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Russian Revolution


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Russian Revolution - Animal Farm Background Notes

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Russian Revolution

  1. 1. Background notes For Animal Farm
  2. 2. Pre-Revolution
  3. 3.  Czar Nicholas II  Tsar, Caesar, Kaiser Ruler with absolute power Took throne at age 26  Alexander III died of kidney disease at age 49 Somewhat inept as ruler  His father didn‟t want to teach him statecraft until Nicholas was 30, but Alexander III died before then
  4. 4. Czar Nicholas with his wife,Alexandra; his four daughters,Maria, Olga, Tatiana andAnastasia; and his son Alexei
  5. 5.  Nicholas was married, 4 daughters, 1 son  Alexei was sickly (hemophilia)  Inherited  Rasputin  Mystic who exerted enormous influence over the family, especially Alexandra, because he seemed to help lessen effects of the disease
  6. 6.  Widespread drought  Anti-Semitic & famine pogroms Refusal to agree to  Distrust of Constitutional Rasputin‟s influence Monarchy  Bloody Sunday Loss of war with  Bread Riots Japan  Defeat by a non- Western power brought down prestige and authority of the regime
  7. 7.  Peasants went to Winter palace to petition for help  Starving  Peaceful petition Were gunned down  92 dead, several hundred wounded Resulted in Revolt of 1905  Revolt eventually put down, but power of monarchy was lessened
  8. 8.  Russian workers led by Trotsky  Tsar‟s soldiers crushed the rebellion  Trotsky was sent to Siberia for his role
  9. 9.  1917: WWI caused Tsar/Czar Nicholas II to abdicate Causes:  German triumphs, millions killed in WWI  Nationwide poverty, injustices by czars (Bloody Sunday), bread riots, other signs of popular hostility  Spontaneous revolt by workers in Feb., 1917 Provisional Interim Govt. : Prince Lvov
  10. 10.  Riots:  Lenin‟s speech: “The people need peace. The people need bread. The people need land. And they give you war, hunger, no bread…we must fight for the social revolution.”  After the riots, Lvov banned the Bolsheviks (who quadrupled in size), sent Lenin into hiding, and arrested Trotsky (who was now allied with Lenin) Troops refuse to fight: Bolsheviks take over government buildings and the Winter Palace
  11. 11.  Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, overthrow the provisional government Take over the Winter Palace as seat of new government
  12. 12.  WW I caused  Later, Nicholas & massive deaths on family were the front, and executed for widespread treason starvation at home  Firing squad and Revolution of 1917 bayonets forced Nicholas II  Women survived initial bullets to abdicate the  Diamonds and other throne jewels sewn in dresses Imprisoned by the protected them Later shot in the head revolutionaries  and stabbed with bayonets
  13. 13. Later, two bodies were missing from thebasement where the Romanovs werekilled.Rumors spread that the princessAnastasia had escaped.DNA evidence proves that to be untrue –two additional Romanov bodies werefound in the nearby woods.
  14. 14.  Philosopher, Historian, political theorist Socialism, not capitalism or feudalism Wealth distributed equally  Capitalism only rewards a few  Lots of poor people “From each according to ability, to each according to need”
  15. 15.  Groupof Russians: Meeting in Minsk in March 1898, declaring themselves as a party  Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party: Later became the Communist party  Consisted of nine delegates representing four labor unions, a workers‟ newspaper and the Jewish Social Democratic Bund  platform: overthrow of the Romanov rulers  results of meeting: 8 of the delegates arrested upon their return home  Followed doctrines/teachings of : Karl Marx – prophesied the collapse of capitalism and its empires
  16. 16.  Lenin’s roots:  expelled from school for staging a protest,  while at home, discovered the works of Marx  eventually got a law degree  Names: Vladimir Ulyanov, also Meyer, Richter, & Jordanov
  17. 17.  Travels:  Switzerland to meet with Marxist leaders  Paris and Berlin to meet with radicals  arrested upon return home and sent to Siberia until 1900 (there during meeting in Minsk). Occupation:  When he returned from Siberia, he began a newspaper organizing the rebirth of the Social Democrats beyond the reach of the Czar‟s police.  Caused a second meeting of the party in Brussels in 1903
  18. 18. Bolsheviks Mensheviks After “Bolshoi” – big  Means minority  Means majority Leader: Lenin  Leader: Trotsky Makeup: small, highly  Makeup: take any and disciplined, secretive, & all supporters, find vanguard of working partners, make class coalitions Philosophy:  Philosophy: Government run by Democratically run small dictatorial group socialism of professional revolutionaries that would tell the proletariat (workers) what to do
  19. 19.  After the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, overthrow the provisional government  Set up a dictatorship, with secret police  Lenin is in charge  Revised economic policy – prosperity for some peasants (sold crops & paid taxes)  Right-hand man: Leon Trotsky  Military leader, led Stalin‟s Red Army in many uprisings & revolutionary battles, including the defeat of the “White” army (the nobility) in the Civil War
  20. 20.  Premier/Foreign Minister: Lenin/Trotsky Cabinet: Lenin insisted on an all-Bolshevik cabinet Constituent Assembly: Although Bolsheviks won only 25% of the popular vote, and moderate socialist groups won 62%, Lenin disbanded the Assembly after one meeting and banned all parties other than his own, which he had renamed the Communist Party. Cheka: New police force, authorized to arrest and shoot immediately all members of counterrevolutionary organizations.
  21. 21.  Civil war erupts between  Reds  (Bolsheviks)  Whites  (anti-Bolsheviks)  primarily displaced nobility and foreign interests  War ends in 1918
  22. 22.  Military:  peace with Germany, but forced separation of Poland, Balkans and Ukraine from Russia;  American, Japanese, British and French troops in Russia, various anti-Bolshevik “white” armies Economy: in shambles –  huge industrial production drops,  runaway inflation,  plummeting foreign trade,  peasant crops requisitioned for the cities,  widespread famine
  23. 23.  Deathof Lenin: several strokes from these pressures
  24. 24.  Stalin  Trotsky  Better political  Preferred by Lenin maneuvering  Fought in Revolution
  25. 25. Stalin (meaning steel) political/military maneuvers:  armed robberies to replenish Bolshevik treasury,  alliance with two of Lenin‟s top advisors, then betrayed them,  became basically the uncrowned Tsar of the Russians (caused Trotsky to flee)
  26. 26.  Trotskywas exiled and later assassinated in Mexico by Stalin‟s agents  Fate of Trotsky: befriended by a Soviet agent, then hacked to death
  27. 27.  Drew up new constitution, Communist party the core of all public and state organizations  (only 10% of population in this elite group). He held no party congresses and ran things by himself
  28. 28.  Driveto become industrialized  economic policy: forced industrialization and collective farming causing millions of deaths  Series of Five-Year plans to increase economic growth
  29. 29.  Forced labor to cities Eliminated small farms to create large “collectivized farms”  Produce went to feed those building factories and to sell for the financing of those factories  Many farmers tried to revolt, severely punished – killed or sent to Siberia  Farm production drops, massive famine in Soviet Union  Decisions about farming made by bureaucrats  Farmers were paid miserably – little incentive to work
  30. 30.  Arreststhroughout the party and the country  Show trials to eliminate any opposition to Stalin  Labor camps or executions  Forced confessions  forced people to confess to forms of treason, corruption and sabotage, all of whom were put to death
  31. 31.  The Cheka – Stalin‟s secret police (KGB)  Coercion rather than cooperation Propaganda
  32. 32.  Non-Aggression Pact  Stalin allied himself with Hitler until Hitler invaded Russia in 1941  the Russians suffer heavy losses beating back the Germans (20 million dead) Join the Allies  fights against the Germans/Japanese  at the end of the war, meets with Winston Churchill & Franklin D. Roosevelt (Yalta Conference) to forge a lasting peace treaty and carve up Europe  Note: Makes it hard for Orwell to sell Animal Farm
  33. 33.  February 4–11, 1945 wartime meeting  United States – President Franklin D. Roosevelt  Great Britain – Prime Minister Winston Churchill  Soviet Union – General Secretary Josef Stalin Purpose -- discussing Europe‟s postwar reorganization.  the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe.
  34. 34. Russia Spain Italy GermanyJosef Stalin Francisco Franko Benito Mussolini Adolf HitlerTotalitarianism: Government with strong central rule,that controls individuals by coercion and repression
  35. 35.  Satire  A literary genre that uses irony, wit, and sometimes sarcasm to ridicule people, ideas, or practices in an effort to improve society Allegory  A story or tale that has two levels of meaning. The first is a surface-level story, with a second, and deeper level of meaning, which may be moral, political, philosophical, or religious.  Characters often bear names that indicate the qualities or ideas the author wishes to represent. Personification  Giving human characteristics to non-humans
  36. 36.  Utopia  An ideal place that does not exist in reality  Term comes from Greek words  Outopia = “no place”  Eutopia = “good place” Dystopia  The opposite of utopia  Horrific places, generally characterized by oppressive societies  Often shown as starting out as attempts to achieve utopia
  37. 37.  Orwell replied that though Animal Farm was „primarily a satire on the Russian Revolution‟ it was intended to have a wider application. That kind of revolution, which he defined as „violent conspiratorial revolution, led by unconsciously power- hungry people‟, could only lead to a change of masters.