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Russian Revolution

What happened during the revolution?

In 1905, Russia’s people were loosing faith in Nicholas II, the Russian Tsar. In
that same year, Russia was defeated by the Japanese in number of navy
battles. Yet the one event that unleashed mass action and set Russia on the
path to revolution was the shooting of hundreds of unarmed demonstrators.
This happened in St Petersburg on the 22 of January 1905. This massacre
was named 'Bloody Sunday' and triggered a wave of massive demonstration
and strikes throughout the empire.

In 1917, there were two revolutions in Russia, the February revolution and the
October revolution. The results of the February revolution were the abdication
of Tsar Nicholas 2nd, the collapse of imperial Russia and the end of the
Romanov dynasty and the beginning for the provisional Government. In the
October revolution, the provisional Government was over thrown by the

What were the Russians revolting about?

During the Russian revolution in 1905, the peasants in the Baltic States took
this event as their cue to revolt against their current rulers. Tsarist Russia, the
Kingdom of Sweden, and the Baltic German had all ruled the Estonian and
Latvian peasants at different times in history.
The Lithuanian peasants were governed by Russia, before this, the Kingdom
of Poland (1569 to 1791). They saw this period in time as an opportunity to
rule them selves and to finally take control over their destiny, though this didn't
lead into independence at this time.
In 1918 the Baltic State’s independence emerged and went on till 1940.

WW1 placed a horrendous strain on Russia’s weak government and

economy, resulting in large shortages and hunger.
The mismanagement and failures of the war turned the people and soldiers
against the Tsar. It was the Tsar’s decision to take personal command of the
army, which made it seem that he was responsible for the defeats.
In March 1917, the Tsar lost control of the streets, soldiers and finally the
Duma, resulting in his forced Abdication on 15th March 1917.

What changed as a result of the revolution?

Independence for the Baltic countries was constantly being
declared and was finally recognized.
In May 1918, Britain, France and Italy recognized Estonian
In February 1918 Estonia and Lithuania declared their
independence. Following this, Latvia declared their Independence
in November.
These newly founded Baltic States set up democratically elected
single-chamber parliaments.
Presidents were elected to build the new government in Latvia and
There were no Presidents elected in Estonia, instead, a Prime
Minister would take care of any official duties. Konstantin Pats
became Estonia’s Prime Minister for the newly formed
Government, while in Latvia, Karlis Ulmanis and in Lithuania,
Antanas Smetona were the presidents for their respective
Unfortunately all three of these governments had a short lived
democracy and fell to dictatorship. The Lithuania democratic
government was over thrown in 1926 and by 1934 so were Estonia
and Latvia.

How does Orwell represent the revolution in Animal Farm?

Orwell represents the revolution in many ways, mostly through similarities in
characters. Orwell associates real characters with the characters of the book.
Here are some significant points that relate to Animal Farm and the Russian
Animal Farm Russian Revolution
Mr. Jones: Czar Nicholas II:

• He was irresponsible to his • He is a poor leader.

animals because he lets • Is cruel and sometimes brutal
them starve. with his opponents.
• Is sometimes cruel, e.g. • Sometimes kind e.g. hired
beats them with whip. students as spies to make
• Yet is still kind e.g. mixes some money.
milk in animal mash.

Old Major:
Karl Marx:
• Taught Animalism.
• Workers did the work, rich • Invented communism.
kept the money, animals • “Workers of the world unite”,
revolted. take over the government.
• Died before the revolution. • Died before the Russian

• There are no owners, no
rich, and no poor. • The same, i.e. no owners, no
• Workers get a better life rich nor poor.
and all the animals are • All people are equal.
equal. • Government owns everything,
• Everybody takes ownership so do the people.
for the farm.

Leon Trotsky:
• He is young, smart, good
speaker, and idealistic. • The other leader of the
• Wants to make life better October Revolution.
for everyone. • Pure communist and followed
• One of the leaders of the Marx.
revolution. • He wanted to improve life for
• Chased away by all everyone in Russia.
Napoleon’s dogs. • Was chased away by Lenin’s
Secret Police.
Napoleon: Joseph Stalin:

• Was not a good speaker • Was not a good speaker, and

and was not as clever as did not educated like Trotsky
Snowball. did.
• He was cruel, brutal, • He was the same as
selfish, devious, and Napoleon, did not follow
corrupt. Marx's ideas.
• His ambition is for power, • He only cared for power, and
and he killed his killed all that opposed him.
opponents. • He used Secret police, allowed
• He used dogs (named church, and propagandized.
Moses, and Squealor) to
control the animals.

Squealor: Propaganda department of Lenin's

• Is a big mouth, and talks a
lot. • They worked for Stalin to
• He convinces the animals support his image.
to believe and follow • Used any lie to convince the
Napoleon. people to follow Stalin.
• Changes and manipulates • Benefited from the fact that
the commandments. education was controlled.

KGB - Secret Police:

The Dogs:
• They’re not really police, but
• A private army that uses
forced support for Stalin.
fear to force animals to
• They used force, often killed
entire families for
• They killed or intimidated
any opponent of Napoleon.
• Completely loyal, part of
• Another part of Napoleon's
Lenin's power, even over army.
strategy to control animals.

Moses the Raven:
• Marx Quotes, "Opiate of the
• Tells animals about Sugar people", that was a lie.
Candy mountain i.e. Heaven. • It was used to make people
• The animals can go there if not complain and do to keep
they work hard enough. doing their work.
• Snowball and Major were • Religion was endured because
against him. people would work.
• Napoleon let him stay. His • Stalin knew that religion would
reason being, He taught stop violent revolutions.
animals to work and not
Mollie: Vain, selfish people in Russia and the
• She was vain. She loved
her beauty and herself. • Some people didn't care about
• She didn't think about the revolution at this time and
animal farm. thought only about
• She went with anyone who themselves.
gave her what she wanted. • People who went to other
countries that offered more.

Boxer: Dedicated, but tricked communist

• He was a strong, hard
working horse, and • The people who believed
believes in Animal Farm. Stalin because he was
• He quotes, "Napoleon is "Communist".
always right", "I must work • Many stayed loyal after it was
harder". obvious that Stalin was a
• He gives his all, but is tyrant.
betrayed by Napoleon who • They were betrayed by Stalin
sells him. who ignored and killed them.

Benjamin: Skeptical people in Russia and outside

• Was an old, wise donkey
that was suspicious of the • These people weren't sure the
revolution. revolution would change
• He thinks "nothing ever anything.
changes". • They realized that a crazy
• His suspicions became leader could call himself
true. communist.
• They knew that communism
wouldn't work with power.

Overall details about revolution: Overall details of Russian Revolution:

• This whole event was • It was supposed to fix

supposed to make life problems from Czar.
better for all. • Life in Russia was even worse
• In the end, life was worse. long after revolution.