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lecture 4

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- explain significance of the excerpt - who what where when why how
- relation to 20th century Europe
- essay question
- entrance of US into the war
- exit of Russia
The Russian Revolution 1917 - 1931
- first successful revolution undertaken the name of Marxism, socialism and the name of
working class
- powerful symbol for anti-capitalists, imperialists - political movements around the world
- creation of the Soviet Union -- challenge Great European Empire & US
1. conditioning Marxism to fit Russian conditions
2. Lenin's Professional Revolutionaries in 1917
- led by professionals, not normal people
3. workers' state in a peasant country
- revolutionary state failed to break out
Æ collectivisation (agriculture)
- geographically: edge of Europe, massive empire
- autocracy - highly resistant to modernization
- over 80% of peasants - freed of serfdom in 1861 (Western Europe)
- social change mainly in cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg) - modern co-existing with
- more intense for newly emerging working class
- state-led modernization/industrialization
* appealed to Tsar as a source of good & intervene - minimize hours, employ working
conditions, right to elect representatives
* population = naïve, thought it was just local corruption
* treated inhumanely - lack of laws, ability to speak up
* highly resistant to reforms Æ more radical forms of protest
- Classic Marxism -- revolution to occur in the most developed country with largest working
- modernization in Russia was causing classes to conflict within the countryside (poor
peasants and a minority of richer peasants) Æ possibility of revolution
- Bolsheviks (majority) led by Vladimir Lenin
- Lenin in St. Petersburg argued that revolution was possible in Russia
- working class needed to be led by professional revolutionists
- Russia = strong autocratic government which suppressed all forms of political
- secretive/restricted memberships to revolutionary party
- more professionally trained = harder to unearth the organization
- mass organization = vulnerable without secrecy
Æ Lenin = Bolsheviks (represented strain of Marxism) vs. Mensheviks (modern
- capitalism entering countryside
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