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The Russian Revolution - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Russian Revolution. 1917. Pre- Revolutionary Russia. Before 1905, Russia was the last autocracy (absolutist form of monarchy) Meaning, there was no parliament, the Czar (or Tsar) Ruled Czar Nicholas was in power (Romanov empire) This begins to change in 1905. Revolution of 1905.

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Pre- Revolutionary Russia

  • Before 1905, Russia was the last autocracy (absolutist form of monarchy)

  • Meaning, there was no parliament, the Czar (or Tsar) Ruled

  • Czar Nicholas was in power (Romanov empire)

  • This begins to change in 1905

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Revolution of 1905

  • Starts due to strikes/riots over Russo-Japanese war, especially in St. Petersburg

  • Nicholas II issues October Manifesto to end revolution, and promises the creation of a DUMA (parliament)

  • October Manifesto was successful because Czar got the middle class on his side, Revolution is over

  • After revolution, Czar back tracks on his promises

    • Creates a Duma, but not as powerful as he promised

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4. Development of Parties

  • Because now there is parliaments and elections, parties are created


  • Social Democrats, or Marxists, support came from Urban working class, but in 1903 split into 2 groups, Mensheviks and Bolsheviks:

  • Bolsheviks – (majority) small elite party, truer to Marxist roots want complete working class revolution.

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February Revolution, 1917

  • Actually happened in March, but Russian calendar is about 2 weeks behind

  • By Feb. 1917, Russia was experiencing weariness in war

    • huge casualties

    • tremendous food shortages at home

    • harsh winters

    • anger at profiteering

  • Czar is at the front, blamed for defeats, plus Czar’s wife is German

  • These above issues cause Russia to explode into a Revolution

  • Revolution was Unplanned, Unorganized, Leaderless  starts as a street demonstration over bread

  • Ends with the abdication of the Czar and end of Romanov dynasty

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Provisional Government, Feb. – Oct. 1917

  • Enacts some sweeping reforms:

    1. Universal Suffrage

    2. Civil Equality, Civil Rights

    3. 8 hour workday

    4. Redistribution of Land

    5. Call for creation of a Constitution

  • Provisional Gov looks to make great reforms, but Totally out of touch with peasants and the “real Russian situation.” Refused to end WWI for Russia!

  • Face 2 great challenges

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October Revolution, 1917

  • Bolsheviks seize positions in Gov. Buildings and Communication Centers, take over and kick out Provisional Gov.

  • Less bloodshed than February Revolution

  • Less of a Revolution, more of a Coup

  • Lenin institutes: Leninism-often titled “Communism” but it is not even close to theoretical communism.

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What did the Bolsheviks do first?

  • Lenin’s slogan: “Peace Land and Bread”

  • Did not want to make the same mistakes as the Provisional Gov.

    1. Decree on Land – all land nationalized and turned over to Bolsheviks for re-distribution

    2. Decree on Peace – made a pact with Germany to pull Russia out of the war

    3. Council of People’s Commissars – basically a group that becomes like a dictator, no elections for constitutional assembly.

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Outbreak of Civil War in 1919

  • White Army vs. Red Army

  • White Army – remains loyal to the Romanovs or the Provisional Gov., US came to aid the White army for 2 reasons

    • Anti-communists

    • Want Russia to repay war debts, which Bolsheviks would not do

  • Red Army - Bolsheviks, attacked those who are loyal to Czar

  • How did the Red Army win?

    • Bolsheviks held central Russia, good supplies/communication

    • White Armies were uncoordinated, did not cooperate with one another, unpopular with the peasants

    • Red army was well lead by Trotsky

    • Western allied forces had little stomach for intervention by 1919

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Result of the Russian Revolution

  • Lenin starts Anti-West phenomenon

  • Refuses to pay any loans back to West incurred by Nicholas II

  • Executed Czar and his family on June16, 1918

  • Thousands of people tortured and killed during the civil war.

  • Lenin establishes the “Cheka” after Red victory in Civil War and alters Russian History forever with the use of Terror as an acceptable political means.