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Notes on Russian Revolution 1917

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The Russian revolution 1917
• Causes similar to 1905 but more serious
• Long-term causes
• Frustration of
• middle class liberals: lack of politacal rights
• Peasants: landhunger and conscription
• Working class: appalling living conditions
• Short-term causes
• The war is not going well
• The Tsar is loosing support (Rasputin)
• Food shortage and inflation
1
February revolution
• Strikes and mutinies in St. Petersburg lead
to the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II
• The Power vacuum was filled by the
Provisional government and the Petrograd
soviet.
• Soviet: Council “ráð”
• Petrograd: St. Petersburg (later Leningrad)
2
Bolsheviks take power 25. october 1917
3
Another
forgery
4
The “dual” government
• Provisional government
• first controlled by liberal parties
(cadets and octobrists) but later
by Social revolutionaries and
Menshevicks under the
leadership of Kerensky.
• Saw itself as a caretaker
government and did not propose
any dramatic changes
• Showed strength during the july
days but discredited after the
Kornilov affair
5
• Petrograd soviet
• assembly of workers and
soldiers under influence of SR
and Menshevicks in the
beginning but later Bolsheviks
take control.
• Lenins April thesis gathers
support to the Bolsheviks and
Lenin sets the course on a
second revolution.
• The Kornilov affair convinces
Lenin that Bolsheviks should
try to seize power
The October revolution
• Lenin gave the signal but Trotski controlled
the operation
• Was it a popular uprising or a coup d´etat?
• Did a small group of extremist and
organized political adventurers grasp power
in the vacuum created by the weakness of
the provisional government
6
Elections Nov. 1917
7
m ill. v otes sea ts
%
SR
2 1 .8
438
53
B olsh ev .
1 0 .0
168
24
C a d ets
2 .1
17
5
M en sh ev . 1 .4
18
3
oth ers
6 .3
62
15
tota l
4 1 .6
703
First actions of the government
•
•
•
•
•
The Decree of Workers Control (Nov 1917)
The Land Decree (Nov 1917)
Constituent assembly disbanded in january 1918
Bolsheviks gain control of soviets across the country
The treaty of Brest-Litovsk 3 march 1918
• Peace agreement with Germany resulting in heavy
losses of land, people and resources
• How did these call for a civil war?
• What was the reaction of the allies?
8
Rollsinn hans LenГ­ns
9
Questions
• Was revolution inevitable, even without the
war
• What is the strength of the bolsheviks,
compared to mensjeviks and Social
revolutionaries
• What difference did Lenins arrival on the
scene en have?
10
War communism 1918-20
• Attack from whites and foreign nations brought
about “emergency” measures:
– Trotsky founded the red army
– Cheka directed the red terror agains political opponents
– War communism:
• State control of industry
• One-man management of factories
• grain extracted from peasants
• rationing of food
11
Why did the bolsheviks win the Civil war
• “objective factors:”
• Bolsheviks held the most populated area (more
manpower
• armaments industry was in their area
• Bolsheviks controlled the core of the railway
network
• The Whites didnt get support because they
wanted to take the land back from the
peasants and did not listen to separatists.
12
New Economic Policy 1921
• Unrest spreads after the end of the civil war
• peasants - workers - Kronstadt soldiers
• Lenin has to respond:
– NEP created a mixed economy
• grain tax, private small businesses, free market for
food and consumer goods, state control of heavy
industry, railways and export.
• to silence critics the rule and discipline of the party
was tightened.
13
The proletarian state survived
• We have a state that has experienced a
social and political revolution and survived
a civil war.
• What kind of state is this?
• What are the prospects of this state?
14
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