Week 2 Notes
Week 2 Notes HY 362
Popular in Russia-Soviet Union since 1894
Popular in History
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Victoria Miller on Tuesday March 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HY 362 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Margaret Peacock in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 58 views. For similar materials see Russia-Soviet Union since 1894 in History at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 03/08/16
Week 2 Notes WWI cont. o Civil Protests on the Streets of Petrograd A strike movement builds among the urban workers. They strike for wages and food, as well as making political demands to then the war It’s illegal to strike Peasants and urban workers have no economic mobility Speakers at factory meetings begin to complain publically -> also illegal Women start to mobilize in response to long breadlines Subversive leaflets written by radical parties find growing audience Suicide rates increase Everyone is depressed o Socialists enter the Fray This was their moment because everyone is pissed of Use propaganda and agitation Marx study group o Educated upper class and middle class liberals mobilize in protest They seek a “government of national confidence” and form a “progressive bloc” inside the Duma to promote this Nobody thinks government is legit and need to rebrand themselves Council of Ministers want to work with reformers Nicholas II’s response is to reject all ofers and instead prorogue (to end) the Duma in the Fall of 1915 o Conservative leaders appeal for change Murder of Rasputin is a reflection of this efort to force change High ranking officials give him an entire bottle of wine laced with cyanide and he doesn’t die. So they stab him, wrap him up in the rug, then shoot him 6 times in the head, dump his body in the river only for him to drown o Reticence to Act Liberals in the press and in the Duma (reconvened at the end of 1916) criticized the government with increasing passion and even hostility But they were afraid to do more than simply appeal to the tsar to make changes Strongly committed to principles of legality and feared provoking a popular revolution in the streets Some Duma members feel hopeless 1917 o February 23, International Women’s Day Women of Petrograd shut down the factories Nicholas still thinks he’s hot shit and Russia still adores him Orders the militia to put a stop to it and shoot at the demonstrators These soldiers didn’t want to fight Soldiers decide to mutiny Refused to fight and handed over their weapons to the protestors Lay siege to the Peter and Paul Fortress (political prison) o More symbolic than anything o Kind of like the French storming the Bastille in the French Rev. Council of Ministers and Duma quit and run away No one reads Nicholas II’s telegrams from the Front o March 2 Nicholas, on the train back to Petrograd, finally abdicates for his brother Since the 1700s, the rule was he couldn’t pick who succeeded him, so this delegitimizes the whole thing. Constantine (his brother) refuses anyway Instead of handing power over, power was dropped and created a vacuum o The Provisional Government Headed by Alexander Kerenski Middle-class Duma members formed provisional government Controlled machinery of government, their real authority was limited Reluctance about seizing power The competing power of the Soviets (“Councils”) of Workers, especially the Petrograd Soviet o The Soviet Formed its own government Central Executive Committee of Soviet alongside the Provisional Government Leaders were chosen from the intellectuals, not soldiers or workers Socialist Revolutionary Party was most popular affiliation, not the Bolsheviks o “Dual Power” Provisional Government runs the State Soviets really controlled the people, because the people supported them, considered national representatives of the people If the Provisional Government really had a chance, then there really was a chance for a democracy and the Bolsheviks took it all away, delegitimizing the entire Soviet Union If the Provisional Government was weak and not supported, then the Soviet was a popular revolution and represented the will of the people Questions of legitimacy Leaders of the Soviet also resisted exercising their full authority because they did not believe that they should seek state power o 1. Communism won’t hold unless capitalism is very developed o 2. Time just wasn’t right for a revolution in Russia because of WWI, and the tsar had JUST abdicated o 3. Russian population doesn’t have the infrastructure or education to make the revolution happen o The Situation Deteriorates Opposition to the Provisional Government grew among workers, solders, and peasants Workers don’t get bread, peasants don’t get land, soldiers are still dying in a war they don’t want to fight in Lenin arrives in Petrograd in April Germans send him and Trotsky on a covered train East so they can destroy Russia from the inside Lenin calls a meeting of the Bolsheviks o The April Thesis We can’t cooperate with the Provisional Government at all; it’s forbidden Doesn’t want to share any of the power The Provisional Government is already starting to self-destruct and can’t be associated with that The Bolsheviks are very divided, not like under Stalin o Trotsky doesn’t agree, Kamenev doesn’t agree, most people disagreed o Lenin’s wife agrees Kerensky’s Summer Ofensive, June 1917 Head of the Provisional Government Thought it would come before peace negotiations to put themselves in better position of power Total failure and lots of people die Pulls into question the power of the Provisional Government July 1917 o Soldiers take to the street in protest of the war o Yelling “All power to the Soviet!” o Lenin fails to seize power o Provisional Government sends in the troops, arresting lots of Bolsheviks o Lenin flees to Finland and everyone is convinced the Revolution is over The Kornilov Afair, August 1917 o We don’t actually know what happened o Kornilov says Kerensky told him to come to Petrograd o Kerensky says he thinks Kornilov was marching on the city in order to perform a coup Arms the Bolsheviks to defend the Provisional Government o Significance: All the opposing radicals are armed and are given official recognition Provisional Government is in shambles and can’t defend itself If the Kornilov Afair hadn’t happened, the radicals probably would have stayed in hiding Another Soviet election in August o Bolsheviks get a majority in the Soviet Sept. 1917 Lenin comes back to Russia Oct. 1917 o The Provisional Government falls to no violent resistance o Who has seized power? The Soviet or the Bolsheviks? The people believed it was the Soviet taking power o Lenin creates a new branch of the Soviet called the Council of People’s Commissars Only Bolsheviks are allowed o New election to the Soviet and the Socialist Revolutionaries win a majority Lenin pretty much refuses to hand over power because he claims the election was rigged Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviks walk out of the Soviet as a gesture to delegitimize it as a viable government Lenin don’t give a shit and the Bolsheviks now lead the government o Did the Bolsheviks have popular support when they seized power in October 1917? Why did the Provisional Government fall? o This was a government deeply committed to democracy and its accomplishments were impressive: Complete civil liberties were granted Freed thousands of political prisoners and the old police was abolished Flogging, exile to Siberia, and death penalty were all abolished Removed all legal restrictions based on nationality and religion Social reforms were enacted Preparations for creating a new democratic and constitutional political system were undertaken o The people didn’t want it o If we accept it, we totally discredit the entire Russian population as being able to control their own fate