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L7 the february revolution

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  • 1. The February Revolution Russia in 1917
  • 2. So far… So Russia 1. Russia – an introduction 2. The Crimean War 3. Alexander II – Reform 4. Opponents of Alex II and Alex III 5. Alexander III & Industrialisation 6. Russo-Japanese war 1905 7. Revolution of 1905 8. Nicholas II, Stolypin and Russia on the eve of war 9. World War 1 10. Revolutions of 1917 11. The Russian Civil War / Lenin 12. Rise of Stalin 13. Five Year Plans, Collectivisation and the Great Terror 14. World War Two 15. Last Years of Stalin Question To what extent did war provide a catalyst for change in Russia between 1853-1953?
  • 3. What does ‘revolution’ mean?
  • 4. Who are the two people in this cartoon? What is the message?
  • 5. Growth in opposition to Tsardom • By 1916 many shared the view that the Tsar was an inept political and military leader • Feb Rev initiated by elements of Russian elite, not political revolutionaries • Tsar did not co-operate with Union of Zemstva and Union of Town Councils (these created the Zemgor to help war wounded very successfully). Highlighted weakness of Tsar and hinted at possible alternative. • Kadets, Octobrists, Nationalists and Party of Progressive Industrialists formed the ‘Progressive Bloc’ within the Duma. • PB attempted to persuade the Tsar to make autocratic concessions – became the focal point of political resistance • 1915-16 – Russia had four prime ministers, three foreign secretaries, three ministers of defence and six interior ministers. Instability? • Resentment over Rasputin’s influence at court – murdered in December 1916 by aristocratic conspirators.
  • 6. February 1917 • Rumours of the likelihood of serious public disturbances abound from the beginning of 1917. • 18 Feb - A full-scale strike broke out at Putilov Steel works in St Petersburg. • Joined by many other workers over rumours of another cut to bread supplies • 23 Feb – International Women's Day – thousands of women joined protesters, demanding food and an end to the war • Growing sympathy amongst police for demonstrators • Little direction from above, atmosphere of confusion. • Tsar ordered for General Khabalov to restore order. Khabalov said this could not be done without martial law. • Soldiers mutinied and ordinary life broke down – martial law could not be enforced. • Vast majority of 150,000 Petrograd garrison had deserted. • Feb 27 - Nicholas dissolved the Duma again • 12 members known as the Provisional Committee defied request.
  • 7. Events of February 1917 continued… • Alexander Kerensky (SR) called for Tsar to stand down • Feb 27 – Petrograd Soviet of Soldiers, Sailors and Worker’s Deputies set up. • The PC and PS became the de facto government of Russia. • PC – old elites and the Duma • PS – the working classes, solidiers. • Tsars remaining ministers fled the capital • Rodzyanko, President of the Duma, advised Nicholas II only his personal abdication would save the Russian monarchy. • Nicholas intended to return to Petrograd to personally intervene • March 2 - The royal train was intercepted. A group of generals and old Duma ministers advised him to abdicate in favour of his brother. • Grand Duke Michael refused the position of Tsar • March 3 – The new Provisional Government announced itself to the world. http://www.dur.ac.uk/a.k.harrington/abdicatn.html
  • 8. Map showing Pskov, where Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the throne.
  • 9. Task Was Nicholas II responsible for his own downfall? Write Y or N next to each statement. We will discuss your opinions as a class in a few minutes. Also – take copy of Feb Rev diagram.
  • 10. What do these historians have to say about the downfall of Tsardom? Norman Stone, The Eastern Front 1914-197 (Penguin, 1998) p. 304 Russia was not advanced enough to stand the strain of war, and the effort to do so plunged the economy into chaos. But economic backwardness alone did not make for revolution. The economic chaos came more from a contest between the old and the new in the Russian economy. Richard Pipes, Three Whys of the Russian Revolution (Pimlico, 1998) p. 30 A power that, however dazzling its external glitter, was internally weak and quite unable to cope with the strains – political, economic and psychological – which the war brought in its wake… the principal causes of the downfall in 1917 were political, not economic or social.

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