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HIS109Y1 (536)


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Anthony Cantor

From Lenin to Stalin -Bolsheviks took power in 1917 under Lenin -period of civil war against monarchist forces (green armies: bands of peasants in early 1920s who revolted against the way Bolshevik policies were affecting their ability to grow & sell crops) -shortages of houses, refugees -early spring of 1921: workers & sailors in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) who revolted, sailors mutinied against insufficient rations, that the new leaders of the revolution were living in privileged positions & workers & sailors were living in porverty called for soviets w/o Communism: state running on grassroots level, but no elite/revolutionary leaders Bolsheviks responded to this revolt by executing most of the rebels, but it pushed Lenin to institute some reforms, mainly the: -New Economic Policy (NEP) -returned parts of the Russian economy to the free market -temporary step back to capitalist methods that allowed peasants to sell their grain, allowed people to trade consumer goods a bit more freely (to improve the harsh conditions that early years of Bolshevik control) -many people remained in poverty, but peasants, farmers & merchants did a bit better -further protests: -1921: group emerged at Communist party conference: -Worker Opposition -questioned why the party took control of the economy b/c it took control away from workers -Lenin suppressed it, significant b/c it set the stage for purges (actively expelled opponents of the party) became vital part of soviet life -Bolshevik leaders wanted to make communist rev. internalized in people’s lives, so they set up classes in political & social subjects all over the countryside -volunteers went to countryside to improve the literacy rate, which was meant to make peasants more able to internalize communist doctrine & participate in reordering politics, economy, culture & society -Lenin had a stroke in the spring of 1922 & it became clear that he wouldn’t live longer & there’d need to be a new leader -died in 1924, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad -Stalin’s iron rule resulted from the need to implement controls against people talking against Lenin -Joseph Stalin (1879-1953): control of USSR by 1929 -made a big deal of the success he’d had in joining Russia w/ various territories of old Russian empire to create the USSR -Lenin knew that Stalin was ruthless & disturbed, so was worried about him taking power, leaving a will that asked the comrades to find a way to remove Stalin -Stalin found a way to prevent people from reading this -Trotsky was the main alternative to Stalin taking over after Lenin -Stalin painted him as unpatriotic, too concerned w/ permanent revolution, not committed to perfecting socialism & communism in one country -Stalin was able to cease power & had Trotsky exiled -people thought to be conspiring w/ Trotsky were sent to labour camps -Five-year plans -policies associated w/ Stalin, who outlined 5-year targets for production of industrial goods -Stalin knew his country was lagging behind in industrialization -centralized economic plan; targets & economic production controlled by the central authority -1928-1940: period during which Stalin built his power; number of Soviet workers involved in industry grew (4 million in 1928, 12.6 million in 1940) -“Liquidation of the kulaks” -Kulak means fist, but was used to describe rich peasants/farmers -Stalin & his regime applied this slur to anyone who opposed his plans to end independent planning & bring in state-run, communist-style, collective farms -Stalin believed collective farms were needed to help the economy -the communist party began focusing villagers to name names of who kulaks were -many families had their land confiscated to be used for collective farms -Purges & show trials Fascism th -slaughter of WWI had swept away people’s faith in 19 -century ideals of liberalism & democracy -there were new revolutionary forces on the scene that scared people in Europe (ex. Russian Communism) -in this climate, the new ideology of Fascism formed -there was no
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