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Communist Revolution

Communist Revolution

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Communist Revolution

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  1. Communist Revolution Lenin and Friends

  2. Pre Revolution Russia Industry: • Similar to Germany, it industrializes (1890) later than Britain • Lacked skilled work force – most were uneducated peasants • To speed up industrialization Russia borrowed from other countries and heavily taxed peasants

  3. Pre Revolution Russia Labour • Labour force is exploited (as Marx saw) • They begin to strike to demand better conditions

  4. Pre Revolution Russia Peasants: • ¼ of the population • Separated from modern Russian society • Excessively taxed • Unfamiliar with capitalism and government - uneducated

  5. Who is Vladimir Ilich Lenin? • Born in Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk) 1870 • 1887 he enters Kazan University to study law • Participates in various student demonstrations for revolution • Studies Marxism • Becomes a lawyer • Translates the Communist Manifesto to Russian Ca. 1896

  6. Lenin • 1893 he begins to meet with Marxist circles in Russia to join them • 1895 Lenin founds the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class in St. Petersburg after travels abroad to study Marxism further • 1897 Lenin is exiled to Siberia for his Marxist studies and writings

  7. 1901 – Where to Begin? • “Inour opinion, the starting-point of our activities, the first step towards creating the desired organisation, or, let us say, the main thread which, if followed, would enable us steadily to develop, deepen, and extend that organisation, should be the founding of an All-Russian political newspaper. A newspaper is what we most of all need; without it we cannot conduct that systematic, all-round propaganda and agitation, consistent in principle, which is the chief and permanent task of Social-Democracy in general and, in particular, the pressing task of the moment, when interest in politics and in questions of socialism has been aroused among the broadest strata of the population.“ (Lenin, 1901) From Iskra (to be the Communist newspaper)

  8. 1902 – What is to be done? 1) "Of course, socialism, as a doctrine, has its roots in modern economic relationships just as the class struggle of the proletariat has, and, like the latter, emerges from the struggle against the capitalist-created poverty and misery of the masses. But ... modern socialist consciousness can arise only on the basis of profound scientific knowledge ... The vehicle of science is not the proletariat, but the bourgeois intelligentsia: it was in the minds of individual members of this stratum that modern socialism originated, and it was they who communicated it to the more intellectually developed proletarians who, in their turn, introduce it into the proletarian class struggle where conditions allow that to be done.” 2) Create an organization of professional Marxist revolutionists

  9. 1902 – What is to be done? 3) To concentrate all secret functions in the hands of as small a number of professional revolutionaries as possible does not mean that the latter will 'do all the thinking for all' and that the rank and file will not take an active part in the movement." • Lenin argues that the effectiveness of the secret revolutionary leadership will actually increase participation by the masses through their reading the illegal press and taking part in demonstrations. He acknowledges that he will be criticized for his "anti-undemocratic" views. • Lenin is pro-secrecy: March 1918 he wanted to keep secret from the people the peace treaty signed with Germany. 4) Shift of emphasis from local to national work

  10. 1903 • The Social Democratic Labour Party creates sides of the Mensheviks-minority (Martov) and Bolsheviks-majority (Lenin) • Iskra remained a Menshevik newspaper so Lenin had to create his own (Vperyod – “forward”) • Formal split of Mensheviks and Bolsheviks as a party in 1911 • Bolsheviks believed that a small group of revolutionaries could cause the revolution - masses uniting all at once was unnecessary • Mensheviks focused on winning over the masses to start a revolution

  11. Events and leading towards the Communist Revolution 1) Bloody Sunday • 1905 a peaceful workers demonstration in St. Petersburg • Demonstrators are slaughtered in what is known as Bloody Sunday • People now see the Tsar as a leader who does not care about the people

  12. March on the Winter Palace

  13. The Duma – Russian Parliament • Established in 1906 as a part of the October Manifesto • Contained a leftist majority • Direct result of Bloody Sunday and loss in the Russo-Japanese (1905) war – loosing faith in the Tsar • Tsar uses the Duma to regain political favour and power (members were bought off) • Tsar arrests radical opponents – creates more terrorists

  14. Russia Enters the Great War 2) • Lenin highly opposes the war and urges all Allies to take up a revolutionary offensive against their commanders but most Russians were for the war (even most socialists) • War is a disaster for Russia – troops were not modernized enough (old strategy of bayonet rushes) • Russia lacked resources and soldiers sent to the front had to pick up the weapons of fallen soldiers • 15 million mobilized, about 1.5 million die, almost 4 million wounded, 2.3 million captured

  15. Ra Ra Rasputin 3) • Won favour with Tsarina Alexandra for helping her haemophiliac child Alexis feel better • Nicholas joins the losing war front in 1915 which allowed Rasputin to gain favour with Alexandra • Prophesized a losing war for Russia – prophecies gained him popularity • Often clashed with the Duma – Duma saw him as a threat since he was so close to the royal family • 1915 the Duma was disbanded and Rasputin was in charge of the government • 1916 Rasputin was assassinated

  16. Unhappy people 1917 4) • The war had caused hunger and unhappiness within the country – no food transportation system • The war had shown the people the ineffectiveness of the autocratic system of rule • Proletariat demonstrations and even women demonstrations arise • Peasant unrest • 1.5 million deserters from the war (returned to join the movements for revolution)

  17. February-March Revolution 1917 • March 12 demonstration due to hunger, a military regiment was sent to quell them (the Cossacks), they joined instead and disarmed the police • Russian Army commanders suggested to Tsar Nicholas to abdicate in fears of a violent revolution (like French) • The Army and the Duma convinced Nicholas that the people would no longer support him

  18. February-March Revolution 1917 • Nicholas abdicates on March 15 and is placed under house arrest • A provisional government under Alexander Kerensky is put in charge of Russia • Kerensky favours a continuation of war to boost Russian nationalism • Legalizes strikes • Organizes a constituent assembly (to figure out a new constitution) • Provisional government will have a power struggle between the Marxists and the Liberals (wanted to stop the revolution) • Lacked legitimacy since it was not elected by the people

  19. February-March Revolution 1917 • Lenin, who was in exile in Germany, was provided with safe passage from Germany to Russia in hopes that Lenin would help stop the war on the Eastern front for Germany • Lenin returns to Russia and gains more support by criticizing socialists that supported the Duma (they’re supposed to start a revolution, not maintain subordination) • In April, Lenin writes the “April Theses” • calls for immediate revolution • Peace • Seizure of aristocratic lands • All power to soviets (labour movements) • Seizure of factories

  20. Leon Trotsky joins Lenin from the Menshevik party Stalin was for the Duma but formally supported Lenin after returning to Russia from exile as well Stalin and Trotsky

  21. Kerensky fails Russia • Continues the war with a new offensive in July (Kerensky offensive) • The unsuccessful offensive quickly cause dissent amongst the people • Disagreement between Kerensky and Kornilov (leader of another party in power) causes Kornilov to attempt a coup using the army • Kernesky turns to Lenin and his Red Guards and Soviets (workers council) to help him defend Petrograd and won • Kerensky realizes the trouble he created and decides that he now needs to limit Bolshevik power • Kerensky closes down Bolshevik newspapers and cuts off telephone lines • Bolsheviks defeating the army won favour from the Soviets in Petrograd

  22. Government troops open fire on a worker's protest in Petrograd in July of 1917. The shootings only served to further anger the citizens of Petrograd.

  23. October Revolution 1917 (Bolshevik) • Lenin rides on the unhappiness of the people with the Duma and promises “Peace, Bread and Land!” • Trotsky persuades Lenin to take over the government • November 7, Lenin with his Red Guards seized the Winter Palace

  24. Lenin’s Immediate Policies • Making good on his promise, he sanctioned peasant seizures of land, gathered grain to feed cities, and signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk which gave up a large portion of Western Russia and 30% of Russia’s population • Nationalized banks • State controlled foreign trade • All opposition groups made illegal • Peasant seizure of lands • Factories under the control of Soviets

  25. Lenin, inspired a small cadre of Communist intellectuals to agitate amongst the workers and soldiers of Petrograd, today's St. Petersburg. In this photo, his close associate Leon Trotsky stands at the right of the podium. (,29307,1681193,00.html)

  26. Soldiers sympathetic to the Bolshevik cause carry banners bearing Marxist slogans. Lenin and his co-conspirators found a welcome audience among the Imperial troops. Sent by the czar to fighting a losing war in the freezing winter, they were quick to accept the message that they were being exploited.

  27. Peace at last? • Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin will be leaders of the government • Democracy was not a priority – Lenin held a constitutional convention (to form a new constitution) and found himself out-voted 3:1 but used his military to close down the convention • Peace was not gained • There were still followers of the Tsarist regime and nations that wanted to stake their independence

  28. Mini essay assignment (paragraph will do) Read pp 68-70 Evaluate the following statement: Lenin’s Revolution was a Marxist Revolution. Use evidence from your text and notes.