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History 2145A/B
Robert Ventresca

Nov 9/10 Revolution in Russia: From Red October to Red Terror *- Richard Pipes- very critical to the soviet union -cycles of violence: 1) 1917-1922 2) Stalinst cycle 1920s and 30s *-continuity or discontinuity between the two? (are they similarily connected? Or are they two separate events unrelated?) – good essay question -continuity thesis- stalin is continuing a legacy that lenin begins -discontinuity thesis- stalin betrays lenin’s legacy/revolution- more deaths and violence under stalin -Pipes is big on continuity thesis- thinks people forget about what lenin does and focus on stalin -stalinist terror may be distinct but cannot be separated from lenin’s violence The Key Questions: Phases: 1) 1917 and leading up to it 2) 1918-21 3) 1922 and on- technically the revolution is finished 1) Why did Tsarist Russia fall in 19117? 2) How did Lenin and the Bolsheviks seize power?- they don’t seize power in 1917, not until after 1918 but not consolidated until 1921 3) *Interpretation: Bolshevik Revolution as a popular revolt or coup d’etat?- good test question, this question related to phase 1,what do they do and how do we interpret it? Romanov Dynasty: Era of an Era *-universal revolutionary pressures (phrase used by Paxton): - in 1917/18 -felt all over continent -in Russia the war makes a sense of discontent resulting in revolutionary pressure -disillusion about the system -every place in the continent looks like there on the verge of a socialist revolution -in Germany after the war there is a Bolshevik style takeover (southern Germany) -happening every where even in ottoman empire -social political revolution- everyone wants change no matter what system they have -only last in Russia, in Germnay it spawns a reaction (Nazism) -in Italy and Germany the socialists fail due to fascism and Nazism, but in Russia the Bolsheviks pull it off, WHY? 2 revolutions in Russia: 1) ‘February Revolution’- getting rid of the tsar- provisional government (Duma) set up 2) October Revolution- Bolsheviks overthrow government End of the Line: Tsar Nicholas 2 of Russia -bread shortages, war effort, soldiers, workers= system in CRISIS *-totalitarianism emerges in systems in crisis -why does the Tsars system fail? -it is a system in crisis, examples of systems in crisis: -war wariness and doubt about the war *-many soldiers are tired of the war-refuses to follow orders -legitimacy of authority- something is wrong with those in charge -bread shortages- women cant do their jobs at home, no bread, base of a diet for a poorer country (staple) -agricultural economic crisis -Tsar goes to the front lines in Petrograd- cant lead effectively from the capitol city, he goes to the front but when it goes badly he will get blamed -Duma- government system working with monarchy, doesn’t have a lot of meaningful power -Tsar doesn’t enact the reforms -Rasputan- man who said he could cure haemophilia, “magical”, show how tsar fell under his spell Tsarist Russia -Russia is massive- 3 times as big as the U.S *- Russian empire is very diverse- different nationalities- about 200 different ones, different religious traditions *-many peasants- workers are a small minority- Russia is peculiar according to Marxists theory of revolutionary states, not prime for a Marxist style revolution, not industrialized enough, becomes an argument among socialists *-rural, overwhelmingly in the countryside, small working class- mostly in urban areas, they are radicalized, unlike peasants who are more conservative *- Russia is rapidly industrializing, organization- evident in big cities, ex. St. Petersburg and Moscow, slower pace then other countries though -call for change- something about the system is not working and needs to change (serious/radical/violent change) *-broad spectrum of political discontent- ex. parties which include: -liberals- center-right political parties, made up mainly of professional middle class, some aristocrats, they want a German/British style government (constitutional monarchy), same movement that created Duma- Tsar has to share power with gov. -Pan-nationalists- want to see expansion of the Russian Empire in Slaviks, one reason for Russia backing up Serbia, ‘greater russia’ -Socialists- many different kinds, Lenin is a socialist, can be radical and violent, revolution, largest group is socialist revolutionaries, also Marxists, some will work with existing institutions, some like lenin wont work with anyone, want to see some serious change *- up until 1914 the socialist groups were mad that they cant get very far- little political success, Tsar compresses them, many end up in jail or in exile (ex. Lenin) *-no consensus among socialist parties about how to make change- how and when to move toward a revolutionary government, reason for this is some will work with existing systems and some won’t, difficult to make a mass movement across all of Russia, *disagree about timing- Russia doesn’t fitthe Marxist description for revolution (no majority of working class to start rev.), Russia is not ready for a revolution -Marx believes these things will just happen- inevitability *-Lenin doesn’t believe in waiting, wants to make the revolution happen -question for socialists- does Russia have to wait to go through stages and then talk of revolution can begin or can you make things happen sooner than later?- difference between theory and action Pragmatic Marxist: Lenin -Pamphlet calling for concrete revolutionary action *-Leninism- mixing theory and practise, Marxism is theory and he will provide the practise, revolutionary pamphlet, Marx talks about inevitability, Lenin believes in concrete revolution, taking profound ideas and simplifying them, Lenin doesn’t think the working masses will ever achieve the identity they need to make a revolution h
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