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AS Level History

Russia 1855 – 1917
Alternative F

Revision Guide

Contents

1. Alexander II

2. Alexander III

3. Nicholas II

4. Stability of the Tsarist Regime 1905 - 14

5. Political Opposition

6. February / March Revolution 1917

7. October Revolution 1917

Tsar Alexander II

To what extent does Tsar Alexander II deserve to be viewed as the Tsar Liberator?

Think BALANCE!!

Alexander II 1855-81

▪ Came to the throne during the Crimean War (1855)
▪ Initiated a wide range of reforms (social, economic, administrative and legal)
▪ Earned the title ‘Liberator’ for giving freedom to the peasants BUT did not wish to share political power
▪ Assassinated by the People’s Will in 1881

Answering the key question

|Introduction |Use this chart to answer any question on Alex II |
| |All questions (whether relating to ‘Liberator’ or not) will require BALANCE |
| |Precision of knowledge – “Detail is King!” |

| |Yes |No |
|Emancipation |Emancipation Committees set up |Redemption Payments (49 years) |
|1861 |Peasants were free, could own property, marry, trade and were |Betrayal? “We are yours, but the land is not ours” |
| |given a quarter of old land free (no land given to ex-slaves |Peasants lost land, fell by a fifth |
| |in the USA) |So not owned but had less land and had to pay for it |
| |Successful? Difficult balancing act, e.g. nobility |(over-inflated value in favour of nobles) |
| |(conservative) and Tsar’s humane background |Desire for a ‘second emancipation’, 647 riots in the first |
| | |four months |
|Emancipation and | |Failed to stimulate modernisation (ag) |
|agriculture | |*Depriving the nobility of much of their estates, the |
| | |development of large-scale, efficient gentry based farming |
| | |was difficult |
| | |**Burdening the peasantry with RPs and Poll Tax, the |
| | |development of efficient peasant-style agric. could not take |
| | |place |
| | |***Increase in the power of the Mir did not encourage advance |
| | |(traditional / restrictive). No incentive to innovate |
| | |Still difficult to compete with the west |
| | |Agricultural production was not revolutionised (many gentry |
| | |were indebted and peasantry impoverished) |
| | |Traditional methods still dominated (Mir) |
| | |Many peasant farms did not even produce a surplus e.g. 1861 a |
| | |quarter of farms were not self-sufficient, rising to a half by|
| | |1900 |
|Zemstva (1864) |Local govt (inefficient, corrupt). Replaced by Zemstva – given|Powers reduced – e.g. Tax raising (1866), meetings and |
| |powers to maintain local roads, prisons, hospitals, public |publications banned (1867) |
| |health, poor relief and education |Power of the Provincial Governor were increased – could |
| |1870 – Similar structure in towns |reverse decisions |
| |Impressive work – e.g. 15000 new primary schools |No desire for a parliament…e.g. Tver Nobility appealed for an |
| |Employment of experts (teachers, doctors, bankers etc), |assembly, 13 were imprisoned and the nobility were banned from|
| |forming a new group – liberal middle class professionals |discussing anything other than local issues |
| |Some change ‘from below’ evident (usually ‘from above’ in |Slow to spread – 1914 – only 43/70 provinces had a Zemstva |
| |Russia) |Voting system weighted in favour of the nobility – local |
| |Local involvement - 40% chosen by peasants |affairs still run by the Gentry |
| |Melikov proposals signed on day of death – to elect experts to|No power over the police who supervised them |
| |discuss legislation – 15 members of the State Council to be | |
| |elected | |
|Legal Reforms (1864) |Legal system (secretive, corrupt, complex and slow) |Some courts still outside the system – Mir, Church and the |
| |End to old system of private trials based on written evidence |Military |
| |Modern justice system (very popular) – open trials, juries, |Zasulich case – aftermath – many cases taken from juries and |
| |majority verdicts, trained judges, right to counsel, JPs |given to military tribunals |
| |Did modernise… rule of law established |Arbitrary arrest still used (govt) |
| |New atmosphere – public meeting, debate, freedom of expression|Judges influenced by govt |
| |New profession – Law – many liberal / revol. Leaders came from| |
| |this sphere (Was Tsarism creating its own grave-diggers? | |
| |Inevitable when reforming?) | |
|Military |1861 – brutal punishments ended (including use of |Officers still mainly gentry |
| |conscription) |Low educational level still a problem in recruits |
| |All males over 20 eligible for conscription (not just |1877 – War against Turkey went well but this was deceiving |
| |peasants), chosen by ballot. Step towards removal of class |as Turkey were weak |
| |privilege |Quote from German General Moltke, “…the one eyed beat the |
| |Conscription now 6 years and 9 years in the reserves |blind.” |
| |Army smaller, better trained – good foundations | |
| |Massive change to the life of the peasants – no one equalled | |
| |in this area (apart from Khrushchev) | |
| |A lot of the reforms were done by D. Milyutin rather than Alex| |
| |II | |
|Education |Limits on university admissions lifted – increased from 3000 |Post 1866 (assassination attempt), reactionary influences |
| |to 10 000 |prevail |
| |Philosophy re-allowed |Tolstoy replaces the more liberal Golovnin |
| |1863 – Greater autonomy (appointments and courses) |Traditional syllabuses, les emphasis on science, more on the |
| |Extension of secondary education, e.g. 1855-66 x 2 800 000 |classics |
| |Primary education extended by the Zemstva | |
| |Difficult for Tsarist regime, creation of an intelligentsia | |
| |which is potentially critical | |
|Censorship |1855 – censorship reduced |Post 1866 – suppression |
| |1865 – decree allowed the press to discuss govt issues (threat|1870s – increase of govt pressure on the press |
| |prosecution if they went too far) | |
|National Minorities |Initial relaxation |Ended liberal policy after revolt in 1863 |
| | |Russification |
|Poland | |Emancipation favoured the peasants to weaken the Polish |
| | |nobility |
|Finland | | |
| | | |
| |Finnish Diet (parliament) to meet in Helsinki and supported | |
| |the use of the Finnish language – successful | |

|Conclusion |Necessary to modify the traditional image of ‘Liberator’ |
| |Reforms affected social, economic and administrative issues yet nothing could infringe upon autocracy |
| |Historians stress the inadequacies of his reforms, stressing the lack of ‘following through’ on key reforms |
| |This view suggests a lack of commitment to change on the part of Alex II, easily frightened and naturally happy to retreat |
| |into conservatism once the overhaul was over (triggered by defeat in the Crimean War) |
| |1870s – clear change away from the liberal start, causing frustration among many |
| |Small beam of light at the end of his reign with the signing of the Melikov proposal on the day of his death (too little too |
| |late?) |
| |Ultimately paid the price with a bomb attack by the People’s Will in 1881 |
| |“…a sad finale to a reign that had started with such promise.” |

Tsar Alexander III

Useful content for:

Policies: Success or failure?

How far did Alex III cut back the reforms of Alex II?

How much opposition was there in the years 1855 – 1900?

Alexander III 1881-94

Tsar Alexander III: What was Alexander II’s legacy?

|Peasants |Zemstva |
|Social |Created an atmosphere of initiative from below |
|Discontent over terms of emancipation especially loss of land and RPs |Members often critical of an unresponsive autocracy |
|Desire for ‘second emancipation’ |‘Seedbeds’ for liberalism and calls for a ‘parliamentary roof’ |
|Massive population rise placed pressure on land | |
| | |
|Economic | |
|Agricultural production severely retarded | |
|Nobility indebted | |
|Peasants impoverished | |
| | |
|General | |
|Atmosphere of change and reform | |
|Some questioning of the autocracy | |
|Legal |Education |
|Modern machinery in place |Class bias against poor had been reduced |
|Fairness – JPs |Students at university had grown from c. 3600 to 10 000 |
|Created atmosphere of debate and increased the number of lawyers potentially |Increased numbers of potentially critical elements – increasingly dangerous to |
|critical of the regime |Tsarism |
|Political |Overall |
|Loris – Melikov proposals for consultation on National decisions with elected |Alexander III inherited a Russia frustrated by the half measures with some making|
|representatives from the Zemstva |demands for full measures as McManner’s argued, “…a glimpse of the shadow whetted|
|Signed on the day of Alex II’s death |the imagination which yearned for reality.” By dabbling in freedom the autocracy |
| |had demonstrated its own obsolescence without being able to adapt itself to a new|
| |age |

Alexander III: Policies

| |Success / Failure |Broader Analysis |
|Introduction |Reign of reform and repression |
| |Crankshaw, ‘…peace of the graveyard’ |
| |Great industrial advance in this period |
| |In a nutshell – Repression / Russification / Industrialisation and some Social reforms |
|Alexander III (Character) |Thirty-six when he became Tsar |
| |Honest, unimaginative and slow thinking |
| |Failed to see the need for change except industrialisation to boost world status |
| |6ft 3in tall, an impressive figure |
| |Strongly Russian, anti-Semitic |
| |Not against reform but a firm believer in Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Nationality |
| |Did not agree with calls for an assembly |
| |Greatly influenced by Pobedonostev |
| |Convinced he had been called upon to defend, for the good of the people, the power of autocracy |
|1881 – Decree Statute |D. Milyutin (liberal) – urged Alex III to ‘complete the great |Powers of the Decree – |
|Concerning Measures for the |reforms of the late Emperor which remain unfinished’ |Emergency powers |
|Protection of State Security |However the Melikov proposals were rejected (advised by Pobv) |Provincial Governors and Ministry of the Interior were given |
|and Social Order |Not surprising post-assassination |sweeping powers to control disorder |
| |Composition of cabinet changes – Progressives replaced by |Special committees set up – military tribunals, removal of |
| |conservatives (e.g. Pobv, Tolstoy) |officials, confiscation of property, censorship and closure of |
| |Alex III blamed reforms for the social and political unrest |some educational institutions |
|(Repression) |Decree was supposed to be temporary but lasted until 1917 |Large cutbacks to earlier reforms of Alex II |
|Education |Alex III thought that education was the domain of the |Alex II liberal law of 1863 replaced in 1884 by one tightening |
|1887 – |privileged – bleak period |govt control of syllabus and appointments |
|Decree to prevent social |Class discrimination intensified – e.g. secondary / uni fees |Stress on religion / tradition |
|mobility |increased (4X) | |
| |Number of gymnasia fell even though numbers of educated | |
| |rising…still low | |
| |Govt wary of education other than that of strictly controlled | |
| |church primary schools | |
| |1900 – only 27% of school age were at school, only 21% of popn | |
| |literate | |
|1889 – Land Captains |LCs replaced the Zemstva elected JPs and were chosen by the |LCs had the power to reverse undesirable decisions, remove elders |
| |Provincial Governor, supervised by M of I |and reverse peasant decisions |
| |Purpose – to exercise more control over peasantry (hated) | |
| | | |
| | | |
| |Now directly controlled by bureaucracy. All appointments had to| |
|1890 – Zemstvo Act |be confirmed by the Prov Govnr |Zemstva still made improvements to lives of the masses |
| |M of I had power of review of all decisions |National organisations of Zemstvas were banned but many experts |
| |Electorate reduced (advised by Pobv) |formed National Associations e.g. Medical Associations and the |
| | |Committee for the advancement of Literacy |
|(Increased Govt Control) | |Great hopes dashed by Alex III, frustration, lack of |
| | |representation, want to be involved (not looking for revolution) |
|Social Reforms |WHY? |Apart from these measures, little was done for the rural popn |
|(1) 1881 – |Alex III had a genuine belief in the basic goodness of the |Agriculture suffered serious neglect |
|Poll Tax replaced by business|Russian peasant |Exploitation of, to finance industrialisation |
|and income tax / RPs reduced |Paternalistic |Famines 1891, many died |
| |Way of quelling unrest | |
|(2) 1883 – | | |
|Peasants Land Bank | | |
| | | |
|(3) 1885 – |Reduced interest loans to help peasants buy more land | |
|Nobles Land Bank |Popular but didn’t solve root causes | |
| | | |
|(4) Factory Reforms |Designed to help Nobility in severe debt | |
| | | |
| | | |
| |Hours of women / children restricted | |
| |Factory Inspectorate set up | |
| |Basis of 1897 law (Nicholas II) of 11 and a half hours for all | |
|Russification |Alex III – fierce nationalist chauvinist, influenced by Pobv |Counter-productive |
| |Nationality, Orthodoxy and Autocracy |Greatly increased opposition |
|Neat uniformity rather than |Russification implemented |Revolutionary leaders came from Jews and other persecuted groups |
|regional diversity |Minorities harassed – e.g. Poles, Finns, Jews, Tartars etc |Erupted in 1905 |
| |Jews – intensification of existing policies – 1881 Alex III |Offended half the population! |
| |ignored pogroms |Potential political enemies… |
| |1890 – Finnish incorporated into Russian Army (traditionally | |
| |loyal but still suffered) | |
|Conclusion |Alex III was successful in maintaining and strengthening the autocracy |
| |Made son’s inheritance more difficult |
| |Reaction coincided combined with huge economic expansion |
| |However industrialisation stored up problems for later |
| |Rejection of Melikov meant reform from above stopped, next to come from below in 1905 |
| |Nicholas II on throne… Calm of Alex III soon seen as an illusion |
| |Widening gap between pretensions of autocracy against its performance |
| |Nicholas II less assertive and lacked sense of purpose |
| |War with Japan, revolution (1905) and 1917… Then overthrown! |

Pobedonostev

▪ 1827 – 1907
▪ Probably the most influential political thinker in Russia 1881-1905
▪ Capitalising on the assassination, he gave conservatism a new sense of purpose with the slogan, ‘Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Nationality.’

Tsar Nicholas II

Why did revolution break out in 1905?

Why did Tsarism survive the 1905 Revolution?

Points to remember: 1. Above are two popular themes for the exam 2. DO NOT ignore section up to 1905 (after death of Alex III)

Nicholas II 1894 - 1917

▪ The last Tsar
▪ Did not impress his contemporaries
▪ Weak and indecisive
▪ Devoted to his wife (Alexandra, who was strong)
▪ Defeated in Russo-Japanese War 1904/5
▪ Forced to grant a constitution after 1905
▪ Failure in WW1 led to abdication in 1917
▪ Executed in 1918 with his family (by Bolsheviks)

Part One: The Reign of Nicholas up to 1905

|Introduction |Revolution |
| |Duma |
| |Last Tsar |
| |Two wars |
| |Political / Economic reforms – above and below |
|Nicholas II |Aged 26 when he became Tsar |
| |Determined to uphold authority yet lacked assertiveness |
| |Obstinate, ineffectual, easily influenced etc |
| |Genuine affection for the people but expected them to be blindly obedient |
| |Good family man |
| |Described as a ‘little man lost in the immensity of his realm’ |
|Initial Moves |Bad start |
| |1895 – Members of the Tver Zemstvo requested opportunity to express opinions to the govt… Nicholas rejected them as ‘senseless |
| |dreams’ |
| |Celebrations at his coronation – free beer stampede, 1300 dead. Nicholas II carried on celebrations by attending a French Ball, |
| |visiting hospitals next day |
| |Damage done, seen as uncaring, reinforced on Bloody Sunday (1905) |
|Repression |Reform requests rebuffed |
| |Arrests / prohibition of conferences, reduction in tax / admin powers of the Zemstva |
| |Uni unrest grew, 1899 student protests suppressed – closed unis |
| |Many students joined the SRs who increased assassinations, e.g. Interior Minister (Plehve) |
| |Russification continued |
| |Countryside more unrest – land hunger plus SR propaganda |
| |Towns’ unrest – e.g. 1896 St. Petersburg strike… Led Zubatov (Moscow Okhrana chief) to set up a union to monitor unrest. Failed |
| |as it became involved in General Strike in Odessa in 1903… Zubatov dismissed |
| |Father Gapon allowed to set up ‘The Assembly of Russian Factory Workers’ to channel unrest… Backfired – Bloody Sunday |
| |involvement… |
| |1900 – Cross-section of society discontented |
| |Reformist / revolutionary ideas were spreading |
| |Peasant uprisings, assassinations, strikes |
| |Zemstva getting nowhere in attempts at reform from within |
|Overall up to 1905 |Continuation of Alex III |
| |Could repression continue with Nicholas in charge? |

Why did Revolution break out in 1905?

|Working class unrest |Industrialisation – long hours, low pay, poor conditions |
| |Wanted an end to war (making things worse) |
| |Strikes – Jan 1905 ½ m – 10 x previous number in whole decade. 2.5m in Oct (Soviets exercised more control in St Petersburg than |
| |the Govt) |
| |Govt had never tackled the issues – strikes paralysing Russia |
| |Virtual national strike, especially when railways included |
|Peasant poverty |RPs plus fear of repression and high taxes |
| |Land hunger – peasant holdings had fallen by 20% |
| |Poverty |
| |1902/3 – unrest, increased 1905/6 |
| |Included – illegal pasturing, seizure of Lords’ animals / land / grain |
| |Peasant Union congress established to co-ordinate action |
| |Volga region – some estates burned to the ground |
|Middle classes |Alienated by lack of voice / reform |
| |‘Senseless dreams’ comment left them without hope |
| |Incompetence of wartime govt |
| |Radical Union of Unions formed to combine professional organisations |
| |Students involved in unrest |
| |1904 – Liberals formed illegal unions of liberation – banquets |
|Repression |Continued Alex III’s policies |
| |1899 – 13 000 strikes (unis) led to temporary closure |
| |1881 decree continued / hatred of Russification etc |
|Nicholas II |Lacked Alex III’s determination |
| |Too shy to be an autocrat |
| |Expected blind obedience |
|Military defeat |Russo-Japanese War = catalyst |
| |E.g. 89 000 dead at Battle of Mukden |
| |Russian Baltic Fleet destroyed |
| |Incompetence – criticism grew |
|Spark: Bloody Sunday |Peaceful march to request help (Father Gapon) |
| |Troops fired on innocents, several hundred killed |
| |Strike wave grew, with new revolutionary mix, e.g. middle classes |
| |Grand Duke Sergei (Nicholas Uncle) assassinated Feb 1905 |
| |Bulygin Proposals – too little too late |
| |Summer of unrest - serious |
|Pearson |“By mid 1905 all the ingredients of revolution were present. The dynasty was weak and indecisive. The govt was a victim of its own |
| |policies, whether repression which raised the proletariat, or the reforms which promoted the middle classes. War, another |
| |by-product of govt ineptitude, both united the elements of latent opposition as never before and put exceptional strain on the |
| |fabric of Tsarist govt. For the first time all the classes of society were involved, albeit not as a unified political alliance, |
| |but as an expedient grouping unified by individual self-interests. The middle classes initiated the movement cautiously, the |
| |proletariat’s precipitate entry added a new militancy, and the final opportunist affiliation of the peasantry added a daunting |
| |geographical and numerical scale to the confrontation.” |

Why did Tsarism survive the 1905 Revolution?

|Division in Opposition |Middle classes feared the explosive classes below and so were willing to go along with concessions – e.g. Octobrists, Struve (a |
|Forces |liberal) said, ‘Thank God for the Tsar, who has saved us from the people.’ |
| |Peasant uprisings had been more serious in 1902/3 than 1905 (not big threat) |
| |Lacked co-ordination and leadership (no Lenin figure) |
| |More outbreaks of rage (mass protest) than revolutionary action |
| |Significant enough to grant concessions but not to replace the govt |
|Troops |Troops returning from the Russo-Japanese War remained generally loyal |
| |Used to quell unrest late 1905 |
| |Made peace with Japan… a popular move |
|Timely Concessions |October Manifesto |
| |Split revolutionary forces, esp. middle classes |
| |Moderates moved to support the govt through fear of lower classes |
| |Legislative Duma (Witte)… full of promises / hope |
| |E.g. freedom of speech / consultation on govt issues / laws |
| |Watered down significantly by 1906 Fundamental Laws |
|Working Classes |Govt went on the offensive, arrested the St. Petersburg Soviet (most important during 1905). Forty – fifty had sprung up over the|
| |country demanding better conditions |
| |Govt crushed a second wave of strikes e.g. 1000 killed in Moscow in December |
|Peasants |Concession and repression calmed the countryside |
| |Promise to reduce then end RPs |
| |Force used to restore order, e.g. General Trepov, ‘cartridges must not be spared’ |
|Viewpoint |‘Rather than being a concerted attempt by revolutionaries to seize power, the events of 1905 can best be seen as a general but |
| |temporary collapse of authority accompanied by scattered sporadic outbreaks of protest and violence both urban and rural. Tsarism|
| |had survived, and the reforms forced from it raised the possibility of a third alternative to that of autocracy or revolution, a |
| |reforming constitutional monarchy.’ |

Sergei Witte

▪ Min. of Finance 1892-1903
▪ Prime Minister 1905/6
▪ Outstanding statesman
▪ Seton-Watson (1967), ‘Witte was both a brilliant organiser and a man of broad ideas.’
▪ Firm advocate of modernisation but politically conservative (change from within)
▪ Married a Jewish divorcee (frowned upon)

Tsar Nicholas II

How stable was the Tsarist regime 1905 – 1914?

Points to remember: 1. This section is useful for answering questions on effectiveness, success / failure of post-1905 political / economic (agric / urban) reforms 2. Also be aware of questions asking about the eve of WW1 and the extent to which Tsarism had ‘learnt lessons’ of 1905 by 1914 (Think BALANCE here) 3. Do not confuse these types of question with details about the 1905 revolution itself… Read the question carefully!

Pietr Stolypin

▪ From a landowning noble family, he became a civil servant
▪ 1902 – Appointed Governor of Grodno, then Saratov in 1903
▪ 1906 – 11 – Minister of the Interior and Chairman of the Council of Ministers
▪ Assassinated in 1911
▪ Conservative statesman but was prepared to work with a docile Duma
▪ Passed agrarian reforms aimed at creating prosperous peasants (kulaks)
▪ He is considered to be Nicholas’s last outstanding minister

How stable was the Tsarist Regime by 1905-14?

| |Yes (STABLE) |No (UNSTABLE) |
|Political |1905 – Granted Duma splitting the middle classes |Fundamental Laws watered down the Oct. Manifesto, e.g. Article|
| |1906 – Fundamental Laws reasserted Tsarist control and |87 |
| |restricted the Duma |No real control as Tsar had the ultimate say |
| |Duma still a forum for debate, could question ministers |Article 87 – right to rule by decree and ability to dissolve |
| |(interpellation) and eventually had control of 60% of the |the Duma |
| |budget |1st / 2nd Duma dissolved for being too radical. Stolypin used |
| |However, despite F Laws, limited franchise was not dissimilar |article 87 to change the franchise after experiencing |
| |to elsewhere in Europe |opposition to his reforms. New franchise weighted towards |
| |Last two Dumas more moderate (5 year duration) and passed some|Nobility, 1% of the population controlling 2/3 of Duma seats |
| |important social reforms |Co-operation between Duma and ministers was evident however |
| |E.g. education – 1905 1.8% of budget, 1914 – 4.2% |two ministers of war were dismissed for this |
| |Ministerial co-operation evident, e.g. Stolypin and Guchkov |Govt interfered in 1912 elections to ensure a satisfactory |
| |(Octobrists). Several ministers consulted committees |result |
| |Appointment of able ministers up to 1911 (Witte, Stolypin) |Govt in decline in 1912, leading to growing criticisms from |
| |were a positive sign |the liberals |
| | |Rasputin seen to have an increasing influence |
| | |1912 Nicholas banned the use of the word constitution |
| | |1914 Duma losing its power, e.g. appointing 74 year old |
| | |Goremykin to the position of PM |
| | |Guchkov, ‘sad, unavoidable catastrophe’ |
|Agricultural |Aims | |
| |Aim to create a band of prosperous peasants, a ‘wager on the | |
| |strong’ | |
| |Also to replace the strip system with the consolidation of | |
| |land | |
| |Land hunger (huge popn rise) was to be alleviated by | |
| |encouraging migration to areas such as Siberia | |
| |Success | |
| |RPs ended in 1907 | |
| |1907 – 16 2.5m peasants leave the Mir |However, massive popn increase placed huge pressure on land, |
| |1916 ¼ of all peasant land was owned privately (Even Lenin |productivity had only risen by 1% |
| |worried) |Agriculture still using old methods (e.g. wooden ploughs and |
| |1908 – 1913 – production at new high, 1913 harvest – 70m tons |few animals) |
| | |Use of fertilisers low – less than 5% of land received any |
| | |Inefficiency – private estates (10% of agric land) was resp. |
| | |for ½ the surplus market as peasants ate most of their |
| | |production |
| | |BUT central area and Tambov saw little change (5%). Overall |
| |1909 – Vast movement of peasants from the Mir, but |migration only dealt with 10% of the popn. |
| |considerable regional variations, e.g. Ukraine ½ peasants left| |
| |the Mir |Historian Shannon argues that Stolypin’s reforms were |
| |Conclusion |fundamentally ill-conceived as they assumed a Western style |
| |Stolypin said that he needed 20 years for the reforms to be |desire for private property. The peasants feared the |
| |effective, he got 9 (assassination) |uncertainty of individual farming to the guarantee of |
| |No agric. revolution occurred |collective welfare of the Mir (strong tradition) |
| |However despite all the problems the countryside was quite on |1914 – Strip system prevailed, only 10% of farms had been |
| |the eve of WW1, suggesting stability |consolidated |
| | |Extra note |
| | |Policy of indsn further impoverished the peasants, they were |
| | |‘squeezed’ through direct / indirect taxes and surplus grain |
| | |was needed for export |
| | |1860-1900 – indirect taxes increased by 450%, direct 200% |
| | |5/6 of govt revenue came from indirect taxation |
|Industrial |1880s – knew needed modernisation to survive | |
| |Indsn created a volatile proletariat but needed to take the | |
| |risk | |
| |Massive growth apparent, e.g. coal 1870 42 000 tons, 1880 920 | |
| |000 tons, 1890 2.3m tons |Impressive growth starting from a very low base |
| |1900 – world leader in oil production | |
| |1861-1913 – Indsn production increased X 11 |1913 – only 1/3 of the USA |
| |1905 – Right to join trade unions |Indsn had dangerous political implications – proletariat |
| |1907 – 300 000 members |doubled added to poor conditions |
| | |Inflation increased 40% 1908-14 |
| | |Discontent / criticism growing |
| | |Unions subject to repression and repeatedly closed down. 40 |
| | |000 members by 1914 |
| | |Only 13 out of 413 deputies in the Duma served working class |
| | |interests |
| | |1914 – first 6 months, 1.3m workers on strike but regime |
| | |maintained control |
| | |Shootings – e.g. 1912 Lena Goldfields Massacre 200 killed, 400|
| | |injured |
| | |Mini Conclusion |
| | |Indsn created forces politically threatening |
| | |Volatile working class, impoverished peasantry and a |
| | |commercial middle class |
|Conclusion |Countryside quiet in 1914, good harvests etc yet peasants wanted to seize land |
| |Economy doing well yet conditions were harsh |
| |Middle classes did pass some legislation but were frustrated |
| |Still fearful of lower classes so unlikely to unite with them |
| |Working class unrest largely confined to the capital / easily contained |
| |Army remained loyal |
| |Mixture of stability and instability |
| |Decision to go to war was FATAL |
| |Created a crisis that ended the Romanov dynasty |
| |Huge gamble, esp. when considering impact of Crimea / Russo-Japanese Wars |

Opposition Groups

Who were they?
Who did they represent?
How important were they?

POPULISTS (later the SRs)
LIBERALS (Octobrists / Kadets)
MARXISTS / SDs (Mensheviks / Bolsheviks)

Points to remember 1. You need to know precise detail on the ideas / strategies of each group 2. Try not to over-exaggerate the importance of these groups 3. Don’t ignore them either! 4. They can appear in a 7 mark, Section B question 5. Equally knowledge of this section can be handy in answering questions in Section A

Opposition Groups

|Introduction |Appeared in the C19th, seeking change through violent / peaceful means |
| |Easy to exaggerate BUT did not start 1905 or Feb 1917 revolutions |
| |Chief critics from the elite were far removed from the people and govt |
| |Only in early C20th that they joined (briefly)… eventually swept away the govt |
|Group |Details |Tactics |Statistics |
|POPULISTS |Inspired by the misery of the peasants |Failure of ‘To the People’ led to a change of tactics|Assassinations |
| |Wanted political and social change |– TERROR |1881 Alex II |
|Peoples Will |Saw Mir as central, with landowners losing |Success? |1904 Plehve |
| |land to be redistributed |Greatest success – assassination of Alex II but led |1907 Stolypin |
|SRs (1900) Brought all |Tsar to be replaced with a democratic republic|to repulsion and increased repression |2000 officials |
|Populist groups | |Populists formed as an umbrella – propaganda + |Support base |
|together |SRs divided over tactics – wanted peasants to |assassinations |1906 50 000 members |
| |rise up |Post 1905 influence decreased, also one of leaders |Post 1906 declined |
| |1870s ‘To the People’ Movement – met with |(Azev) exposed as a police spy |Importance |
| |apathy and hostility, most loyal to the Tsar, | |Terror strengthened position, |
| |blaming nobles instead. Also mistrusted middle|Most popular group in Russia’s only democratic |especially in 1870 / 80s, |
| |classes |elections (1917) |delaying reforms |
| | | |Most rural unrest spontaneous but|
| | | |agitation / propaganda may have |
| | | |contributed to 1902/3 |
|LIBERALS |Never gained a strong foothold, lacked middle |Cautious liberals (Shipov) saw gradual shift to |1905 |
| |class input needed |reform through an enlightened Tsar |Moderate Octobrists |
|Meaning: Individual |Alex II a firm believer in autocracy but did |Zemstva – Assembly |Radical Kadets |
|rights, freedom of |offer some support for liberal reforms |Didn’t happen! |Support Base |
|speech, rule of law, |Social / admin reforms did lead to an increase| |Zemstvo assemblies |
|rep. govt |in people attracted to liberal ideas, e.g. |Others more radical – gradualism too slow, demanded |Professions |
| |Zemstva / law |assembly (Milyukov) |Intellectuals |
| |‘Seeds of liberalism’ | |Some industrial / commercial |
| | |Neither had impact on 1904/5 when organised into the |support evident |
| | |Union of Unions (banquets) to spread views. Masses |Importance |
| | |that forced Duma |Limited as govt unresponsive |
| | | |until 1905 |
| | |Duma satisfied more cautious liberals, whilst |Liberalism weak due to |
| | |radicals rejected… |backwardness of Russia, lacking |
| | |Vyborg Manifesto showed weakness of Kadets – little |initiative |
| | |response to call for passive resistance (1st Duma) – | |
| | |arrest / barred from 2nd Duma | |
| | | | |
| | |1906 – Political parties now legal but liberals torn | |
| | |between govt co-operation and principles | |
| | |Afraid of looking to lower classes for support | |
| | | | |
| | |Little effect on developments, unable to secure | |
| | |modern democratic system, briefly into power after | |
| | |the collapse of Tsarism in 1917 but ultimately | |
| | |overthrown by Bolsheviks | |
|MARXISTS |Eventual rulers but do not over-exaggerate |Helped to organise strikes in the 1890s – sought to |Key Acts |
| |earlier role |turn econ / soc grievances into hostility |Industrial strikes |
| |Marxists stress historical role – Feudalism to|1903 – Split – Mensheviks (Martov) / Bolsheviks |1890s esp. St. Petersburg 1896/7 |
| |Capitalism to Socialism to Communism |(Lenin) |Dec 1905 Bolsheviks behind failed|
| | | |Moscow uprising |
| |Then called themselves SDs as they believed |Bolsheviks – tight-knit / disciplined party over open|Strength |
| |Liberalism meant freedom only for the elite, |membership |1904 40 000 members |
| |not for the exploited masses who needed a |Most of the leaders were in exile |1906 150 000 |
| |socialist revolution to establish genuine |1905 / 17 spontaneous, leaders had to rush back to |1912 Pravda – print run of 40 000|
| |democracy in a socialist society |try to channel discontent with limited success |Importance |
| | | |Only given chance because of late|
| |Looked to the proletariat as the source of |Did play a role in orchestrating industrial unrest |C19th indsn |
| |revolution – overthrow autocracy, pressurise |Most historians would argue that it was only after |Easy to exaggerate importance |
| |new bourgeois govt to grant reforms |the collapse of Tsarism in Feb 1917 that the Marxists|because of eventual success (Oct |
| |Advancement of industry would create |played a major role |1917) |
| |conditions for a socialist revolution | | |

February Revolution 1917

What were the causes of the February / March Revolution 1917?

Points to remember: 1. Vitally important area 2. Need to argue a full range of factors to explain Tsarist collapse 3. Focus on short term factors – brought about by war (1914-17). E.g. Govt actions, econ. problems, lack of success in war, mass unrest 4. Also demonstrate an awareness of long term factors dating back to 1861. E.g. Emancipation and Govt policies since 1855 5. BUT be careful to link material to Feb 1917, not an excuse to write about the earlier period in isolation 6. Good balance would be ¾ short term / ¼ long term

Rasputin, ‘The Evil Monk’

▪ Born in Pokrovskoe, Western Siberia c. 1869 ▪ Became a starets (holy man) ▪ Coarse / spiritual – strong appeal to high society (pre-1914) ▪ Close association with the royal family and high politics ▪ Assassinated by Prince Felix Yusupov and V.M. Purishkevich of the Union of the Russian People in December 1916

The Causes of the February 1917 Revolution

Potential Revolutionary Forces

|Working Classes |Numbers increased because of indsn |
| |Poor conditions |
| |Strikes / demos – e.g. Petrograd 9th Jan 1917 140 000 |
| |14th Feb - 90 000 demonstrated |
| |23rd Feb – International Women’s Day – lack of food / bread – demos |
| |24th Feb – 200 000 on streets of Petrograd |
| |25th Feb – 300 000 |
| |27th Feb – Petrograd garrison mutinied |
| |Generals advise Nicholas II that abdication is the only option |
|Peasants |Inadequacy of reforms – growing land hunger |
| |Peasant land seizures more a consequence than a cause of Feb Rev |
| |Land question still unresolved but Stolypin reforms arguably made peasants more loyal |
| |Most soldiers were peasants played a crucial role in the disaffection of the army |
| |Failure to supply sufficient grain during the war led to urban discontent |
|Middle Classes |Govt did not sincerely support potentially promising political reforms 1905/6 |
| |Duma not fully accepted by the autocracy |
| |No real acceptance of liberal freedoms |
| |Russia still semi-autocratic |
| |Duma no real control over the govt, e.g. WW1 |
| |Opportunity for gradual political reform missed 1860s and 1881 |
| |Strongly entrenched reactionary views at court |
|National Minorities |Russification – imposition of Russian language, culture and religion |
| |Counter-productive |
|Revolutionary Parties |Played little role in the largely spontaneous Feb Rev |
| |Propaganda helped undermine loyalty to the regime, esp. amongst workers and soldiers |

Behaviour and actions of Government

|Ministers |Constant cabinet reshuffles |
| |1915/16 – 4 PMs, 3 Foreign Secretaries, 6 Ministers of the Interior (All competent) |
| |Overall – 1915-17 – 13 major ministries saw 39 ministers come and go |
| |1915 – Nicholas II to frontline leaving Alexandra and Rasputin (Lynch – effectively govt of Russia) |
| |“Ministerial leapfrog” |
|Aristocracy |Rasputin and Alexandra alienated the aristocracy (traditional supporters) |
| |Alienated by incompetence of Nicholas II, refused to rally to his defence in 1917 |
|Tsar Nicholas |Limited intellectual horizons |
| |Firm autocracy believer (Pobv) |
| |Refused to grant reforms in 1890s, never accepted Dumas |
| |Bad judgement – failed to see the need for political concessions |
|Generals |Army of 1916 different to 1914 |
| |Losses meant that a lot of the loyal Generals were gone |
| |Morale low, some evidence of desertion but the front survived largely intact until the Feb Rev |
| |Feb 1917 troops refused to fire on demonstrators and fraternised with the crowd |
| |Generals increasingly critical of the incompetence of Govt |
| |Not prepared to defend it in Feb 1917 |

General Situation

|Economic |Finance |
| |National budget increased X 8 – 1913 4m to 1916 30m |
| |Gold standard abandoned and printing of money (Inflation 400%) |
| |1914-16 Average earnings X 2 but food / fuel X 4 |
| |Financial stability crucial because of need of peasants to supply grain |
| |Food Supply |
| |Inflation meant that trading was unprofitable (hoarding) |
| |Effect – 1914 25% of harvest to market, 1917 15% - hunger / famine |
| |1916/17 – Petrograd and Moscow only received a 1/3 of requirements |
| |Transport |
| |Railways not adequate to deal with war |
| |1916 paralysis – 575 stations incapable of handling freight |
| |1914 20 071 engines in working order, Feb 1917 9 201 |
| |Archangel (port) had stockpiles of goods that could not be moved |
| |Moscow 1914 received 2200 wagons of food per month, 1917 less than 700 |
|Social |1916/17 Petrograd received ½ its fuel needs, cold winter, closed factories, no bread |
| |Increased demand for armaments saw labour force grow to 3.5m – pressure on housing |
| |Employers intensifying work norms, increasing worker unrest |
| |Strikes – 1914 (Aug-Dec) 61, 1915 – 819, 1916 – 1167, 1917 – 1130 |
|Military |3 years of little success, massive casualties |
| |Mass discontent in cities, increased criticism of the govt by Duma |
| |1915 – lost Poland, Lithuania and parts of the Ukraine (4m dead / wounded) |
| |Revealed govt incompetence / undermined loyalty |
| |Length of war destroyed Tsarism – Russia could not sustain itself |
| |War intensified existing problems, generating a series of crises |
|Political |Duma |
| |1914 – initial rallying behind the Tsar (all except Bolsheviks) |
| |1915 – war going badly, 4m dead / wounded, Duma calls for removal of ‘incompetent cabinet’ to be replaced by ‘Ministry of National |
| |Confidence’ |
| |Formation of the Progressive Bloc…Opportunity for Nicholas II to work with them but he dismissed the idea, isolating himself |
| |Feb 1917 – Octobrists demand removal of unwanted ministers |
| |26th Feb – Rodzianko advises the Tsar that only major concessions would preserve the regime. Nicholas II ordered the Duma to dissolve.|
| |It did but a rebellious ‘Provisional Committee’ of 12 members remained in session. Act of defiance |
| |27th Feb Kerensky (SRs) called for Nicholas II to step down or be deposed |

Lenin (Vladimir Ulyanov)
1870 - 1924

▪ Law graduate and Marxist
▪ Led Bolshevik wing of SDs from 1903
▪ Returned to Russia in 1905, but in exile 1907 to 1917
▪ April 1917 – return (German help) – April Theses
▪ Failure of July Days – exile again until October (Finland)
▪ Framer of Soviet policy in the first years of Communist power
▪ Made peace with Germany
▪ Ruthlessly suppressed opposition
▪ Founded Communist International
▪ Suffered a number of strokes 1922/23
▪ Left no clear heir when he died in 1924
The October Revolution 1917

What problems faced the Provisional Government?

Why was the Provisional Government unable to deal with Russia’s problems?

Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in October 1917?

Point to remember:

Ensure that you can fully argue a multi-causal approach in explaining why the PG collapsed and why the Bolsheviks were able to take advantage (Think STRENGTHS / WEAKNESSES)

The October Revolution: Looking at the key issues

What problems faced the PG and why were they unable to deal with them?

|PG was unelected |Came out of rebellious committee of old Duma, no legitimate authority |
| |No natural claim to the loyalty of the people |
| |Judged solely on ability to tackle problems |
|Petrograd Soviet |PG limited by Petrograd Soviet |
| |Represented workers / soldiers and numbers had spread |
| |Soviet Order Number One = key, army only to obey orders agreed by PS |
| |Forced the PG to compromise with PS – ‘dual authority’ |
| |Added to chaos…Consensus reached (Feb-April), e.g. trade unions recognised, 8 hour day and religious freedoms |
| |Failed to deal with issues of war and land |
|Delaying Constituent |Could have gained them support |
|Assembly |Would have been in a position to bring in legislation on key issues |
| |Lack of willingness on the part of the PG may have cost valuable support, esp. from the peasants (land issue) |
| |Faced with land seizures and growing unrest instead |
| |PG argued that this was a matter for the Con. Assembly (passed the buck!) |
|Continue war |Arguably most important problem – had to continue fighting on the Eastern Front to receive supplies from the Allies |
| |Huge strain on Russia, esp. financially and ignored econ / soc problems as a result |
| |Paradox – to survive the PG had to keep Russia in the war but, in doing so, destroying its own chances of survival |
| |Seen as being out of touch with the suffering of the people, e.g. peasants / soldiers |
| |June Offensive 1917 – failed – mass desertions / mutinies |
|Land issue |Land chief cause of unrest amongst the peasantry since 1861 |
| |Thought that Feb Rev would give them land, discontent grew when it did not materialise |
| |Land seizures grew |
| |PG – heart not really in the land issue as many of them were from propertied classes and had no intention of losing it (exploited|
| |in April Theses) |
|Economic problems |Problems (discussed earlier in Feb Rev section) had not gone away |
| |Getting worse – food / inflation / transport system / semi-starvation in towns |
|Lenin / April Theses |Lenin returned to Petrograd in April 1917. Had accepted ‘dual authority’ but argued that the Feb Rev had not granted real |
| |political freedom. He said that Russia needed a second revolution to overthrow the ‘bourgeois regime’ |
| | |
| |April Theses (content) |
| |Dismissed Dual Authority |
| |Soviet only rightful body of govt |
| |Rejected PG, saw it as the Duma in a new garb |
| |Bolsheviks should abandon compromise with other parties |
| |Work to become the majority in the Soviet to encourage second revolution |
| |‘Peace, Land, Bread’ and ‘All power to the Soviets’ (issues PG incapable of dealing with) |
|July Days |PG seemed to be losing grip on power |
| |3rd – 6th July Krondstadt sailors organised an armed demo under the banner of the Soviets. Some Bolsheviks happy to support them |
| |but the leadership refused, thought it was too early. Crushed by PG troops, order restored |
| | |
| |Importance |
| |Bolsheviks discredited, far from dominant party |
| |PG retained enough authority to deal with uprising |
| |Kerensky used the opportunity to attack Lenin (German spy) and ordered the arrest of Kamenev and Trotsky. Lenin into exile |
| |Two weeks after the July Days, the Bolsheviks were on the verge of destruction |
|Kornilov Affair |Took away PG gains after the July Days, allowing the Bs to recover |
| |Kornilov (R-wing General) asked by Kerensky (PM) to bring troops to restore order and ensure that the PG was not overthrown |
| |Kerensky feared that Kornilov was about to remove the PG and establish military rule (coup d’etat) and so ordered his arrest |
| |Kerensky called on the people to defend the city, Bs were released from prison and armed |
| |The affair petered out to nothing because the railway workers refused to operate trains and Kornilov surrendered |
| |Effect |
| |Weakened the position of the PG and discredited Kerensky |
| |Lenin now convinced it was the right time… Bs could present themselves as defenders of Petrograd and the revolution |
|Summary |The PG was a failure – policies ineffective, lacked support and authority |
| |Decision to continue the war was a crucial factor, sapping energy and diverting the strength of a govt whose hold on power was |
| |tenuous in the first place |

Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in 1917?

|Introduction |Tempting to see the B revolution as inevitable after Feb. Too deterministic |
| |Feb – spontaneous / unorganised, Oct - opposite |
|October 1917 |Now in majority in both Moscow & St. Petersburg Soviets, Trotsky president of the St.P Soviet. Exerted an influence out of |
| |proportion due to commitment of its members attending meetings |
| |Lenin convinced that the time was right due to forthcoming events – Meeting of All Russian Congress of Soviets (late October) and|
| |November elections for a Constituent Assembly |
| |Power must be taken before these events so that Lenin could present the revolution under the slogan ‘All Power to the Soviets’. |
| |Difficult to challenge this position and he was unsure about success in the elections |
| |Lenin convinces the Central Committee to the principle of armed insurrection. Personal skill – wins vote 10:2 (Kamenev and |
| |Zinoviev vote ‘no’) |
| |Actual timing dictated by actions of Kerensky – he feared an imminent B attack so he ordered a pre-emptive strike – closed down |
| |Pravda, arrested leading Bs (23rd October). Lenin ordered the insurrection to begin |
|Trotsky |Chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee (MRC) which ran the Red Guards |
| |Drafted plans for the seizure of power |
| |Key as it allowed B aims to be dressed in Soviet clothes |
| |Key positions taken – power stations, police stations, bridges, rail network |
|Fall of PG |Surrendered – bloodless… little / no resources to call upon |
| |Bs later presented the rev as a heroic struggle, including the storming of the Winter Palace (exaggeration) |
| |Gates were not stormed, very little left to overthrow |
| |Not just down to the weaknesses of the PG, they were skilful in exploiting the situation |
| |Lenin & Trotsky were masters (plus other reasons below) |
|Summary |Bs only party who did not side with the PG. Allowed useful propaganda about others ‘selling out’, plus anti-war stance popular |
| |Mensheviks willing to co-operate as ‘bourgeois’ stage necessary according to Marx |
| |Politics had become who could take and retain power, Lenin never lost sight of this |
| |PG always open to the charge that it was not representative / elected |
| |PG & Bs over-estimated each others strengths. PG could have destroyed the Bs. Lenin also expected to be shot if govt agents ever |
| |found him |
| |B land policy was popular with the peasants (Peace, Land, Bread) |

|Conclusion |Post Feb Rev saw the July Days, Kornilov Affair, desertions from the front, growing disillusionment with the PG re: its failure |
| |to solve problems and the increasing influence of the who had recovered from the July Days and were able to pose as ‘defenders’ |
| |PG was being eroded by the PS…therefore the Bs can not be seen in isolation. Arguably the decline of the PG was more significant |
| |that B strength (i.e. Kerensky’s misjudgement of the strength of Lenin’s party). Both sided played a waiting game, fearing |
| |exposure of its weaknesses. Trotsky & MRC had plans ready for some time but it was Kerensky’s strike that sparked the Oct Rev |
| |PG was unable to conduct a successful war or withdraw from it. This added to a poor record re: Bread and Land saw Russian |
| |politics move leftwards. When the challenge came in October, the PG found itself without allies. |
| |Lynch argues that the Bolsheviks did not so much seize power as pick it up after it had been dropped. That is, ‘…the Bolsheviks |
| |did not inherit a ship of state, they took over a derelict hulk.’ |

Leon Trotsky Alexander Kerensky General Kornilov
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DEEDS NOT WORDS!

Train hard, fight easy!…...

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