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Russian Revolution

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Russian Revolution
пѓ Prelude to the Revolution
• Factory workers and peasants lived in
terrible poverty, while wealthy
landowning nobles enjoyed lives of
wealth and leisure.
• The autocratic Tsars (Czars) Alexander
III (late 1800s) and his son Nicholas II
opposed democratic reform, and secret
revolutionary societies formed among
some of the educational elite.
The Revolution of 1905
• Russia was ripe for a revolution!
• The crisis came to a head after
their defeat in the RussoJapanese War (1904-1905).
• When troops shot down unarmed
demonstrators ( KNOWN AS BLOODY
SUNDAY) in St. Petersburg in 1905.
The Revolution of 1905
• The “October Manifesto” – Czar Nicholas
II announces reforms and new freedoms.
• Nicholas II finally granted some limited
reforms, creating an elected legislature
known as the Duma.
• However, only the very wealthy could vote
for the Duma members.
WWI and Allied Powers
• Russia was one of the Allied
Powers in WWI.
• Russia was not prepared to fight
in a modern war.
• Many soldiers lacked confidence
in Russia’s military leadership
and deserted.
The March Revolution
• In March 1917, the military defeats
sparked a revolt.
• Demonstrators demanded bread in the
streets of St. Petersburg. The czars
soldiers symphonized with the crowds and
refused to fire on them.
• With no control over his troops Nicholas II
abdicates his power.
Failure of Provisional
• Duma officials set up a temporary
• Middle-class liberals planned to write a
constitution BUT they continued to fight in
• The new government implemented only
moderate reforms that did little to end the
unrest among the peasants and workers.
The Bolshevik Revolution
• Following the March Revolution, an
exiled revolutionary named Vladimir
Lenin returned home.
• Lenin and Leon Trotsky headed a
revolutionary socialist party, the
• Lenin and Trotsky followed the ideas of
Karl Marx and adapted them to the
Russian situation
The Bolshevik Revolution
• Lenin gained support
by promising “Peace,
Land, and Bread”
– An end to the
involvement in war.
– A promise for land
– An end to the food
Lenin Takes Over
• The provisional government lost support of
the people. In Nov. 1917, the Bolsheviks
led soldiers and workers in an uprising to
overthrow the government.
• The Bolsheviks, now called Communists –
– Distributed land to peasants.
– Gave workers control of the factories and
The Communists still faced a struggle to
maintain control over Russia.
Lenin Rules Russia
• Withdraws from WWI – Russia signed
the treaty of Brest-Litovisk. The
agreement was costly for Russia, giving
Germany a large amount of Russian
• Lenin believed he needed to make peace
with Germany so he could face his
enemies at home.
Russia’s Civil War (1918~1921)
• Lenin’s Red Army battled the loyal
forces to the czar, called the Whites.
• Nationalist groups in the Russian
Empire also rose up against the Red
Army during this time, winning
independence for Latvia, Lithuania,
Estonia, and Poland.
• Nicholas II and his family were executed
during this time as brutal tactics were
carried out on both sides.
Russia’s Civil War (1918~1921)
• Britain, France and the
United States all sent
troops to help the
• This foreign intervention
only helped stir up
nationalism and inspire
the Red Army.
• Trotsky led his inspired
group to victory in 1921.
One Party Government
• Lenin’s government had a constitution
and an elected legislature. However,
the Communist party had all the real
• The Communist Party was the only
legal party.
• Plus, only it’s members could run for
New Economic Policy
• During the civil war the Bolsheviks
took over the factories, mines, banks,
and railroads.
• Under the NEP the government still
controlled those businesses, but
allowed some privately owned
• This helped the economy to recover.
The Soviet Union
By 1922, Lenin and the Communists had
gained control over much of the old Russian
• The Communist government then created the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.),
also called the Soviet Union.
• It was made up of diverse European and
Asian peoples.
•Russia was the largest republic and controlled
the other states in the Soviet Union.
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