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How far do you agree that the economy of Tsarist Russia was transformed in the years to 1914? To what extent were the weaknesses of their opponents responsible for the survival of the Bolshevik government in the years 1917-24?
How far do you agree that the economy of Tsarist Russia was transformed in the years to 1914? • To what extent were the weaknesses of their opponents responsible for the survival of the Bolshevik government in the years 1917-24? • How far do you agree that collectivisation of agriculture made an essential contribution to Stalin’s transformation of the Russian economy? • To what extent did Stalin establish a personal dictatorship in the years 1929-39? • How far was the success of the Bolshevik Revolution due to the inadequacies of the Provisional Government? • To what extent did Stalin rely on the arts and media to maintain his rule over Russia between 1941 and 1953?
How far was the success of the Bolshevik Revolution due to the inadequacies of the Provisional Government? Inadequacies of the Provisional Government • Dual Authority with Petrograd Soviet (March) • Coalition government - unstable (March + May) • IC - Weak from the start • Kornilov Plot - Lost support of the army (Aug) • C - By early Autumn was at its weakest & most vulnerable
How far was the success of the Bolshevik Revolution due to the inadequacies of the Provisional Government? Lenin and the Bolsheviks • April Theses – start of propaganda campaign • Formation of the Red Guards – armed supporters (April) • IC – Effective planning to seize power from the start • Lenin had the political instincts to chose the right time to seize power after was Trotsky appointed Chairman of Petrograd Soviet and makes preparations to destroy Provisional Government (Sept) • C - By Oct Lenin was able to seize power at the head of a highly organised & strong Bolshevik Party
How far was the success of the Bolshevik Revolution due to the inadequacies of the Provisional Government? First World War • Russia was in crisis due to this from the moment the Provisional Government took power (March) – defeats in 1914; retreat in 1915; failure of Brusilov offensive (1916); collapse of economy (inflation; breakdown in supply) • Kerensky Offensive - Provisional Government also failed to win the war (June - called off after 3 days) – led in turn to loss of support of army (Kornilov Plot (Aug)) • IC – By end of Summer it was clear that Provisional Government could not win the war • MILREVCOM – set up by Trotsky, as Chairman of Petrograd Soviet, to protect the city from renewed German advance, but used to seize control of the capital during the revolution • C - By early Autumn the war had fatally weakened the Provisional Government and given the Bolsheviks an opportunity to seize power.
Conclusion It is clear that the inadequacies of the Provisional Government contributed significantly to Bolshevik success in 1917, but their seizure of power was overwhelmingly due to the war, which undermined the Provisional Government from the start and continued to be a crisis so great that no government could effectively deal with. The Provisional Government’s instability and failures in the course of the year only made it more vulnerable to a coup in the Autumn of 1917. The Bolsheviks, under the able leadership of Lenin, capitalised on this weakness in October, using the situation, created by the war, to their advantage. Without the war, the government would not have been so weak and the Bolsheviks would not have been so strong in 1917.
To what extent did Stalin rely on the arts and media to maintain his rule over Russia between 1941 and 1953? Reliance on Arts and Media • Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony (1941) • Pravda & Isvestiya – state control of national press • IC – Instilled a ‘Borodino Spirit’ in the Russian people – united in adversity behind their leader • After the war, the cult of personality focused on Stalin continued – artists and writers produced statues, paintings & posters glorifying the Vozhd & Generalissimo – all under strict censorship of Union of Soviet Writers (1932 onwards) • C – Propaganda using arts and media provided strong and positive image of Stalin throughout the war and after.
To what extent did Stalin rely on the arts and media to maintain his rule over Russia between 1941 and 1953? Reliance on Terror • NKVD and Death to Spies wartime purges (1941-45) – maintained loyalty of civilian population and military in spite of massive losses (17 million) • Leningrad Affair (1949) – Communist Party purged again to ensure loyalty. • IC – Terror apparatus under Stalin’s loyal supporter, Beria, prevented any serious attempt to overturn Stalin’s rule during or after the war. • Jewish Doctors’ Plot (1953) – preparations for final purge interrupted by Stalin’s death • C – Right up to the end of his life Stalin could call upon the NKVD to suppress any opposition or potential opposition to his rule.
To what extent did Stalin rely on the arts and media to maintain his rule over Russia between 1941 and 1953? Reliance on Military Might • Zhukov’s victories in WWII – defence of Moscow (1941); Stalingrad (1942); Kursk (1943) – his loyalty assured by his appointment following the Purges • Red Army was most formidable military force in the world by end of the war (1945) – massive, experienced and well-equipped (T34 tank; Katyusha roackets; Sturmovik fighters) • IC – Provided Stalin with an unshakeable military basis for his dictatorship • Atomic Bomb developed – ultimate weapon for defence of USSR (1949) • C – Stalin was secure as the Generalissimo of a military which could not be resisted.
Conclusion It is clear that the arts and media helped to justify Stalin’s rule of Russia. However, the main reason for Stalin’s political survival up to his death in 1953 was the military might at his disposal throughout the war and after it. This provided him with a formidable power base which made his position as Vozhd secure. The apparatus of terror and the propaganda provided by different arts and media, under strict state censorship, further strengthened his position by ensuring that all sections of Soviet society would remain loyal to Stalin, even at the lowest points of World War Two. Their capacity to coerce the population contributed to the power of the military which Stalin could rely on to maintain his leadership.