Summary: History and Government

Revolution and Change

  • Discontent with inequality in Russian society led to revolution and freedom from generations of czarist rule

Russian Revolution

  • Czar Alexander 2 reforms, such as freeing the serfs in 1861 providing for their education caused former serfs to move to cities
  • They faced poor conditions/ meager wages as factory workers
  • Non-Russian people faced prejudice when gov’t introduced policy of Russification- encouraged people to speak Russian/ follow Eastern Orthodox Christian
  • Those who refused were harshly persecuted, especially Jews, who were often blamed for Russias problems
  • This frustration/ discontent led Russian workers/ thinkers to turn to Socialism- belief that calls for greater economic equality in society
  • One big proponent, German Philosopher Karl Marx, advocated public ownership of all land/ classless society with equal sharing of wealth
  • This would occur after revolution, led by working class, against wealthy\
  • Increasing discontent caused strikes/ demonstrations to break out in 1900s
  • 1917, hardships of WW1 brought larger numbers of workers/ now soldiers in streets, demanding “Bread and freedom”
  • These actions forced Nicholas 2 to abdicate his throne, bringing Czarist rule to an end
  • Following year, Czar Nicholas/ family were killed
  • Their murderers signaled demise of Europes last absolute rulers and emerged communism in Russia

The Soviet Era

  • Weak representative gov’t established in 1917 made it easy for Bolsheviks- revolutionary group led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, to seize control
  • Bolsheviks believed in communism- philosophy based on Karl Marx’s ideas called for violent overthrow of gov’t and creation of society led by workers
  • Promising people “Peace, Land, and Bread!”, Bolsheviks withdrew Russia from WW1, surrendering territory to Germany
  • They used political control to take over industry, direct food distribution, and establish 8-hour work day
  • Civil war eventually erupted between Bolshevik red army vs. anti-bolshevik white army
  • Bolshevik red army won in 1922, and established USSR- Union of Soviet Socialists Republics or soviet union
  • Soviets Gradually regained Ukraine, Belarus, and large parts of Caucasus region/ Central Asia
  • After Lenin’s Death in 1924, Joseph Stalin became leader of Communist party
  • Stalin took control of farms/ factories as he made USSR an industrial giant
  • Eliminated those who disagreed with him, millions were killed or died due to hunger, physical hardships, or brutal conditions in labor camps

A Superpower

  • Soviet Union attained superpower status after WW2
  • USSR controlled most of Eastern Europe at war’s end
  • 1949 most of regions countries became Satellites- countries controlled by Soviet Union
  • Next 4 decades Soviet Union and United States engaged in Cold War- struggle between 2 competing systems—communist and capitalist—for world influence and power
  • Both countries built destructive nuclear weapons, the “weapons” used for war were propaganda, the threat force, and aid to developing countries

Boehm, Richard G. World Geography and Cultures. Columbus, Ohio: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.

“USSR map.” Photograph. Union of soviet socialist republics. np, n.d. Web. February 2, 2012.
This entry was written by smusallam4ecspress and published on February 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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