Lastly, Russia's backward society is one of the main reasons Nicholas II survived after 1905. There were three main groups that opposed the Tsar up until 1905. The Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP) was a Marxist political party for the industrial workers in Russia. They disliked the Tsar the most, and wanted to wrest control from him and have Russia become the first communist state in the world. However, there was a dispute on how the party should be run.
Many historians have said Alexander II was considering the formation of a parliament in Russia. Furthermore, the assassination caused Alexander III to rule in reactionary nature in which many counter-reforms were created to limit the impact of the Great Reforms done by his father. This supports the view that the People’s Will were highly unsuccessful, even in the taking out of Alexander II. It can be said that the only example in this period of effective political opposition was the October 1917 revolution, where, unquestionably, the Bolsheviks took power and let their political vision be known. They were extremely successful in both the short term and the long term.
For example Alexander II was a humanitarian but Nicholas II mainly wanted modernisation for Russia. Alexander III just wanted to retain his power and keep in control to avoid the same fate as his father. Similarly, the communist rulers were not uniform either as they had different core aims, for example Khruschev’s main aim was destalinisation whereas Stalin’s was to create his own legacy. The Provisional Government and Lenin were alike in their policies in the fact that they both completely changed the system. In the case of the Provisional Government they changed it from autocratic to democratic and Lenin changed it to a one party state; although the result was different the basis was the same.
How far do you agree that Lenin's leadership was the main reason why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power in October 1917? Lenin’s leadership was the main reason why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power in October 1917. Despite other contextual factors like the war and land contributing to the weakness of the Provisional Government, Lenin was still the main reason they were able to seize power, because without Lenin the Bolshevik party didn’t have any armed revolution on their agenda, they had even considered joining the Provisional Government like the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionists. Lenin was an extremely important individual in the seizure of the October Revolution. The leadership of the Bolshevik party, after Lenin had been forced into exile in Switzerland, didn’t press for an armed uprising.
During the beginning of the 1900s, there were plenty of revolutions and violence that took place. The Chinese revolution in 1911 and Russian Revolution in 1917 shared similar goals, they wanted to end the power of their current leader and establish a new one. For Russia, it was Tsar Nicholas II and for China it was the Qing Dynasty, Russia wanting a functioning communist government and Chinese revolutionaries wanted a democratic government. The first outcome is different in that China relied on agriculture to maintain its economy and Russia relied on industry to fuel its economy. The second outcome of the revolutions was that the countries were dramatically changed, two great powers were stopped and communist leaders eventually took over in the two countries.
Gareth Parker How important was the Bolshevik threat to Tsardom in the reign of Nicholas II? The threat to Tsardom is complex and needs to be understood from different viewpoints. Initial examination of the Bolsheviks is vital from formation to the growing strength of revolutionaries such as Lenin and Trotsky and their influence on the downfall of Tsarism. Nicholas II was key to his own demise, not only his poor leadership but also his alienation from his own people and the average Russians way of life. There can be no ignoring the effect that World War I had on Russia, with the crippling affects of a major war and the resulting breakdown of infrastructure within the Russian Empire.
The ongoing debate within the Bolshevik party between the years 1924 and 1928 regarding the New Economic Policy was largely responsible for the power struggle that followed Lenin’s death. However, there were other factors, such as the nature of the leadership the party should adopt and the direction the Revolution should take ideologically. Additionally, personal ambitions played a part in the struggle for power. The New Economic Policy was introduced after the end of the Civil War as a substitute to War Communism in 1921. This was an economic concession that Lenin was forced to make due to the deteriorating economic conditions and the real threat of a revolt against the Bolshevik government.
What in your view was the short term significance of Trotsky in the period 1917-1927? Trotsky played a key role in the Bolshevik party, encouraging revolution which saw the Bolsheviks gain power in 1917. He built up a strong Red Army during the civil war, which was used to ensure the survival of the Bolshevik government. He was seen by many as the second man to Lenin and the most likely candidate to take over as leader after Lenin’s death which portrays his significance. However, evidence suggests that after Lenin’s death he lost his power considerably, eventually being banned from the Communist party.
The Total Dictatorship of Joseph Stalin The Revolution of 1917 led to the totalitarian dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. Joseph Stalin perverted the revolution of Lenin and Stalin did not follow Lenin’s example. When Stalin took over he picked up where Lenin left off but took it much further. He convinced the people that he was the only one they could trust after the death of Lenin. Stalin did this on his own; he lied to the people and accused the government of being enemies of the people.
The decline of the Romanovs and the Russian revolution occurred due to varying influences externally and internally. The social and economic state of Russia and the changes transpiring had a large impact of the fall of the Dynasty. The actions of the Tsar and the influence from figures such as Rasputin helped to create discontent in Russian society. The character of Nicholas also helped to increase the social uprising and it was seen clearly that he lacked the capacity to effectively lead a country. The introduction of revolutionary ideas assisted sealing the fate of the Tsar.