
  • World Revolution is the path to humanitys
    liberation and progress Russias key role in it
  • The Revolution justifies any means of achieving
    its goals
  • Class hatred of exploiters, class war against
    them
  • Civil war is inevitable and necessary
  • Need for self-sacrifice and heroism among the
    Communists as well as the masses
  • Collectivism vs. individualism
  • Atheism vs. religion
  • Need to replace existing culture with a new
    proletarian one

67
  • ENDS AND MEANS
  • Lenin The good of the revolution, the good of
    the working class this is the supreme law.
  • Trotsky Do the consequences of the revolution
    justify its victims? The question is of a
    theological kind, and therefore fruitless. One
    would be equally justified to ask, confronted
    with the hardships and woes of ones personal
    existence was it worth to be born at all?

68
In the first year of the Civil War, Moscows
sphere of control shrinks to 15th century borders
69
Red poster Have you volunteered for the Red
Army?
70
White poster Onward, for a united, undivided,
and powerful Russia!
71
Red poster Admiral Kolchak wants to shoot 1 out
of every 10 peasants
72
White poster Bolsheviks on the Don River
Desecrating the Church
73
Red poster Mount a horse, worker and peasant!
Red cavalry is key to victory!
74
White poster What Bolshevism is bringing to the
people
75
Whites and their
supporters fleeing abroad after defeat in the
Civil War
76
  • Why the Reds won
  • They came to power in a situation of failed state
    and societal breakdown
  • Their original program was crafted to reflect
    fundamental popular demands peace, land,
    equality, peoples power, dissolution of the
    Empire
  • Their dictatorship could be rationalized as the
    only practical way of establishing and defending
    a new order based on those demands in the face
    of determined resistance
  • The Whites were seen as trying to restore the old
    order
  • Foreign interventions in support of the Whites
    allowed the Reds to appeal to patriotism

77
  • Foreign interventions in the Russian Civil War
  • Germany
  • Britain
  • France
  • USA
  • Japan
  • Poland
  • Czech military units

78
  • The nationality issue
  • Ethnic Russians accounted for only half of the
    population of the Russian Empire over 100 other
    nationalities lived within its 1913 borders
  • Nationalism, struggle for national independence
    or autonomy, was one of the forces of the
    revolution
  • When the Empire collapsed, nationalists in many
    of its non-Russian provinces proclaimed
    independence Finland, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia,
    Armenia, Azerbaijan, Central Asian Emirates
  • The Reds didnt challenge that independence until
    the last phase of the Civil War while the
    Whites sought to restore the Russian Empire
  • Non-Russian nationalism helped the Reds defeat
    the Whites
  • Later, nationalist regimes were overthrown by
    local communists with the help of the Red Army in
    all new states, except Finland and Poland, and
    the short-lived independent states were merged
    with Russia in the Soviet Union

79
  • The costs of the Civil War, 1918-1922
  • Population losses 13-16 mln. people (about 10
    of the population)
  • 2 mln. were killed in battles
  • At least 1.3 mln. fell victims of Red and White
    Terror
  • 2 mln. emigrated
  • Industrial output fell by 7 times compared with
    1913
  • Agricultural output fell by 40
  • National income fell by almost 3 times

80
  • The Russian Revolution started in 1905 in
    response to the murder of 200 people by Tsarist
    troops
  • It ended 17 years later at the cost of over 10
    million lives...
  • The Russian Empire was replaced by the Soviet
    Republic

81
The first state emblem of Soviet Russia
Workers of all lands, unite!
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