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Russia – Exam Part A

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Russia – Exam Part
A
Or, how to succeed in analysis
by really trying
1
Glenn Matthews
Melbourne
Grammar School
2
The examination is worth 50% of total
study score
пЃ® School study scores (SAC marks) are
worth 50% and are moderated against the
examination and the GAT
пЃ® The examination is 2 hours in duration
пЃ®
PLUS
пЃ® 15 minutes reading time
пЃ®
3
SECTION A – Revolution 1
Part 1: AOS 1
2 extended responses of 12 lines each worth 10 marks
Q. 1
Q. 2 [10 + 10 = 20]
Part 2: AOS 2
Analysis of short document, commentary or interpretation
Q. 3 a, b, c, d, e
[2 + 2 + 6 + 10 = 20]
SECTION B – Revolution 2
Part 1 : AOS 1
Extended response to a document, image or commentary
Q. 4 a, b, c, d, e,
[2 + 2 + 6 + 10 = 20]
Part 2: AOS 2
Essay question
One question for each revolution – (they are a bit different this year)
(69 lines or less) [20]
4
Area of Study One
Revolutionary Ideas, Leaders, Movement and
Events.
пЃ® When
пЃ® The period for this area of study is
пЃ® Russian Revolution 1905 to October 1917
(Bloody Sunday to the Bolshevik Revolution)
пЃ®
5
What?
пЃ®
The collapse of the old regime in the following terms:
пЃ®
Political
Economic
Social
Cultural
Institutional
Everyday
Values
(PESCIEV)
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
6
Why?
Historians have put forward different theories
about the causes of revolution; for example,
пЃ® inadequate response to structural change,
пЃ® political divisions,
пЃ® the failure of rising expectations
пЃ® the loss of authority
пЃ® the erosion of confidence in the old order.
пЃ®
7
More Why
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Why did social tensions and ideological conflicts increase in the
pre-revolutionary period?
Why could social tensions and ideological conflicts not be
contained within the traditional order?
What events or circumstances eroded confidence in the
government or weakened capacity of the ruling class to meet
challenges to its authority?
How important were ideas, leaders or movements in explaining
why the revolution happened? Think about Marxism and
Leninism versus Liberalism in the Russian Rev.
How important was Lenin in bringing about the success of the
revolution?
Why do some historians focus more on circumstances and
longer term developments as the main contributors to revolution
8
and determinants of the course it would take?
Key Knowledge
пЃ®
пЃ®
The chronology of key events and factors which contributed to the
revolution.
The causes of tensions and conflicts generated in the old regime
that many historians see as contributing to the revolution: for
example
п‚Ё
п‚Ё
п‚Ё
п‚Ё
п‚Ё
п‚Ё
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rising and unfulfilled class expectations
fluctuations in economic activity
failed attempts at economic, social or political reform
perceived social or economic inequality or lack of political voice
the impact of war or economic crisis that contributed to revolution
the social and economic impact of WWI on Tsarist Russia
The ideas and ideologies utilised in revolutionary struggle; Marxist
ideas in the Russian Revolution
The role of revolutionary individuals and groups in bringing about
change, for example in Russia Kerensky, Trotsky, Lenin and the
Socialist Revolutionaries, Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.
9
Key Skills
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Document the chronological events that contributed to the
revolution.
analyse information about the causes of tension and conflict in the
Old Regime that contributed to revolution
Analyse the ideas that were utilised in the revolutionary struggle
Analyse a range of historical evidence to evaluate the role of
revolutionary individuals and groups in bringing about change.
Synthesise evidence to develop a coherent argument about the
role of revolutionary ideas, leaders movements and events in the
development of the revolution.
Consider a range of historians interpretations
10
For success you need
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Good knowledge of both areas of study of both
revolutions
Understanding of what the examiners are looking for
(examination criteria)
Clear, succinct writing style –including accurate spelling
(especially of specific terms and terminology of study
guide) and punctuation
Legible writing
Lots of practice at analysis of graphics and texts and
writing of short essays
Lots of practice at doing sample papers and questions in
time limit
11
The Criteria
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
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пЃ®
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The examination paper will address all the criteria. All
students will be examined against each criterion.
Understanding and appropriate use of historical terms,
concepts, commentaries and interpretations
Application of evidence to support arguments and
conclusions
Knowledge of the commencement, ongoing
development and/or consolidation of the revolution
Knowledge of key events, factors, individuals and/or
groups influencing the revolution and its consolidation
Analysis of the revolutionary struggle and the creation
of a new society
Evaluation of change in the revolution
12
Historical terms
пЃ®
political, social, economic, institution,
ideology, every day values, cultural,
traditional order, new order, rising
expectations tension, crises, conflict,
consensus, stability, radicalisation, foreign
intervention, consolidation of revolution,…
13
Concepts
пЃ®
Class, equality, freedom, poverty, change,
continuity, autocracy, democracy,
socialism, communism, anarchosyndicalism, dictatorship of the proletariat,
Dialectical Materialism totalitarianism,
Marxist Leninism, Leadership,
psychopath, violence, criminality,
Revolution!
14
Commentaries
memoirs (memories of the events
recorded at a later time), observations
about events made at the time by people
who did not see everything that they wrote
about e.g.
пЃ® John Reed Ten Days that Shook the World
 Emma Goldman’s writings.
пЃ®
15
Historian’s interpretations.
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
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There is a large range of these.
Keep it simple and concentrate on
Soviet view versus other views.
In this Stalinist view the Bolsheviks led the masses to
glorious revolution, and everything they did was right.
It takes the Bolshevik view to the next level of
propaganda and does some serious editing of the
historical record.
Anti – Soviet views cover the whole spectrum from
Trotsky to Pipes.
Don’t get too worried about the differences – just
hammer the soviet view.
16
The Stalinist, Soviet View
17
Leon Trotsky – “Bolshevik” View
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Young Trotsky
“A four of a kind son
of a bitch, but the
greatest Jew since
Jesus Christ”
The American
Ambassador
18
E. H. Carr
пЃ®
Pro Bolshevik View
19
The Exam
Examiner’s report and exams from 2005
onwards are available in full on the VCAA
website.
пЃ® Just Alta Vista Victorian Curriculum
Assessment Authority Revolutions
пЃ®
20
Do’s and Don’ts
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Look at old exam papers so that you are familiar
with them, the layout, the requirements. Find
them at the VCAA website
Know what you have to do in Part A and Part B
(what do you have to do?)
How many marks do you get if you do the same
rev twice?
What happens when you do two revs per
section?
Do write in black pen – don’t write in pencil - this
can be difficult for assessors to read.
21
Do’s and Don’ts
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Strategy – don’t necessarily do first question first. I would start with
the documents and then go back to the 10 mark questions.
Reading comprehension, gets the intellectual juices flowing, gives
you something concrete to get underway with,
can come straight out of reading to answering the questions
Don’t have to reread.
Think about what you are going to write and jot some points down
Problem is not filling the page but not filling it too quickly with words
that lack concision and sentences that simply don’t say enough.
You have plenty to say – you really need to plan a response so that
you answer the question properly
22
The Exam
Section A
Part 1
23
Examiner’s Report
GENERAL COMMENTS
пЃ® In 2008 assessors found a significant reduction in
students’ factual knowledge and skill in working with
documents and visual representations as evidence of the
period.
пЃ® Poor handwriting and control of expression was
prevalent; it would be useful for students to practise
writing neatly in defined spaces and to learn to spell
terms accurately.
пЃ® Teachers should also remind students that pencil is not
to be used in examinations.
пЃ® There were still a number of answers in dot point format;
students cannot obtain full marks when answers are
presented in this way.
24
2008 Examiner’s report
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Quite a number of students still made errors in their
selection of options and wrote on the same revolution in
both parts of the paper. This mistake meant students lost
marks for one of the sections.
As in the past the discriminating part of the paper was
the response to the document and visual representation
questions.
Some students seemed unaware that they needed to
use the extract or visual representation by direct
reference to it and also use both their own knowledge
and knowledge of historians’ views.
25
Examiner’s Report
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Russia
Knowledge of the October Manifesto was very
good. Most students showed knowledge of the
fundamental laws, and detailed knowledge of
the failure of the Dumas and how this
contributed to growing frustration.
Question 2 on the actions of the Provisional
Government was also handled well and students
showed very good ability in explaining a
sequence of events in the development of the
revolution.
26
The opening salvoes
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
These first questions are
relatively short, but tricky
because you have to squeeze
in a heck of a lot.
Use relevant information –
don’t use irrelevant
information.
The chief examiner is
interested in language use in
this section.
She wants to see that you are
using language properly to
show us that you understand
the sequence of events that
contributed to the revolution.
27
Section A Part 1
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Generally students used factual information well but the
cues in the question to make judgements (�how did’;
�explain the importance of’; �contribute to a revolutionary
situation’; �in the development of the revolution’) were
often overlooked by students.
Many students tended to just list or narrate whatever
they knew about the topic.
The better answers showed an ability to link the
evidence to the question and respond to the cue of �how
did’.
Correct and specific historical terminology was evident in
the best answers.
28
Section A Part 1
пЃ®
пЃ®
The best answers delivered an argument, as
was required by the wording of the question, and
delivered points chronologically.
Overall, successful responses identified three or
four clear points about the event or actions and
developed an argument using precise factual
information such as names, dates and statistics
that were linked to the question, often using
specific terms to indicate a relationship between
points rather than merely implying a connection.
29
Section A Part 1
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Better students demonstrated an understanding that
revolution is a developing process.
Medium level responses tended to have some accuracy,
perhaps showing the student’s ability to use one piece of
statistical information or other form of factual knowledge.
They were general in content and loosely controlled.
There may have been only two main ideas, which were
described in loose terms, and other ideas were less
relevant or of lower significance. These responses
sometimes wandered from the timeframe or lacked
relevance.
Less successful answers often used only one or two
points and expanded on them, while others simply
developed a narrative.
30
2007 Exam
Russia [1905.October 1917]
пЃ® Using three or four points, explain how
Russia’s involvement in World War I
contributed to the abdication of Tsar
Nicholas II by January 1917. Provide
evidence to support your answer.
пЃ®
31
Section A Part 1 Russia
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Knowledge of the effect of WWI on Russia was generally well
evidenced.
Students mainly included three main factors leading to the
abdication of the Tsar:
He took charge of the army;
Alexandra was left in charge of Russia
The influence of Rasputin.
The degree of precise factual detail often differentiated between
those students who received a high score and those who received a
medium score. Other information that could have been used
included economic factors related to the war ie problems of supply
Demoralisation and lack of belief in the current system
The following is an example of a medium level response to Question
1.
32
2007 Student Response - Medium
пЃ®
Once Tsar Nicholas II involved Russia in World War 1 his country
was plagued by problems, many of which lead to his abdication in
January 1917. Firstly, by assuming command of his own army, any
defeats at the front would hold him directly responsible and easy
prey to Bolshevik propaganda. Secondly, by leaving the capital in
the hands of Tsarina Alexandra and the mysterious Rasputin he was
gambling Tsarist Russia’s future in the face of revolutionists such as
Lenin and Kerensky. Not only this, but the resources poured into the
war was astronomically considering many peasants were still
awaiting �peace, bread, land’; three things Lenin would later offer.
Seeing the Tsar had engaged Russia in a foreign war and had
literally (and symbolically) left Petrograd many of the proletariat saw
this as a time for radical change. And seeing they made up 82% of
the population, once Nicholas didn’t have your support he was
forced to abdicate and finish the 300 year old Romonov dynasty.
33
Part 1 Second Question 2008
c. Russia [1905–October 1917]
пЃ® Using three or four points, explain how the
formation of the Provisional Government in
February 1917 contributed to the
development of the Russian Revolution.
Provide evidence to support your answer.
пЃ®
34
High Ranking Answer 2008
In February 1917 leaders of the fourth Duma formed the
Provisional Government and forced the Tsar to abdicate.
Under the leadership of Prince Lvov, they issued liberal
democratic reforms which included freedom of speech
and the release of all revolutionaries. This amnesty was
a mistake as it allowed revolutionaries like Lenin to
return from exile and to resume contributing to the
revolutionary situation. Their second mistake was the
continuance of the war, which was extremely unpopular
among the people and resulted in a loss of support for
the new regime. They instead turned to the Soviets,
resulting in a period of �Dual Government’, where the
Provisional Government held authority but no power and
the Soviets, power but no authority.
35
High Ranking Answer 2008
This was evident in the Kornilov attack in August where Kerensky
armed the Soviets so they could protect Petrograd from Kornilov’s
soldiers. This Dual Government created great political instability as it
allowed the Bolsheviks to build support during September with a
majority in the Moscow Soviet. Now armed, courtesy of Kerensky,
Trotsky formed the Red Guard and Military Revolutionary Committee
in preparation for armed insurrection. After gaining confidence in the
Provisional government’s weakness and their own popularity, the
Bolsheviks seized power in the name of the Soviets on the 25th of
October 1917. The formation of the Provisional Government in
February 1917 was to be followed by a series of mistakes made,
which contributed to the development of the revolution by all other
parties being able to exploit these weaknesses. The Bolsheviks
would eventually be able to exploit these weaknesses and
successfully stage the October Revolution in 1917.
36
Di explains it for yuz
Typically, the medium range
responses had some accuracy,
showing the ability to identify
perhaps one or two pieces of
information. They were general in
content and loosely controlled.
There might have been only two
main ideas, which were described
in loose terms and other ideas
might have been less relevant or
of lower significance. They
sometimes wandered from the
time frame or slipped in relevance.
There was little demonstration of
the pathway to revolution.
37
Section A Part Two Creating
a New Society
Document
Analysis though it could
be a graphic or
a commentary
now.
38
What students did last year
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Students demonstrated good ability to read and
comprehend basic information in the documents.
There was less skill in analysing the views
expressed.
Students may benefit from practise writing short
summaries of the viewpoint contained in the
extracts.
Students do not need to know the school to
which a historian belongs, rather they should
know what the historian is saying about the
revolution.
39
пЃ®
пЃ®
The majority of students were able to identify the
relevant information directly from the document to
answer the two questions. However, it was clear that
students were not using the document by quoting from it
to frame their answer in Questions 3c-d. It is a
requirement to quote from the extract.
Question 3c. was accessible to most students. Weaker
answers told a story of events rather than explaining in
the context of the document, using it, as well as including
several pieces of additional information. Improvement is
needed in reading the question and identifying what to
focus on.
40
Gettin it Rong
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Question 3d. was poorly done. Students seemed to
either repeat knowledge already presented or compare
historians.
They did not tackle the �strengths and limitations’ of the
document as evidence and at times referred to the
strengths and weaknesses of the event itself. There was
a lot of �dumping’ of learned quotes that lacked
relevance to the context of the document and question. A
typical weak statement was, for example, �this is written
by a historian and not someone who experienced the
event first hand and therefore it is bias’.
Students should also learn how to use the terms �bias’
and �biased’ correctly.
41
пЃ®
пЃ®
High-scoring responses used outside factual knowledge
to illuminate ideas presented in the document. Medium
and weak responses either did not move beyond
information contained in the document and did little more
than describe or paraphrase the content, or on the other
hand, they ignored the document and simply expressed
their own knowledge.
Most students made a generalised attempt to analyse
the view but they must identify specific words in the
document that provide clues to the position held by the
author. The best approach is one where a historian’s
viewpoint is explained and the response shows how it
differs from, or confirms, the ideas expressed in the
extract.
42
Russia 1917 to 1924 Death of
Lenin
Figes, Orlando, A People’s Tragedy, pp. 613–614
What about the argument that War Communism was a re[s]ponse to the exigencies* of the civil war?
To be sure, the Bolsheviks, like all the wartime governments in Europe at this time, were trying to
control the economy in the military interests of the state . . . But War Communism was not just a
response to the civil war; it was also a means of making civil war. The civil war was not fought
only on the battlefields. It was a fundamental aspect of the Bolsheviks’ revolutionary strategy, and
was also fought on what they called the �internal front’, in society and the economy, through the
policies of War Communism. Unless one acknowledges this fundamental fact – that the policies of
War Communism were seen by the Bolsheviks as an instrument of struggle against their social or
�internal’ enemies – it is impossible to explain why these policies were kept in place for more than
a year after the White armies had been defeated. The case for War Communism as inspired by
ideology is also insufficient. Certainly, the Bolsheviks were all united by a fundamental belief in the
possibility of using state coercion to effect the transition to socialism in a backward peasant
country such as Russia. This was the essence of their ideology. They also shared a deeply
ingrained mistrust of the market which could be defined as ideological. Foreign socialists were
shocked by the violence of the Bolsheviks’ hatred of free trade. The Bolsheviks did not just want to
regulate the market – as did the socialists and most of the wartime governments of Europe – they
wanted to abolish it.
* urgent demands
43
The questions
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
a. Identify the two Bolshevik goals of War
Communism as stated in the extract.
i.
ii.
2 marks
b. Identify from the extract two internal types of
battle necessary for the victory of the Revolution
within Russia.
i.
ii.
2 marks
44
The Questions
c. Using your own knowledge and the
extract, explain how the policy of War
Communism operated in practice 6 Marks
пЃ® d. Explain the strengths and limitations of
this extract as evidence to explain the
Bolshevik victory in the Civil War from
1918 to 1921. In your response refer to
different views of War Communism.
пЃ®
45
Section A Part Two – Analysis of a
document
пЃ®Content
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
It is important to identify relevant information
from the document in this section.
Questions “a” and “b”
Keep in mind that these are meant to be easy
questions. That is important. If they are
meant to be easy, then the answer should be
easy to find, not tricky or puzzling. The
simplest response will be the right one here
so don’t make things too complex.
46
Section A Part Two
пЃ®
Questions c. and d. were more difficult and
distinguished the high-performing
students. In order to be successful in
these questions, students needed to,
firstly, use the extract by directly referring
to parts of it to explain your answer and,
secondly, use your own knowledge in part
c. and d and evidence from historians in
part d.
47
C…for Context
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Overall, students should start by referring to the
document, noting its date, who produced it and the
reasons why it was produced.
Placing it against a historical background is necessary in
order to develop and explain the rest of the answer.
High-scoring responses used outside factual knowledge
and combined this with ideas presented by the
document.
Medium and weaker responses either did not move
beyond information contained in the document, doing
little more than describing or paraphrasing the content,
or ignored the document and just expressed the
student’s own knowledge.
48
More C
Most students made a generalised attempt
to analyse the view presented but they
must identify specific words in the
document, which are clues to the
experiences or difficulties in the historical
period, and use these clues for a focussed
explanation.
пЃ® They must also provide specific factual
information.
пЃ®
49
Function
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
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The question on historiography, d., was attempted by most students
and most students were at least able to refer to �historiographical
schools’. Many students adopted an approach that showed good
scaffolding of their answers.
They addressed the question, demonstrated an understanding of the
context and timeframe by referring to events and factual information,
identified and explained strengths and historians that may agree and
then explained limitations and which historians might agree.
Providing contrasting historical viewpoints was a strength of such
answers.
Students are strongly discouraged from merely producing an outline
of the perspective of particular historical �schools’ without referring to
the document material. Better answers do not need to label
historians, and labels such as �liberal’, �soviet’, �libertarian’ etc., are
to be discouraged because they do not demonstrate real
understanding of a particular view.
50
Pipes and Bush
пЃ®
пЃ®
Pipes is a right-wing
liberal historian.
Bush is history.
51
Orlando Figes
пЃ®
Orlando Figes –
liberal, revisionist …
but don’t worry about
that stuff too much. It
is what he says rather
than the label that
matters.
52
Sheila Fitzpatrick
пЃ®
Sheila Fitzpatrick –
Social Historian, but
don’t worry too much
about that.
Concentrate on what
she says rather than
concerning yourself
too much with the
finer points of
historiographical
perspective.
53
пЃ®
This is also Sheila
Fitzpatrick
54
Another Sheila F.
пЃ®
Do not trust the views
of this particular
Sheila Fitzpatrick.
55
Historiography
It is much better to know what a historian
said about an event, incident, person,
period of history and the evidence they
use to support your view.
пЃ® Therefore students need to practise
measuring views expressed in documents
against historian’s or contemporaries’
views of particular events.
пЃ®
56
How the questions were answered
пЃ®
Students had little difficulty with the short
questions. Responses to Question 3c.
showed that most students had good
knowledge of the way War Communism
functioned, although surprisingly, many
answers did not show precise knowledge
of the use of terror.
57
The Tricky Stuff
пЃ®
It appeared that Question 3d. presented many students with
problems because they did not answer the question about�Bolshevik
victory in the Civil War’. Instead students wrote again about War
Communism or Civil War but did not write about alternative reasons
for victory outside of Bolshevik actions. Many students simply
delivered a comparison of views about War Communism. Students
must pay attention to the question and break it down. A surprising
number of students claimed that the limitation of the piece was that
the historian ignored the violence of the Cheka. Students should be
aware of the historian’s work as a whole since Figes devotes much
space to discussion of the brutality of the Cheka. Students should
have been able to grasp that Figes argues the duality of the policies
surrounding War Communism, which he says were not only a
means of fighting the war against external enemies but also a
means of targeting counter-revolutionaries. Following is an example
of a high level answer to Question 3c. The response does both
things required by the question; it quotes from the extract and uses
additional knowledge to discuss how War Communism operated.
58
High Level Response for C
пЃ®
War Communism was introduced in 1918 to keep the
army supplied during Civil War 1918-1921. It did so by
placing Russia under a �command economy’ where the
state directly influenced the economy as Figes states, �in
the military interests of the state’. This was achieved by
the nationalisation of all banks, businesses and factories
and grain requisitions. These grain requisitions were
carried out by the cheka, who used force to collect the
grain from peasants. Due to food shortage peasants
were hoarding their grain, however due to War
Communism’s requisitions over 7 million died due to
starvation. Through the use of violence the Bolsheviks
succeeded in keeping the army supplied but this was
done at the expense of their popularity among the
people.
59
2007 Part D
пЃ®
The following is a medium level response
to Question d. This answer starts strongly
with the extract and the student attempts
to contextualise; however, the response
then falls into a discussion of historians’
views without linking them to the extract.
60
Medium Level Response for d.
пЃ®
The extract displays Lenin’s passion and desire to strive
for his goals. This extract can provide some insight into
the extreme lengths taken, such as the violent role of the
Cheka or the extreme reaction to Kronstadt. Figes and
Pipes both describe the Terror as a tragedy, as Figes
book title says �A People’s Tragedy’ although Pipes takes
a much more conservative viewpoint and far more anti
Bolshevik and therefore anti Terror, whereas Figes
accepts the socialist views, but condemns the terror.
Pipes is more influenced by the American conservatism
or �reds under the bed’. There are few weaknesses in
this extract to explain the terror, it is an extreme and in a
way of lexicon, violent extract, with the emphasis on
�parasites’.
61
Appendix - Earlier Examples
2005 Exam
62
2005 – Richard Pipes
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Russia [November 1917–1924 death of Lenin]
Pipes on Lenin’s attitude to the Russian civil war
To Lenin it [the civil war] meant the global class conflict between his party, the
vanguard of the “proletariat,” and the international “bourgeoisie”: “class war” in the
most comprehensive sense of the term, of which the military conflict was only one
dimension. He not only expected civil war to break out immediately after his taking
power, but took power in order to unleash it. For him the October coup d’état would
have been a futile adventure if it did not lead to a global class conflict. Ten years
before the revolution, analysing the lessons of the Paris Commune, Lenin agreed with
Marx that its collapse was caused by its failure to launch a civil war. From the
moment the World War broke out, Lenin denounced pacifistic socialists who called for
an end to the fighting. True revolutionaries did not want peace: “This is a slogan of
philistines and priests. The proletarian slogan must be: civil war.” “Civil war is the
expression of revolution . . .” wrote Bukharin and Preobrazhenskii in a widely read
manual of Communism. Trotsky put it even more bluntly: “Soviet authority is
organised civil
war.” From such pronouncements it should be evident that the civil war was not
forced on the Communist leaders by the foreign and domestic “bourgeoisie”: it lay at
the heart of their political program.
Reference: Richard Pipes, Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, 1919–1924, pp. 5–6
63
QandA
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a. Name two things civil war meant to Lenin
according to Pipes.
the beginning of global class conflict between
his party, the vanguard of the “proletariat,” and
the international “bourgeoisie”
ii. “class war” in the most comprehensive sense
of the term, of which the military conflict was
only one dimension.
2 marks
64
QandA
пЃ®
пЃ®
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b. What two reasons are given by Pipes that
Lenin regarded the October coup d’état as futile
without civil war?
i. The survival of the revolution - analysing the
lessons of the Paris Commune, Lenin agreed
with Marx that its collapse was caused by its
failure to launch a civil war.
ii. Took power in order to unleash it [civil war].
2 marks
65
The responses
Strangely, weaker students sometimes did
better on these questions. They knew little
so relied on the document entirely and
often got it right. It is after all just reading
comprehension.
пЃ® Stronger students were sometimes
inclined to write from their own knowledge
and ended up with less well directed
answers.
пЃ®
66
The Context question
Using your own knowledge and the extract, explain
why the Bolshevik government supported the civil war
пЃ®
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п‚Ё
п‚Ё
п‚Ё
Lenin drew on lessons from Paris Commune which collapsed
due to lack of Civil War.
He took power “in order to unleash” it.
Provided a chance for Lenin to use Trotsky, the Red Army and
Dzerzhinsky’s Cheka to defeat White Armies of Denikin,
Wrangel, Yudenich, Kolchak and other internal opposition and
consolidate power.
пЃ®
67
The Context – second question
пЃ®
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ii. why Pipes says the Bolshevik government’s support for the civil
war �lay at the heart of their political
program.”
For Pipes, violence was all they really understood
Trotsky’s direct statement that Soviet authority is organised civil war.
For Pipes, the Lenin, Trotsky, Sverdlov and the other Bolsheviks
were violent thugs, so war is just Bolshevism flying its true colours –
notes elsewhere the summary executions, intolerance of opposition,
concentration camps and generally repressive policies and corrupt
abuse of power
Could with some justification argue that their political program
contained little else, judged on the failure of War Communism in
political and economic terms.
3 + 3 = 6 marks
68
Historiographical question
“Explain the usefulness of this extract in
understanding the role of the civil war in
establishing a new political order and a
new society up to 1920.”
пЃ® We now have terms like strengths and
weakness, or significance in this section.
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69
Historiography
пЃ®
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This is an invitation to engage with historiography.
The first 3 or 4 lines should be directed at a Pipes versus others line
of discussion.
You must then move on to the things suggested by the document
and address yourself to the question of the New Society and the role
of the civil war – and hence leaders like Lenin, Trotsky, the Red
Army, War Communism, the Cheka, the White Army and assess
how useful this document is to helping us understand these
elements.
A document should always be partially, never wholly useful or
useless.
Show that you have skills in evaluation.Show your awareness of its
strengths and weaknesses and other points of view.
пЃ®
70
Historiography
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
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Show us some HISTORY. Ie
Names of the leaders of the White Armies – Kolchak, Yudenich, Denikin,
Wrangel, Kornilov.
The Foreign Intervention by USA, Britain, Japan etc
An understanding of Trotsky’s role leading, rallying and organising the Red
Army from his train.
War Communism, the failure of grain requisitioning, the collapse of the
economy, the antagonism of the population to both sides.
How Bolsheviks misrepresent themselves as in control – lurched from crisis
to crisis.
War Communism a retrospective term
Show the limitations and strengths of the source. How Pipes understates
Bolshevik support – at least 25% as a minimum they had mass backing for
their policies
Why is the source incomplete?
Pipes is a committed anti-Bolshevist. Liberal Historians tend to concentrate
on individual decision makers
71
Historiography
пЃ®
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Lenin viewed as weak, lying and bent on violence and
destruction.
Whose view (in socioeconomic terms) is reflected.
We know it shows only one view – you must go further to
indicate what views are not shown.
Ie The Liberal View of Pipes attacks the Soviet view of
Lenin and the Bolsheviks, but lacks the understanding of
the masses of social historians like Read, Fitzpatrick or
Christian, which means that, as Wheatcroft points out,
the Bolshevik domination of the Soviets and their mass
support is completely discounted.
пЃ®
72
Sample Response
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This extract is limited in its usefulness, as it is written as
an interpretation of Lenin’s psyche from a Liberal
perspective. Liberal historians generally concentrate on
the �revolution from above’ and tend to ignore the
influence of the people in establishing the new order. As
a Liberal historian, Pipes is obviously bised against the
communist ideas of Lenin and therefore focuses on his
and the Bolshevik’s �political program’ and does not
acknowledge the tactfulness and sheer determination
that other historians may credit Lenin for. Though Pipes
points out Lenin’s �apparent’ agenda for civil war, he fails
to recognise the underlying political factors that
influenced the people of Russia to deal with threats of
counter-revolution from royalists and moderates alike.
73
Another Sample
пЃ®
The extract is useful as it presents key Bolshevik
leaders’ views on the role of the civil war in consolidating
their power. It displays the militaristic and violent nature
of the party and consequently, the new political order. It
also implies that violence was a key aspect of shaping
the new society. This extract however, does not include
factors such as economic pressure and social discontent
that also played a vital role in determining the new
society. Although not affecting the militaristic nature, it
does not account for the impact of War Communism that
undermined the support for a socialist state, nor the
growing unpopularity of the Bolsheviks that pressured for
a change from the communist ideals.
74
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