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Lecture 2

326 - Week 5 – Lecture 2 - the NEP, Soviet Society and Culture 1921-1927.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 326
Professor
Katrin Bozeva
Semester
Winter

Description
Week 5 – Lecture 2 History 388 – Russia from 1905 The NEP, Soviet Society and Culture, 1921-1927 Necessary to relate the keyword to a wider historical context e.g. pogrom – specific Russian term for violence against Jews within Russia. Several waves of attack with the majority occurring during 1904 and 1905 with the general upheaval occurred. Since they were the stewards for large estates as they could not actually own their land themselves, this led to them being identified by the peasants as middlemen on behalf of the hated upper classes leading to this economically based anti-Semitism rather than solely racial hatred. Planned industrialisation – why in Russia? nd 2 questionst 2 ditherent types - 1 and 4 on the outline of 1 and 2 since there wont be any questions concerning these topics o question 1 – the estate system – what were the four or five groups?  ‘productive’estates = merchants, urban population and peasants  industrial workers were not part of the estate system since they were a social group that arrived relatively late in imperial Russia • another group = revolutionary intelligentsia were also not part of the estates o subtleties and pay attention New Economic Policy = 1921-1928 when Stalin emerged victorious though not fully consolidated in power - this was a very colourful and distinctive period in Russian history with a particular social type of ___ o with certain reservations, the 1920s were ‘roaring’in Russia also although with distinctive connotations and flavours Russian Social Democracy = the first generation of social democrats were dreamers = because of later occurrences, the last thing on the mind when thinking of Lenin is of him as a ‘dreamer of the Kremlin’because Bolshevik ideology, pre-power, was utopian and based on the impossible dream of perfecting society  building a social organisation that was completely free of exploitation and completely just - with this dreaming and social projects, was that in October 1917, the Bolsheviks were confronted with very real problems – a myriad of unimaginable problems that they did not have previous guidance re. how to solve these issues o Marx had spoken mostly along theoretical lines w. reference to socialist revolution and transition to socialism but he never addressed how this transition would occur in terms of practical conditions necessary for success - Once the Bolsheviks were in power post-OR, they eliminated not only the privileged but, by 1918, they had managed to eliminate almost everyone regardless of social origin  during the first 3 or 4 months, they showed massive intolerance towards all those who thought differently to them o Utilisation of state violence from here and throughout the Civil War  Certain trends in the way that political decisions were made = products of authoritarian streak within the Party • Despite all these opposition currents, the Bolsheviks were strong enough to draw support/force collaboration through terror, to destroy Ukrainian nationalists, the WhiteArmy, Georgian Mensheviks, Black parties and the GreenArmy Aside from victory, the most important consequences were those shown in the 1930s = demonstrated changing trends of mentality and perception of life - fortress mentality became a significant component of the thinking of the party leadership whom saw the Soviet Union to be a besieged fortress, surrounded by enemies, with people within the fortress needing to be mobilised at all times to counteract those whom would strike against and undermine the regime a new type of party official appeared because of the Civil War = Stalin  ‘a person who would get htings done’ party official who was ruthless and dedicated enough to get things done regardless of the cost - Comrades around Stalin recognised this efficiency The Civil War had also been an economic battle  harsh draconian system enforced through the War which was named retrospectively, ‘war communism’ many of the programmes attempted by the Communists later were a result of improvisation = should not look for any political consistency in this era as all measures were taken piecemeal with no consistent line implemented by Lenin and the government War Communism = unpleasant = based on force and strict control of the state over everything that was economically important – mines, railways, banks – as it was crucially important for the Reds to have regular supplies of food - units would be dispatched of machine gun equipped regime sympathisers to the countryside, whom then forced the peasants to surrender their foodstuffs since the Reds needed to feed their armies and the large cities following the loss of Ukraine in the B-L Treaty, so that they did not become hotbeds of revolution o example of the early 1700s - war communism = merciless, draconian system of forcing the Russian peasantry to surrender all their food and leaving them none to survive  the peasants then began to organise ‘retributional violence’in the countryside due to the poverty that would follow these forced donations of food - war communism worked for the armies and cities but by 1921 the whole country was devastated o there was mass starvation – Russia looked like a post-apocalyptic nation as the big cities emptied before 1923  Moscow lost ½ it’s population as more than a million people went to the countryside  Petrograd – 450,000 left of 3 million o Peasants were dying like flies – famine of 1921 claimed the lives of 5 million people o None of this shook the faith of Lenin Event of March 1921 changed the direction of the Party  Kronstadt rebellion - 1917 ▯ sailors were considered to be some of the most loyal citizens to the Communist cause as it was almost taken for granted - March 1921  the sailors declared a programme that was the original Bolshevik programme = wanted grass-root democracy and a country without the Commuthsts (ideologically, very scary for the Party); as the riot was taking palce and sailors burthng their party cards, the 10 Congress was occurring o The 10 Congress = the most important in Russian history pre-K’s secret speech o Lenin said in his opening speech = the Kronstadt sailors were much more dangerous than the White generals and other enemies put together since these were the Bolshevik’s ‘brothers in faith’and Trotsky’s ‘pride of the revolution’  Trotsky would thus order the massacre of the fortress in the same manner that occurred against the Greens in Tambov • Airplanes were used to bomb them as it was destroyed in one week  thousands died on both sides  Realisation = Sheer force would not work  economic initiative had to be returned to the peasantry as otherwise the fate of the revolution would be questionable NEP = surrender to the peasantry  Lenin’s beliefs relied on the alliance between peasants and workers being seen as a workable one vs. Marx who somewhat discarded the peasants (necessary because there was so many peasants in Russia  one of the
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