Russia – Exam Part A . Or, how to succeed in analysis by really trying. Glenn Matthews Melbourne Grammar School. The examination is worth 50% of total study score School study scores (SAC marks) are worth 50% and are moderated against the examination and the GAT
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Or, how to succeed in analysis by really trying
Part 1: AOS 1
2 extended responses of 12 lines each worth 10 marks
Q. 2 [10 + 10 = 20]
Part 2: AOS 2
Analysis of short document, commentary or interpretation
Q. 3 a, b, c, d, e
[2 + 2 + 6 + 10 = 20]
SECTION B – Revolution 2
Part 1 : AOS 1
Extended response to a document, image or commentary
Q. 4 a, b, c, d, e,
[2 + 2 + 6 + 10 = 20]
Part 2: AOS 2
One question for each revolution – (they are a bit different this year)
(69 lines or less) 
Section A Part 1
In February 1917 leaders of the fourth Duma formed the Provisional Government and forced the Tsar to abdicate. Under the leadership of Prince Lvov, they issued liberal democratic reforms which included freedom of speech and the release of all revolutionaries. This amnesty was a mistake as it allowed revolutionaries like Lenin to return from exile and to resume contributing to the revolutionary situation. Their second mistake was the continuance of the war, which was extremely unpopular among the people and resulted in a loss of support for the new regime. They instead turned to the Soviets, resulting in a period of ‘Dual Government’, where the Provisional Government held authority but no power and the Soviets, power but no authority.
This was evident in the Kornilov attack in August where Kerensky armed the Soviets so they could protect Petrograd from Kornilov’s soldiers. This Dual Government created great political instability as it allowed the Bolsheviks to build support during September with a majority in the Moscow Soviet. Now armed, courtesy of Kerensky, Trotsky formed the Red Guard and Military Revolutionary Committee in preparation for armed insurrection. After gaining confidence in the Provisional government’s weakness and their own popularity, the Bolsheviks seized power in the name of the Soviets on the 25th of October 1917. The formation of the Provisional Government in February 1917 was to be followed by a series of mistakes made, which contributed to the development of the revolution by all other parties being able to exploit these weaknesses. The Bolsheviks would eventually be able to exploit these weaknesses and successfully stage the October Revolution in 1917.
Typically, the medium range responses had some accuracy, showing the ability to identify perhaps one or two pieces of information. They were general in content and loosely controlled. There might have been only two main ideas, which were described in loose terms and other ideas might have been less relevant or of lower significance. They sometimes wandered from the time frame or slipped in relevance. There was little demonstration of the pathway to revolution.
Document Analysis -though it could be a graphic or a commentary now.
Figes, Orlando, A People’s Tragedy, pp. 613–614
What about the argument that War Communism was a re[s]ponse to the exigencies* of the civil war? To be sure, the Bolsheviks, like all the wartime governments in Europe at this time, were trying to control the economy in the military interests of the state . . . But War Communism was not just a response to the civil war; it was also a means of making civil war. The civil war was not fought only on the battlefields. It was a fundamental aspect of the Bolsheviks’ revolutionary strategy, and was also fought on what they called the ‘internal front’, in society and the economy, through the policies of War Communism. Unless one acknowledges this fundamental fact – that the policies of War Communism were seen by the Bolsheviks as an instrument of struggle against their social or ‘internal’ enemies – it is impossible to explain why these policies were kept in place for more than a year after the White armies had been defeated. The case for War Communism as inspired by ideology is also insufficient. Certainly, the Bolsheviks were all united by a fundamental belief in the possibility of using state coercion to effect the transition to socialism in a backward peasant country such as Russia. This was the essence of their ideology. They also shared a deeply ingrained mistrust of the market which could be defined as ideological. Foreign socialists were shocked by the violence of the Bolsheviks’ hatred of free trade. The Bolsheviks did not just want to regulate the market – as did the socialists and most of the wartime governments of Europe – they wanted to abolish it.
* urgent demands