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Kremlin and Moscows Red Square

B. Russian Revolution

1. Bolsheviks small faction of Russian

socialist party led by Vladimir Lenin
dedicated to violent revolution to
overthrow capitalism, end Russian
involvement in war
2. Lenin in exile when provisional
government formed, shipped to Russia by
Germany in hopes Bolshevik revolution
3. Once back in Russia, Lenin wanted to
gain control of soviets to use them to
help overthrow provisional government
and introduce socialism to Russia.

4. Bolshevik platform:
a. Peace, Land,
Breadend war,
redistribute land to

b. Worker Control of
control of factories
from capitalists to
c. All Power to the
government power to

5. Bolshevik popularity increased, held majorities in

Moscow, Petrograd soviets; November 1917
Bolsheviks stormed Winter Palace, forced collapse
of provisional government, Bolsheviks now in
control of Russia.
6. Bolsheviks renamed themselves the
Communists, ended war with Germany, gave up
much territory to secure peace (Poland, Ukraine,
Finland, Baltic states).

C. Russian Civil War (1921-1922)

1. Many groups in Russia opposed
Communists (loyalists, liberals, antiLenin socialists or Mensheviks);
supported by Allies (GB, US, Fr) who
gave troops, supplies; all these
(Whites) joined in civil war against
Communists (Reds).

2. Russian Civil War between Reds and

Whites, 1918-1921 was very bloody and
resulted in much destruction of Russian
3. Communists won war: (1) Efficiency,
discipline of Red Army, (2) Whites lacked
common goal, divisiveness prevented
effective cooperation, (3) Communists has
strong sense of purpose, (4) war
communismCommunist control of banks,
farms, industries to serve war effort, (5)
revolutionary terror of Chekasecret police
to arrest anyone who did not support
Communists, create atmosphere of fear.

4. By 1921 Communists had

complete control of Russia, (Soviet
Union); became centralized, singleparty state distrustful of hostile to
West for supporting Whites.

II. Emergence of Leaders: Aims,

Ideology, Support

a. Protect Revolution at any cost:
Civil War v. Whites
b. Consolidate Revolution- bring
factions together
c. Spread Revolution

2. Ideology
a. Economic: War Communism to NEP
1)New Economic Policy: Limited private
ownership of business, agriculture;
incentives, bonuses introduced for
workers; heavy industry, banking,
mines remained in government control.
2)Temporary: allow country, economy
to recover from Civil War.
3)Illustrates Lenins pragmatism to
achieve aims.

b. Political: Democratic Centralist and

1)Democratic Centralism: true democracy
in Bolshevik Party lay in obedience of
members to instructions of leaders.
2)Communist Party of the Soviet Union:
task of the enlightened leaders of CPSU to
guide, instruct workers in true
revolutionary role.
3)CPSU only party allowed in USSR;
factionalism (formation of sub-groups
within Party) banned.

c. Cultural: Proletarian
1)Believed humans could be molded, improved
into new species: Homo sovieticus.
2)Could not happen of own accord, must be
directed by CPSU.
a) The arts: writing, drama, filmmaking, painting,
poetry, music all mobilized to express values of
revolutionary, socialist Soviet Union.
b)Religion: church expropriated, clergy no longer
salaried by state, Church no longer organization
with authority over congregations, religious
education forbidden.
c) Women: could seek divorce, illegitimate
children full citizens, abortion legalized, children
to be raised by state.

3. Support
a. Political: Bolshevik Party (CPSU)
b. Military: Red Army (Trotsky, Civil
c. Police: Cheka (secret police, Red
d. Social: soviets, proletariat.

B. Trotsky
1. Aims: Spread proletarian revolution
2. Ideology: Permanent Revolution
a. Revolution was process of risings from
place to place, not single event.
b. Events in Russia only first step in
worldwide socialist revolution.
c. Individual nations did not matter; interests
of international working class paramount.
d. True socialism could only be achieved in
USSR with successful revolutions worldwide.

3. Support: Marxist Theory and Lenins

a. Marxist theory: Trotsky intellectually
far superior to Stalin; could debate and
persuade people due to mastery of
theory, excellent writing, speaking
b. Lenins Testament: Supported
Trotsky as heir on Lenins death, ouster
of Stalin; document suppressed due to
rest of CPSUs fear of Trotsky, thought
Stalin could be controlled.

C. Stalin
1. Aims
a. Consolidate victory of Revolution
b.Build USSR into modern industrial, world
power able to defend itself in a world
hostile to socialism.

2. Ideology: Socialism in One Country

a. USSR to overcome agricultural, industrial
weakness by own, unaided efforts.
b. Make survival of USSR absolute priority,
even at expense of supporting international

3. Support: Secretariat and Lenins

a. Secretariat:
1) General Secretary appointed, kept track of
membership in Party, government
appointments of party members.
2) Patronage: used this authority to place his
own supporters to key positions; supporters
owed positions to Stalin, could count on them
to vote his policies in Party and government

b. Lenins Legacy
1) Lenin Enrollment 1923-1925: wanted
to increase number of actual workers in
Party; membership 2x, 1922-1925; most
poorly educated, politically
unsophisticated but willing to be loyal in
return for Party privileges.
2) Attack upon Factionalism: used Lenins
ban on factionalism to resist challenges
to his authority.

III. Totalitarianism: Aim and

Extent to which it was

1. Elimination of Internal Threats:

The Purges
a. Early Purges (1932-1934)
1)Stalin used position as General Secretary
to revoke Party membership of those who
opposed him; nonviolent, simply expelled
low-level enemies from Party.
2)Centralization of law enforcement
agencies: civilian police, secret police,
labor camp commandants, border and
security guards all placed under authority
of NKVD; answerable directly to Stalin.

b. Post-Kirov Purges (1934-1936)

1)Sparked by murder of Sergei Kirov:
highly popular Party official unhappy
with several of Stalins policies; heavy
suspicion Stalin approved of, planned
2)Stalin signed Decree against Terrorist
Acts giving NKVD unlimited power in
pursuing enemies of state, Party;
followed by large-scale round-up of
suspected conspirators who were
imprisoned, executed.