Russian History
Chapter 28
Young Revolutionaries & Social
Czar Resists Change
– In 1881,
Alexander III
succeeded his
father, Alexander
II, and halted all
reforms in
– Alexander III
clung to the
principles of
(absolute rule)
–He imposed strict censorship
and had a secret police force
watch liberal minds carefully
To establish a uniform Russian
culture, Alexander III oppressed
other national groups within
Russia. He made Russian the official
language of the empire and forbade
the use of minority languages.
–The next Czar, Nicholas II is going
to be equally resistant to change.
a. Proletariat (workers)- organize under
Karl Marx’s ideology.
b. The Marxist
revolutionaries believed
that the
class of
the czar.
C. In 1903, Russian Marxists split into
two groups over revolutionary
1. The Mensheviks
2. The Bolsheviks
• The more
wanted a
broad base of
support for
the revolution.
• The more
supported a
small number
of committed
s willing to
everything for
• The major
leader of the
Bolsheviks was
Vladimir Ilyich
Ulyanov A.K.A
Russian Crisis Abroad
a. Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
b. Russia’s Bloody Sunday (1905)
c. WWI- The Final Blow
Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
• Russia loses the war to Japan – Loses eastern Asian
territories like Korea
Russia’s Bloody Sunday (1905)
• Jan. 22nd, 200,000 workers approach the Czar’s
palace in protest carrying a petition calling for
increased workers rights and a more democratic
Czars Palace 
•The soldiers fire on the unarmed crowd
killing several hundred and injuring over
•This provokes waves of strikes and violence
against government officials and soldiers.
The Creation of the Duma & a
•In October of 1905 Nicholas II gives in and
approves the creation of the Duma (Russian
•Nicholas foolishly dissolves the Duma after ten
weeks because he was arrogant and did not
want to share his power.
“It’s not a Duma”
WWI- The Final Blow
• Nicholas II’s worst decision as Czar proved to be his
last – Entering into WWI
• Russia was unprepared to handle the military and
economic costs of the War.
•Russia’s military had weak generals and
poorly equipped troops.
•Within a year of fighting more than 4
million Russians had been killed,
captured or wounded.
The Great War
• In 1915 Nicholas
II moved his
headquarters to
the warfront to
help boost
moral. His wife
Alexandra ran
the government
while he was
–She ignored the advice of nobles and fell
under the influence of the mysterious
Rasputin- a “Holy man” with “magical
healing powers” who helped ease her son
Alexis’ hemophilia disease.
Alexis 
 Rasputin
–In 1916, a group of nobles murder
Rasputin, but its not that simple …
Rasputin’s death
• On June 29, 1914, he had either
just received a telegram or was just
exiting church, when he was
attacked suddenly by Khionia
Guseva, a former prostitute who
had become a disciple of the monk
Iliodor, once a friend of Rasputin's
but now absolutely disgusted with
his behavior and disrespectful talk
about the royal family.
• Iliodor had appealed to women
who had been harmed by Rasputin,
and together they formed a
survivors' support group.
• The legends recounting the death
of Rasputin are perhaps even more
bizarre than his strange life.
Rasputin’s death
• Guseva thrust a knife into Rasputin's abdomen,
and his entrails hung out of what seemed like a
mortal wound. Convinced of her success,
Guseva supposedly screamed, "I have killed the
• After intensive surgery, however, Rasputin
recovered. It was said of his survival that "the
soul of this cursed muzhik was sewn on his
body." His daughter, Maria, pointed out in her
memoirs that he was never the same man after
that: he seemed to tire more easily and
frequently took opium for pain.
Rasputin’s death
• The murder of Rasputin has become legend,
some of it invented by the very men who killed
him, which is why it becomes difficult to
discern exactly what happened. It is, however,
generally agreed that, on December 16, 1916,
having decided that Rasputin's influence over
the Tsaritsa had made him a far-too-dangerous
threat to the empire, a group of nobles, led by
Prince Felix Yusupov and the Grand Duke
Dmitri Pavlovich (one of the few Romanov
family members to escape the annihilation of
the family during the Red Terror), apparently
lured Rasputin to the Yusupovs' Moika Palace,
where they served him cakes and red wine
laced with a massive amount of cyanide.
According to legend, Rasputin was unaffected,
although Vasily Maklakov had supplied enough
poison to kill five men.
Rasputin’s death
• Determined to finish the job, Yusupov became anxious about the
possibility that Rasputin might live until the morning, which
would leave the conspirators with no time to conceal his body.
Yusupov ran upstairs to consult the others and then came back
down to shoot Rasputin through the back with a revolver.
Rasputin fell, and the company left the palace for a while.
Yusupov, who had left without a coat, decided to return to grab
one, and, while at the palace, he went to check up on the body.
Suddenly, Rasputin opened his eyes, grabbed Yusupov by the
throat and strangled him. As he made his bid for freedom,
however, the other conspirators arrived and fired at him. After
being hit three times in the back, Rasputin fell once more. As they
neared his body, the party found that, remarkably, he was still
alive, struggling to get up. They clubbed him into submission and,
after wrapping his body in a sheet, threw him into an icy river,
and he finally met his end there—as had both his siblings before
• Three days later, the body of Rasputin, poisoned, shot four times
and badly beaten, was recovered from the Neva River and
autopsied. The cause of death was hypothermia. His arms were
found in an upright position, as if he had tried to claw his way out
from under the ice. In the autopsy, it was found that he had indeed
been poisoned, and that the poison alone should have been enough
to kill him.
Rasputin’s death
• Subsequently, the Empress Alexandra buried
Rasputin's body in the grounds of Tsarskoye Selo, but,
after the February Revolution, a group of workers
from Saint Petersburg uncovered the remains, carried
them into a nearby wood and burnt them.
• As the body of Rasputin was being burned, he
appeared to sit up in the fire. After being poisoned,
shot, beaten, drowned, and officially verified as dead,
he thoroughly horrified bystanders in his apparent
attempts to move and get up. This legend is attributed
to improper cremation. Since his body was in
inexperienced hands, his tendons were probably not
cut before burning. Consequently, when his body was
heated, the tendons shrunk, forcing his legs to bend,
and his body to bend at the waist, resulting in him
sitting up.
• This final happenstance only poured fuel on the fire of legends
and mysteries surrounding Rasputin, which would continue to
live on, long after he had truly passed away.
Rasputin’s death
• Mere weeks before he was assassinated, according to secretary
Simonovich, Rasputin wrote the following:
• "I write and leave behind me this letter at St. Petersburg. I feel
that I shall leave life before January 1. I wish to make known to
the Russian people, to Papa, to the Russian Mother and to the
Children, to the land of Russia, what they must understand. If I
am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the
Russian peasants, you, Tsar of Russia, will have nothing to fear for
your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia. But
if I am murdered by boyars, nobles, and if they shed my blood,
their hands will remain soiled with my blood, for twenty-five
years they will not wash their hands from my blood. They will
leave Russia. Brothers will kill brothers, and they will kill each
other and hate each other, and for twenty-five years there will be
no nobles in the country. Tsar of the land of Russia, if you hear the
sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigori has been killed,
you must know this: if it was your relations who have wrought
my death, then no one in the family, that is to say, none of your
children or relations, will remain alive for more than two years.
They will be killed by the Russian people. I go, and I feel in me the
divine command to tell the Russian Tsar how he must live if I have
disappeared. You must reflect and act prudently. Think of your
safety and tell your relations that I have paid for them with my
blood. I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living. Pray, pray,
be strong, think of your blessed family. -Grigori"
Disco isn’t dead!
• Disco Rasputin
• Viking Metal Rasputin
• On the home front, food and fuel
supplies were dwindling. Prices
were wildly inflated. People from
all classes were clamoring for
change and an end to the war.
• What do you think happens next?
The March Revolution
In March 1917, Women textile workers in
Petrograd lead a citywide strike, this
explodes into an all out revolution forcing the
Czar to step down. He and his family will
eventually be murdered.
• Leaders of the Duma
establish a
government headed
by Alexander
Kerensky 
• Kerensky makes the
ill-fated decision to
continue fighting in
World War I – this
causes him to lose
support of soldiers
and civilians
• Soviets (local councils made up of
workers, peasants and soldiers) become
increasing popular and influential
The Bolshevik Revolution
-Lenin returns just in
time to lead the
-Nov. 17th – Bolsheviks
called “the Red
Guard” storm the
Winter Palace in
Petrograd and take
over power.
The Bolsheviks
redistribute farmland
to the peasants, gave
control of factories to
the peasants, and
signed the Treaty of
(this treaty put an end
to Russia’s involvemen
of WWI but at a high
cost to Russia, as it
surrendered large
portions of its
territories to
Reds vs. Whites
(Russian Civil War)
• The Reds
(The Bolsheviks army
was commanded
expertly by Leon
• The Whites
( a congregation of
groups of differing
ideologies [people
in favor of
czarist rule etc.]
who all desired the
overthrow of the
– Around 14 million Russians
died in the three-year
struggle and in the famine
that followed.
– The destruction and loss of
life from fighting, hunger,
and a worldwide flu epidemic
left Russia in chaos.
• In the end, the Red Army crushed
all opposition. The victory showed
that the Bolsheviks were able both
to seize power and to maintain it.
Lenin Restores Order
– The Russian economy was destroyed
a. Lenin institutes the New Economic
Policy (a small scale version of
b. The reforms under the NEP allowed
peasants to sell their surplus crops
instead of turning them over to the
government. The government kept
control of major industries, banks, and
means of communication, but it let some
small factories, businesses, and farms
operate under private ownership. The
government also encouraged foreign
c. Political Reforms- to keep nationalism in
check-Lenin organized Russia into several
self-governing republics under the central
government. (USSR is created – Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics)
Bolsheviks rename their party
“the communist party”
Lenin dies in 1924 and Joseph Stalin slowly
takes over
Lenin’s funeral draws thousands of
a. Stalin was cold,
hard, and
b. By 1928, Stalin was
in total command of
the Communist
Party. Trotsky,
forced into exile in
1929, was no longer
a threat. Stalin now
stood poised to
wield absolute
power as a dictator.
• Stalin will
rule through
terror and
brutality to
The Great Purge
• Purge:
a. To free from impurities; purify.
b. To remove (impurities and other
elements) by or as if by cleansing.
2. To rid of sin, guilt, or defilement.
3. Law To clear (a person) of a charge or an
imputation. Often used with respect to
contempt of court.
a. To rid (a nation or political party, for
example) of people considered
b. To get rid of (people considered
The Great Purge
• In the 1930’s Stalin
had thousands of
innocent people
arrested and
executed as he
became paranoid
that people were
plotting against him
• Through the great
purges he eliminated
all opposition and
created a
totalitarian state
The Great Purge
• Totalitarian state = government
regulation of nearly every aspect of
public and private life
• DON’T WRITE! Totalitarian regimes or
movements maintain themselves in
political power by means of secret police,
propaganda disseminated through the
state-controlled mass media, personality
cults, regulation and restriction of free
discussion and criticism, single-party
states, the use of mass surveillance, and
widespread use of terror tactics.
• One of Stalin's chief
goals was to make the
Soviet Union strong
by turning it into a
modern industrial
• But Russia was way
behind the west in
terms of
• So Stalin launched the first of a
series of Five Year Plans to
build industry and increase
farm output
Don’t Write!
• Stalin made his motivation in
formulating the plan clear
when he stated, in a speech
to factory managers in
February 1931, that Russia
was "fifty to one hundred
years behind" the industrial
powers of the time, who were
also capitalists, and that they
must "catch up [in
industrializing] in ten years or
they [capitalists] will beat us."
•Despite progress in some
industries, the majority of
Russians remained poor
The Five Year Plan
• Stalin forced peasants to give up
their small farms and live on stateowned farms called Collectives
(large farms owned and operated by
peasants as a group)
• Many peasants resisted
• Stalin was ruthless in his
punishment – Peasants were
executed or sent to prison labor
camps where they often died from
• Why would peasants
• The resistance
resulted in mass
In the end
industrialization and
to Russia

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