1) The czars ruled over Russia for 300 years (the ‘Romanov Dynasty’, 1613-1917)… but the last century of their rule was marked by social & political unrest, with increasing revolutionary activity: - Army officers revolted in 1825 (the ‘Decemberists’), demanding a constitutional monarchy, with an elected legislature (learned from French soldiers 13 years earlier). - Multiple revolutionary groups developed through the 1800s, seeking to overthrow the czars. - Czar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. 2) The last four czars, and their openness to reforms: Nicholas I opposed Alexander II in favor (and was assassinated!) Alexander III opposed Nicholas II opposed 3) Most czars favored ‘AUTOCRACY’: Any form of government in which ONE person (OR party) has total political power. Can be an absolute monarchy OR dictatorship 4) Alex III considered the following dangerous: 1. Anyone who questioned the absolute authority of the czar (DISSIDENTS) 2. Anyone NOT Russian Orthodox Christian 3. Anyone who did not speak Russian as their first language (i.e. any non-Russian ethnic group) ALL were considered potential (or actual) sources of revolutionary activity against the czar. (consider: Alex II had been assassinated!) 5) Czar Alexander III used, harsh autocratic policies: - strict censorship - secret police - teacher reports on student activity (creates distrust, paranoia!) - deportation to eastern Russia (Siberia) for punishing hard labor - outlawed non-Russian languages in schools 6) Religious group most persecuted: Jews aka ANTI-SEMITISM Victims of organized mob violence & destruction of property… encouraged (or ignored) by the gov. = POGROMS (WHY?) → scapegoating (falsely blame them for national problems) → small, vulnerable group = easy target → easily identified group in segregated communities 7) Russian industrialization… Similarities w/ Western Europe, U.S. (or anywhere!): - Government policies designed to encourage industrial growth - Terrible working conditions, early on (i.e. unsafe, dirty, long hours, low pay, child labor) - Government outlaws labor unions (so no opportunity for improved conditions!) - Workers sometimes responded w/ illegal strikes Difference: Dissaffected working class (and peasants) increasingly turned to violent, REVOLUTIONARY activity, inspired by… 8) Karl Marx (why was there NOT a similar Marxist revolutionary reaction in Britain, the U.S., and Germany?) 9) Not all Russian Marxist revolutionaries agreed on the GOALS and METHODS of revolution… they would split into two factions: Mensheviks preferred a more moderate, gradual approach in cultivating a broader and more democratic base of popular support among Russia’s working class in preparing for revolution. Bolsheviks a smaller, more radical group of ruthless and “committed revolutionaries willing to sacrifice everything” for more immediate change. Bolsheviks: Mensheviks: - Revolutionary (immediate) - Socialist - Evolutionary (delayed revolt) . - Top Down - Proletariat overthrow of Bourgeoisie . - Bottom Up (dictatorial) (democratic) - Marxist 10) Bolshevik leader: Lenin Leadership Qualities: - charismatic (“engaging personality”) - well organized - well educated (middle class background) - ruthless - ambitious - gifted speaker Early obstacles to revolution: Self-exile to avoid arrest & imprisonment. 11) Czar Nicholas II’s fateful decisions, which will cost him his throne and end three centuries of monarchy in Russia: 1. Russo-Japanese War (1904): Czar uses nationalism and militarism to try and distract and unify Russians... initiates a war with Japan (for imperial control of Korea). Result: FAILURE... Russians lost war to a more industrialized Japan, thus magnifying the scope of Russia's problems and poor leadership! 11) End of the czars (continued): 2. Russia's “Bloody Sunday” (Revolution of 1905) → 200,000 workers gather peacefully to petition for better working & living conditions (i.e. more personal freedoms) and an elected legislature to represent them as a voice in the government. Outcome: - Czar's security forces, feeling threatened, fire upon crowd, killing hundreds, wounding thousands - Workers respond with violent national strikes - Czar forced to create a national legislature, but he then dissolves it within months... tensions remain! 11) Failures of Czar Nicholas II (continued): 3. World War I - Under-equipped, poorly trained, poorly led troops suffer massive deaths; civilians endure food & fuel shortages. - During war, Czar Nicholas II left for the front (to “inspire” the troops), leaving government administration in the hands of the Czarina and Rasputin. - Rasputin was a peasant advisor and family confidant (believed to have special powers in ameliorating the czar’s son’s symptoms of hemophilia). - The royal family permitted Rasputin to influence government policy, infuriating Russians of all classes. 12) Russian Duma: = elected legislature (i.e. Russian parliament, or congress) Had the Russian Duma been implemented, Russia would have become a constitutional monarchy… … and may have avoided a violent revolution that killed millions, and destroyed its monarchy forever!