The Bolshevik Revolution and the USSR

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Created by María Jesús Campos, History teacher in a Bilingual Section in Madrid (Spain)

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The Bolshevik Revolution and the USSR

  1. 1. The Bolshevik Revolution and the USSR
  2. 2. Lenin• Leader of the Bolsheviks. Exiled in Europe to avoid the Tsar’s persecution.• Returned to Russia on a special train provided by the German government in 1917.• His April theses: – All power to the soviets. – Peace, land and bread.
  3. 3. The Bolshevik’s Revolution: October 1917• The Provisional Goverment had lost support because of the failures in the war. The Provisional Government has been Dessertions increased. overthrown. The cause for which the• The Bolsheviks obtained people have fought has been made support after Lennin’s April safe: the inmediate proposal of a theses. democratic peace, the end of land owner’s rights, worker’s control over• October 1917, the Bolsheviks production, the creation of a Soviet Red Guard, led by Leon government. Long live the revolution Trotstky overthrew the of workers, soldiers and peasants. government. Proclamation of the Petrograd Soviet, 8 November 1917
  4. 4. Lennin’s Government Bread and Land Peace• Peasants obtained • Treaty of Brest- the Tsar and the Litovsk: Church land • Russia lost land and• Factories were put with it a 34% of its into the hands of the population and a workers 26% of the coalmines • Fine of 300 millions gold roubles.
  5. 5. Elections to the Constituent Assembly• Free elections in late • Lenin sent the Red 1917. Guard to close down the• Bolsheviks (supported assembly and instituted by workers mainly) did the government of the not gain a majority. Congress of Soviets• The Socialist mainly formed by Revolutionaries Bolsheviks. (supported by peasants • The Bolsheviks mainly) were the Dictatorship: led by biggest party in the Lenin Assembly.
  6. 6. The Civil War: Politics• Government in the hands of the • By 1921 the Bolsheviks had Congress of Soviets (mainly controlled Russia. Bolsheviks). • They won the war because:• Civil War: – They forced peasants to hand – The Whites (a coallition of over food to the army and the oppositors of the Revolution) factories and rationed supplies. – The Red Army – The Red Terror developed by the Cheka (secret police) mantained strict control over the population. – Propaganda convinced the population that the Whites’ victory would mean a return to the Tsar, the landlords and the Old Regime. – They were united while the Whites were a coalition with different aims. – The Tsar and his family were executed.
  7. 7. The Civil War’s Economy: War Communism• War Communism: harsh economic measures adopted by the Bolsheviks during the Civil War.• Objectives: – To put Communist theories into practice by sharing out the wealth among Russian people. – To supply the Red Army during the Civil War.
  8. 8. The Government Large factories are controls productive Large faries are controlled by the means and controlled by the government organizes labour governmentAn autarkic policy is Production isdeveloped to avoid planned and the external War Communism organized by the blockade government Food is rationed and agricultural production Free enterprise is has to be taken to the illegal and all cities so that the production and trade government can No strikes allowed is controlled by the distribute it. government
  9. 9. The End of the Civil War• The Bolsheviks won the war.• Peasants didn’t want to produce more as the surplus was taken by the government.• Food shortages + bad weather = Famines• 1920-21 Famines: 7 million died• Mutiny in the Kronstadt naval base.• Lenin stops War Communism.
  10. 10. The New Economic Policy (NEP)• 1921: Lenin decides to bring back capitalism for some sections.• Peasants are allowed to sell surplus grain for profit but paying a tax on what they produce.• Small factories were handed back into private ownership.• The most important industries were still controlled by the state. “The Russia of the NEP will• Production increased. become Socialist Russia” (Lenin)
  11. 11. 1924: After Lenin’s death there is a problem ofleadership betweenZinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Stalin, Trotsky Leon Trotsky Joseph Stalin - Brilliant speaker and the -General Secretary of the Communist Party’s best thinker Communist party: put his - Hero of the Bolshevik supporters into important Revolution positions and his enemies in remote posts - Main Objetive: Spread Communism through the world - Main objective: Socialism in one country -Arrogant. Offended senior party members - Flattered the senior party members as he was getting rid of - Understimated Stalin his opponents.
  12. 12. The Stalin Era:• Stalin gets rid of his opponents by accusing them of treason and killing them.• Power is held only by Stalin.• No opposition is allowed• Socialism in One Country before expanding it all over the world
  13. 13. 1936 Constitution• The USSR: federation of 11 republics.• The Union has the power to declare war, plan the economy, control the army…• The Republics have autonomy in administration and culture• The Union is controlled by the Communist Party and A cartoon published by Russian exiles in the Soviets (elected every Paris in 1936. The Title of the cartoon is 4 years by universal "The Stalinist Constitution (Law)". suffrage over candidates proposed by the party).
  14. 14. USSR under Stalin
  15. 15. Economy: Industrialization / Collectivization The victory of revolution in the cooperation of workers and peasants
  16. 16. Economy: Industrialization• The Government establishes the targets: propaganda, fines and punishments if they were not achieved.• Unemployment was non- existent. Women into industry.• Forced work for political opponents (canal, roads…)• Education was free and compulsory.• Housing was provided by the state.
  17. 17. Industrialization PropagandaDown the kitchen slavery! You go International Woman Day´s Workfor a new life!
  18. 18. Public Works were mainly done by forced labour of Stalin’s opponents
  19. 19. Economy: Collectivization• Kolhoz: joint farm formed by all the lands put together.• Animals and tools are put together. Machines are provided by the government.• 90% of production is sold to the state and the profits are shared among the farmers; only 10% of production is allowed to be used to feed the kolhoz’s farmers.• Food production fell. Famine between 1932-33 (Holodomor)
  20. 20. Collectivization Propaganda
  21. 21. Domestic Policy• Controlling people so that they would be afraid even to think of opposing Stalin.• Secret police (OGPU / NKVD) crushes opposition inside the party, the army or the country.• Gulag: government system that administered forced labour camps
  22. 22. Domestic Policy: The PurgesThe Communist Party: The Great Purges• 1934-39: 500.000 party members were accused of anti-Soviet activities and deported to Siberia, to the Gulag (labour camps system) or executed. Moscow Trials.The Army• 25.000 officers were removed (1 in 5)Population• 1937: 18 million people were sent to the Gulags in 1937. 10 million died.
  23. 23. The Cult to Stalin• Stalin was shown to the people as a winner and a leader who cared for the people.
  24. 24. The Cult to Stalin• The history of the Soviet Union was rewritten so that Lenin and Stalin were the only real heroes of the Revolution Lenin and Trotsky celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Russian Revolution in Red Square Lenin celebrates but Trotsky has been airbrushed out
  25. 25. PropagandaStalin and Yehoz in the Moscow- Stalin in the Moscow-Volga Canal.Volga Canal Yehoz has been removed

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