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Russian Revolution

Russian Revolution and Stalin

DefinitionGlossary Term
Russo-Japanese War, 1905 A war fought between a rising Eastern imperial power and a decaying European empire. The first time an Asian country defeated a European power in a war.
Bloody Sunday In 1905, in front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, protesters brought a petition to the tzar. They were gunned down by the Imperial Guard, sparking the Revolution of 1905.
Duma As a result of the Revolution of 1905, Tzar Nicholas II created this elected parliament to appease the people. In reality however, the group had virtually no power and the Tzar could dissolve it at any time.
Romanov Dynasty The ruling family of Russia for 300 years. Was brought to an end with the abdication of Tzar Nicholas II.
Provisional Government The government that was set up at the onset of the Russian Revolution. It was made up of the members of the old Duma with Alexsandr Kerensky as PM. It lasted less than a year.
Lenin A Russian revolutionary, communist politician, the first head of the Soviet Union, and the main leader of the October Revolution.
Bolsheviks A Russian political party with a radical perspective on socialism in economics and national identity. They seized power in Russia during the October Revolution period of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and founded the Soviet Union.
Tsar Nicholas II The last Emperor of Russia. He ruled from 1894 until his forced abdication in 1917, due to his inability to manage Russia in political turmoil and command its army in World War I.
Rasputin A Russian mystic who held an influence over the Tsar and Tsarina in the later days of Russia's Romanov dynasty for his alleged ability to cure Alexis, their only son, who suffered from hemophilia.
Kerensky A Russian revolutionary leader who was instrumental in toppling the Russian monarchy. He served as the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin seized power following the October Revolution.
Soviet A group of Russian workers. Similar to a workers union but in Russia they had enormous political power.
Leon Trotsky A Jewish Bolshevik revolutionary, Marxist theorist and an influential politician in the early days of the Soviet Union, first as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army and People's Commissar of War.
“Peace, Land, Bread” Lenin's revolutionary slogan.
Russian Civil War It began immediately after the collapse of the Russian provisional government and the Bolshevik takeover (1917). Hostilities took place between Communist Red Army and the anti-Communist White Army. Communists won after 4 years and created the Soviet Union
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk A peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, between Russia and the Central Powers. This marked Russia's exit from World War I.
Communism An ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization, based upon common ownership of the means of production. It can be classified as a branch of the broader socialist movement.
Foreign Intervention Britain, France, Canada and the United States, along with other World War I Allied countries, conducted a ______________, entering the Russian Civil War on the side of the White Army.
Red Army The armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. Sometimes known as the Peasants' and Workers' Army.
White Army Comprised of some of the Russian forces, both political and military, which opposed the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution and fought against the Red Army during the Russian Civil War from 1918 to 1921.
U.S.S.R. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Soviet Union. A constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922-1991 often incorrectly referred to as Russia. It was one of the world's two superpowers at that time, along with the USA.
War Communism Harsh economic policies adopted by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in which everything (food, munition, clothes) went to the army. One of the first signs of totalitarian communism.
New Economic Policy Policy issued by the Commumist Party that allowed a limited middle class to exist by permitting small businesses in minor economic spheres(farming etc.) Lenin justified this decision with his "two steps forward, one step back" philosophy.
Stalin General Secretary of the Communist Party from 1922 until 1953. After Lenin's death he eventually became the de facto party leader and dictator of the Soviet Union. Ruled with an iron grip, modernizing the country with his ruthless five year plans.
“Socialism in one Country” Stalin's belief that socialism must first be successfully established in the Soviet Union before it could spread to other countries.
General Secretary of Communist Party Stalin's first position in the Communist Party. Following Lenin's death he used this post to appoint those officials loyal to him and in this way built up his support base. Soon thereafter he was recognized as the official party leader.
Collectivization of Agriculture Agricultural plan introduced by Stalin in which peasants were required to put their lands together to form large joint farms. This was meant to increase productivity but was a dismal failure causing mass starvation.
State Farm Generally created by the state when confiscating large estates, workers were paid regular wages and farms were run like factories.
Collective Farm A government owned farm where peasants worked on a quota system. Animals and machinery were pooled together to increase productivity.
Kulaks Literally meaning tight-fisted, it is a term referring to the relatively wealthy peasants in the Russian Empire who owned larger farms and used hired labourers.
Resistance to collectivization Peasants and farmers (Kulaks especially) resisted the new agricultural organization in which government took a large share of grain and animals. They slaughtered their own livestock and burnt crops to prevent the Soviets from having them.
Great Purges Stalin's campaign of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union in the late 1930s. Led to persecutions, suspicions, imprisonment, and killings.
Show trials Loyal Bolsheviks and party members that Stalin saw as any kind of threat, were subject such great stress, fear, and abuse that they made public confessions to crimes against the state of which they were innocent.
Five Year Plans A series of nation-wide centralized exercises in rapid economic development in the Soviet Union. Stalin introduced the first one in 1928.
Comintern An international Communist organization founded in March 1919, in the midst of the "war communism" period (1918-1921), by Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Communist Party. It's aim was to spread communism worldwide.
Treaty of Rapallo Military agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union under which each renounced all territorial and financial claims against the other following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and WWI. A secret annex allowed Germany to train their military in Russia
Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact A non-aggression treaty between the German Third Reich and the Soviet Union, signed in Moscow on August 23, 1939. Short-lived, it lasted only as far as Operation Barbarossa.
Operation Barbarossa The codename for Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that commenced on June 22, 1941
Created by: alfromcanada on 2007-01-15



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