general war. In a series of letters exchanged with the German Kaiser (the so-called "Willy and Nicky
correspondence") the two proclaimed their desire for peace, and each attempted to get the other to back down. Nicholas took concrete measures in this regard, demanding that Russia's mobilization be only against the Austrian border, in the hopes of preventing war with the German Empire. It proved too late for personal communications to determine the course of events. The Russians had no contingency plans for a partial mobilization, and on July 31, 1914, Nicholas, under political pressure from abroad, and
military pressure at home, took the fateful step of confirming the order for a general mobilisation. As
Germany and Austria-Hungary had mutual defence treaties in place, this led almost immediately to a
German mobilization and declaration of war, and the outbreak of World War I.
Lenin and other key members were established head of the Soviet Union
Lenin Had the Biggest Impact R.R.
The Bolshevik revolutionary takeover in October 1917 was followed by over two years of civil war in
Russia between the new Communist regime (with its Red Army) and its enemies--the conservative
military officers commanding the so-called White armies. The struggle saw much brutality and excesses
on both sides with the peasants suffering most from extortionate demands of food supplies and recruits
by both sides. The repressive and dictatorial methods of the Bolshevik government had so alienated the mass of peasants and industrial working class elements that the erstwhile most loyal supporters of the regime, the sailors at the Kronstadt naval base, rebelled in March 1921 to the great embarrassment of senior Bolsheviks. Though the rebellion was mercilessly crushed, the regime was forced to moderate its
The New Economic Policy (NEP) was the result, a small concession to the capitalist and free market
instincts of peasant and petty bourgeois alike. Moreover, victory in the civil war was assured by this
The New Economic Plan (NEP) had specific goals for the country and for communism. They included,
but were not limited to:
• Ease public resentment against the emergency measures of the civil war that took food forcefully
from the peasants
• To regularize supply and production through a limited reintroduction of the market system
• To increase the “grass-roots” economy (economy led by the work and production of peasant
farmers and factory workers) and to generate more money to industrialize Russia
• To lay the foundation for the transition to socialism at some unspecified time in the future
The New Economic Plan (NEP) was not to create the communism suggested by Marx in “The
Communist Manifesto,” but rather to strengthen the Russian economy to where it could be self-sufficient and strong enough to support the beginnings of a worldwide communist revolution.
Key Concepts to Look Up:
Lenin had a strong hatred against Czar leadership (killed his brother)
Believed in violent overthrow in government was only way to achieve Communism (saw corruption in Capitalism)
Charismatic leader and speaker
Leader of the Bolsheviks
Lead the Bolsheviks in exile
Established NEP that solidified Communism in the Soviet Union
Stalin Had the Biggest Impact R.R.
After the October Revolution of 1917, Stalin, already a member of the central committee since 1912,
entered the Soviet cabinet as people's commissar for nationalities and began to emerge as a leader of the new regime. During the civil war from 1918 to 1920 he played an important administrative role on the military fronts and in the capital. He was elected (1922) general secretary of the central committee of the party, enabling him to control the rank-and-file members and to build an apparatus loyal to him.
Stalin's significance in the revolutionary movement and his relation to Lenin have been subjects of great
controversy. He was highly regarded by Lenin as an administrator but not as a theoretician or leader.
Toward the end of his illness, which began in 1922, Lenin wrote a testament in which he strongly
criticized Stalin's arbitrary conduct as general secretary and recommended that he be removed.
However, he died before any action could be taken, and the testament was suppressed.
On Lenin's death, Stalin, Kamenev, and Grigori Zinoviev formed a triumvirate of successors allied
against Trotsky, who was a strong contender to replace Lenin. After Trotsky was ousted (1925) as
commissar of war, Stalin, now allied with Nikolai Bukharin, turned on Kamenev and Zinoviev. In a
desperate attempt to counter Stalin's power, Zinoviev and Kamenev joined forces with Trotsky. Their
efforts failed and they were forced to resign from the central committee of the Communist party. Stalin
subsequently broke with Bukharin and engineered his fall from power.
Key Concepts to Look Up:
Forced his way into power (aggressive leader)
Anyone against his regime was threatened, imprisoned, or killed
Used propaganda to create supreme dominance in the Soviet Union
Used his power in military training to move up in the ranks
Created 5 year plan that industrialized Soviet Union into a powerful nation
Used collectization to force people to work for him (starved people to get his way)