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The Russian Revolution

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The Russian Revolution - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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The Russian Revolution. The impact of war 1904-1905: Russo-Japanese war 1914-1917: The Great War The state fails in its most important function Impulse for reform Impulse for a revolution. What’s wrong with the system Inefficiency Backwardness: Russia has not modernized

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Presentation Transcript
slide3
The impact of war
  • 1904-1905: Russo-Japanese war
  • 1914-1917: The Great War
  • The state fails in its most important function
  • Impulse for reform
  • Impulse for a revolution
slide4
What’s wrong with the system
  • Inefficiency
  • Backwardness: Russia has not modernized
  • The economy is underdeveloped
  • The political system is archaic, rigid and corrupt
  • Society is torn by tensions and conflicts
  • Fire in the minds of men
slide5
Since 1905 – a contest between reform and revolution
  • The inadequacy of reforms
    • The Tsar is reactionary
    • The nobility is stuck in the old order
    • The capitalist class is too dependent on the state, too afraid to show initiative
  • Reforms don’t prevent revolution
  • Revolution drives reforms
  • Reforms:
    • Political (liberalization)
    • Economic (development of capitalism)
slide6
The gap between the rulers and the ruled
  • Liberal reforms only stimulate radical protest:
  • THE ATTRACTIONS OF SOCIALISM
  • No consensus emerges
  • When the state resorts to repression, that only makes the gap even wider
  • Russia’s options:
    • A liberal-capitalist path: what it would require
    • An authoritarian-capitalist path: what it would require
    • A non-capitalist path
slide7
Russian Communists
  • Russian Social-Democratic Workers Party (Bolsheviks)
  • Lenin: Russia as the weakest link in the world capitalist system
  • Russian capitalism is unviable
  • Therefore, Russia may have to move directly to socialism
  • Overthrow of the old ruling classes
  • Establishing a state run by workers and peasants
  • This will be followed by other revolutions
slide8
Few took this analysis seriously until the fall of 1917
  • 8 months between the fall of the Tsar and the October Coup
  • Dual Power:
    • The Provisional Government
    • The Soviets
  • The Provisional Government loses its grip
  • What about the Soviets?
  • The Bolsheviks make their move:
    • Stage a coup
    • Proclaim a Soviet Republic
slide9
How is this Republic organized?
  • As a revolutionary dictatorship
  • What it does:
    • Decree on Peace
    • Decree on Land
    • Worker control of industry
  • How it maintains itself
  • The inevitability of a civil war
  • The challenges
    • Old ruling classes fight back
    • Opponents of dictatorship (including many leftists) resist
    • Foreign powers
slide10
The Civil War (1918-1920): Reds vs. Whites
  • Why the Bolsheviks won:
  • Their policy goals received wide support in society
  • Their dictatorship was strong enough
    • The Red Army
    • The Cheka
    • The Party
    • Lenin
    • The mass base
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