mec2010 vce examination revision classes: history of revolutions mathew steen and brenton millot


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  • Part 1: Russian Revolution AOS1Revolutionary ideas, leaders, movements and events.AOS 1 spans from 1905 to October 1917 (Bloody Sunday to the Bolshevik Revolution)Essentially- What brought down both the Tsarist Regime and the Provisional Government.

  • Tsarist Russia: Sources of Tension and Conflict Economic and Social InequalityUpper classes- 12% of population. Lived a life of luxury, except from harsh laws, highly educated and disproportionately wealthy.Commercial and professional middle class- 1.5% of population.- Very wealthy but little political power. Growing in size leading up to revolution.Industrial Working Class- 4% of population- Growing population leading up to revolution particularly after Sergie Wittes reforms. Poorly paid, terrible living and working conditions. 12 hour long days 60 hour working weeks.Peasants- 82% of population- Extremely poor, horrid working and living conditions, illiterate.Significance- All power and wealth sat in the top groups. Given the right conditions this would create a revolutionary situation in Russia.

  • Tsarist Russia: Sources of Tension and Conflict Sergie Wittes ReformsMinister of Finance in Russia 1893-1903- Brought huge social change to Russia.Brought new wave of factories and industry to Russia.Significance- Increase in worker population brought the poorest Russian citizens closer together in the factories -Workers worked in horrible conditions but could easily organise protests in the confined conditions of a factory.

  • Tsarist Russia: Sources of Tension and Conflict Bloody Sunday (9th of January, 1905)111,000 men women and children marched to the winter palace to hand a petition to the Tsar.Hundreds were killed when protesters were suppressed by the Tsars troops.

    Significance- Peoples perception of the Tsar shattered- He was now seen as a brutal oppressor Bloody Nick.Popular outcry (also called the 1905 Revolution) after this event forced Nicholas II to release the October Manifesto.

  • Tsarist Russia: Sources of Tension and Conflict Failed Political reform (The October Manifesto)October Manifesto of 1905 raised peoples hopes- Promise of representation through the Duma was shattered with its closures and the fact that no law could be enforced without approval of the Tsar.Significance- Raised the peoples expectations, when their expectations were not met they lost faith in the Tsar and in the belief that he cared for the people.

  • World War One (1914)Despite initial success, Russia suffered huge defeats. 130,000 casualties and 100,000 prisoners taken at Battle of Tannenberg alone. Supply problems, poor troop morale/training and incompetent leadership contributed to this. These defeats cost Russia greatly and damaged the Tsars image as a competent leader.August 1915 this became worse when the Tsar took sole control of the Russian Forces.Significance- Tsars public image would be destroyed by the losses suffered by Russian while he was in command.

  • WWIs Political ImpactRasputins influenceWhen Nicholas took control of the military he placed Alexandra in control of Petrograd.This allowed Rasputin to gain considerable influence over the Russian court.

    Significance:Rasputins constant changing of ministers weakened government control.Rasputins perceived control ruined the image of not just Alexandra and Nicholas but the entire Russian Government.

  • Economic Impact of WWI

    The cost of the war was 38,648 million rubles.To make up for this more money had to be printed resulting in hyper-inflation- Devaluation of the ruble.Significance- Workers wages were now worthless, worsening their suffering.Savings of the rich lost value- aggravating a powerful social class and turning them against the Tsarist government.

  • WW1-Food ShortagesTransportation networks being completely dedicated towards the war effort meant food could not be transported.Because of this food was drastically short- Only 1/3 of the food needed for Petrograd and Moscow was being supplied by 1916Significance-Worker conditions continued to worsen- Blame attributed to the Tsarist government and the war.

  • WW1- Fuel ShortagesThe war prevented fuel from being imported into Russia and transported around Russia.Lack of fuel resulted in the closer of many factories in Russia during the war.Significance- Closure of factories worsened the lives of workers by making them unemployed- leading to more animosity towards the Tsarist government.Closure of factories worsened the poor supply situation at the front.

  • February RevolutionStarting in January a series of huge worker protests started in Petrograd- Chief complaints were worker conditions, price of food, the war.Initially these protests were ordered to be oppressed but eventually soldiers ordered to suppress joined the protesters. The Petrograd Soviet (worker, soldier and sailor representative body) organized troops to overthrow the all forms of Tsarist authority in Petrograd.A group of Duma members proclaimed themselves a new government (calling themselves the Provisional Government) to take control from the Tsar.Duel government period effectively begins on the 28th of February- Soviet/Provisional Government rule.Tsar abdicates on the 2nd of March.

  • Duel Government and the Rise of the BolsheviksFailure of the Provisional GovernmentPoor support baseThe provisional government was not voted in- indefinitely held off elections while the war was being fought.Continued to fight WWI (June Offensive)This alienated the Provisional Gov further- They werent fixing the chief cause of the problems the people of Russia were living through.Continuation of economic problems.Food/fuel shortages and hyper inflation were not adequately dealt with.

  • Rise of the BolsheviksStrength- The Soviet represented the people more accurately than the Provisional Government.Provided the Bolsheviks could gain influence there they could gain a more legitimate power than the Provisional Government.

  • The role of Lenin: Leading up to October 1917Brilliant orator and writer- Professional revolutionary.The Bolshevik party he created was tightly controlled, small and dedicated purely to revolution- no collaboration with the provisional government.Publishing of the April Thesis- All Power to the Soviets and Peace, Bread and LandSignificance- Lenin provided extremely organised and popular leadership.Created two extremely catchy slogans that gained the Bolsheviks support amongst the people

  • Kornilov RevoltThe attempted attack by conservative general Kornilov on the provisional government in Petrograd forced Kerensky and the provisional government to release imprisoned Bolsheviks and give them arms.Significance- Created Trotskys Red Guard and made the people see the Bolsheviks as the saviors of Petrograd

  • October Revolution (25th October 1917)By October 1917 Lenin and the Bolsheviks had significant influence in the Soviet largely thanks to their popularity gained in the Kornilov Revolt and Lenins promises of peace, bread and land.Using their newly formed Red Guard, Lenin and his Bolsheviks ordered the overthrow of the Provisional Government.In a relatively bloodless coup and without prior Soviet approval, the Bolsheviks took control of the Russian capital. Moscow fell soon after.

  • Part 2: Russian Revolution AOS 2Creating a new SocietyAOS 2 spans from the November 1917 to 1924 (Initial decrees to the death of Lenin)Essentially- What factors influenced the society created by the Bolsheviks and what was this society like?

  • Consolidating Bolshevik RuleApproval from the Soviet- 25 October 1917Bolsheviks got official approval from the 2nd Congress of Soviets.Gave their take over the appearance of popular support because it now appeared to the public that it was a Soviet take over not a Bolshevik take-over.

  • Consolidating Bolshevik RuleCreation of SovnarkomThe official government of the Bolsheviks was created in Sovnarkom. A group of 15 with Lenin as their chairmenMeant to represent the make-up of the Soviet but it was purely Bolshevik.Meant to make laws in accordance with the Soviet officially- unofficially however it called all the shots.

  • Consolidating Bolshevik RuleCreation of the CHEKASecret police created by the Bolsheviks. Brutally efficient rooted out any other revolutionary groups in Bolshevik controlled areas.

  • Consolidating Bolshevik RuleDismissal of the Constituent AssemblyOfficial election had to be promised to keep the people off the Bolsheviks backsElection results did not give Bolsheviks a majority.Bolsheviks closed the Constituent Assembly arguing they were the only accurate representatives of the people in Russia.

  • Promises of Peace, Bread and Land.PeaceGained- but at a great loss 1/3 of European Russia, loss of fertile land, 3 billion roubles, loss of factories loss of minerals.

  • Promises of Peace, Bread and Land.BreadFood crisis worsened by loss of fertile land and the devastation caused by the Russian Civil War. Millions starved to death during the early days of Bolshevik Rule

  • Promises of Peace, Bread and Land.LandLand was redistributed amongst peasants though the Decree on Land 8th November 1917.

  • Key Challenge- The Civil WarEnemies on all sides- White Armies (Counter Revolutionary Russians)- Denikin, Kolchak, Miller, Yudenich.Foreign Armies- French, British (including Australians), American, Japanese, Czech and Polish troops were all involved.

  • Key Challenge- The Civil WarRoll of Leon Trotsky in Civil WarProvided effective leadership in a time of crisis. Mobilised, organised and commanded the Red Army.Inspired troopsEmp