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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.

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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were turning points in which mirrored the pre-World War One naval race - in their own right, militarism and influence superseded the Russian Revolution and ideology.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.

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