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Key questions: What were the causes of the Russian Revolutions? Why were the Bolsheviks successful? What was the role of Lenin in the revolution? How did Lenin maintain power?

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Title: Key questions: What were the causes of the Russian Revolutions? Why were the Bolsheviks successful? What was the role of Lenin in the revolution? How did Lenin maintain power?


1
Key questionsWhat were the causes of the
Russian Revolutions?Why were the Bolsheviks
successful?What was the role of Lenin in the
revolution?How did Lenin maintain power?
Lenin and the Russian Revolutions
2
Leonardo DiCaprio set to play Lenin in new movie
Lenins brain
3
Autocracy, Orthodoxy, Nationality
  • AUTOCRACY Gods appointed ruler on earth. The
    Little Father. Tsar Paul I (1796-1801) noone
    is important in Russia except the man who is
    speaking to me, and then only when he is speaking
    to me.
  • Moscow was head of the ORTHODOX Church from 1453
    (after Constantinople fell to the Turks). The
    Patriarch of Moscow worked closely with the Tsar
  • Around 170 different ethnic groups. Clear
    preference for Russian nationality policy of
    RUSSIFICATION in 19th Century.

4
Reform before Nicholas II?
Parliamentarianism is the triumph of egoism
  • Some reforms under Alexander II (1855-1881) tsar
    liberator? EMANCIPATION OF SERFS, ZEMSTVA. But
    after his assassination in 1881, return to
    conservatism.
  • Westernisers vs Slavophiles
  • Influence of Pobedonostsev as tutor to Alexander
    III and Nicholas II.

Universal suffrage is a fatal error
Freedom of the press? Ha! One of the falsest
institutions of our time
5
Nicholas II and the crisis of Tsarism
  • Came to throne at age 29.
  • Historians agree he was unprepared. Wept and said
    Im not ready!
  • Little knowledge or experience, timid, yet
    stubborn belief in moral rightness of autocracy
    and god-given powers.

6
Causes of 1905
Government policy Weak Tsar Repressive govt No
political reform No concessions to nationalities
Frustrated middle class desire for National
assembly
Revolutionary groups (SDs and SRs).
Russo-Japan War 1904 Defeats shock public Loss
of Port Arthur Incompetence Of Tsars govt. War
causes shortages and unemployment
Bloody Sunday
Nationalities wanted end to Russification
Agriculture still backward. Peasants restricted
by Mir
Wittes economic Policies Industrialisation
Low wages Economic slump and Poor harvests
after 1900, 1902
Poor working and living conditions in cities
7
1905 Revolution there is no god there is no
Tsar (Father Gapon).
  • 22 January 150,000 people demonstrated in front
    of Winter Palace.
  • 1,000 killed by Imperial troops.
  • Undermined peoples allegiance to Tsar.
  • February 400,000 workers went on strike. Over 2
    million by end of year.

8
Political response first repression, then
reform
  • Stolypins necktie over 1,000 death sentences
    before May 1907.
  • October Manifesto Creation of Duma a
    constitution has been given but the autocracy
    remains (Trotsky)
  • Stolypins land reform peasants could remove
    themselves from Communes and own land privately.

Pyotr Stolypin, Chairrman of Council of Ministers
9
How stable was the Russian regime before WWI?
Historiographical debate.
Marxist-Leninists vs Western Historians
Western historians have been less ready to accept
the idea of inevitable revolution an era open
to many possibilities
  • The revolution was inevitable reform therefore
    doomed to failure.

10
World War I military failures
Rasputin
Autocracy of Nicolas II
Causes of the February 1917 Revolution
Difficult living conditions food and fuel
shortages
Unemployment And Industrial Unrest.
Role of political groups
11
Key events of February 1917 Revolution
  • 23rd February International Womens Day.
    Thousands take to streets to protest about food
    shortages.
  • 25th February A general strike. Troops fire on
    demonstrators but lose morale.
  • 26th February Duma refuses to disband troops
    join demonstrators.
  • 27th February Provisional Duma Committee and
    Petrograd Soviet set up.
  • 28th February Widespread looting and violence.
  • 2nd March Tsar abdicates. Provisional government
    set up. Soviet Order No.1 gives control of the
    army to the Soviets.

Interpretations one of the most leaderless,
spontaneous, anonymous revolutions of all time
(Chamberlin). We may not live to see the
revolution in our lifetime (Lenin, January 1917)
12
How did the Bolsheviks seize power in October
1917?
  • Use the handout to complete the timeline sheet
    and check your knowledge of the keyword grid.

13
The lead up to October 1917
  • 3rd-4th April Lenin returns. Publishes April
    Theses.
  • May 1917 Mensheviks and SRs join a new coalition
    Provisional Government.
  • June 1917 First All Russian Congress of Soviets.
    Kerensky launches disastrous offensive against
    A-H.
  • 3rd-6th July July Days. Failed uprising. Lenin
    flees. Kerensky made Prime Minister.
  • August 1917 Kornilov Coup. Bolsheviks released
    from prison by P.G. and given weapons.
  • 7th October 1917 Lenin arrives back in
    Petrograd.
  • 24th October 1917 Kerensky closes Pravda in
    response to Zinoviev and Kamenev article.
  • 25th-27th October 1917 Bolsheviks storm Winter
    Palace and seize power.

14
Interpreting the October Revolution popular
revolution or coup detat?
WESTERN VIEW after 1945 (during Cold War) A coup
detat led by a minority group who then imposed
their evil ideology on the Russian people. Also
called the Liberal view Richard Pipes, Leonard
Schapiro, Robert Conquest
SOVIET VIEW A popular uprising of the working
class and poor peasants guided by the leadership
of Lenin.
REVISIONISTS Suspicious of Cold War historians
or cold warriors. Identified active role of
people in the lower ranks of Bolshevik party.
Lenin a weak dictator?. Veers back towards
popular uprising theories Sheila Fitzpatrick
RECENT VIEWS Element of both Western and
Revisionist. Evidence of a definite coup, but
also of some independent action at local levels.
Chris Read, Robert Service
15
How did Lenin consolidate his power?SPLINTER
  • SOVNARKOM Lenin closed Constituent Assembly and
    formed Sovnarkom made exclusively of
    Bolsheviks.
  • PRESS All opposition press was banned.
  • LAND Decree on Land gave peasants the right to
    take over land
  • INDUSTRY Workers Control Decree gave factory
    committees the right
  • to control production.
  • NATIONALITIES Rights of People of Russia gave
    self-determination to peoples of Russian
    Empire.
  • TERROR Iron Felix and CHEKA.
  • ENDING WAR Treaty of Brest Litovsk.
  • RED ARMY Red Army formed to fight Civil War
    against Whites.

16
How did the Bolsheviks win the Civil War?
  • PLUGS
  • Propaganda
  • Leadership
  • Unity and organisation
  • Geography
  • Support

17
PROPAGANDA Bolsheviks used powerful images for
posters and AGITPROP trains
LEADERSHIP Trotsky an outstanding leader.
Discipline tough as opposed to Whites
discipline
UNITY Bolsheviks had a unified command structure.
Whites had many different groups fighting for
different causes.
SUPPORT Peasants and nationalities favoured Red
policies. Not happy with War Communism though.
GEOGRAPHY Reds controlled Moscow and Petrograd.
Railways, troops, supplies easier.
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