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Lecture

Lecture 4/12


Department
History
Course Code
HIS242H1
Professor
Michael Kogan

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July 14th, 2011 Lecture 4/12
Chloe Navaretnam
Consequences of WWI (The Great
War)
Loss of a generation:
France lost 20% of men of military age and 66% of their male population was either
dead or injured.
Britain lost 500,000 men under the age of 30.
oLots of officers died at war and elites; ΒΌ of deaths came from graduates of
Oxford and Cambridge.
Germans lost 13% of men of military age but this number was great because of the
size of their population.
Generally most deaths came from the peasant class, and were substantial on the
Eastern front.
End of empires:
German, Russian, Austrian and the Ottoman empire was on the verge of collapse.
This changed the geography and political spectrum of Europe.
The brutalization of war turned some soldiers into pacifists.
Others who fought considered their experience as a form of superiority.
oSmall bands of these like-minded individuals paraded around Europe killing
and thieving.
The greatest example of this is Hitler.
Undermined faith in European values:
Irrational violence had a psychological impact; faith in progress was undermined by
the experience of the Great War.
oAdvance in technology was just an improvement in weaponry.
oStop-stand in a moral imperative.
oThe result was the number in revolutions that sprang up after the war.
The Russian Revolution
WWI precipitated the Russian Revolution.
The Russian Empire, 1914
Revolution of 1905-1907
oClose to toppling the Romanov dynasty led by tsar Nicholas II
Disastrous war with Japan was the catalyst.
www.notesolution.com

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July 14th, 2011 Lecture 4/12
Chloe Navaretnam
Massive strikes, the tsar being rich didn’t relent, however his advisors
convinced him to do the former in order to keep his throne.
Duma
o1907 Conforms/Recessions: DUMA
Russian for parliament or representative body
Designed for the wealthy and the liberals who mainly populated the
DUMA. These members were happy because it was the first step
toward parliamentary rule and controlling the tsar.
Reform and reaction
oRussia was stuck in a difficult position, leaders knew they had no class and a
very weakly industrialized economy and lost to Japan.
oBecame a world empire that acted as rural/grain exporter.
oLeaders knew they had to modernize to compete with their European rivals.
Required land and labour reforms.
Tsar didn’t want to accept this.
The working population demanded better working conditions and
representation.
These leaders tried to speed this process over a decade where it took
Europe nearly 200 years to accomplish, this created social tensions
after each reform.
oThe state tried to repress violence in order to advance productivity it became:
oThe WORKING CLASS against THE GOVERNMENT
oThe LIBERALS against THE GOVERNMENT
The Russian Revolution defined the rest of the 20th century.
Consists of 2 revolutions:
o#1: Bourgeois Revolution, widely popular.
o#2: Socialist Revolution, Russia believed to be the wrong place for this
because Russia was too backward, rural with no industrialization.
Marx thought Russia could be a spark to have an international ripple effect.
oImplications at a socialist revolution: there first needed to be a bourgeois
revolution.
oEven the Russian revolutionaries didn’t expect a socialist revolution because
they were waiting for a bourgeois revolution.
oThere was no base/platform because the middle class was very small with no
political skill or experience.
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July 14th, 2011 Lecture 4/12
Chloe Navaretnam
Russia and the Great War
Russia experienced war fever and replaced their domestic tensions with ones of unity
as the war progressed. The elites accordingly demanded more power in the
government/ DUMA.
oWartime crisis was the perfect time for concessions in government.
oAllied with two great democrats: France and Britain.
Pressure reinforced Nicholas’ distrust towards electing weak ministers and listening
to his incompetent wife.
oThis contributed to the decline of the Romanov legitimacy.
What hurt more were the rumours of β€œsexual relations” between
Gregory Rasputin and the queen. Rasputin claimed to have special
powers because he could allegedly make the young prince stop
bleeding from hemophilia.
August 1915, centrist DUMA parties (Middle of the ideological spectrum), formed
the progressive bloc, increased the pressure on the tsar to allow them more influence
in state affairs.
oWhen Nicholas was confronted he disbanded the DUMA and took control of
the army and left for the front lines in St. Petersburg.
He left his wife in charge along with his advisors including Rasputin.
In his absence the war did not get any better.
There were lots of economic problems like high inflation and food shortages,
agrarian issues and the working force was disaffected with the fighting. By the fall
1916 so much concerns and the food shortage was especially dire that the police
warned the government the regime was close to a collapse.
February Revolution 1917
23 February/ March 8 – Bread Riot
oCrowds of women seized the occasion of women’s day to protest the high
bread price hikes.
This coincided with Bolsheviks, Mensheviks to consume all strikes and on the 24th
the crowds took to the street – the police couldn’t even control even with troop back-
up, the Petrograd troops eventually joined the demonstrations.
February 26th authorities resorted to violence killing several hundred people the
next day, regimen declined to kill more people and joined the demonstrations.
Strikers seized prisoners, emptied jails and seized police headquarters.
February 28th tsarist minister under arrest – Romanovs vanished but tried to return
to the capital to retain power. They were met by officials from DUMA and officers for
the sake of tranquility and peace were urged to give up the throne.
Nicholas then abdicated the throne from himself and his son .
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