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HIST191 Lecture Notes - Autocracy, Bourgeoisie, Red Army

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Julia Roberts

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HIST 191 RUSSIAN REVOLUTION: 25 October, 7 November 1917 MONDAY NOV. 5TH
Russia at beginning of 20th century: country with backward economy and archaic political system
Russian as autocracy system: absolute monarchy
Czar was sole source of laws
The Czar, the ruler, supposed to have strong personality to rule
Last Czar Nicolas II (1894-1917): weakest of all 3 centuries
Police state: no constitution (freedom of speech/press), parliament, civil liberties or political parties
Below Czar was aristocracy
o More rights than everyone else
Middle class kept away from political power by Czar and aristocracy
80% of population are peasants
o Victims of unequal land distribution
Factory workers
o no labor legislation
o had to accept conditions of factory owners
o Trade unions/strikes outlawed
o 12 hour work days with Sunday off
Industrialization (1890-1914)
o most workers are former peasants: unskilled and poorly paid
o industrial growth in Russia was rapid, highest rate in world
o in short run: industrialization provoked social stress
o workers vulnerable to extremist propaganda
ethnic groups treated unequally
o written in law
o discrimination caused social stress
o Slavic/orthodox religion
o Jews experienced worse discrimination
One language: Russia
o Used in education, courts, politics
o Poor opportunities for upward social mobility
o Most Russian intellects were liberals
Liberals were radical
Small proportion was evolutionists, wanted to abolish system
Program of the opposition
o 3 revolutions in 20th centuries: 1st in 1905, 2 in 1917
o Goals of all opposition parties
Termination of the autocracy
The power should pass to a parliament elected by universal and equal vote
Basic civil liberties
8 hour work days for workers
Alienation of crown’s and landlords’ lands and their distribution among peasants
The Bolshevik (Communist Party)
1903 founded by Vladminir Lenin: very smart person
Social party eventually took power in Russia:
Blolshevik and Communist same thing
The Revolution in 1905
Peasants uprising
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