VCE REVOLUTIONS REVISION: RUSSIA The Examination: Section B

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VCE REVOLUTIONS

REVISION
: RUSSIA

The Exam
ination
: Section B

LECTURE 2: 3.45


5.00 pm

Ross Smith

(I would like to acknowledge the help of Elizabeth Morgan in preparing these
notes for examination revision)



“Down with the eagle”
by
Ivan Vladimirov



2


The

second lecture for Revolutions focuses on Section B of the examination paper. This will
include the Area of Study 1: Revolutionary Ideas, Leaders, Movements and Events document
exercise and the Area of Study 2: Creating a New Society. The session will rev
ise the content
and students will also be given advice on exam technique.

Why we are here today

VCE History Revolutions Examination

Friday 8th November 3:00 pm


5:15 pm

15 minutes reading time

2 hours writing time

Section A includes two extended responses

and an analysis of a document/graphic

Section B includes an analysis of a document/graphic and an essay

Sections A and B must discuss different revolutions

On the day

2 BOOKLETS


ANSWER AND QUESTION

DO NOT WRITE OUTSIDE OF THE SPACE PROVIDED

STUDENTS NEE
D TO WRITE WHICH REVOLUTIONS STUDIED AT THE FRONT OF THE BOOKLET


tool to
stop silly mistakes

ENSURE YOU COMPLETE TASKS IN THE APPROPRIATE SECTION AND CLEARLY LABEL

NO PENCIL/PALE COLOURED BIROS

Section B (Second Revolution Studied)

Revolutionary ideas,
leaders, movements and events


Russian Revolution 1905 to October 1917

Question 1 Document/graphic analysis

(20 marks)

SECTION B QUESTION 1

Extract from Steve A Smith, ‘Petrograd in 1917: the view from below’ in Rex A Wade’s Revolutionary
Russia,

London,
Routledge, 2004, pp. 20 and 21

Originally published in ‘Petrograd in 1917: The View from Below’ in Daniel H Kaiser’s The Worker’s
Revolution in Russia: The View from Below, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987

At the time of the February Revolution t
he Bolshevik party had been in considerable disarray.
Its most able leaders were abroad or in exile; its membership had dwindled as a result of
3


wartime persecution by the authorities; and the party organization was fragmented, both
geographically . . . and

politically . . . The February Revolution took the Bolsheviks by
surprise, and they divided in their attitude to the Prov
isional Government. It was only
after
Lenin returned from Switzerland on April 4 that a meaningful degree of political unity was
resto
red in the party. Lenin’s April Theses represented an extreme but perspicacious
1

analysis of the political situation in Russia, which broke sharply with the orthodox Social
-
Democratic conception of a two
-
stage revolution. Lenin considered that the “old Bol
shevik”
formula that the “bourgeois revolution is not yet completed” was “obsolete.”

. . . there must be absolutely no support for the capitalist Provisional Government: power
must pass instead into the hands of the proletariat and poor peasantry via a rep
ublic of
soviets. Meanwhile, Lenin argued, the war remained one of “imperialist banditry,” which the
Bolsheviks must unbendingly
2

oppose. The party accepted these new strategic perspectives
at its April Conference only after considerable opposition had bee
n overcome; the new views
were concretized
3

in the slogans “All Power to the Soviets!” and “Down with the War!”

1 perspicacious


intelligent understanding 2 unbendingly


with no flexibility

3 concretized


made real

(VCAA Examination 2011)

a.

Identify tw
o reasons why the Bolshevik party was in disarray.

2 marks
COMPREHENSION OF EXTRACT

b.

Identify two actions proposed by Lenin.
COMPREHENSION OF EXTRACT

2 marks

c.

By quoting from the extract and using your own knowledge, explain the role of the Bolshevik P
arty
in advancing a revolutionary situation to October 1917.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT

6 marks

d.

Evaluate how useful this extract is as evidence of the issues confronting the Provisional
Government in Russia.
OPINION & HISTORIOGRAPHY

In your response quote parts

of the extract and refer to different views of the Revolution.

10 marks

Document and graphic analysis



Directly refer to the extract or graphic and use key words from it



Make use of the captions provided with graphics



Use own knowledge



Question D must cont
ain historians’ viewpoints



Successful answers started with the ideas raised in the extract or graphic

4




Place the events mentioned within their historical background



Avoid paraphrasing or describing the content



Use signposting e.g “as seen in the graphic”



Don’t just mention views


compare them



Do not just label the views e.g. “Marxist”, “Revisionist”



Students need to be able to recognise key figures/groups e.g. Russia


single figure was a
Cossack

TO RECAP



“by starting with an evaluative statement the
answer is focused on the rep”



Structure moves “into the source and out to viewpoints and other evidence or knowledge”



Achieve a balance between own knowledge and extracted information in C



Look for inferences



Do not rely on summarising the content in detai
l



Read the question carefully to ensure you know what is being asked of you



Examine the graphic or document as evidence of the event or period given in the question



Avoid acceptance of the view; evaluate its merit



Link historical views with specific detail
s about the event portrayed



Avoid generalised comments about “historians’ schools” or labels such as “Liberal
historians” without any kink to the representation



Discuss the intended function of the graphic/document and it affects the view given



Avoid gener
al descriptions of ideas


use accurate and precise facts



Do not use “the extract states”


this encourages students to simply retell or summarise

POSSIBLE APPROACHES

PART C



Frame answer by starting with representation or document



Move out and offer own kn
owledge



Discuss the source and identifying features

PART D



“this propaganda poster…….idea……”



Historians support/refute and supply evidence



What is there/not there (useful/not useful)



Evaluation needs to be throughout the answer



Start with source as basis
for discussion



Identify strengths and weaknesses



Quote from the source



Use factual evidence and compare/contrast views to the view shown in the source



Focus on the whole question


5


HISTORIOGRAPHY



Soviet interpretation (class conflict)



Liberal interpretation

(political)



Revisionis
t interpretation (social/cultural
)



Libertarian interpretation (freedom)



Only use with Document & Graphic analysis



Section A: A.O.S. 2, November 1917
-
1924



Section B: A.O.S. 1, 1905
-
October 1917



Helpful for revision?

‘Historian speak’

Class, class consciousness, rigidity, out
-
dated, political, social, economic, institution, causation,
ideology, cultural, traditional order, utopian, new order, rising expectations tension, crises, conflict,
consensus, stability, radicalisation, foreign in
tervention, consolidation of revolution, betrayal,
insular, persuasive, unconvincing

Section B (Second Revolution Studied)

Creating a new society


Russian Revolution November 1917 to 1924

Question 2 Essay

One topic (20 marks)

Question 2


Essay response

Creating a new society


Russian Revolution November 1917 to 1924

The revolutionaries of 1917 promised ‘power to the working class’, but instead the revolution
brought only terror to the people of Russia. To what extent do you agree with this assessment of

the
Revolution in Russia from 1917 to 1924?

Provide evidence to support your answer.

20 marks

(VCAA Examination 2012)


The following is an extract from an excellent response. The essay covers a wide range of factual
information and considers all parts of
the question.

Upon seizing power in October 1917, the Bolsheviks promised to usher in a classless utopia
with a dictatorship of the proletariat. Despite carrying through some elements of their
promises, the new regime brought chiefly terror to the people of Russia. Elem
ents of the
classless utopia were visible in the advancements of education, women’s rights and
electrification but they were ultimately lost amidst the violence and authoritarianism that
prevailed under the ‘Red Terror’… The establishment of the Cheka in 1
917 under Felix
6


Derzhinsky would see 140,000 people killed in the space of three years. This is staggering
when compared to the 14,000 people killed over fifty years under the Tsaris Okhrana.
Articles 57 and 58 of the 1921 Soviet Law Code contained an ‘omn
ibus clause’ that could be
used to prosecute anyone with little justification. Hence there was certainly no sphere of life
exempt from Cheka coverage. It is this oppressive and terrible violence that prompted
Volkogenov to say ‘the Cheka gunned its way thr
ough the population’. The 1918 Kulak Laws
exhibited a bloodthirsty and murderous ambition of the new regime as Lenin gave the order
to ‘kill, (kill without fail so the people can see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich
men bloodsuckers…find some
truly hard people’.

Essay



Must refer to key terms offered it the question



Introductions must contain an outline of your viewpoint



Avoid simply agreeing or disagreeing



Engage in debate



Stick to either the Julian or Gregorian calendar throughout the essay



Co
nsider the prompt and engage with it in the context of the question asked



Structure essay using paragraphs each beginning with a valid topic sentence



Define groups if mentioned (who involved)



Stay within appropriate time frame



No pre
-
learnt essays



No pre
-
l
earned paragraphs re historians



“do not use historians’ views in place of evidence….use them only to confirm your evidence”



AREA OF STUDY 1 (edited)

Revolutionary ideas, leaders, movements and events

Russian Revolution 1905 to October 1917 (Bloody Sunday

to the Bolshevik Revolution)

Key knowledge

This knowledge includes

• the chronology of key events and factors which contributed to the revolution;

• the causes of tensions and conflicts generated in the old regime that many historians see as
contributing
to the revolution; for example, rising and unfulfilled class expectations; fluctuations in
economic activity; failed attempts at economic, social or political reform; perceived social or
economic inequality or lack of political voice; the impact of war or
economic crisis that contributed
to revolution … the social and economic impact of World War I on Tsarist Russia;

7


• the ideas and ideologies utilised in revolutionary struggle; for example, ideas of liberty, equality,
fraternity, Marxist ideas, nationalism



• the role of revolutionary individuals and groups in bringing about change; for example, … in Russia,
Kerensky, Trotsky, Lenin, the Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviks and Bolsheviks …


AREA OF STUDY 2 (edited)

Creating a new society

Russian Revoluti
on November 1917 to 1924 (Initial decrees to the death of Lenin)

Key knowledge

This knowledge includes

• the contribution of individuals and groups to the creation of the new society; for example, in
Russia, Trotsky and Lenin;

• the cause of difficulties o
r crises faced by the revolutionary groups or governments as a new state
was consolidated; for example, the Civil War and Foreign Intervention in Russia;

• the response of the key revolutionary individuals, groups, governments or parties to the difficultie
s
that they encountered as the new state was consolidated; for example, the Red Guard in Russia; Civil
War, and War Communism in Russia

•the compromise of revolutionary ideals; for example, the NEP in Russia and the Red Guard and the
Civil War in Russia;



the changes and continuities that the revolution brought about in the structure of government, the
organisation of society, and its values, and the distribution of wealth and conditions of everyday life.

A.O.S. 1
Revolutionary ideas, leaders, movements an
d
events

1905 to October 1917

K
ey events and factors which contributed to the revolution



Tsarist autocracy



Relative lack of economic development



Tiny bourgeoisie, small working class and huge peasantry



Fear of military defeat and revolution led to some
efforts to reform the economy



Debate between ‘Westernisers’ and ‘Slavophiles’

Attempts at reform



Witte, Minister of Finance 1892
-
1903 promotes industrialization



Government invests in heavy industry

8




Government builds railways to improve trade



Raises tariffs

for taxes and to protect industry



Huge foreign loans for investment



Rapid industrial growth, “Great Spurt” leads to:



Growth of urban areas, esp. St Petersburg and Moscow, overcrowding in cities, very poor
wages and conditions for workers, when there is a
recession thousands of unemployed
wander the streets



Economic growth leads to demands for political change c.f. China today



Witte forced to resign by suspicious conservatives (1906)

Attempts at reform: 1905 Revolution



Defeat by Japan and revolution (1905)
leads to political humiliation



Bloody Sunday Massacre (Jan.22, 1905) sets off wave of strikes and rebellions



Setting up of St. Petersburg Soviet



Tsar survives by splitting opponents



Peasants given some land reforms



Middle class given some political reforms



“October Manifesto” (1905) grants elections for Duma



Stolypin’s agrarian reforms (1906)



Tries to break individual peasants away from the village collective



Tsar survives by splitting opponents



Peasants given some land reforms



Middle class given some polit
ical reforms



“October Manifesto” (1905) grants elections for Duma

Attempts at reform: Stolypin



Purchasing and consolidating narrow strips of land



Dissolution of the Mir (1906), the traditional village commune



Hopes to create a class of wealthy peasants
(kulaks) who will support regime



Cancels peasants debts to gain support



First Duma (1906) lasts 3 months



Improves education and conditions in army



Introduces ‘Russification.’



Second Duma (1907) lasts 3 months



3000 revolutionaries die by ‘Stolypin’s necktie
’.



Tsar dismisses first two Dumas because too radical; fixes electoral system and results



Third Duma (1907
-
12)



Assassination of Stolypin (1911) by police agent. Conservatives wary of him b/c of his
support for a duma



Fourth Duma (1912
-
1916)



Dumas have litt
le power and mostly co
-
operate with government

but provide public forum
for criticism of the Tsarist Government

9


T
he social and economic impact of World War I on Tsarist Russia



Russian armies do well at first but are defeated at Tannenberg (August 1914) and

Masurian
Lakes



France is

saved but Russian armies begin

retreat



Russian forces have more progress against Austrians



St. Petersburg renamed Petrograd because of anti
-
German feeling



Duma critical of Government’s war effort



Tsar fires some ministers because
they opposed his move to the Front



Allies secretly promise Russia that it will have control of the Turkish Straits



Offensive June 1916 makes gains against Austrians but beaten back by Germans



Miliukov’s inflames opinion in Duma in November 1916 “Is this st
upidity or is this treason?”



Rumours spread of Tsar’s removal following many ministers being removed by the Tsarina
and the growing influence of Rasputin



15 million men mobilised for war

but most of
the
Army at front



Disrupted industrial and food productio
n



Loss of Poland reduced Russia’s industrial capacity



Russia’s Government did not forcefully expand its powers, unlike other European
governments



Working hours increased in factories



Wages did not keep up with prices e.g. salt price increased 500%



Peasants

unwilling to sell crops because few consumer goods available for purchase

adding
to shortages



Railways breakdown under pressure and unable to make deliveries of food and fuel to major
cities


A.O.S. 2
Creating a new society

November 1917 to 1924

Key indiv
iduals & groups



Lenin’s role in creating the new soviet state was crucial all decisions inc. setting up
Sovnarkom, closing Constituent Assembly, signing Brest
-
Litovsk, War Communism, Cheka,
Kronstadt, ending factionalism & Workers’ Opposition, est. N.E.P.,

Poland



Trotsky important in building Red Army & winning the Civil War

Crisis


Who governs?



Power taken in name of Soviets



Setting up government structures based on soviets with Sovnarkom the peak body



In coalition with Left SRs at first



Not expected that

Party would rule?



Constituent Assembly



Closed down by arms after one day

10




One key event in setting off Civil War

Crisis & response: Land



Peasants take land & rob houses of gentry



Lenin opposed ideologically to peasants (petit capitalists)



Lenin needs
peasant support so he decrees land belongs to those who work it i.e. not
nobles, Tsar or Church. Takes policy of the SRs. It will help Bolsheviks win peasant support in
the Civil War

Crisis & response: Peace



Bolsheviks determined to stop their ‘imperialist
ic war’



Germans drive a hard bargain



Trotsky tries to delay but exasperated Germans invade and Lenin forces party to accept even
harsher terms at the Treaty of Brest
-
Litovsk



Trotsky refuses to sign Treaty



Let SRs leave coalition government



Bolsheviks now rule Sovnarkom alone



Many in the Party disagree strongly only later is Lenin vindicated

Crises and response



Civil War and Foreign Intervention by several powers e.g. Britain threatens existence of
Bolsheviks



Bolsheviks create Red Army and us
e Cheka to crush opposition



Bolsheviks create decrees of War Communism to feed & supply Red Army and half
-
empty
cities



Peasant rebellions later as result of requisitions and famine e.g. Tambov



Eventually drop requisitioning and evolve military tactics to
defeat peasant
guerrilla

war



Tries class war in village using Poor Peasant Committees against rich



Famine 1920
-
1 due to requisitions, war and poor weather



Forced to ask USA for immediate help to feed starving masses



Civil War & foreign intervention confirm
ed Bolshevik ideas of class conflict and capitalist
encirclement



Bolsheviks continue class war within Soviet State against enemies e.g. kulaks, bourgeoisie



In part, led to policies of War Communism which was a crisis in its own right because of
requisition

of grain and militarisation of the workplace & famine



Kronstadt rebellion in response to political and social conditions in cities & countryside
crushed by Red Army



Economic collapse (e.g. strikes, shortages, rebellions) forces Lenin to drop War Communism

in favour of N.E.P.



N.E.P. means building socialism will have to wait

Crisis & response: Party control Tenth Party Congress 1921

11




Workers’ Opposition wants workers to control and run factories



Democratic Centralists urge more democracy within the Part
y



Banning of factionalism at Tenth Party Congress 1921 used to stop all opposition after
Lenin’s death esp. by Stalin



Workers’ Opposition condemned by Lenin



Workers forced into Trade Unions which are more easily controlled by State

The compromise of
ideals



Bolsheviks had fought & won a war to create a socialist society and through the NEP they
saw a return to capitalism



Methods used by Red Army, Cheka during after the Civil War were barbaric and seemed to
the compromise their ideals e.g. shooting host
ages



Terror campaigns seen as a virtue by Bolsheviks, not just a necessary evil



Accusation enough for execution without even a trial



Fellow socialists persecuted: SRs, Mensheviks, Kronstadt sailors



State stifled early democracy in soviets, trade unions, fa
ctories and within the Bolshevik
Party itself

Changes and continuities



Education had become much more widespread opening up avenues for careers and personal
development



Electrification and slow modernisation offered hope of economic improvement



Entrance of

millions into the Party and government administration aided social mobility for
lower classes in society



Working class social background valued c.f. bourgeois or intelligentsia condemned



Role of women had improved re divorce & careers



Peasants still own
and work land in much the same way as their ancestors



Church still exists but marginal influence



U.S.S.R. almost same size as Russian Empire despite promise were nationalities were free to
leave



By 1924 USSR had a constitution, unlike Tsarist Empire but ho
w much was it worth?



Constitution does not even mention Communist Party which rules in reality



Soviet Legal Code in reality gave no protection to individual rights c.f. Tsarist system



USSR not an autocracy but Lenin does rule



Is Lenin a dictator?



Cheka and

later GPU & OGPU are similar to old Okhrana but much more powerful



In Tsarist Empire before 1905, political parties were illegal. There is only one legal party in
USSR