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Lecture

HST 111 Lecture Notes - Leon Trotsky, Central Powers, Cheka


Department
History
Course Code
HST 111
Professor
Maria Piccioni

Page:
of 2
WWI: Further Developments
- deadlock on land meant that the control of the seas became more important
the British ignored the distinction between war supplies and
food/other cargo
the policy was intended to starve Germany
Germany responded with submarine/u-boat warfare
Declared the waters around Britain to be a ‘war zone’ – neutral
ships could be attacked
*May 1915 Lusitania sunk by the Germans* (also carrying war
supplies/munitions to the British)
British ship- over 1200 killed; 118 Americans
- U.S. President Woodrow Wilson ‘warned’ Germany that any subsequent
American deaths would not be tolerated Germany desisted from attacking
US ships
- By 1917, Germany was in a dire situation Feb 1, 1917, Germany announced
a policy of “unrestricted submarine warfare”
- USA broke off diplomatic relations April 6, 1917 USA declared war on the
Central Powers
- The American involvement in WWI was influenced by the sinking of the
Lusitania, the German policy of “unrestricted u-boat warfare, and the
removal of Russia from Allies”
- March 1917 begins the Russian revolution, overthrew the tsarist
government
‘March Revolution’ – caused by a number of factors
troop mobilization was slow, food shortages, soldiers poorly
supplied
by the end of 1917 over 2 million Russians dead
in September 1915, Tsar Nicholas took supreme command of
the Russian military failures resulted
suspicion that Nick was under the influence of Rasputin
domestic problems hunger, food shortages, strikes, etc…
in 1916, the DUMA (legislature of Russia) was terminated
Tsar Nick to rule unilaterally
by March 1917, Russia was ripe for revolution
- in early March 1917, strikes and worker demonstrations occurred in
Petrograd (St. Petersburg) spread to the factories and army
troops abandoned the front and went home
- sympathetic to the people, and ill disciplined, the Russian army to refuse to
take action against the demonstrations
March 1917 Tsar Nicholas abdicated he and his family were
subsequently arrested sent to Siberia
The DUMA restored its control of the government
At the same time, soviets (councils of workers/soldiers) began
to organize
Provincial government attempted to continue the war effort the
DUMA was simply continuing the tsarist policies
- The fate of Russian’s provisional government was sealed when the Russian
situation did not improve
- The provincial government was criticized by the soviets and, more
importantly, by a component of the Social Democratic Party (BOLSHEVIKS
“the majority”)
- The Germans were responsible for the introduction of V. LENIN to Petrograd
LENIN saw an opportunity preached the desire for “peace, bread,
and land”
APRIL THESES proclaimed that the war should be stopped
and that the Bolsheviks and the soviets should form a
revolutionary government
- The BOLSHEVIKS and the soviets merged continuing problems in the war
effort (at the front and at home) resulted in further ‘revolutionary’ actions
- Lenin and the Bolsheviks were joined by LEON TROTSKY
Bolsheviks attempted a coup failed; however, on November 6, 1917
the Bolsheviks, with the assistance of the army, overthrew the
provisional government
Nov. 7 the ALL-RUSSIAN CONGRESS OF SOVIETS
All political power rested with a committee headed by Lenin
Freedom of press eliminated; so too was political association
** creation of the CHEKA (secret police)
- the Bolshevik’s also took Russian out of the war
Dec. 1917 Russia agreed to armistice (peace) with Germany
March 1918 TREATY OF BREST-LITOVSK
Russia gave up Poland, the Baltic states, the Ukraine, and paid a
war indemnity to Germany
Lenin agreed to the terms so that the Bolsheviks could cement
their rule in Russia
- The Bolsheviks (‘the Reds’)(vs. the whites moderates who opposed the
Bolsheviks supplied by Allies) did face domestic opposition
- ‘the Reds’, by 1921 were in firm control
- July 17, 1918 Tsar Nickolas and family executed