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GCSE: Russia, USSR 1905-1941

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 6
  • Peer Reviewed essays 1
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Was Nicholas II responsible for his own downfall?

    5 star(s)

    A very significant contributing factor to Nicholas' downfall was the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-05. Russia and Japan went to war over control of Manchuria and Korea. Russia was alleged to have a quick and decisive victory over Japan. However the war did not go to plan and Russia was defeated. Japan destroyed Russia's army in May 1905 at Tsushima later in September 1905 Russia accepted Japan's treaty. The Japanese then had control of Korea and most of Manchuria. This made the Russian government and especially Nicholas very unpopular and although it could be said that it was not directly Nicholas' fault that the Russian armies were defeated this did contribute greatly to his downfall.

    • Word count: 1914
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Assess The Impact Of Stalin On Russia And The Russian People.

    4 star(s)

    This was called collectivisation. The Five-Year Plans were originally drawn up by the GOSPLAN, the state planning organisation that Lenin set up in 1921. They set ambitious targets for production in the vital heavy industries (coal, iron, oil, electricity). The plans were very complicated but they were set out in such a good way that by 1929 every worker knew what he or she had to achieve: GOSPLAN set overall targets for an industry, each region was told its targets, the region set targets for each mine, factory etc , the manager of each mine, factory etc set targets for each foreman, the foreman set targets for each shift and even for individual workers est.

    • Word count: 1583
  3. Why was Lenin important in bringing about the October revolution?

    Lenin excelled at school and went on to study law. At university, he was exposed to radical thinking, and his views were also influenced by the execution of his elder brother, a member of a revolutionary group. Lenin was exiled to Siberia for his radical policies. Lenin spent most of his time in Western Europe, where he emerged as the leader of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Worker's Party. The Bolsheviks were a revolutionary party, committed to the ideas of Karl Marx.

    • Word count: 1087
  4. How important was Stalin compared to Lenin in creating the Soviet Union

    Anyone who knew what Stalin was up to would be killed; he was paranoid and didn't trust anyone. This is important in creating the Soviet Union because many people feared him and were terrified under his rule; this meant they would do anything for Stalin. Overall, I believe that Lenin was more in important in creating the Soviet Union as overpowering the constituent assembly sent out a clear message that there was no room for opposition. In a way Stalin and Lenin were quite similar as they would both do anything to get their opponents out the way (Lenin with

    • Word count: 1453
  5. `How important was Stalin compared to Lenin in creating the Soviet Union

    there must be a certain amount of freedom to trade, freedom for the small private owner". The NEP effectively brought back capitalism for some parts of Russian society. Lenin made it very clear that NEP was temporary, but nevertheless, some Bolsheviks saw NEP as a betrayal of communism. Under NEP, the economy grew and production increased, however working conditions did not, in 1925 the Soviet Commissar for finance admitted that "pay for miners was lower than it was in 1914". It should also be remembered that NEP would not have been needed had it not been for the terrible failures of War Communism, and that by 1923 production levels were only as high as they had been in 1913 under the Tsar.

    • Word count: 1569
  6. Tsar Nicholas II, I am writing to you regarding the state of Russia. he main issue is the that the majority of people living in Russia want is a more a fairer and equal society

    The way they live is a huge consequence to why they live for such a short period of time. The living conditions are dreadful because of the lack of hygiene as they cannot afford to live in nice houses. Also the amount of people living in each room is far too many it is very cramped. They are living in poverty. Their houses are cramped and they lack insulation making the peasants prone to diseases like pneumonia. They cannot afford a living because as you know Russia is fairly unsuitable for faming therefore there is simply not enough land to go around as four fifths of Russia are peasant and between them they only have three quarters of the land to share.

    • Word count: 1141
  7. Stalin and the War

    o He set the GOSPLAN: target for production in the vital heavy industry: COAL, IRON, OIL, ELECTRICITY. Each region was told its targets, then each mine, factory, etc, then each manager, then each foreman, then each individual worker. By 1929 every worker knew what he or she had to achieve. o Peasants were to put their lands together to form large join farms ( kolkhoz) but could keep small spots for personal use. o Animals and tools were to be pooled together. o Motor Tractor Stations (MTS) , provided by the government, made tractors available. o Ninety per cent of Kolkhoz produce would be sold to the state and the profits shared out.

    • Word count: 1080
  8. The return of Lenin

    2. the war should end immediately 3. the land should be given to the peasants 4. the soviets should take power * These points were later called April theses. * Lenin argues that there should be a second revolution- a socialist revolution- in which the workers should take power. * Many Bolsheviks were surprised, which led to some not taking him seriously. * The soviets Party turned Lenin's ideas into the slogans 'Bread, peace, land' and 'all power to the soviets.' This was what the people had wanted to hear. Support for the Bolsheviks began to grow, although they were outnumbered by the soviets by other socialists.

    • Word count: 1053
  9. Factsheet on imperial russia

    the army would speak Russian but the villagers couldn't, and it would be hard to find someone who spoke that certain language in an army of millions. Russia stretches through Europe and Asia. Russia has a total of 11 time zones. Just imagine how long it would take to send an army from one side of the country to another. Also if food was being delivered from opposite side of Russia some would have already been spoiled by the time it got to its destination point.

    • Word count: 1687
  10. Why was Stalin able to hold on to power in the Soviet Union?

    They were only allowed to produce work that reflected the glorious achievements of communism. The propaganda played a part in Stalin's gain of power because it helped create his cult of personality and therefore everybody saw him as a hero rather than a villain. Also as he had killed all his enemies in the purges there was no one to disagree with the propaganda so the people had nothing else to believe. Since it had come to power, the communist party had periodically 'purged' its membership, getting rid of those who were suspected of being disloyal.

    • Word count: 1534
  11. Why was the revolution of 1917 so successful?

    He ruled as he liked. His will was the sole source of law, of taxation and justice. He controlled the army and all the officials and even religious affairs. His autocratic rule was supported by the privileged nobles, who possessed land and serfs, and held all the chief offices in the Tsar's administration. The mass of people were serfs. Serfs were peasants, 'slaves'. They worked on the estates of the nobles. They could be punished in any form by the nobles and could even be sold as chattels. Besides the serfs, there was a very small middle class in the towns.

    • Word count: 1077
  12. The First World War was decided by the outcome of trench warfare on the Western Front.

    Since both sides essentially made use of the same technology (the machine gun, for example), stalemates were only further prolonged as neither side had an advantage over the other with access to more powerful, newer technology 4. Therefore, in order to do so both sides sought to find more modern and lethal forms of weaponry in order to break stalemates on the Western Front. The new metallurgical and chemical industries, and many new mechanical inventions, had produced new firepower that made defense almost unconquerable and attack near to impossible 5.

    • Word count: 1729
  13. There were many causes of the Bolshevik Revolution. Which do you consider to be the most important?

    as a religious healer and Alexis started to recover, one can understand why she became so close to him and respected him so greatly. She believed that he had been sent by God to save her son. Over the next few years he became a great friend of the Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family. This, however, had great effects on the Tsars reputation. Rasputin was a holy man from Siberia. He was a member of the Kylysty set, a religious group that believed that religious ecstasy was achieved through the senses.

    • Word count: 1119
  14. Explain how Marxism contributed to the Bolshevik Revolution

    In 1904 he went into war with Japan over Manchuria. To fund this he increased the taxes for the peasants. He also produced propaganda that portrayed Japan as weak and defeatable. You can imagine the humiliation of the Russian public when they were forced to surrender to Japan. The failures of Nicholas to rule properly angered and upset many peasants. The policy of Russification, they felt, was unfair and denied them basic rights. There had always been a very large divide between rich and poor in Russia and with 80% of the population poor you can see that Russia wasn't a very wealthy country.

    • Word count: 1510
  15. Stalin Assesment

    One of the main reasons and feed its population. Although the kulaks fairly wealthy many other hard working peasants were not producing enough food to feed the entire population of Russia. Stalin knew that he had to feed his workers to keep them content. Also, to make sure the people of Russia were content Stalin wanted to get rid of the kulaks and make all the peasants equal and to prove that communism really did work in practice. Collectivization helped him achieve his idea of making sure that the peasants all were equal even though at first many of the peasants resented the idea.

    • Word count: 1075
  16. Free essay

    The League of Nations was formed in 1919 to encourage the member countries to co-operate in trade, improve social conditions, complete disarmament and to protect any member country that was being threatened with war. The League of Nations was the initial

    Finally he announced that no law would become operative without the approval of the State Duma. As the Duma was only a consultative body, many Russians felt that this reform did not go far enough. Leon Trotsky and other revolutionaries criticized the plan. In December, 1905, the leaders of the Soviets (in Petrograd and Moscow particularly), were exiled or executed. Lenin and Trotsky retreated again, realising that the time for revolution had not yet come. Also the Tsar also began to introduce financial help for peasants. Although these measures were only short term it was one of the reason Nicholas managed to survive the 1905 revolution.

    • Word count: 1342
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • To what extent have revolutionary Socialists followed the teachings and doctrines of Marx?

    "In conclusion, no socialist revolutionary faithfully followed the communist manifesto and Marx's ideology because it is almost impossible to implement an ideology written half a century ago under totally different conditions and a totally different situation. Every revolutionary had a their own adaptation of Marxism, this is evident with all the varying 'isms' developed out of Marxism like Trotskyism, Leninism, Stalinism and Maoism."

  • To what extent was Stalin's economic policy successful? In the 1920's the soviet economy was failing disastrously the revolution and the civil war had devastated the soviet economy and the economic output

    "Stalin's right hand man Khrushchev backs the argument of collectivisation as a failure. Khrushchev states: 'Stalin's brand of collectivisation brought nothing but brutality and misery'. This source is a quote from Khrushchev after Stalin's death. This is a source of good utility and reliability as it is said by Khrushchev after Stalin's death when he was in power so he could say what he wanted to, secondly Khrushchev was Stalin's right hand man so he was present around the time of collectivisation and would probably have know as much as Stalin. This source has a good level of validity because it is on collectivisation and what Khrushchev believed it achieved. It is trustworthy as it is a direct quote from Khrushchev himself. The motives of this source can be slightly questioned. As it is post Stalin, when Khrushchev encouraged openness on Stalin, plus he criticised and distanced himself from him. So it might have been said by Khrushchev to enhance his popularity and show him as less of a tyrant than Stalin was. This source shows a view of collectivisation agreed on by a great many people in the Soviet Union and it is also the view of historians. Figures do not support any success in collectivisation theses figures taken from a history learning site from the UK:"

  • Assess the strengths & weakness of Russia around 1855

    "In conclusion, when Alexander II came to the throne in 1855 he faced many problems, the most drastic I think was the existing serfdom system. Alexander decided to resolve these problems b introducing new reforms, the most famous and most needed in my opinion is the abolishment of serfdom. But as actual abolishment was after 1855, Russia's serfdom community was still very much alive consequently was still a huge weakness, and illustrated their backwardness in 1855. So overall after weighing up the strengths and weakness of Russia at that time, I would definitely consider there to be more weakness in the Russian empire. I do acknowledge that Alexander II employed some key reforms; however Russia remained 50 - 100 years behind the west in sheer development of the country in 1855."

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