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SS 201 Russia Exam Notes, Team U

by: Vaishnavi Kothapalli

SS 201 Russia Exam Notes, Team U SS 201

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Vaishnavi Kothapalli

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- notes from lectures and discussions covering topics on the Russia written exam
Revolutions in Russia and China
Study Guide
Russia, Stalin, trotsky, Soviet Union, USSR
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This 25 page Study Guide was uploaded by Vaishnavi Kothapalli on Sunday October 16, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SS 201 at Boston University taught by Tilchin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Revolutions in Russia and China in Social Science at Boston University.


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Date Created: 10/16/16
Lecture #1 - September 7, 2016 I. Russia v. USSR (Soviet Union) a. USSR was during 1917-1991 (under a communist rule; collapsed in 1991) b. Technically, Russia is not accurately synonymous to Soviet Union II. Soviet Colossus, Prologue, Ch. 1 a. Russia was very traditional – was not influenced by earlier time periods such as Renaissance b. Russia lacked natural borders – no mountains, no rivers, no geographic features, nothing to protect it; easy to conquer c. Russia played a role in preserving western traditions i. ex. Mongol Invasion – the Mongols used all their energy to conquer Russia and they didn’t get a chance to invade further west ii. The brutal Russian winter stopped Napoleon from continuing to western Europe iii. World War I - Germany went to war with France; when they tried to invade Paris, Russia got in the way and stopped them  led to Germany’s ultimate defeat iv. WWII – Stalin and Hitler were allies (non-aggression pact); on June 1941, Hitler attacked and Stalin retaliated against Germany; Hitler was determined to conquer as much territory as possible and western Europe; when Hitler was defeated by Russia (Stalin), much of western civilization was preserved d. Russia is by far the biggest country, by sheer size, in Europe e. Russian Empire built on force; not obviously unified; made up of many different parts i. Russia built its state and institutions during times of calamity f. “Last paragraph of Ch.1 on pg. 7” i. The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, wanted to get rid of all the old institutions and turn it into a society where everything was good and no need for harsh gov’t  DID NOT TURN OUT LIKE THAT ii. Turned into a dictatorship iii. Traditions have a real impact on historical event III. Soviet Colossus, Ch. 2, Historical Survey a. Mongol Invasion – came from east and conquered Russia; ruled harshly for 2.5 centuries i. Historians say this period had a long lasting and significant impact on Russia 1. Russian rules adopted a lot of Mongol methods 2. Mongols didn’t care about Russians; they abused the country; people weren’t educated and were treated like slaves a. Russia did not develop economically at all during then – “economic backwardness” – behind western Europe 3. Government – autocratic system – Mongol dictatorship under Kahn; Russian dictatorship under Tsar – state took control of every aspect regarding people; if they were seen as a threat to state, those people would be hunted down IV. Tsars a. Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584) i. First leader to call him a Tsar ii. 1 to establish system of gov’t in Russia like the Mongols 1. Under Mongols, nobles had no power and privileges 2. Descendants of nobles wanted to give power back to the nobility – called the boyar 3. Ivan wanted all the power for himself, so he replaced the boyar with the pomestie – pomestie had to do exactly what he said iii. Once he stablished his dominance, he organized the society to make it how he likes it iv. Serfdom 1. Serfs = peasants 2. A form of slavery - a way to make sure the nobles had sufficient workers to work on the land and have a steady supply of agriculture 3. Serfs were used for farm labor to farm land 4. They were told to be soldiers in battles 5. They had to pay taxes, no matter what – even if it meant starvation 6. They were used for industrial projects, factory labor – ex. to build bridges b. Peter the Great (1682-1725) i. Most powerful and most successful of the Tsars ii. Spent some of his youth in west, and became infatuated with western architecture and styles iii. He was a westernizer, to some degree 1. He wanted the technology and science from the west, who were more successful than Russia, especially in military technology and military administration 2. BUT, he didn’t want Western politics to influence Russia – he didn’t want more liberal ideas bringing his power down iv. Russia did end up expanding and winning more battles under Peter’s rule; although he was more violent than Ivan, he greatly increased the success of Russia in every aspect v. He built the city of St. Petersburg – the way he built it tells us a lot about how he treated people 1. “The city built on bones” 2. it was built by serfs, during the harshest months in winter; worked them very hard; no adequate shelter or food 3. Shows Peter’s efficiency, but also his complete disregard for people in this country ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------- Discussion - September 9, 2016 I. Political Terms (left to right) <-a---b---c---d-> a. Radical (revolutionary) – wants to completely dismantle society and will use violence to overthrow it b. Liberal – wants significant change, but wants to pursue that change without violence c. Conservative – skeptical to change; more reasonable than reactionary d. Reactionary - someone who is extremely traditional and who is so opposed to change that they will resort to violence to keep the status quo; most Russian Tsars are reactionaries II. Alexander II (1855-1881) a. Considered to be the most important Tsar in Russian history i. He abolished serfdom in 1861 b. The Great Reforms i. Created the zemstvos – more local people were involved in government ii. Gave judges more freedom iii. Wanted to strengthen the military c. Crimean War i. Russia v. Great Britain and France ii. On Russian soil, had a home advantage iii. Russia was so technologically behind, they got clobbered by the West iv. So, Alexander II wanted to change that d. Wanted to make the country more efficient and keep the power in the Tsars i. But he was known as a conservative – open to change, but very much committed to the traditions III. Abolishment of Serfdom a. Under emancipation, the nobles got the best land (2/3) and the peasants got 1/3 b. The peasants were just given the land, they couldn’t choose; some were here and others were somewhere else i. Sometimes the government would just reallocate land to others without notice c. Redemption Payments – peasants would borrow money from bank to buy the land; but they would never be able to pay them back i. Peasants still had to pay taxes! ii. There was no way they could get out of poverty d. Commune (mir) – group organized to keep control over the serfdom; were still in place even after the emancipation e. One of the ways peasants earned money would be through doing little handy crafts f. In 1891, there was a huge famine and millions of people died of starvation – they still had to pay taxes so they didn’t have money for food g. The nobility didn’t benefit from this either IV. The Five Great Short Stories, The Peasants a. Set in 1891 b. Themes i. **Poverty 1. A life of hardship for peasants; nobody seemed to be getting ahead ii. The peasants were illiterate and uneducated iii. The peasants were very religious, even though they didn’t understand anything; they were very attached to the Russian Orthodox Church and their Tsar (Nicholas II) iv. **Hopelessness 1. Marya saw death as a good thing because her life was so miserable; rejoiced when her kids died 2. Her husband would drink a lot and abuse her; but there was nothing and nobody to protect her from him v. Violence/Drunkenness 1. Men live such miserable lives that their only sense of pleasure was through drinking vi. Lack of Prudence 1. Always criticizing one another; using vile language towards each other; indecent towards other c. Why did the peasants say it was better to be serfs rather than on their free will? i. Things had gotten worse after ii. They had a good routine iii. Soviet Colossus, pg. 47 – it was really hard for the peasants to rise up from this serfdom d. Characters i. Grandmother 1. Mean, nasty, abusive 70-year-old peasant 2. Even though many people hated her, for the most part, she was the key to making everything run smoothly in the house ii. Marya 1. Constantly beaten by husband; nobody protected her; embraced death 2. Never had a friend… until Olga came to the village 3. Page 71, 6 line – Marya’s reaction to Olga’s departure – Olga was only one who gave her a sense of fulfillment in life; had someone to talk to 4. Symbolic of the many female victims subject to domestic violence iii. Olga 1. Very optimistic and nice – “glass half full” 2. Kind and respectful of the peasants; tries to teach them religion 3. Befriends Marya and tells Marya she is a good person; treats Marya well and worthwhile 4. Pg. 70, 6 line - after Nikolai died and Olga is leaving – Chekhov is saying that this life is so horrible, that even the most optimistic person will get beaten down by it a. As Olga and her daughter are leaving, they beg for money because they are now poor ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------- The Revolutionary Intelligentsia and Revolutionary Violence – September 13, 2016 I. The Intelligentsia a. Definition: Russians with education and awareness and a social conscience who are committed to bringing about major changes in Russian politics and society b. People came from prosperous backgrounds c. Name dates from 1830s d. We start speaking about Revolutionary Intelligentsia from the 1860s II. Three Divisions a. Slavophiles/Westerners i. Slavophiles: Russians who looked upon current society and concluded that we should return to the unique and glorious past 1. Problem – based on a fantasy; no such glorious past in Russian history; complete disconnect from reality ii. Westerners: socialism and eventually Marxism; became the most important group in Intelligentsia b. Inclusive/Elitist (part of Westerners) i. Inclusive: revolution needed to be a collective, national experience; challenge to explain to masses; tended to also be Restrained ii. Elitist: dismissed masses as being too ignorant and incapable of understand their miserable lives and the need for revolution; a small well-informed, well-organized group of leaders should lead revolution; not involving the masses; tended to be Nihilist c. Restrained/Nihilist (part of Westerners) i. Nihilists: ends justify the means; no restraints needed; could use large amounts of violence if it helps ii. Restrained: could be an educational and evolutionary experience; limited violence III. Peter Lavrov (inclusive and restrained) a. Born in 1823 b. In 1862, joined a revolutionary group  arrested  put on trial for spreading subversive doctrines in 1866  exiled to a town in N. Russia c. Educated classes have a special obligation to common people; obligation was to establish a new social order based on proof and justice d. Believed Russia must be rebuilt “for the people, by the people” e. Revolution cannot be rushed, had to be a product of an organic, natural process f. Should focus on helping the peasantry and understand the reason for their difficult lives, and in process encourage peasantry to join revolutionary movement g. “Going to the People” (1874) i. About 2000 idealistic students went to spread idea of socialism to peasantry, b/c they believed peasantry needed to be educated on it; they found very poor people who supported the tsar and were suspicious of the students; the peasants often betrayed the students; many students ended up in prison ii. Gave the elitists/nihilists the upper hand iii. Lavrov escaped and settled in Paris, till he died in 1900s IV. Three Leading Elitists/Nihilists a. Sergei Nechaev i. School teacher who craved revolutionary ideas ii. Had little faith in revolutionary potential of peasantry; believed Intelligentsia should lead revolution  was a nihilist iii. 1 Russian Revolutionary to formulate concept of political terror iv. Ends justify the means v. Murdered Ivan Ivanov for not believing in his ideas  sentenced to prison for life (died in 1833 in his mid-30s) 1. Took advantage of spotty prison security to organize some terrorist activities b. Peter Tkachev i. Born in 1884 - nihilist ii. Arrested for revolutionary activity at age of 17 iii. Made a name for himself as a radical journalist iv. Became a close associate of Nechaev v. Died in 1846 – was in exile in Paris at time of death vi. We should not focus on persuading peasantry, but more on overthrowing gov’t and ceasing power vii. Believed Russia was right for a Socialist Revolution viii. Because of his outlook, he is often seen as a forerunner for Vladimir Lenin c. Nikolai Chernyshevsky i. Born in 1828 ii. Son of priest and became a socialist and revolutionary activist iii. Arrested in 1862 and imprisoned for two years  exiled to Siberia, where he remained till 1883 iv. He was a writer who believed that all writing and all forms of art should have a political purpose v. Wrote a novel, What Is to Be Done? – bad prose, uninspiring plot; filled with selfless revolutionary heroes vi. Model and leader for Lenin – Lenin used same title for one his works vii. Died in 1889 in his early 60s d. Lenin followed in the above three people’s footsteps V. “Land and Freedom” (1876)  “People’s Will” (1879) a. “People’s Will” i. non-violence group that wanted to assassinate tsar ii. leaders: Sophie Perovsky and Andrei Zheilabov iii. tried at least 7 times within a short time span to kill him iv. 1880 – huge explosion shattered Tsar’s winter palace before a gala dinner b. Assassination of Alexander II – March 1881 i. Rysakov threw a bomb under the Tsars carriage ii. A passerby was killed, but the Tsar only had minor injuries iii. Insisted on inspecting the site, but then… iv. 2nd person, Hryniewiecki, threw another bomb at Tsars feet – Tsar suffered two broken legs, covered with blood, and couldn’t breathe; transported home and died there – 20 passersby and bomb-thrower were majorly injured VI. Harsh Repression under Alexander III a. Alexander III came into power after his father, Alexander II, was killed b. Was a reactionary tsar c. Immediately instated marshal law by implementing A Statute Concerning Measures for the Protection of State Security and Social Order  suspected revolutionaries could be tried and sentenced to prison/exilement/death even if they didn’t do anything wrong d. A time when Marxism when taking hold in Revolutionary circles – Vladimir Lenin was emerging VII. Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) and Surge in Revolutionary Violence – First Decade of 20 Century a. A party bent on political violence b. Once established, political violence surged and became a large scale phenomenon c. During a one-year period beginning in October 1905, a total of 3,611 government officers were either killed or wounded i. Sipiagin, Plehve, and thousands of other victims d. After 1905, this violence got so widespread that newspapers stopped printing news about them VIII. Early 20 Century Revolutionary Violence: New Perpetrators a. In 1860s and 1870s, these people belonged to privileged groups in high society  In early 20 century, most perpetrators were skilled and unskilled laborers b. These people were known as Russia’s new proletariat c. In 1905, well over half of SRs were laborers ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------- September 7, 2016 I. Document #1 a. Top of pg. 5 – tsars’ autocracy was not improving public’s life; it was utter nonsense b. Criticisms of democratic gov’t i. Democracy involves manipulation of some sort ii. People elected to parliament claim they will serve to interests of people; but they don’t that at all; they only serve their friends 1. Is it true? Yes, and no – if a selfish person comes to office, we can try to push them out; but, sometimes we can’t do anything iii. Trial by jury – those trials don’t lead to correct verdicts b/c the lawyers are deceptive and the masses are stupid and ignorant iv. Freedom of press – some sensationalize and slander facts to sell more papers or to help themselves v. Gov’t was thoroughly self-serving and corrupt c. Free Public Education i. He’s against it ii. The children should learn the trade of their family iii. Education will make you bitter and they won’t do the proper work – it will corrupt them iv. Essentially want to keep the masses ignorant and stupid d. “Democracy is the worst form of government ever conceived, with the exception of every other form of government” – Winston Churchill i. Democracy is flawed in every country, but there has never been a better system II. Document #2 a. Russia began industrializing many decades after the other European countries b. Pobedonostev Witte i. Chief Finance Minister to Alexander III and Nicholas II, 1872-1903 ii. Product of tsarist autocracy iii. “Outstanding Russian statesman of his generation” 1. Tsars were just born into the position regardless of their intelligence or skills iv. Conservative who wanted to see things get better c. Russian Industrialization vs. Western Industrialization i. Russia 1. State played a far greater role than in other countries 2. Role of foreigners was much greater – Russian gov’t didn’t have enough finances, so they had to borrow from foreign investors 3. Peasants provided country’s exports (food, grain) – imported modern equipment from West; exported grain, causing the peasants taxes to be even higher ii. Western 1. Supporting role by state 2. Not a huge role for foreigners here d. Document #2 - Witte i. Russia needed to industrialize ASAP 1. To catch up to the West 2. We’re not a colony, but are treated like one – we get exploited and are taken advantage of a. Wants to make Russia an independent power ii. He wanted to make a national railroad system across Europe 1. Could transport raw materials quicker and easier 2. Promote economic growth and increase mobility 3. Railroad construction = need to construct all new factories and consumer industries a. Program worked really well b. “spectacular system” c. Russia became world’s #1 oil producer in a short time then 4. Peasants began to riot during the process because they were living miserable lives, had terrible wages, working long hours, etc.  went on strike  society was in turmoil 5. Russian leaders convinced the Tsar that Russia should go to war with Japan so the society would forget about the troubles here and focus on fighting 6. Everyone started blaming Witte for all the problems – fired by Nicholas II in 1903 III. Emergence of Marxism in Russia a. Marxism i. History is a result of class struggles ii. Proletariat (masses, workers) vs. Bourgeoisie (Capitalists, upper class) 1. Proletariats wanted to create a just stage for everyone b. Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) i. Socialist Revolution would be led by peasant class – not Marxist ideal c. Social Democrats (SDs) – Marxists i. Two Main people 1. George Plekhanov – we don’t want to wait, but we have to; Russia is poor, so we should wait till the Capitalist phase 2. Vladimir Lenin – he didn’t want to wait; wanted to go right to revolution; we can adjust Marx’s theories; elitist a. Why is he such an important figure? i. Capture and execution of his brother by Tsar pushed him to do it ii. He was very focused and very determined to get to his goal ii. Split into two factions in 1903 1. Bolsheviks 2. Mensheviks d. Liberals i. Split in 1905 into… 1. Kadets 2. Octobrists ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------- September 16, 2016 I. Document #4 a. Lenin says we should push the workers to revolution (Marx says they will want to) i. They only have a “trade view conscious” ii. These workers are busy, tired, struggling; they don’t have time to focus on learning about revolution; they naturally focus on getting higher wages, shortening time, etc.  so they need to be lead by professional revolutionists b. Says we should have small elitist groups to lead revolution c. Lenin always insisted he was right and wanted to get his way  Democratic Centralism = centralized > democratic d. Party split in 1903 i. Bolsheviks 1. Lenin’s party 2. Focused on seizing power 3. Wanted to skip capitalist phase ii. Mensheviks 1. Believed you had to follow the whole Marxian system II. Early 20 Century a. Liberals i. Goals 1. Wanted a Parliament and a Constitution, where people would be more involved in government 2. Wanted Capitalism 3. Wanted social reforms (ex. Public education) 4. DID NOT want to use violence ii. Ideas did not appeal to masses 1. They weren’t attracted to western parliamentary constitutions iii. Neither revolutionaries or reactionaries liked the liberals 1. Liberals didn’t succeed in the end to get political party b. Revolution of 1905 i. Aimed at overthrowing tsar; didn’t succeed in end ii. Riots, strikes, violence, etc. iii. Polite socialism – unhappy workers could be convinced to focus their energy on better wages rather than strikes iv. Two diversions to get 1. Russo-Japanese War – Russia could provoke a war with Japan, and by doing so, the peasants will stop rioting and join the war effort as their new focus; Witte disagreed b/c he knew we would lose war; war made things worse b/c many masses of people were killed on front  increased unrest and chaos a. Ended just a month before October Manifesto created b. Japan couldn’t afford to keep continuing in war c. US President Roosevelt offered to be mediator b/w Russia and Japan i. Met in Portsmouth, NH ii. Tsar sent Witte as the representative for Russia 2. Pogroms – anti-Jewish riot; tsar blamed Jews for all the bad things that happened and he told the peasants to go attack them; thousands of Jews were killed  innocent population victimized  worked for a while 3. Bloody Sunday a. Letter written to tsar about how the peasants are suffering and are pleasing to tsar for help; Father Gupon told peasants to attack and they were brutally shot and killed by police b. Mass movement worldwide to force tsar to give up power c. Tsar Nicholas called Witte in October and asked about what to do i. October Manifesto (1905) 1. Duma would share power with tsar, but tsar still had certain powers – could replace Duma anytime, changed voting rules – tried to limit the amount of shared power 2. Tsar would grant civil rights 3. Satisfied enough people so the tsar could stay in power ii. Appointed Witte the Prime Minister in October 1905 1. Witte was fired in October 1906 after disagreeing with the tsar 2. Was replaced by Stolypin (1906- 1911) a. Stolypin Neck Ties – hangman’s noose b. Told peasants they could consolidate their land strips; reduced taxes  Wager on the Strong i. Most peasants are intelligent and hardworking –> when they succeed, they will be grateful to tsar  will form a large group to politically support tsar c. Kulaks – successful peasants d. Didn’t favor one parliamentary system e. Goal was to maintain tsar’s power f. Assassinated in 1911 v. Russia drawn into World War One  chaos, mass suffering, poverty returned to Russia c. Split into Kadets and Octobrists in 1905 III. World War One a. Most socialists in Russia and everywhere else retreated to their flag, BUT NOT THE BOLSHEVIKS i. Lenin hoped this would create more chaos in Russia and he could take over b. In 1917, two revolutions… i. March Revolution – overthrew tsar ii. November Revolution – brought Bolsheviks to power ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------- The Kronstadt Rebellion - September 20, 2016 (Lecture) I. Geography a. Well-fortified city and naval base in Gulf of Finland b. Originally constructed by Peter the Great to protect St. Petersburg c. Population: 50,000; half civilians, half military II. Who were the Rebels Really? a. 1921 – well earned reputation for pro-Bolshevik b. 1917 – population refused to accept authority of provisional gov’t; backed Lenin for all power to Soviets c. Fought for the reds against the whites in the Civil War in 1918 d. Before: zeal for inspiration ~ After: drunkards Communist = e. It was a genuine proletarian uprising III. Prelude to the Fighting Bolshevik a. Once it began, called Russians to join them in the Third Cheka = Bolshevik Revolution secret police b. They wanted genuine socialism, not the phony Bolshevik kind i. Wanted to establish socialism, not prevent it Soviets = c. Provisional Revolutionary Committee – called for new Soviets toning councils rule (supposedly) d. Lenin feared Kronstadt could trigger a bigger uprising throughout Petrogard (new the countryside i. Attitude: Crush them now, whatever the cost e. Defensive strategy – hoping they could hold out till the melting thaw provided a more secure position for them f. March 3: Trotsky issued ultimatum – must surrender within 24 hours or they will be shot and killed i. Refereed to Kronstadt as “the pride and glory of the revolution” IV. The Ferocious Battle, March 7 - March 18 a. Communists fired and rebels fired from battleship b. Rebels fought back with machine guns and bombs  Communists failed to penetrate and they died quickly  Communists tried to launch aerial attacks c. Communists prepared badly for attack and paid heavily d. Premature 1 attack – readied for next attack with greater numbers; called people from all parts of Russia e. Communist bombardment of Rebel forces failed like their other attacks f. March 12: Rebels shot down Bolshevik plane  3/13-14: Communists dressed soldiers in camo to fight  all attempts ended up in sostiers suffering heavy casualties g. Throughout 1 week, leaders worried about morale of Russians i. March 15 – Lenin launched NEP (New Economic Policy): replaced system of seizures with a capitalist economic system in countryside; reasonable taxes for peasants; wanted to diffuse some of Russian’s discontent h. Provisional Revolutionary Committee tried to strengthen Kronstadt’s army – didn’t work; low morale – Petrograd and others wouldn’t rise up i. Kronstadt was running low on supplies; low ammunition; ran out of medical supplies; low food rations had to be cut even further j. March 16 – large number of rebel casualties after bomb dropped k. Communist side had almost 50,000 soldiers – plan for long bombardment and three-sided infantry attack on ice l. March 17, 3 am – Communist advance began in dense fog; some died but they eventually succeeded in capturing Fort #5 and #6 m. March 17 – sunny day; Rebel artillery broke ice; only 18 survivors in one Communist fleet; Rebels were outnumbered i. Exhausted rebels fought with desperation n. March 18 – Communists took over remaining forts and reached Kronstadt wall i. Rebels fought back with artillery, grenades, machine guns ii. Rebel counterattack caused Communist to retreat back to south iii. Rebels fought Communists on Kronstadt streets 1. Sidewalks were red with blood o. Communists took two battleships and all fighting ended on the afternoon of March 18 p. March 17-18: 8000 rebels fled to Finland; those who returned were promised amnesty but were actually sent to imprisonment camps i. captured rebels were either shot to death, imprisoned then shot, or sent to Russian camps to do forced labor which eventually killed them V. Outcome a. March 17-18: 8000 rebels fled to Finland; those who returned were promised amnesty but were actually sent to imprisonment camps i. captured rebels were either shot to death, imprisoned then shot, or sent to Russian camps to do forced labor which eventually killed them b. 10,000 Communist causalities >> 1,600 Rebel deaths ii. Most Rebels dies after they stopped fighting the last two days VI. Conclusions a. One level - Can be viewed as a heroic stance by a small group of people against a powerful tyrannical state i. Perished rebels can be seen as martyrs for their socialist cause b. Other level – rebellion affected Bolshevik leaders by… i. They had to recognize the discontent of the masses, with the Bolshevik Revolution, was growing stronger and stronger  sped up NEP implementation, freed up agricultural economy for peasants ii. Paradoxical – Kronstadt led to a tightening up of the dictatorship; some small degree of political descent had been tolerated, but not at all afterwards; Communist party leadership determined to use the Cheka to make sure there would be another Kronstadt 1. There would never be another uprising on Communist dictatorship ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------- Discussion - September 21, 2016 I. State in Revolution, (Document, pg. 18) a. Written by Lenin b. Tries to show that he is a Marxist and believes in Marxism c. Marx believed state would wither away after capitalism d. Dictatorship of the Proletarian i. Form of revenge in some way ii. Wants to get rid of all the capitalist influences and ideas and people 1. Arm the workers and they will force the capitalists into submission and make sure they don’t pose a future threat iii. Phases of a communist society 1. 1 phase: More work you do, the more you get paid 2. Higher phase: state will wither away and you will end up with a utopian ideal society e. Important Passages i. Pg. 23, Higher phase of society, 3 paragraph 1. People will work for the benefit of all of society st ii. Pg. 24, 1 full paragraph 1. Don’t need managers anymore; just give workers weapons and they will take care of everything iii. These are false assumptions II. World War I (Aug. 1914-Nov. 1918) a. Allied Powers i. Great Britain ii. France iii. Russia (until March 1918) 1. Suffered the heaviest casualties 2. People wanted Russia to get out of the war iv. United Stated (beginning April 1917) b. Central Powers i. Germany ii. Austria-Hungary iii. Turkey (as of 1915) III. Other Important Events a. March Revolution i. Not organized; spontaneous revolution All ii. Wanted the duma to dissolve; they wouldn’t do so’ ordered in 191 police to do; still didn’t work  tsar lost complete power iii. Many people killed and injured in revolution b. Provisional Government i. Temporary government after the March revolution ii. Want to set up an election process iii. Dominated by liberals/Kadets 1. Wanted a western government 2. Individual rights iv. They immediately gave freedom to Russians (freedom of speech, to protest, to religion) 1. These freedoms didn’t solve major problems a. Economy spiraling down b. Significant food shortages v. Shared power with the Petrograd soviet c. Petrograd Soviet i. Led by socialist parties – Mensheviks and SRs 1. Mensheviks – true Marxists 2. SRs – peasant-based revolutionary party; later on joined the Menshevik party ii. Controlled for 6 months iii. Two governments controlling = disorder and chaos 1. Peasants wanted land 2. Workers wanted better wages 3. Ethnic minorities wanted independence from Russian control 4. Hatred of elite iv. Since Russia was a free country, people started forming organizations/soviets v. How political parties responded to masses? 1. Sorry but it’s not time yet – Mensheviks/SRs d. April Theses (Document #6) i. Document, issued by Lenin, designed for a very different Russia under the control of the Bolshevik party 1. Basically like a list of promises to the people ii. Main Points 1. Telling the people that we will get out of the war – trying to appeal to non-Russian groups that they will get independence 2. Abolition of the police - Pg. 28, 9 lines from the end a. Ironic b/c Bolsheviks created Cheka when they came into power 3. The peasants will get the land - Pg. 28, 4 lines from the end 4. No support to provisional government; power will go to the soviets of the worker’s deputy iii. Lenin doesn’t want the people to wait like the other parties told them to do iv. Public response: very favorable 1. Bolsheviks created their own militia – Red Guards – led by Trotsky e. November (Bolshevik) Revolution i. Nov. 6-7, 1917 – Bolsheviks seized parts of Petrograd Soviet and they came into power pretty easily 1. Supported by the Kronstadt sailors (who were originally Bolsheviks) ii. Bolsheviks came to power in a coup de ta 1. Contrary tstMarxist Theory iii. Kort, pg. 112, 1 paragraph – this wouldn’t have happened without Lenin and Trotsky iv. Had grave implications for Russia and rest of world – last line on pg. 113 v. Bolsheviks came in at a difficult time – shambled economy, war going on; food shortages vi. Two decrees 1. Land – confiscating large estates and gave to peasants 2. Peace – Russia would enter into negotiations w/ Germany to get out of war vii. Lenin refused to accept the idea that all Socialist parties would share power over Russia 1. Very stubborn about it 2. Only allowed a small coalition of SRs to help f. Cheka (est. Dec. 1917) i. Bolshevik secret police ii. “immediately placed the new government above the law” 1. Rule by consent of the government, not the people iii. Eventually became a crucial part of Russian government ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------- Discussion - September 23, 2016 I. State Capitalism a. Established by Bolsheviks once they came to power b. Workers did not get control of the workplace; power was transferred to government II. Dispersal of Constituent Assembly (Jan 1918) a. Government dominated by liberals b. Wanted to set up a national election in Russia  Nov. 25 c. Would Lenin hold this election? i. People expecting it ii. Thought he would win d. Results  SRs: 41% ~ Bolsheviks: 24% e. People from all over came for constituent assembly but were threatened to go home by the Red Guards f. Bottom of pg. 122 – Soviets not getting any power in reality III. Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918) a. Russians and Germans met  Germans made such extreme requests  Lenin said no  Germans kept advancing b. Lenin decided to give in to German’s treaty and gave them huge amounts of Russian territory c. Germany had lost the war at end of year, and they just ended up giving the territory back to Russia d. Caused huge amounts of chaos and unrest e. Proletarian masses turned against Lenin in only a few months IV. Russian Civil War (Summer 1918-Fall 1920) a. Attempted assassination of Lenin in August b. Reds (Bolsheviks) vs. Whites (Anti-Bolsheviks) i. Whites = some Socialists; some liberals; some wanted to reinstate the Tsar; most were Russians c. Reds won in end - they had better leaders i. Lenin had Trotsky form a Red Army ii. Whites were united by many different ideologies d. Produced immense suffering e. Cheka was expanding immensely i. In 1 5 years, Cheka killed more people than all the Tsars have killed in all the reigns of all the tsars in Russian history ii. People in Cheka could get away with anything they wanted iii. Captured and enslaved liberals iv. Bribery, corruption, exploitation, etc. v. Violence mostly against workers and masses f. Workers were not allowed to leave work – low wages, long hours, slave camps, etc. g. Red army was able to just take what they needed to eat from the peasants i. Force them at gunpoint to turn them over  “Food Requisition” V. War Communism a. All the harsh measures the Bolsheviks took to make sure they won the Civil War b. Why join the Cheka? i. You got fed in a largely starving state ii. If you liked violence and brutalizing other people, you could do this without getting punished c. Food Requisition – half the people in Moscow fled the country to find food; half the people in Petrograd did the same  massive hunger throughout the country i. Peasants tried to fight back ii. Millions of people died from hunger d. BUT, Bolsheviks believed war communism was successful b/c the Reds won the Civil War VI. Politburo a. Group of 19 people on committee  Group of 5 people who make policy and tell the central committee to vote for them i. enforced by Cheka and Reds VII. “What Are We Fighting for?” (March 1921) a. Why grow food if the regime is going to steal them? b. More than 12 million people died from hunger and poverty and starvation from Civil war in Russia i. Only 10 million died from all countries in WWI c. After the war ended, they continued to steal food, keep slave camps, etc. i. Peasants tried to challenge this regime, but Cheka and Red Army kept them down ii. 124 slave camps at end of civil war d. Bolshevik military forces – Lenin said we need to first defeat our enemies; everyone else thought he would shift to building up socialism; they just want power for themselves --> The Kronstadt Revolution e. “What Are We Fighting for?” – Document #8 i. Cheka are worse than other tsar’s army 1. all they care about is keeping power ii. Committee calls for a 3 revolution 1. Wants Russian people to help them overthrow this terrible regime and create socialism iii. Communist autocracy – ironic iv. Kronstadt Rebels hoped to spark peasant uprising 1. Hard for people on mainland to join them 2. Those people thought it was a lost cause, and many of them were physically unable to do so VIII. New Economic Policy (NEP) a. March 1921 in Kronstadt b. Lenin declared that we are changing towards capitalism i. Country was starving – needed peasants to plant more food ii. Unpopularity of Bolsheviks was so great – wanted the people to at least tolerate them c. Grand economic success i. Large industries kept under state control d. Nepmen – middle men e. BUT, Bolshevik party was not happy!! i. Lenin said it was a strategic retreat and done so because they had to IX. Workers’ Opposition (Bolshevik faction) – Document #9 a. Alexander Kollontai – main leader b. Bolsheviks angry b/c Lenin wasn’t doing what he said i. Industry ran by government, NOT THE WORKERS c. Very upset about this d. Pg. 37, 2ndto last paragraph – not asking for democracy; want the people in the one-party to have the right to criticize the leaders – democracy within a dictatorship X. “On Party Unity” a. Lenin BANNED worker factions b. Used this opportunity to completely wipe out other socialist parties (i.e. Mensheviks and SRs) XI. Bureaucratism a. Definition in Soviet Colossus: The domination and exploitation of the soviet people by their Bolshevik government i. Lenin was going against this – Why? b. He had regrets about this XII. Lenin’s legacy a. Lenin suffered three strokes and eventually died in January 1924 i. Lenin favored Trotsky over Stalin, his general secretary b. Lenin created a system where Stalin would flourish c. Wanted Trotsky to be his successor (kind of) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------


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