NCERT Class 9 History Chapter 2: Socialism in Europe and the Russia YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Timeline

  • 1850s -1880s: Debates over socialism in Russia.

  • 1898: Formation of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party.

  • 1905: The Bloody Sunday and the Revolution of 1905.

  • 1917: 2nd March - Abdication of the Tsar & 24th October - Bolshevik uprising in Petrograd.

  • 1918-20: The Civil War.

  • 1919: Formation of Comintern.

  • 1929: Beginning of Collectivization.

  • 18th Century: Divided into estates and orders & aristocracy and church controlled economic and social power

  • In India, Raja Rammohan Roy and Derozio talked of the significance of the French Revolution

  • Liberals wanted a nation which tolerated all religions. It opposed uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers. They argued for a representative, elected parliamentary government, subject to laws interpreted by a well-trained judiciary that was independent of rulers and officials. But these were not democrats (not believed in universal adult suffrage) and believed that man of property should vote.

  • Conservatives: wanted change but wished for a gradual shift, respected past

  • Radicals: restructured society radically, wanted right to vote for everyone including women, opposed privilege of landowners and factory owners, against private property and concentration of property in hands of few

Industrial Society & Social Change

  • New industrial regions developed

  • Railways expanded

  • Industrial revolution occurred

  • Brought men, women and children to factories – issues of poor wages, unemployment, housing and sanitation

  • Value of individual effort, labor and enterprise and not by birth

  • Bring end to the kind of government established in Europe in 1815

  • Socialism: against private property (individuals owned property for personal gains but didn’t thought of those who made it productive), change for social interest

  • Robert Owen: build cooperative community called New Harmony of Indiana (USA), encouraged governments for cooperatives

  • Louis Blanc in France: encourage cooperatives (association of people and divide profit according to work done by members)

  • Marx argued that industrial society was ‘capitalist’. Capitalists owned the capital invested in factories, and the profit of capitalists was produced by workers. Workers must construct socialist society where all property is socially controlled. This is called as communist society.

Support for Socialism

  • Second International: international body formed for socialism

  • Workers in England and Germany formed associations to better out living and working conditions – reduction of working hours, right to vote

  • Germany: Social Democratic Party won seat in parliament

  • 1905: socialists and trade unionists formed a Labour Party in Britain and a Socialist Party in France

  • Paris Commune of 1871: when the town council (commune) of Paris was taken over by a ‘peoples’ government’ consisting of workers, ordinary people, professionals, political activists and others – occurred due to discontent of policies of French state. Two important legacies:

  • Association with the workers’ red flag – that was the flag adopted by the communards (revolutionaries) in Paris

  • ‘Marseillaise’, originally written as a war song in 1792, it became a symbol of the Commune and of the struggle for liberty

Russian Revolution

  • October Revolution of 1917, fall of monarchy in Feb 2017 and events in October as Russian Revolution

  • Russian Empire in 1914 – ruled by Tsar Nicholas II included Finland, Lativia, Lithuania, Estonia, parts of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus. It stretched to the Pacific and comprised today’s Central Asian states, as well as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan

  • Main religion: Russian orthodox Christianity (grown from Greek Christianity)

  • 85% population thrived on agriculture in Russia as compared to 40-50% in France

  • Industrial pockets in St. Petersburg and Moscow; craftsmen near large factories; factories were set up in 1890s, railway expanded and foreign investment increased; coal production doubled and iron and steel output quadrupled.

  • Govt. supervised large factories to ensure minimum wages and limited work hours (craftsman worked 15 hours while in factories people worked 10 or 12 hours)

  • Workers were divided social group – metal workers required more training and skill; women included 31% factory labor force by 1914 but were paid less than men

  • Strikes about dismissals or work conditions in 1896-97 & in metal industry in 1902

  • Peasants were also divided and were religious; nobles got to power and position through service to Tsars & not by local popularity

  • Peasants refused to pay rent and murdered landlords (in 1902 in south Russia and in 1905 in overall Russia)

  • They pooled their land together periodically and their commune (mir) divided it according to the needs of individual families

Socialism in Russia

  • All political parties were illegal in Russia before 1914. The Russian Social Democratic Workers Party was founded in 1898 by socialists who respected Marx’s ideas.

  • Because of government policing, it had to operate as an illegal organization. It set up a newspaper, mobilized workers and organized strikes.

  • Peasants became the main force of revolution

  • Socialist Revolutionary Party in 1900 – struggled for peasants rights and demanded that land to nobles must be transferred to peasants

  • Lenin (led Bolshevik group) - believed that peasants were not united (were rich and poor) with differentiation – party must be disciplined, control number and quality of its members

  • Mensheviks (in Germany) – party should be open to all

1905 Revolution

  • Russia was autocracy and Tsar was not subject to parliament

  • Social Democrats and Socialist Revolutionaries along with peasants and workers demanded constitution

  • They were supported in the empire by nationalists (in Poland) and in Muslim-dominated areas by jadidists who wanted modernized Islam to lead their societies

  • 1904: price of essential goods rose, real wages declined by 20%

  • 4 members of the Assembly of Russian Workers, which had been formed in 1904, were dismissed at the Putilov Iron Works – next day 110,000 workers in St. Petersburg went to strike for reducing working hours to 8 hours, increasing wages and improving working conditions

  • Father Gapon led procession to Winter Palace – 100 killed and 300 wounded – incidents were known as Bloody Sunday with

    • Strikes across country

    • Universities closed down

    • Demand for civil liberty & constituent assembly

  • Allowed creation of elected consultative Parliament or Duma (large number of trade unions and factory committees made up of factory workers)

  • After 1905, many committees worked unofficially, 1st Duma dismissed within 75 days and next re-elected in 3 months (not wanted any questioning); changed voting rights and packed 3rd Duma with conservative politicians

1st World War & Russian Empire

  • 1914 war b/w two alliances:

    • Germany, Austria and Turkey (Central powers)

    • France, Britain & Russia (later Italy and Romania)

  • Russia - high anti-German sentiments (renamed St. Petersburg to Pterograd). Tsarina Alexandra’s German origins and poor advisers, especially a monk called Rasputin, made the autocracy unpopular.

  • Russia’s armies lost badly in Germany and Austria between 1914 and 1916. There were over 7 million casualties by 1917. While retreating they destroyed crops and buildings – led to 3 million refugees in Russia

  • 1st world war – eastern front (armies moved) and western front (armies fought from trenches stretched along eastern France)

  • Impacted industry – industrial equipment disintegrated more rapidly in Russia, by 1916 – railway lines broke down, riots at bread shops, bread and flour became scarce in cities

February Revolution in Petrograd

1917: conditions of Petrograd were grim with division among people

River Neva – right bank (quarters and factories) & left bank (fashionable areas)

Shortage of food supply

Excessive cold winters with heavy snowfall

People wanted to preserve elected government and oppose Tsar’s desire to dissolve Duma

  • 22 Feb: lockout on factory at right bank

  • 23 Feb: strike in 50 factories for sympathy and was called International Women’s Day, workers crossed to center of capital Nevskii Prospekt, curfew was imposed

  • 25 Feb: government suspended Duma

  • 26 Feb: Demonstrators on left bank

  • 27 Feb: Police headquarters were ransacked – slogans were raised

Cavalry refused to fire on workers; 3 regiments mutinied and joined striking workers

Striking workers met to form “soviet” or “council” and was called as Petrograd Soviet

2 March: Tsar abdicated, Soviet leaders and Duma leaders formed a Provisional Government to run the country

Monarchy was brought down in Feb 1917

After February

  • Soviets were set up everywhere with no common election system

  • Restrictions on public meetings and associations were removed

  • April 1917: Lenin returned from exile – opposed war since 1914, war must close, land to peasants and banks should be nationalized (3 demands as Lenin’s “April theses”)

  • Bolshevik Party renamed itself the Communist Party to indicate its new radical aims

  • Factory committees were formed – questioned industrialists

  • Trade unions grew

  • Soldier committees were formed in army

  • 500 Soviets sent representatives to an All Russian Congress of Soviets

  • Resisted attempts by workers to run factories and began arresting leaders

  • July 1917: demonstrations by Bolsheviks were repressed

  • Land committees were formed for redistribution of land (b/w July & Sept 1917)

October Revolution, 1917

  • Russia followed the Julian calendar until 1 February 1918. The country then changed to the Gregorian calendar, which is followed everywhere today. The Gregorian dates are 13 days ahead of the Julian dates. So by our calendar, the ‘February’ Revolution took place on 12th March and the ‘October’ Revolution took place on 7th November.

  • Conflict b/w Provisional government and Bolsheviks grew – Lenin feared Provisional Government would set up dictatorship

  • Bolshevik supporters in the army, soviets and factories were brought together

  • 16 October 1917: Lenin persuaded the Petrograd Soviet and the Bolshevik Party to agree to a socialist seizure of power. A Military Revolutionary Committee was appointed by the Soviet under Leon Trotskii to organize the seizure. The date of the event was kept a secret.

  • 24 Oct: Uprising started, military under Prime Minister Kerenskii seized two Bolshevik newspapers, troops sent to protect Winter Palace

  • By night – city under committees control and ministers surrendered, at a meeting of the All Russian Congress of Soviets in Petrograd, the majority approved the Bolshevik action.

  • By December – Bolsheviks controlled Moscow-Petrograd area

After October Revolution

  • Bolsheviks opposed private properties

  • Nov. 1917: Industries and banks were nationalized

  • Land declared social property & peasants allowed to seize land of nobility

  • Banned old titles under aristocracy

  • Enforced partition of large houses according to family requirements

  • New uniform for army – after competition and Soviet hat (budenovka) was chosen

  • Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik)

  • November 1917: Bolsheviks conducted elections to the Constituent Assembly, but they failed to gain majority support.

  • January 1918: Assembly rejected Bolshevik measures and Lenin dismissed the Assembly & All Russian Congress of Soviets was more democratic

  • March 1918: Bolsheviks made peace with Germany at Brest Litovsk

  • Later, Bolsheviks became the only party to participate in the elections to the All Russian Congress of Soviets, which became the Parliament of the country

  • Russia became one party state

  • Trade unions were kept under party control

  • Secret police (Cheka first, OGPU and NKVD) punished those who criticized Bolsheviks

Civil War

  • When Bolsheviks ordered land redistribution, Russian army began to break up

  • Non-Bolshevik socialists, liberals and supporters of autocracy condemned the Bolshevik uprising. Their leaders moved to south Russia and organized troops to fight the Bolsheviks (‘reds’).

  • During 1918 and 1919, the ‘greens’ (Socialist Revolutionaries) and ‘whites’ (pro-Tsarists) controlled most of the Russian empire. They were backed by French, American, British and Japanese troops – all those forces who were worried at the growth of socialism in Russia.

  • Looting, banditry and famine became common.

  • Whites took harsh steps with peasants who seized land

  • By Jan 1920: Bolsheviks controlled most of Russia

  • In Khiva, in Central Asia, Bolshevik colonists brutally massacred local nationalists in the name of defending socialism.

  • Non-Russian nationalities were given political autonomy in USSR (created by Bolsheviks) in Dec 1922

  • Bolsheviks had harsh discouragement of nomadism (attempts to win different nationalities were partly successful)

Socialist Society

  • Industries and banks were nationalized

  • Cultivate land that was socialized

  • Confiscated land to demonstrate what collective work could be

  • Centralized planning was introduced – officials assessed economy and set targets for 5-year period (made five year plans)

  • Govt. fixed prices to promote industrial growth during first two plans

  • Centralized planning led to economic growth

  • Industrial production increased

  • New factory cities came into being

  • Extended schooling system developed & arrangements made for factory workers to enter universities

  • Creches were established in factories

  • Cheap public health care

  • Model living quarters

  • Factories became symbol of socialism

  • In Magnitogorsk, construction of a steel plant was achieved in three years. Workers lived hard lives and the result was 550 stoppages of work in the first year alone

Stalinism and Collectivisation

  • 1927-28: towns of Soviet Russia were facing acute problems of grain supplies – govt. fixed the prices but peasants refused to sell it at that price

  • Stalin after death of Lenin – introduced emergency measures – rich peasants were holding stock in hope of price rise and aimed to stop speculation and confiscated supplies

  • 1928: kulaks (well to do peasants) were raided, grain shortage was due to small size of holdings and decision was taken for collective farms & eliminate kulaks

  • Collectivization Program – 1929 – all peasants to cultivate in collective farms (kolkhoz); land and implements were transferred to ownership of collective farms

  • Peasants worked on the land, and the kolkhoz profit was shared.

  • Who resisted collectivization were punished, deported and exiled

  • Bad harvests of 1930-1933 led to one of most devastating famines in Soviet history when over 4 million died (despite collectivization)

  • Critics: 2 million in prison and labor camps

Global Influence of Russian Revolution & USSR

  • Encouraged Communist Party of Great Britain

  • Non-Russians from outside the USSR participated in the Conference of the Peoples of the East (1920) and the Bolshevik-founded Comintern (an international union of pro-Bolshevik socialist parties)

Indian Views

  • M. N. Roy was an Indian revolutionary, a founder of the Mexican Communist Party and prominent Comintern leader in India, China and Europe

  • Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore wrote about Soviet Socialism.

  • In Hindi, R.S. Avasthi wrote in 1920-21 Russian Revolution, Lenin, His Life and His Thoughts, and later The Red Revolution.

  • S.D. Vidyalankar wrote The Rebirth of Russia and The Soviet State of Russia. There was much that was written in Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.