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GCSE: Russia, USSR 1905-1941

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  1. Tsar Nicholas II

    became impatient and began to revolt, this is why the law and order was so bad as it could not be resolved quickly as the Tsar had too far to travel. Also since the country was so large there were many different languages spread around Russia, in fact only about half of the people that lived in Russia actually spoke Russian. This meant that communication in this country was very poor and this shows how the size of Russia affected the way in which the country was governed.

    • Word count: 1860
  2. The Policies of Joseph Stalin 1928 1953

    Many workers died in the horrible conditions whilst working on projects also there were a huge number of deaths as a result of industrial accidents. Workers were subject to strict discipline and were accused of wrecking the Soviet economy if their goods were not of a good quality. Absenteeism was punished with fines and some workers were fired. The fact Stalin is standing out and is being portrayed as a God confirms that the photograph is another piece of propaganda that Stalin used to manipulate people's views of him.

    • Word count: 4348
  3. Explain the effects of Stalins purge in the Soviet Union in the 1930s

    Photographs and history books were changed to eliminate even the memory of people who had been arrested. Propaganda and personality cult was used to show Stalin as the true heir to Lenin, and the only man capable of defending the USSR. Everybody had to praise Stalin, all the time. Newspapers credited him with every success. Poets thanked him for bringing the harvest. People leapt to their feet to applaud every time his name was mentioned. His picture was everywhere parents taught their children to love Stalin more than themselves. They dared not do anything else. Stalin did this to create unity, and certainly strong control was needed to modernise Russia. He was also at least homicidally paranoid.

    • Word count: 725
  4. Why were there two revolutions in Russia in 1917?

    In Russia both revolutions happened in the same year and this fact can only be understood through an analysis of Russian society in the early twentieth century. 2. The contrasts in Russian society: her need to develop the economy in order to be a Great Power; state capitalism and industrialisation; the contribution of Sergei Witte; conversely, the problem of the land and the peasantry - capitalist-run estates were the exception; rapid, but localised, industrial development was taking place in a society where the majority of the population were largely self-sufficient peasants.

    • Word count: 614
  5. Explain why by 1928, the Soviet leadership had decided on collectivisation of agriculture?

    Overall he though it would be a long term solution to the problems of agriculture, idealist communist thinkers such as Lenin had always believed collectivisation to be the way forward for the countryside.

    • Word count: 379
  6. WHY DID THE SCHLIEFFEN PLAN FAIL?

    At first in 1905 Schlieffen had said too send 90%of the army to France to attack Paris. In order to invade France, the German first and second armies were in Belgium needing to get to and conquer Fort Liege. They'd expected Belgium not to fight back and allow German control but Belgium did. This delayed Germany 10 days however they still conquered Fort Liege. If Belgium hadn't resisted German forces then the Germans would've had those extra 10 days and could've used it very well to their advantage. But the Belgium resistance held the Germans up.

    • Word count: 584
  7. Assess the impact that Lenin had on Russia and the Russian people.

    In January 1918 the Constituent Assembly's result for the free elections was that the Socialist Revolutionaries should form the new government. Shortly after this Lenin sent soldiers to shut it down. The effect of this was as well a long-term one: the loss of democratic freedoms for more than 70 years in Russia. But Lenin didn't stop here. He banned non-Bolshevik newspapers, left little or no freedom of speech for the Russians and set up the Cheka. This secret police arrested any opponents or possible opponents of the new regime, sometimes sending them into exile or executing them.

    • Word count: 1255
  8. Compare the characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin.

    He also introduced labour camps and during the 1930s the 'Show Trials' caused many innocent people's death. Also, according to some estimates Stalin killed around 20 million people, while Lenin up to 7-10 million. This makes Stalin seem more ruthless than Lenin, but we should remember that Stalin ruled for 31 years, while Lenin only for 7 years. Therefore it is very hard to decide which one of them was more harsh on the Russians. However, there were some major differences in the two leaders' character as well.

    • Word count: 1397
  9. Who do you think was the most important figure in Russian history - Lenin or Stalin? Explain your answer.

    It is possible that without Lenin Communism would have never emerged in Russia. If he wouldn't have returned from Finland twice, first to raise the Bolshevik's popularity - from a barely known Party to the third most influential one - and the second time to persuade other fellow party members to seize power, then the Bolsheviks might have never won enough support or might have failed to seize the right moment for the overthrow of the Provisional Government. Considering that Communism lasted for more than 70 year in Russia, his importance in the Russian history seems to be enormous.

    • Word count: 945
  10. Which of the following views best explain the fall of Tsarism of Russia? (I) Autocracy is an outdated form of government not suited to twentieth century Russia. By Count Leo Tolstoy. (II) Without war Tsarist Russia would have survived and pr

    In this essay I will endeavour to explain how the different sources support either Tolstoy or Kokovstov's view by providing quotes and evidence form the sources. Count Leo Tolstoy was an aristocrat who believed in reform. He was a strong figure across Europe therefore he could talk against the Tsar and not be arrested. His view informs us that Autocracy and the leadership of one overall supreme leader is a form of government which is not acceptable in the modern 20th Century. Source 1 uses an extract from Tolstoy's letter to the Tsar, three years before the revolution of 1905.

    • Word count: 2261
  11. Lenin- Russia

    He graduated from St Petersburg University after being expelled from Kazan University for his political beliefs. In 1891. He moved to St Petersburg and became a professional revolutionary. Like many of his colleagues, he was arrested and exiled to Siberia, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his Siberian exile, Lenin (the nickname he adopted in 1901)

    • Word count: 345
  12. Kerensky. Kerensky might have started in an excellent position being able to woo everyone with his speaking skills, he ended up losing all power he possessed to Lenin and the Bolsheviks and being forced to flee from Russia in disguise.

    He persuaded the populace that Russia was strong enough to beat Germany and win the Great War. However, when Kerensky initiated another offensive that went wrong it caused what was known as the "July Days", which saw soldiers, sailors and workers protest against the provisional government. There main protest being that the government still carried on with the war and their attention turned to the Bolshevik party as they were the only group against the war. However, the Bolshevik party were not ready to come to power yet. The demonstrations turned violent, therefore Kerensky sent in troops to break it up, this made him just like the Tsar as that is exactly what he used to do.

    • Word count: 1215
  13. Stalin Coursework - sources explaining collectivisation and its effects.

    This was a very small minority, but Stalin might have been able to gather up enough volunteers to stage this photograph. However, overall I think that this photograph is not reliable as not only does it not reflect the common view held by peasants and normal citizens alike that Collectivisation was doomed to failure (many protests were held from 1928 onwards demonstrating the anger of the peasants that collectivisation was being introduced), but also the whole idea behind the written banner when in reality the majority of Russia was illiterate makes Source H seem quite untrustworthy.

    • Word count: 1626
  14. Post 1917 - Bolshevik Leadership

    The idea that Lenin inherited an already damaged country is the view held by many Revisionist historians, and is in a stark contrast to the views presented by most Liberal Historian. One prominent example of the Liberal view of the October 1917 takeover is the view of Richard Pipes, who claims that the revolution was "a classic coup d'�tat", meaning that the Bolshevik party seized power from a largely resistant majority, and that they did so in order to benefit themselves rather that the oppressed working class.

    • Word count: 1044
  15. Russian Revolution - Bloody Sunday

    Japan was seen as a weak, inferior nation, and an easy victory was expected. When Russia was defeated due to incompetent military leaders, tension began to build amongst the Russian working class. The embarrassing defeat of the Russian army, combined with the abominable treatment of the industrial workers and peasants lead to the first open challenge to tsardom, Bloody Sunday. Events The year of 1905 was disturbed by demonstrations, strikes, and increasingly violent reactions by the government. The first major incidence of violence was begun by a peaceful protest march, held on January the 22nd.

    • Word count: 839
  16. Using these four passages and your own knowledge, explain how and why historians disagree about the role that Lenin played in the foundation and development of communist government in Russia.

    The historian states that Lenin was one of the many groups that advocated similar causes. "The populist terrorists in the 1860s-1880s had developed many of them; and they were not entirely absent from certain trends in European nineteenth-century socialism and anarchism." Lenin, in deed was a part of a bigger movement that had started before him. The passage goes further to claim that "Marxist did not need Lenin to resuscitate this tradition for them." Service points out that there were many capable leaders - such as Plekhanov and Trotsky - among his contemporaries that played roles almost equivalent and pivotal in establishment of Russian communism.

    • Word count: 1721
  17. Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in 1917?

    Even through the war this was still the case and the Tsar was doing nothing to stop it. Other long term effects that caused problems were the fact that there was a lack of raw materials and the Tsar took all the money in taxes whilst the peasants and middle classes were left with none. On top of all the other chaos, the tsar decided that Russia should get involved in a war with Japan in 1904 over the land of Manchuria.

    • Word count: 1454
  18. Assess the impact that Stalin had on Russia and the Russian people

    This period, quarter of the century, was one of the hardest for USSR and Russian people. Stalin made a few short-term impacts on Russia but he was single-minded and not as practical as Lenin therefore the impacts he made were mostly long-term. Once in power, Stalin became obsessed with power and obedience. History books were changed to remove the names and pictures of discredited people. In 1928 USSR was mostly agricultural country. The millions of tiny peasant farms created by Lenin (during the period of the NEP) were too small and poor to be efficient. Therefore in 1929 Stalin announced that collectivisation would be compulsory. By 1928 most people lived in villages and worked on farms.

    • Word count: 992
  19. Why did Tzar Nicholas II abdicate in 1917 and not in 1905?

    This war was over a town called Manchuria situated in Northern China. Manchuria was home to the only dock on the eastern coast which did not freeze during the winter months. This made it tactically important to Russia's navy. Russia badly lost this war even though they were seen as the more powerful country and the Tzar was advised to pull out of Manchuria. At first he did not listen to this advice because he did not want to be seen as a weak ruler and admitting defeat would prove this but as the situation got worse on the other side of the continent he realized that he needed the army to help him control the winter Palace protests, and therefore he was forced to admit defeat in China.

    • Word count: 1354
  20. Explain why Stalin, not Trotsky, emerged as Lenins successor

    Trotsky didn't stand a great chance as he only joined the Bolsheviks in August 1917, he was not seen as a loyal member of the party, and many did not trust him.

    • Word count: 303
  21. Free essay

    Explain Trotskys contribution to the success of the Bolsheviks up to 1922

    Trotsky joined the Bolsheviks in June 1917. He was disliked by the Bolsheviks, due to his arrogance and intellengent, aswell as his Mensheviks background. Within around 6 weeks of joining the party, Trotsky was seen as Lenin's "number 2" in the party. This created importance concerning Trotsky and he then went on to contribution to the October Revolution. As Trotsky played a major part in organising the October Revolution, it brought the Bolsheviks to power.

    • Word count: 488
  22. Why was the 1917 Revolution of Russia successful?

    For example the peasants were suffering starvation and illness because of the poor living conditions and Dismal income. Also, the working classes in the major cities had horrific living and working conditions such as overcrowded accommodation and low wages. Furthermore, the middle classes had demanded that they be granted free speech and the right to form political parties to attain a better representation. However, there had been some improvements made by the Tsar. For example the Tsar did create a Duma which was an elected parliament in 1905 as he knew this would please the middle class who had requested it.

    • Word count: 527
  23. Explain Rasputin's contribution to the collapse of Tsarism

    He often walked up to 30 miles a day from town to town. He became involved with the Khlysts which was a cult in Russia. Rasputin believed that sinning then repenting was the way to god and he sinned through sex. Rasputin was an instant hit with the upper class ladies as they believed that he could give them the true path to god. There were a few other "holy peasants" but Rasputin was the most popular, In being popular amongst them it could have given him some influence politically, doubtful but still suspect.

    • Word count: 892
  24. How did Stalin conrtol the USSR?

    Figures are constantly being revised in the light of new evidence. But it has been estimated that over 40million people were arrested in the USSR between 1934 and 1938 of which over 24million were either executed or died in the Gulag. The terror was used indiscriminately against the entire Russian population, which lived in a permanent state of chronic fear. The great purge or terror was also referred to as the 'yezhovschina' after Yezhov who was the head of the NKVD at this time. Most families in Russia were affected by the terror in some way.

    • Word count: 1420
  25. Why did the Reds win the Russian civil war?

    The Bolsheviks were a very well organised and disciplined party. They were a solid movement with a simple aim. The leadership within the reds was excellent and it boasted powerful leaders such as Lenin and Trotsky. Trotsky was ruthless and disciplined, and was an excellent tactician, leading the Bolsheviks savage red army of over 300,000 loyal soldiers. The Bolsheviks made sure they kept the support of the civilians by using a system of 'Red Terror'. Red terror was carried out by a Bolshevik institution, the Cheka. The Cheka were a secret police force that strike fear into the Russian people.

    • Word count: 911

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