Once upon a time, there was a land called Russia. . A government ruled by Czar Nicholas II ruled Russia. Under Czar Nicholas II, wealthy landlords and business owners were making a lot of money.
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A government ruled by Czar Nicholas II ruled Russia. Under Czar Nicholas II, wealthy landlords and business owners were making a lot of money.
One reason for this was that workers labored 14 to 18 hours a day under very unsafe conditions. There were a lot of factory accidents, there were no laws protecting children and limiting how many hours they could work, and the wages the workers made were barely enough to survive on.
A guy named Karl Marx was sick of all of this! He wanted to unite all the workers to speak out against these horrible conditions. He wrote a book called The Manifesto of the Communist Party.
Karl Marx had an idea where all workers would revolt, and a new system would be set up in which there would be complete equality amongst all workers. He called this new system of government Communism, and he made a lot of speeches about it.
Although Karl Marx eventually died, many others read about his ideas. A guy named Lenin decided to take charge and lead the revolt against the government run by the Czar. Under Lenin, the revolt that Karl Marx had written about occurred, and it became known as The Russian Revolution. Communism was finally here. How happy the workers were to know that soon everyone would be equal and that that working conditions would be better. Communism was going to be great!
Lenin eventually died, and two guys had a power struggle over who should take over. Their names were Trotsky and Stalin. Stalin gained control and sent Trotsky far, far away. Then he decided that he would be more comfortable if Trotsky were dead, so he had his “secret police” kill him. That worked out so well for Stalin that he had his “secret police” arrest anyone who questioned him and either exiled them to another country or killed them. Of course, Stalin and his men had to tell a few lies to cover up what he was doing, and sometimes he had to kill a lot of people, but, hey: it was to keep communism alive!
A very wise and beautiful woman named Relleg noticed that even though Czar Nicholas II had been removed from power, the average worker did not have a better life. Stalin kept reminding Relleg and all the workers how horrible conditions were in Russia before the revolution. Many of the workers listened to Stalin (this is called psychology of the mob), but Relleg did not believe him. She was very smart and pointed out that the people still had to work as hard as they did before the revolution, and the only people who got richer were Stalin and his top men. Rellegdid not think that this was the vision Karl Marx had when he wrote his book and spoke about worldwide economic equality. Communism was not turning out to be so great! Stalin and his secret police tried to silence Relleg by controlling what she could say or write (this is called censorship) and spreading lies about how great they were making Russia (this is called propaganda.) RELLEGpropaganda).
Rellegdecided to go the exotic land known as Livingston, New Jersey. Because she still lived in fear of Stalin, she reversed the letters in her name and called herself Geller. Geller decided to educate the 8th graders of Livingston about the horrors that had occurred in Russia by teaching them through a book called Animal Farm.RELLEG