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Revolution and Civil War in Russia
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  1. Revolution and Civil War in Russia Ch. 11 Section 5

  2. Background • 1913 marked the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty • In 1914, the Russian empire stretched from Easter Europe to the Pacific Ocean • Russia was slow to industrialize • Majority of the population lived in poverty • In March 1917, the first of two revolutions would topple the dynasty and pave the way for more radical changes

  3. The March Revolution Ends Tsarism • Unrest Deepens • Tsar Nicholas II was a weak leader, relying on his secret police to impose his will • Marxists tried to ignite revolution among the “proletariat” • Impact of World War 1 • The war fueled national pride and united Russia • Their resources were quickly strained, and by 1915, soldiers didn’t have enough rifles or ammunition • In 1915 alone, there were 2 million Russian casualties • Tsar Nicholas II went to the front lines to ‘help’ leaving Tsarina Alexandra in charge • Alexandra relied on Gregory Rasputin so much that nobles had him killed to protect the monarchy on 12/29/1916

  4. The Tsar Steps Down • By March 1917, the monarchy collapsed • People rioted and marched in St. Petersburg and the troops refused to fire on them • The tsar stepped down on the advice of military and political leaders • A temporary government was set up and the began preparing a constitution for a new Russian republic • Revolutionary socialists set up “soviets” • Then, the Bolsheviks, led by V. I. Lenin took charge

  5. Fun Fact • The Russian revolutions of March and November 1917 are known to Russians as the February and October revolutions • In 1917, Russia was still using an old calendar that was 13 days behind the modern calendar • Russia adopted the western/modern calendar in 1918

  6. Lenin • Vladimir IlyichUlyanov was born in 1870 • Changed his name to Lenin when he became a revolutionary • When he was 17, his brother was arrested and hanged for plotting to kill the tsar • His family was labeled a threat, and he hated the tsarist government ever since • As a young man, Lenin read Karl Marx, participated in student demonstrations, and spread Marxist ideas among the industrial working class • Met Nadezhda Krupskaya, the daughter of a poor noble family • In 1895, the pair were arrested and sent to Siberia. They got married and after their release, exiled to Switzerland and continued working towards spreading revolutionary ideas

  7. Lenin’s View of Marx • Lenin adapted Marxist ideas to fit Russian conditions • Russia did not have a large force of rural workers • “majority” even though they were a small percentage of socialists • In March 1917, Germany helped Lenin return home in an attempt to weaken Russia

  8. Bolsheviks Rise to Power • Lenin joined with other exiled activists and was appealing to a struggling country • The Provisional Government’s mistakes • Peasants wanted land and overpowered landlords • Kept fighting in the war with mutinous troops • Lack of supplies and morale • By November 1917, the Bolsheviks were primed to make their move and seize power from the provisional government

  9. The Takeover • Red Guards - armed factory workers – joined with mutinous sailors and attacked the provisional government • The Bolsheviks quickly seizes power in many cities • Moscow fell in a week and became Bolshevik headquarters

  10. A New Way • The bolsheviks ended private ownership and distributed land to peasants • Workers were given control of factories and mines • A new flag: red with an entwined hammer and sickle • People thought that they had gained control • Actually Bolsheviks, renamed Communists, were now in control

  11. Russia Plunges into Civil War • After the revolution, Lenin sought peace with Germany • Signed Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918 • This changed the war for the Allies (Section 3) • For 3 years, “Reds” fought “Whites” in a civil war • Reds: Communists • Whites: tsarist imperial officers, Menchaviks, democrats, etc • Allies intervened

  12. War Under Communism • “Cheka” – secret police • Forced labor camps • Took over banks, mines, factories, railroads • Red Army used “commisars” • By 1921, the Communists managed to defeat their foes

  13. Building the Communist Soviet Union • Chaos in Russia • Millions dead, from war,famine and disease • New Government, Same Problems • 1922 – Lenin forms USSR, or Soviet Union • Communists created a constitution that claimed to: • Seemed democratic and socialist, set up elected legislature, all citizens 18+ can vote, all political power, resources, and means of production belonged to the workers and peasants • Not really though. The Communist Party was actually in charge

  14. Lenin’s New Economic Policy • Lenin retreated from “war communism” which almost collapsed the economy • 1921 – adopts NEP, which allows some capitalist ventures • Small business were allowed to reopen for private profit • By 1928, food and industrial production were back to prewar levels and the standard of living improved

  15. Stalin Takes Over • 1924 – Lenin dies at age 54 • Power struggle among Communist leaders • Trotsky – Marxist, skillful speaker, architect of Bolshevik revolution. Wanted to use Communism against capitalism • Joseph Stalin – not a scholar or orator, but a shrewd political operator and behind-the-scenes organizer. Wanted to build socialism at home before branching out • Stalin isolated Trotsky and kicked him out of the party. Trotsky fled in 1929, was killed in Mexico in 1940 • Lenin had been cautious of Stalin, and was right to, as Stalin used ruthless measures to win dictatorial power

  16. Recap: • [proletariat, soviet, Cheka, commissar] • Tsar abdicated • Lenin and the Bolsheviks • Russia did not have a large force of urban workers, so Marxism was adapted to fit them • Bolsheviks took over from the provisional government that was set up after the war • Lenin’s NEP of 1921 helped restore the economy, including letting small business reopen for private profit • Stalin takes over after Lenin dies (uh-oh…)