JAC Board Class 9th Social Science Notes Geography Chapter 2 Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution
→ The Age of Social Change
- The French Revolution opened up the possibility of creating a dramatic change in the way in which society was structured.
- The social and political changes that took place all over the European continent can be traced to the French Revolution.
- But not everyone in Europe wanted a complete transformation of the society. Some were conservatives, while others were ‘liberals’, and ‘radicals’.
- Through the revolution in Russia, socialism became one of the most significant and powerful ideas to shape the society in the twentieth century.
→ Liberals, Radical sand Conservatives
- These leaders (group of people) wanted a nation which tolerated all religions,
- Opposed the uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers,
- Wanted to safeguard the rights of individuals against governments,
- They argued for a representative, elected parliamentary government, subject to laws -interpreted by a well-trained judiciary that was independent of rulers and officials.
- They wanted a nation in which government was based on the majority of a country’s population,
- They supported women suffragette movements,
- They opposed the privileges of landowners and wealthy factory owners,
- They disliked the concentration of property in the hands of a few people.
- Conservatives: They accepted that some changes were inevitable but believed that the past had to be respected and changes had to be brought through a gradual process.
→ Industrial Society and Social Change
- It was the beginning of the industrial revolution. Men, women and children were pushed into the factories for low wages.
- Liberals and radicals who were the factory owners felt that efforts must be encouraged so that benefits of industrialisation may be passed on to the workers.
→ The Coming of Socialism in Europe
- Some socialists believed in the ideas of cooperatives, while others demanded that governments encourage cooperatives.
- These cooperatives were to be the associations of people who produced goods together and divide the profits according to the work done by members. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed that a socialist society would free the workers from capitalism. This would be a communist society.
→ Support for Socialism
- Workers in Germany and England began forming associations to fight for better living conditions.
- They set up funds for members in distress. They wanted reduction of working hours and right to vote.
- By 1905, socialists and trade unionists formed ‘Labour Party’ in Britain and ‘Socialist Party’ in France.
- However, till 1914, socialists did not succeed in forming a government in Europe.
→ The Russian Revolution
- The government in Russia was taken over by the socialists through the October Revolution of 1917.
- The fall of monarchy in February 1917 in Russia and the events of the October Revolution are normally called the Russian Revolution.→ The Russian Tsars had built a vast empire which included part of Poland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus.
→ The Russian Empire in 1914
- The major religion of Russia was the orthodox Christianity which grew out the Greek Orthodox Church.
- The empire also included Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Buddhists.
- At the beginning of the twentieth century, 85 per cent of the Russian population were agriculturists.
→ Economy and Society
- Russia was a major exporter of foodgrains. Russian cultivators produced for the market and for their own needs.
- In Russia, prominent industrial areas were St. Petersburg and Moscow.
- In 1890s, many factories started due to the expansion of the railway network and there was an increase in foreign investment in industries.
- Most industries were private property of industrialists.
- Government supervised large factories to ensure minimum wages and limited hours of work.
- Workers were divided as social groups or by skin. Workers were sometimes united to participate in strikes.
- In the countryside, peasants cultivated most of the land but the nobility, the crown and the orthodox church owned large properties.
- Russian peasants wanted the land of the nobles to be given to them. They refused to pay rent and even murdered the landlords.
→ 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.
- Socialists were active in the countryside through the late nineteenth century. They formed the Socialist Revolutionary Party in 1900.
- This party struggled for peasants’ rights and demanded that the property belonging to nobles be transferred to peasants.
- The Social Democratic Party was far divided into two wings, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.
- Vladimir Lenin led the Bolshevik group.
→ A Turbulent Time: The 1905 Revolution
- In the beginning of the 20th century, Russia was still an autocracy and the Tsar was not subject to parliament.
- The year 1904 was bad for Russian workers because of increase in prices of essential goods. Moreover, the real wages declined by 20 percent.
- In 1905, on one Sunday, the procession of workers led by Father Gapon reached the Winter Palace. It was attacked by the police and the Cossacks.
- Over 100 workers were killed and about 300 wounded. This incident, known as Bloody Sunday, started a series of events that came to known as the 1905 Revolution.
- Strike took place all over the country. During the 1905 Revolution, the Tsar allowed the creation of elected consultative parliament or Duma.
- The Tsar dismissed the first Duma within 75 days and the re-elected second Duma within 3 months.
- The Tsar did not want any questioning of his supreme authority.
→ The First World War and the Russian Empire
- In 1914, the First World War started between two European alliances—Germany, Austria and Turkey (the central powers) and France, Britain and Russia (later, Italy and Romania also).
- Russian armies lost badly in Germany and Austria between 1914 and 1916. There were over 7 million Russian casualties by 1917.
- The war had a severe impact on industry. Large supplies of grain were sent to feed the vast army. Food scarcity became common, which sometimes led to riots in bread shops.
→ The February Revolution in Petrograd
- In the winter of 1917, conditions in the capital, Petrograd, were grim.
- In February 1917, a lockout of a factory in Petrograd led to many strikes and demonstrations.
- The Duma was suspended, which ultimately lead to the resign of the Tsar.
- Soviet leaders and Duma leaders formed a provisional movement to-run the country.
→ After February
- In April 1917, the Bolshevik leader Lenin returned from exile and made three demands known as the ‘April Theses’.
- Throughout the summer, the workers’ movement spread.
- Peasants seized land between July and September 1917.
→ The Revolution of October 1917
- The conflict between the provisional government and the Bolsheviks grew.
- On 16 October, 1917, Lenin persuaded the petrograd Soviet and the Bolshevik party to agree to a socialist seizure of power.
- The uprising began on 24th October, 1917.
- There was he ivy fighting between pro-government troops and the Bolsheviks. By December 1917 the Bolsheviks controlled the Moscow-Petrograd area.
→ What changed after October
- The Bolsheviks nationalised banks and industries in November, 1917.
- They declared land as social property and allowed peasants to seize the land of nobles.
- The Bolshevik party was renamed as the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik).
- In November 1917, the Bolsheviks conducted the elections to the Constituent Assembly, but they failed to gain majority support.
- In January 1918, the Assembly rejected Bolshevik measures and Lenin dismissed the Assembly.
- The Bolsheviks became the only party to participate in the elections to the all Russian Congress of Soviets which was the parliament of the country.
→ The Civil War
- When the Bolsheviks ordered land redistribution, the Russian army began to break up. Soldiers, mostly peasants, wished to go home for the redistribution and deserted.
- The pro Tsarists (the whites) and the socialists (the greens) fought a civil war with the Bolsheviks (the reds) during 1918 and 1919.
- Most non-Russian nationalists were given political autonomy in the USSR created by the Bolsheviks in 1922.
→ Making a Socialist Society
- During the civil war, the Bolsheviks kept industries and banks nationalised.
- They permitted peasants to cultivate the seized land to show collective work.
- A process of centralised planning was introduced and officials made five year plans for the improvement of the economy.
- Rapid construction brought poor working conditions for workers.
- An extended schooling system was developed and arrangements were made for factory workers and peasants to enter universities.
- Creches were established in factories for the children of women workers.
→ Stalinism and Collectivisation
- The period of the early planned economy was linked to the disasters of the collectivisation of agriculture.
- By 1927-1928, the towns in Soviet Russia were facing an acute problem of grain supplies.
- Stalin, who headed the party after the death of Lenin, introduced firm emergency measures.
- He introduced collective farming to reduce the shortage of grains in the country. However, bad harvests during 1930-1933 led to famines with over 4 million people dying.
- Those who criticised Stalin’s policies were charged with conspiracy against socialism.
- By 1939, over 2 million people were imprisoned or sent to labour camps.
→ The Global Influence of Russian Revolution and the USSR
- The impact of the Russian Revolution was felt globally with communist parties being formed in many countries.
- By the time of the outbreak of the Second World War, the USSR had given socialism a global face and world stature. The USSR became a great power.
- Its industries and agriculture had developed and the poor were being fed, But it had denied the essential freedom to its citizens and adopted repressive policies for its developmental projects.
- By the end of the 20th century, the international reputation of the USSR as a socialist country had declined, though it was recognised that socialist ideals still enjoyed respect among its people.
- In each country, the ideas of socialism were re-thought in a variety of different ways.
- Many Indian writers like Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore were impressed by the Russian Revolution and its ideals.
→ Important Dates and Related Events
- 1850-1880: Debates over socialism in Russia.
- 1898: Formation of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party.
- 1905: The Bloody Sunday incident and the Revolution of 1905. Formation of Labour Party in Britain and Socialist Party in France.
- 1914: The First World War started.
- 1917: Abdication of the Tsar on 2nd March; Bolshevik uprising in Petrograd on 24th October.
- 1918-20: The Civil War in Russia.
- 1919: Formation of Comintern.
- 1929 : Beginning of Collectivisation in farming.
→ Conservatives: Group of people who believed that the past had to be respected and change had to be brought through a slow process.
→ Liberals: Group of people who opposed the uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers.
→ Radicals: Those who favoured the formation of a government based on the majority of a country’s population.
→ Democrats: Group of people who believed in universal adult Franchise.
→ Suffragette movement: A movement to provide women the right to vote.
→ Jadidists: Muslim reformers within the Russian empire.
→ Real Wage: Reflects the quantities of goods which the wages will actually buy.
→ Duma: Russian Parliament which was created in 1905 for the first time.
→ April Theses: A set of three demands made by Vladimir Lenin in April 1917 War be brought to a close, land be transferred to the peasants and banks be nationalised.
→ Autonomy: The right of a person, an organization, a region etc. to govern his/her/ its own affairs.
→ Nomadism: Lifestyle of those who do not live at one place but move from one place to another to earn their living.
→ Kulaks: The name for well-to-do peasants.
→ Deported: Forcibly removed from one’s own country.
→ Exiled: Forced to live away from one’s own country.
→ Capitalism: It is an economic system under which the means of production are in the hands of private individual or individuals.
→ Socialism: It is an economic system under which the means of production are controlled by the society.
→ Bolsheviks: The majority group of Russian Social Democratic Workers Party
formed in 1898. This group led by Lenin was based on the ideology of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They believed that party should be disciplined and should control the number and quality of its members.
→ Mensheviks: The minority group of Russian Social Democratic Workers Party formed in 1898. They thought that the party should be open to all.
→ Russian Steam Roller: The imperial Russian army came to be known as the Russian steam roller. It was the largest armed force in the world. When this army shifted its loyalty and began supporting the revolutionaries, Tsarist power collapsed.
→ Tsar: The title of the Emperor of Russia.
→ Giuseppe Mazzini: An Italian nationalist politician, journalist and activist who worked to set up a nation where all citizens would have equal rights. He was the spearhead of the Italian revolutionary movement.
→ Robert Owen: A leading English manufacturer, sought to build a co-operative community called New Harmony in Indiana (U.S.A.).
→ Karl Marx: Gave birth to the idea of socialism.
→ Friedrich Engels: Worked along with Karl Marx to give shape to the idea of Socialism.
→ Vladimir Lenin: Led the Bolshevik group to a successful revolution in Russia.
→ Father Gapon: Led the procession of workers that marched to the Winter Palace in 1904.
→ Tsarina Alexandra: Wife of Tsar Nicholas II.
→ Rasputin: Tsarina’s close confidant who had a strong influence on her.
→ Leon Trotskii: Headed the Military Revolutionary Committee appointed by the Soviet.
→ Kerenskii: Prime Minister of Russia in October, 1917.
→ Stalin: Headed the ruling party in Russia after the death of Lenin.