Russian Revolution: Post-Revolution Period Study Notes


Stalin smoking a pipe whilst writing.Below are a collection of notes to aid in the study of the "Post-Revolution Period" of the Russian Revolution, during which the revolution, and the country, was transformed under the new leadership of Stalin. Please note, however, that they should not be used as a replacement for your own studies of the topic. Rather, they should be used to help consolidate your own notes, and/or as a quick revision tool before tests or exams. They are not intended to be complete or comprehensive, and instead are what I personally found to be significant in my own studies of the topic, either in preperation for tests/exams or the writing of essays. In addition to this, they may contain notes outside of the period of study, in order to to fulfill the "Cause and Effect" requirement of many History curriculums.

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1. Political
2. Economic
3. Social

1. Political

From the moment Lenin died, Stalin manipulated and outmanoeuvred his opposition within the Communist Party until his supremacy amongst the leadership.
                Was up against Trotsky (+ Zinoviev and Kamenev), leftist, and Bukharin, rightist.
                      He played on Lenin’s death in order to gain support
Stalin had a sheer determination to implement true socialism after so many detachments under Lenin; would have brutal consequences
Stalin established a totalitarian dictatorship,
                      Only ever elected those devoted to his own beliefs and goals, giving the impression that the entire nation supports him.
Used heavy propaganda to mould the minds and thoughts of the Russian people
                  “Cult of the Great Leader” presented Stalin as a father of the nation that was never wrong.
                Gained popular appeal by presenting himself as a “man of the people”, and his policy of building “socialism in one country” was seen as a remedy to the devastation of the wars.
Like Lenin, Stalin ruled through fear and intimidation.
                Intensified by putting on “show trials” where people were publically persecuted, usually for crimes they didn’t even commit.
                 Obedience further enforced through use of NKVD; Stalin’s secret police.
                            Great Purge during 1930s – killed hundreds of thousands of opposition (within and outside of party); Stalin signed death warrant after death warrant with a radical “better be safe than sorry” attitude.
                                 By 1938 Stalin was only original member of October Revolution left.
                                  Terrified Russian people into unconditionally accepting Stalin as leader.
                                        People afraid to stop clapping after speeches.
                    Undying support gave Stalin free reign of the nation.

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2. Economic

Stalin abolished the New Economic Policy that retreated from socialism, replacing it with Five Year Plans that aimed to make Russia a superpower
                  Make other countries envious, promote “Socialism in One Country”
First Five Year Plan
             Re-nationalisation of ALL industry
                            Luxury of consumer goods lost; Russians lost individuality (same clothes, cars etc.)
            Collectivization of agriculture
                     Outlawed private farming because Stalin saw their backward methods of farming as inefficient and a burden on the country
                      Government forces uprooted and marched 15,000,000 peasants at gun point across the country to inhospitable regions where they were expected to farm on large mechanized farms.
                             Peasantry brought under more direct control and to made sure tax collection was correct and efficient.
                           NEPmen/Kulaks resisted (could make more money on own)
                                    Blamed for agricultural targets not being met
                                             Stalin decided to liquidate them, killing over 3 million.
                                                   Peasantry revolt killing livestock and destroying produce plunging nation into famine once more (over 8 million die from crisis; international aid constantly rejected, people shot for attempting to steal food)
Second Five Year Plan
                     Class of Stukanov workers created
                              created production targets that HAD to be met or face consequences
                      Heavy industry and public works projects involving forced labour rapidly expanded
                                            People worked in appalling conditions; deadlines became more important than the individual
                      Began moving cities to Eural mountains, vast raw materials and safer
Third Five Year Plan
                        Geared country towards war; meganization of armed forces.

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3. Social

NKVD, the secret police, became an elite
Military Class - Paid and lived well
Stukanov Workers
          >> Goes against idea of classless society
Unlike Lenin, Stalin did not tolerate Religion Institutions
            Continuous persecution during the 1930’s led to near extinction;
                        Churches were levelled, and tens of thousands of priests, monks and nuns were persecuted and killed
                                  Priests forced to publically denounce their faith
People forced to live lives of unconditional support to Stalin, or otherwise face almost certain death
             Forced labour and collectivization broke apart families and relationships.

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