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POLB92H3 (48)
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Lecture 5

Lecture 5--Russian Revolution.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Lucan Way

Midterm: 1 hour long, half MC half short answers ● Causes of French Revolution ● 1848 Revolutions ● Causes of 1848 (Marxist, Economic downturn, Diffusion) Lecture 5 Focus: ● How was Russian Tsaris regime vulnerable? ● What role did Lenin play in the revolution? (Voluntarist--leadership) ● What ways did the provisional government weak? ● What would have happened if Lenin didn’t play a role? Russian Revolution ● Russia was very much like France ● Tsarist rule was even more centralized; absolute monarchy ○ Aristocracy was less independent ● Russia was a major power ○ BUT less economically developed, and heavily indebted to the west ● Russian society was heavily divided ○ 80% were serfs ○ Small working class and concentrated in key cities ■ They were very radical and the govt responded violently to any types of labour demands because they wanted to protect foreign investment -- therefore making them more radical ○ Why would you not want the worker to get higher wages? ■ They are the basis of your power. They can be easily bought out if they are poor. ● Radicals ○ Not many positions available even for the highly educated, except to work for the government. Nothing else to do, became radicals. ○ Populists (Narodniki) ■ The Russian soul lived in the countryside, letting the peasants gain control ■ Russian salvation in traditional peasant communities (obshchina) ● Had collective control over land ■ They went to the countryside to awaken the peasants, the government was freaked out and when they saw these educated people go the countryside, they assumed the worst. ■ The peasants turned them into the police. “Who the hell are you guys?” ■ Considered the first “terrorists” ■ Nihilists ● “Real Russia” is repressed by aristocracy! The population will naturally rise up and take control ● No positive program, we want to destroy the whole damn thing ● Assassinated tsar Alexander II ○ Replaced with more aristocratic tsar--the opposite of what they wanted. ○ Marxists ■ They were the opposite of “romanticising the real Russia” ■ They thought peasants and peasant communities were ridiculous ■ They want the peasants to move beyond the countryside to create a modern industrial society ● They want to organise a revolution for the sake of the next revolution--weird ■ 1898 Russian Social Democratic Labor Party -- included Lenin ● There was a party split between the Bolsheviks (Lenin--an abrasive guy, less about the ideology and more about whether you loved or hated him) and Mensheviks ● Lenin wanted it all right away. We need to have the socialist revolution as soon as possible, and we can’t have a huge party. ● Bolsheviks: We are the elite to act as a vanguard of the people ● Mensheviks: Socialist party with broad membership and support. More the merrier! ○ Why would lenin not want a big party? He can’t control them! In order to have a party that is effective, you need people who are experts. ● 1905 Revolt ○ “Dress Rehearsal” ○ Thought they could wipe out Japan, and failed ○ Created a crisis in the government. The economy was declining. ○ All the troops were in Asia ○ There were increasing demands for National Legislature (Duma) ■ They began to demonstrate ○ Bloody Sunday--1000 deaths ■ Started strikes and protests throughout Russia ■ Soviets in Russian meant “council” = Council of Worker Reps ■ October Manifesto -- creation of Duma (parliament) ■ Once the army returned from Asia, the Duma dissolved ● 1917 Revolution ○ Russia is brought into WWI ■ Take the side of France and England vs. Germany and Austria-Hungary ■ War goes poorly, the Russian army were peasants, and they didn’t have basic weaponry ■ Enormous starvation and disaffection towards the tsar -- protests ■ 1.6-1.8 million deaths by 1916 ■ Severe weakening of the state!*** ○ February Revolution ■ Spontaneous ■ Women were waiting for bread during food shortages, and
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