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Russian History

A-Level - 1854 to 1964

When was the Emancipation of the Serfs? 1861
What was the impact of the Emancipation? peasants left with less land than before, population growth: rural pop rose from 50million in 1860 to 86 million by 1900, Redemption dues (6% over 49 years) unrealistic, and generally set too high, High taxation upon peasants – slowed down industry.
What were some of the reforms that Alexander III bought in ? Tightening of authority through Land Captains, Strip Farming, Famine in 1891 – brutal, More famine in 1897 and 1901,
Why was there a need for Agrarian Reform after 1905? Russo-Japanese War (1904-05 had revealed weaknesses, Major unrest in rural and urban areas, Social Revolutionaries were calling for reform pre-1905, Using agriculture as a base for military and industry, Witte and Stolypin willing to control.
What were the problems and changes did Russia face between 1906-1910? Ended redemption payments for former Serfs, Peasants could consolidate strip farms into one holding, Peasants could pass property to their heirs, 2.8 million were private property owners.
What were the effects of these changes? favoured the better-off peasant who could take advantage of state loans and market, migration decreased after 1909, smaller farms, the large estates provided the bulk of food, political power of peasants limited by changes to the Duma.
Were these reforms more or less successful? Here are some statistics: increase in production of 27% between late 1890s and 1909-13, Russia became leading world grain exporter, Greater market due to prices and wages rising, Growth in use of farm machinery, Reduction in illiteracy 51% male literacy in 1987 vs. 82% in 1920
What did the 1917 November Land Decree Announce? Wholesale land seizures and attacks on landlords, Private property in land was abolished, Land couldn’t be sold or leased, Peasants farmed the land but didn’t own it – it was the property of the people and the people’s state.
What was the consequence of the November Land Decree in 1917? Within months the gov’t was resorting to food confiscation, fixing prices, controlling trade and conscripting peasantry, Class wars erupted amongst peasants, Requisitioning under War Communism was brutal.
When were collective Farms introduced? November 1918.
What was the results of Collective Farms? farms were more equal than before, large scale private farming had gone, peasants got land but the state prevented their benefitting of it, low productivity – decline in industry due to lack of incentives, tension between practice and Marxist theory.
What needed to change because of the results of collectivisation? widespread peasant disturbance, low productivity, not enough food in cities – workers resisting, agriculture was still unable to support industry and military sectors.
When was "New Economic Policy" (NEP) introduced? March 1921.
What did the decree issue? Requisitioning stopped, Tax in kind was introduced, Tax would be reduced as production increased = incentive, Peasants were free to sell the rest of their produce.
What was the result of the decree? 1922 saw a turning point – progress in production, Greater efficiency, Based on insecure foundations.
When was the policy of Collectivisation introduced? 1928 - alongside the first 5 year plan.
Why was the collectivisation called for? October 1927 Party Conference called for ‘a decisive offensive against the kulaks’
What did the activists against the peasantry demand? December 1929 Take grain, Destroy kulaks, Collectivise farming.
How many farms had been collectivised? Here are some statistics. Estimate of 240,000 kulak households deported, 1929: 57,000 collectivised farms; 1938: 242,000,
What were the causes of collectivisation? problems of providing enough food for the urban pop, problems concerning resources for industrial growth and defence.
What were the beneficial results of collectivisation? tractors were supplied to NEP farms, Russia didn’t drift towards low-level subsistence agriculture, Food exports were maintained, which was good for industrialisation - came at cost for citizens though, Grain enjoyed a 9% growth between 1939 and 41.
What were the not so good results of collectivisation? Resembles 1861-1904, Procurement prices were low, Freedoms were limited, Deaths were high, peasant unrest, cost of famines, After 1936, purges got rid of the people that might’ve been able to help the peasants, Phenomenal loss of land and freedom.
What were the issues faced by Russia after the agricultural reforms had finished? after WW2 heavy industry was a priority, Production and productivity were depressed due to labour shortage, animal and equipment shortage, low agr. prices and high consumer prices, Biological yields weren’t working, Kolkhozes were left lagging behind.
What elements of agriculture change under Kurshchev? Collective farms made larger, Higher prices paid for produce and an attempt to get rid of rural poverty, The Virgin Lands scheme 1954, Village life affected by a campaign against the Orthodox church after 1957.
What were some of Krushchev's successes in agriculture? standard of living improved, Procurement prices rose and peasant consumption of consumer goods rose.
What were some of Krushchev's failures in agriculture ? Virgin Lands wasn’t sustainable, topsoil was blown away: bad harvest of 1963, Not as much suffering as under Stalin but still the state control was demoralising.
Both Tsars and Commissars were isolated from the rural regions yet still tried to maintain state control. With the exception of Stolypin’s Land Reforms the leaders focussed on state control which didn’t work. Next Category...
What was economic growth like under the Tsars? large units in a limited area of the country, not sustained by the home market, proceeded rapidly in spurts generated by the state, extremely closely linked to state policies.
Why was Russian Industrial Development so delayed? Russia had a serf economy, Top-heavy bureaucracy, Geographical restrictions on transport development prevented a ‘flourishing internal market’, Restricted number of urban centres, Aristocracy focussed on agriculture not industrial development.
What was the free trade era characterised by? Foreign investment into Russian businesses.
Here are some examples of this: British industrialists = textiles factories in St. Petersburg, German expertise = banking and finance, Overseas loans = railways, Led to Period of economic and social development, Contrast to post-1880s economy, which is more in line with Soviet era.
What did the Witte Era oversee and show? The Great Spurt: considerable growth under Witte: average of 8% growth, rise in heavy industry, railways and textiles, Railways seen as the key to all other development, Witte made Minister of Finance in 1891, wanted a large degree of industrial change.
What were the main elements of growth? Witte not in favour of free-market: imposed a heavy tariff, Trans-Siberian Railway, State gained more in taxes so could provide better services, Railways opened up market for farmers spending on industrial products carried by railways.
What were some of the drawbacks of this growth? Had to be paid for somehow, fell on consumers with indirect taxes, Russian productivity was still lower than that of the West, Lack of agricultural development hindered the home market, Problems with loans famine of 1891, grain still had to be export.
What was the impact of Economic Development on Russian Society? greater communication and contact with West = spread of pol. ideas, huge discontents due to inadequate housing and influx of workers to cities, depression of 1899 showed Russia’s dependence on foreign investment, progress did halt, Witte dismissed 1903
What did the workers have to face now? New work disciplines, Concentration of workers in poorer areas of big cities, Periods of hardship and unemployment, Cultural disruption, New health problems due to factories, BUT these were problems of large industrial development and unavoidable.
What were some later developments to Industry by the Tsars? Peasant Land Bank, An available workforce = good, Financial ministers managed to avoid high taxation, Expansion of consumer goods, Central State control through the Russian Association of Trade and Industry -comparable to Gosplan under Stalin.
What was the human impact of the changes made? greater movement – 7million passports issued in the 1890s, variation in wages, difficulties seen as a result of migration – accommodation, lower wages, medical issues, rapid pop growth – the expansion of industry softened the blow of this.
What was the impact of the First World War on the economy? Conscription -40% changed the make up of the work force, Transport system not fully developed, Inflation, Loss of over 5million men by 1917 effect on agr. and ind. forces, Witte, like Stalin, industrialisation allowed Russia to sustain a war effort.
What was the state of the economy post Revolution? War Communism couldn’t expand industry, resources were used as fully as possible By 1921, Russian economy in a worse than it was under the Tsars Decline in industrial workers Population decline Typhus, cholera and scarlet fever: short medical supplies
A comparison between the Tsars and Lenin: pre-Alexander II and Lenin era are similar in terms of freedom to the peasantry, without a great degree of foreign investment, The NEP and Witte’s great spurt are comparable in terms of forced econ growth, War disrupted the growth in both instances.
When was the first Five Year Plan? 1928-32
What were the long term impact of the Five Year Plans? saw a second revolution in terms of industrialisation, new disciplines, new culture and extreme disruption to Russian life, laid basis for survival in WW2.
What were the features of the plans? increase control + discipline in work force heavy industry targeted at consumer goods until 1938 new sectors of industry developed east became a metal and oil centre communications developed – roads built construction of housing and new public builds
Was the human cost greater or lesser than the Tsarist industrialisation? scale of Stalinist growth = greater, Police = greater organ of state power under Stalin, so the peasant opposition was unable to exist, Planned economy of 1930s meant less dependence on capitalist trade cycles, campaign against the Kulaks.
What changes did Krushchev make to Industry Policy? Until 1953 necessity had forced changes upon economic policy, this was not the case afterwards = stagnation, Nuclear dev. cost the ordinary people, 1953 in line with post 1891 industrial dev. large enterprise focusing on traditional heavy industry.
"War is the locomotive of history." - Leon Trotsky
When was the Crimean War? 1853 - 1856
What were the consequences of the war? Embarrassing for Russia – they lost badly, High casualties: 250,000 allies vs. 500,000 Russians, Severe sickness and winter campaign 1854-55,
Who and what treaty bought the war to an end? What was in the treaty? Alexander II bought it to an end with the Treaty of Paris 1856. Russia lost control of the Mediterranean.
What did the war show the need for? Modernisation.
What were some of the modernising reforms bought around by Alexander II? Emancipation of the Serfs, Educational change, Government, Liberalisation of legal system, Military reforms. But war wasn’t only reason: liberal Tsar, liberals in ruling class, however major catalyst.
What was also set up as a result of the Crimean War in 1964? 1st January 1964 - Zemstvos set up.
What powers did this institution have? Regional focus: roads, emergencies, famine, agr., medical care, No national assembly, All classes voted – rights of individual. Can be seen as “selective modernisation” as autocracy was continued.
When was the Russo-Turkish War? 1877 - 1878. Russian ambitions to dominate Turkey.
What weaknesses did the war expose? Supply and medical care, artillery: economically and technologically backwards, War brought financial crisis and collapse of the rouble, War encouraged industrialisation, Russification and pan-slavism as there wad a lack of it.
Although Russia was initially successful, what happened the same year? The successes that the Russian Army had bought were reversed by the Treaty of Berlin 1978 - showed Russian weakness in International Diplomacy.
When was the Russo-Japanese War? 1904 - 1905.
What happened in this war? Dispute over Port-Arthur in Manchuria – a warm-water port allow trading access all year round, Negotiations failed: 1904 Japanese strike on Port, Russian tactics = defensive, Port Arthur fell Jan 1905, R's Baltic fleet defeated @ Tshushima May 1905.
What occurred as a result of this humiliation? Protests led to the Bloody Sunday Massacre in January 1905 which led to the 1905 Revolution.
What were some general comparisons to other wars? Higher expectations/greater disappointment, Largest forces ever but still not victorious, Autocracy evidently wasn’t demonstrating military success, More existing opposition = opportunity for revolution.
Why was the Russo-Japanese a turning point of Tsarism? Failure seen as Tsars fault due to autocracy – no longer an image of power, Caused biggest disturbances/revoluions ever seen in Russia, The concessions of 1905 rev. were the greatest, e.g. National Duma – certain break with autocracy.
When was the First World War? 1914 - 1918.
What was the condition of the Russian Army in the First World War? Chaotic leadership led to defeats at Tannenburg and the Masurian lakes, Inadequate supply system, Russian mobilisation was slow.
What were the majors events that took place during the war? Read the opposite slide? Summer 1916: successful Brusilov offenses, Winter 1916: fuel and food shortages, heavy losses, - Dec 1916 – Feb 1917 – Duma not in session – no outlet for opinions. 2nd March 1917 – Nic II abdicates. Try and learn these!
What was a major turning point in Anti-Tsarist behaviour in Russia? 1915 - Nicholas II takes control of the army and is not present as a ‘reassuring symbol’, Disrepute for gov’t from Rasputin scandal, thinking the Tsarina was committing adultery.
What was the inflation rate at? 300%.
How many strikes were there? 211 in 1915. 684 in 1917.
War exposed long-term limitations of Russia perhaps change was inevitable.
When was the Russian Civil War? 1917 - 1922.
What impact did the Civil War have on the economy? Vast disruption of agriculture, leading to a famine which caused 5 million deaths, Industrial output was damaged - focused on war production but changed to consumer goods afterward.
What changes did the Civil War have on the Communist Party? Made the Bolsheviks more authoritarian and more militaristic, Ban of factions 1921, More hierarchal and centralised dictatorship.
When was the Great Patriotic War (WWII)? 1941 - 1945.
What was the impact of the war on the Russian Public? Total population lost in war possibly up to 13.7%, Destruction of towns, cities, villages and sheer violence, Collective farms were rebuilt, Stalin’s cult was reaffirmed, the power of the party, the police and the economic control were reinforced.
What were some of the political impacts of WWII? Victory seen to be down to Five-Year plans and Collectivisation, contrasting to the Crimean War, Russia seemed ahead of her time, Least political effect of all the wars, mainly down to Russia’s victory, Russia became seen as a superpower.
What was the over reaching impact of WWII? Glorification of Stalin.
When was the Cold War? 1945 - 1991 (or 1964 in this course)
How could the Cold War be compatible to wars in the early 20th century and mid-19th century? Russia found itself to question basic values due to cost and strain of war and its inferior technology.
Why could the Cold War be difficult to compare with other wars? Not a conventional war, Pulled for change – competition with Western Europe and USA, Krushchev’s more liberal era – created with an eye on world opinion.
Why could the Cold War BE compared with other wars? No chance of change or concessions, Economic, social and political modernisation was difficult because of the need to present stability to the West.
What was the condition of opposition during the reign of Alexander II? General Opposition e.g. the narodniks/populists Growing opposition = result of increased hopes down to the reforms made after the Crimean War First organised group of reformers: 1861 Terrorism ignited by Land and Liberty Nationalist revolts eg. Poland
When were the assassination attempts on Alexander II? 1866 - first attempt on Alexander II's life, 1881 - bomb kills Alexander II.
Opposition achieved little – it was small scale and the ideas were too complicated to appeal to the masses: the peasants
What was opposition like throughout 1881 - 1905? Western Socialist ideas resulted in Marxism spreading, Zemstva = liberalism, Russification = nationalism = national independence, industry growth = development opposition, failures of the Russo-Japanese war, by 1905, resistance had grown considerably
How was war a key element? war brought prospect of change, ww1 – unparalleled demonstrations: 23rd Feb 1917 – bread riots in St. Petersburg, Feb 24th – 200,000 people on the streets.
How did Stalin deal with opposition? Repression = constant feature of communist rule, Economic policies standardised central control, thus eliminating hopes of nationalist independence, Opposition within the party was met by violence.
What was a major fault of his opposition? Trotsky, for example, was exiled like many opponents of the Tsars
What was reform and resistance like after Stalin's death in 1953? Limited internal opposition met by repression, Gulag system wound down, but still sever controls e.g. education, Only successful opposition = politburo, who eventually overthrew Khrushchev.
What was Political Unrest like in Alexander II's reign? Polish Revolt 1863 - wanted independence. Peasant Unrest - wanted more land.
When was the Opposition to the Tsars most successful? 1917 - when Tsar Nicholas II abdicated and the Provisional Government took power.
What did the Progressive Bloc deliver on? Progressive Bloc est. 1915: A government responsible to the Duma, Legislation of trade unions, Equality of all before the law, Relatively unsuccessful – didn’t have peasant interests at heart and still rested on an autocratic govt.
What were some of the successes of the Bolsheviks? promised peace – had the war efforts been for nothing? Promised land – but so did the SRs, and the peasants had been taking land for themselves anyway, Lenin and Trotsky to an extent offered organisation, Promised ‘bread’, how this would be implemented
What was the opposition to the Bolshevik Regime? White army – overcome by Lenin in the civil war, Nationalist resistance and peasant resistance, Kronstadt mutiny and workers opposition in 1921, Internal party criticism of NEP, Peasant opposition to collectivisation and requisitioning.
Created by: lukecoleman