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IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Tsarist Russia Alexander II 1818-1881 Background 1. Mosse ?the best-prepared heir apparent ever to ascend the Russian throne? 2. Had been prepared for Tsardom. Education included Russian and world history, natural sciences, and languages (Russian, German, Polish, and English). 3. Concluded with a 7 month tour of 30 provinces because the first member of the royal family to visit Siberia during this 4. When he returned he was given some responsible posts and was made Nicholas I?s deputy during his absence (had experience). Personality 1. Had a sound and practical mind combined with a sense of duty to improve the well-being of his people. Recognized the need to modernize serfs, economy, army 2. Raleigh ?He would be a wonderful sovereign in a well-organized country and in a time of peace?but he lacks the temperament of a reformer.? ?Too kind, too pure, to understand people and to rule them.? 3. Was his father?s son in other respects, firm conservative and devoted to upholding autocratic government. Refused to consider a constitution for 25 years. 4. ?The people see their monarch as God?s envoy?inseparable for their personal dependency on me?to forgo it would be to damage the nation?s prestige? Forces of change 1. Alexander had no sympathy for radical or liberal ideas but recognized that improvements were necessary if he wanted to maintain autocratic control. First showed his support for reform by appointing liberal-minded ministers. 2. Grand Duke Constantine, Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, Milyutin (main man) Personal 1. Seriously aware of the weakness of the Russian state this awareness was crucial since he had the power to over-rule powerful vested interests. 2. Showed intent by ending restrictions on the most ?dangerous/radical? groups. 3. Lessened restrictions on university entrance so a wider social range could attend. 4. Foreign travel restrictions relaxed, circulation of more of exiles? publications. 5. ?The existing system of serf owning cannot remain unchanged?better to abolish serfdom from above than to wait for the time when it begins to abolish itself from below.? Moral 1. ...read more.

Middle

and social influence and prestige. Peasants resented loss of land and the burden of redemption payments. 647 peasant uprisings. 2. To liberals Alexander II?s reforms had not gone far enough and were incapable of meeting ordinary Russians? needs. Nature of the opposition 1. Intellectual, exclusive and secretive- educated middle classes. 2. University students and idealists- populists of the 1870s for example. 3. Unorganized peasant uprisings- 647 uprisings 4 months after emancipation. Aims of acts of key opposition Populism/Narodniks 1. Middle and upper classes, from Slavophilism (Herzen). Disliked Tsarism and wanted to replace it with the Mir (Russian local democracy). Agrarian socialists which idolized the peasants and rejected capitalism and industrialization as destroyers of peasant communities. Mir model for socialist future. 2. Disagreed about how revolution was to be achieved. Lavrov and moderated argued for educating the peasants so that when Tsarism withered away the Mir could take its place. Chernyshevsky and extremists pushed for more direct action to begin the revolution. Mirrored later Bolshevik debates on timing. Going to the People 1873-1874 1. Following Herzen thousands of intellectuals went out to spread revolutionary ideas. Little was achieved as the movement lacked central organization and had diverse aims (some wanted to distribute propaganda while some wanted to live closer to the peasants and learn their ways). 2. Peasants did not welcome them and often reported them to the police leading to hundreds of arrests. Peasants did not possess a ?revolutionary consciousness? to see revolution as the way forward, like Marx and later Lenin said. Land and Liberty 1. ?Going to the people?s? failure discredited many moderate populists and led to increased support for terrorism. Vera Zasulich shot and wounded the governor of St Petersburg but managed to be found ?not guilty? Alexander II was shocked and this pushed him to hold such political cases behind closed doors. People?s Will Narodna Volya 1879 1. Even more extreme and developed after Land and Liberty broke up. ...read more.

Conclusion

3. Food requisitioning brought to an end. 4. Peasants could sell surplus, encouraged to produce more. 5. Small & medium factories could be privately owned. Large factories and industry still state-run. ?Commanding heights of the economy? remained state-owned Results 1. 1922 88% of enterprises privately run but only employed 12% of the workforce. Bulk still in state-run major industries. Agriculture not included in this. 2. Land was still formally state property but the Bolsheviks realized that support was needed and thus allowed peasants to farm it privately. 3. Economy gradually recovered and industrial output reached 1914 level in 1928, recovery had been faster in the agricultural sector. 4. Many Bolsheviks were horrified by this step back to pseudo-capitalism and considered it an economic Brest-Litovsk since Lenin?s Russia was now dominated by an agricultural sector run by private owning peasants and private enterprises were growing in number. Successes 1. Impossible for the government to legislate against natural disasters such as drought in the south, blizzards, and plagues of locusts. 2. Despite a slow start (first corn harvests requisitioned to provide seeds for other areas) Russia began to recover by late 1922. 3. 14m hectare increase in cultivation in 1922, 19m ton increase in grain harvests 1921 to 1923, increase in overall industrial output, urban worker?s average monthly wage increased from 10.2 to 15.9 rubles from 1921 to 1923. Limitations 1. Nepmen benefitted while workers faced high unemployment. 2. Industry didn?t keep pace with agricultural growth, Scissors Crisis. 3. Fall in agricultural prices (improved weather, increased amount of cultivated land, increase in productivity) not accompanied by a fall in industrial prices because industry was recovering more slowly. Peasants couldn?t afford industrial goods. 4. On the brink of peasants reverting to sustenance farming and causing famine. 5. Platform 46 (46 Party members including Trotsky) blamed the government for its lack of a coherent economic plan and tolerance of Nepmen. 6. 1923 saw economic recovery reduced the price of industrial goods and brought a good harvest which prevented a potential political crisis. 7. Issue of private enterprise remained unresolved at the time of Lenin?s death. ...read more.

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