• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Russian Revolution of October 1917 was potentially the most politically formative event of world history in the period 1879-1980. It saw the end of Russian autocracy, and gave rise to the first self-declared Socialist government.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In considering the process of change in the relationships between the powers and the ways in which this affected the balance of power in the period 1879-1980, how far can the Russian Revolution of October 1917 be seen as a key turning point? The Russian Revolution of October 1917 was potentially the most politically formative event of world history in the period 1879-1980. It saw the end of Russian autocracy, and gave rise to the first self-declared Socialist government. The Russian Revolution would serve to influence the world post-World War II, and supported by the Nazi-Soviet Pact, be of direct compliance of the largest ideological conflict in modern world history - the Cold War. In doing so, it would change the lives of millions of Europeans, for example the Berlin Wall, see the spread of Communism in the East, such as Eastern European spheres of influence, and plunge the world into nuclear darkness. However, it is also possible to argue that the revolution was merely one of many branches of political change that sprung from the First and Second World Wars. Similarly, the nuclear arms race and d�tente were turning points in which mirrored the pre-World War One naval race - in their own right, militarism and influence superseded the Russian Revolution and ideology. ...read more.

Middle

Europe respectively), Stalin was apparently more paranoid about Capitalist invasion into Eastern Germany, which had since the Russian Revolution been prophesied by Russian Communists - Stalin closed the road, rail and canal links between West Germany and West Berlin, resulting in the infamous Berlin Airlift by the Westerners to aid two million West Berliners. The underlying cause is generally understood by, at least more orthodox historians, to be an ideological one. Furthermore, the course of the Cold War would re-emphasise the Russian Revolution's significance in recent history, having blown away Russia's pre-1917 understanding with the West. After the end of World War Two, Churchill proclaimed that "From Stettin, in the Baltic, to Trieste, in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent."7 Edward R. Murrow, an American journalist, sought to blame the War on the Communist expansionism in a 1961 film clip called "The Ideological Battle Between the U.S. and Soviet Union", although liberal historians argue that expansionism was not the cause, suspicion of the Western invaders and devastators otherwise were. Nevertheless, both Churchill and Murrow, despite the 15 year separation between them, believed heavily in the ideological aspects of American-Soviet relations. Francis Fukuyama would write, as the Berlin Wall came down, "The End of History?", an article which would ascertain a victory for liberal-democracies and ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Russian Revolution was not a singular event - it, in itself, was not the cause of the Second World War or the Cold War, or the various events that compounded the two exponentially. Furthermore, one could argue that spheres of influence and military developments played clear roles in the development of world relations in the 20th century. Nonetheless, the ideological impact of the Russian Revolution was a significant turning point in the period 1879-1980, and arguably was the most formative and key turning point. By Victoria Millinship; word count: 1999 1 MI5 records [https://www.mi5.gov.uk/output/the-communist-threat.html] 2 T. Morris/D. Murphy, European History 1870-1991, 3 Rauschning, Hermann, Hitler Speaks: A Series of Political Conversations With Adolf Hitler on His Real Aims, Kessinger Publishing, 2006,ISBN 142860034, pages 136-7 4 The Nazi-Soviet Pact, original text [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1939pact.html] 5 As above. 6 Farmer, Alan, "Access to History: An Introduction to Modern History 1890-1990" edit. Randall, Keith, Hodder Education, ISBN 978-0-340-75366-8, pp. 276 7 Churchill, Winston, "Sinews of Peace" speech, 1946. 8 D. Murphy/T. Morris, International Relations 1870-1991, pg. 78 9 Farmer, Alan, "Access to History: An Introduction to Modern History 1890-1990" edit. Randall, Keith, Hodder Education, ISBN 978-0-340-75366-8, pp. 44 10 Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points (and commentary), [http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/jobrien/reference/ob34.html] 11 D. Murphy/T. Morris, International Relations 1879-2004, pg. 117 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. How important was Lenin to the success of the October 1917 Revolution?

    The people of Russia much respect for Lenin as he was the person who had seemed to show them the way forward after the revolution. This influence that he had over the people was used many times by others throughout uncertainties over the new head of government and many decisions after.

  2. Causes of the 1917 russian revolution

    Before 1905 such opposition groups were illegal, and had little opportunity to recruit popular support, but they were able to provide leadership for the mass movement during the revolutionary year. Lost against Japan 1905 Czar Nicholas II favored expanding Russia's Empire.

  1. How far was the First World War the main cause of the fall of ...

    of the Tsar, it is obvious to understand why the people of Russia called for abdication in February 1917, because of the amount of discontent that was present over the country. Both describe the impatience that was growing against the Tsarist regime, the effects of the latter, the Tsar's personality,

  2. 'Without Lenin there would have been no revolution' - David Footman, an academic British ...

    Therefore, this suggests Lenin had planned to overthrow the new government. After his arrival in Petrograd this meant that the Bolsheviks were now reunited. The April Theses was issued the following day, and contained the new Bolshevik policies, this included: > A worldwide socialist revolution (he wanted every country to become Communist)

  1. The 1917 Revolution.

    He consulted his generals, who advised him to abdicate, and this he did on behalf of himself and his son, transferring the inheritance of the dynasty to his brother, the Grand Duke Michael. Neither Nicholas II nor the generals supposed that they were agreeing to the abolition of the monarchy.

  2. Did Stalin betray the Russian Revolution?

    Other examples of Lenin's less than perfect record are his control of the media introduction of limited capitalism to the country in the form of the New Economic Policy, discredited by Ball as the "New Exploitation of the Proletariat". It was a U-turn on both Marxism and Lenin's previous policy of 'war communism' and angered the left of the party.

  1. How far did government policies change towards agriculture in Russia in the period 1856-1964? ...

    Khrushchev?s agricultural policies Holland, A (2002). Russia and its Rulers ? 1855-1964 A useful source for a brief overview of the period ? but lacking a more in-depth analysis which I was looking for. A useful start point however. I?m confident that it?s reliable since it?s consistent with other sources.

  2. To what extent did the 1917 October revolution completely change the nature and function ...

    This high level of repression is also shown by communist governments such as that under Stalin which used propaganda, censorship as form of repression to ensure that the people of Russia keep 'under the rules' which he puts forward as the paternal figure.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work