Russian Revolution

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Solutions, questions, answers, and notes of chapter 2: The Russian Revolution which is a part of social science class 9 syllabus of students studying under the Nagaland Board of School Education.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 made Russia the first country in the world to have a communist government. It also led to a long and bloody Civil War which lasted till 1920, at the end of which the communists had complete control over the country. The fall of the monarchy in February 1917 and the events of October 1917 are normally called the Russian Revolution.

Russian revolution
A picture during the Bloody Sunday (Source: Wikimedia)

The Bolsheviks who took control of the govErnment considered their revolution in Russia as only the first stage of a worldwide communist revolution. Thus, the Russian Revolution marked the beginning of the struggle between communist nations and the capitalist world. To understand the Russian Revolution of 1917 in proper perspective and dimension, one has to understand the tyranny of the Czars on the one hand and the appalling backwardness of the country and its subjects on the other.

I. Choose the correct answer.

1. Which leader introduced the collectivization programme?

Answer: (a) V.I Lenin

2. What was the duration of the first five year n introduced in USSR?

Answer: (b) 1927-1932

3. Lenin became the leader of the Bolshevik Party in:

Answer: (b) 1903

4. Serfdom had been abolished in the year _____ in Russia.

Answer: (b) 1861

5. Who was the head of the first Provisional Government set up in Russia in March 1917?

Answer: (b) Kerensky

6. Which of the following leaders started the Five Years Plans in Russia?

Answer: (b) Stalin

7. The Berlin Wall collapsed in which year?

Answer: (a) 1989

8. When was the USSR disbanded?

Answer: (b) 1991

II. Very Short Answer Type Questions.

1. When did the Russian Revolution take place?

Answer: The Russian Revolution took place in 1917.

2. Why did the Bolsheviks consider the Russian Revolution as only the “first stage” of the revolution?

Answer: The Bolsheviks considered the Russian Revolution as only the “first stage” of the revolution because the Russian Revolution marked the beginning of the struggle between communist nations and the capitalist world..

3. What made the Czar the “Autocrat of All the Russians?”

Answer: The backing by the church and the nobles made the Czar “Autocrat of All the Russians.”

4. When was Russian Social Democratic Labour Party formed?

Answer: Russian Social Democratic Labour Party was formed in 1898.

5. What was a Soviet?

Answer: Soviet was the council of representatives of peasants and workers after the revolution of 1917.

6. Which three important demands were part of Lenin’s ‘April Theses’?

Answer: The three important demands were part of Lenin’s ‘April Theses’ were the war be brought to a close, land be transferred to the peasants, and banks be nationalised.

7. Who took command after the fall of Kerensky’s government and what was the new government called?

Answer: Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik leader, took command after the fall of Kerensky’s government. The new government was called the Council of people’s Commissars.

8. How were the common people affected when Russia entered the First World War? [HOTS]

Answer: There were labour shortage and small workshops producing essentials were shut down. Large supplies of grain were sent to feed army. For the people in the cities, bread and flour became scarce. By the winter of 1916, riots at bread shops were common.

9. What did the Bolsheviks promise the people?

Ans: The Bolsheviks promised peace, bread and land to the people.

10. What led to the collapse of the Provisional Government?

Ans: The collapse of the Provisional Government was because of Kerensky’s government’s failure to implement the main demands of the revolutionaries which were peace, land to the tillers, control of industry by workers and equal status for the non-Russian nationalities.

III. Short Answer Type Questions

1. Explain the difference between:

a) The Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.

b) February 1917 and October 1917 revolutions.

Answer: a) The Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.

Bolsheviks Mensheviks
They favoured a revolution. They were led by Lenin who organised his party to become the instrument for the Russian Revolution of l917. They believed that the party should be modelled on the lines of parties in countries like France or England.

b) February 1917 and October 1917 revolutions.

February RevolutionOctober Revolution
February Revolution overthrew Nicholas ll and Duma leader Kerensky came to power.October Revolution overthrew Kerensky’s Provisional Government and Bolshevik leader, Lenin, came to power.

2. Discuss the role of the Czar in the peasant revolt of 1905.

Answer: Four members of the Assembly of Russian Workers were dismissed in 1904 at the Putilov Iron Works. This angered the workers. This eventually resulted in Bloody Sunday and it started a series of events leading to 1905 Revolutions. Also, in October 1905, Czar Nicholas issued an October Manifesto, recognising the Civil Rights for Russians and granting an elected national legislature called the Duma. He, however, kept dismissing and reelecting the members of the Duma and refused any questioning of his authority.

3. Discuss briefly the Collectivisation Programme.

Answer: Collectivisation programme was a system devised by Stalin in which the Party forced all peasants to cultivate in collective farms (kolkhoz). The bulk of land and implements were transferred to the ownership of collective farms. Those who resisted collectivisation were severely punished. Many were deported and exiled.

4. Discuss the effects of the First World War on Russia.

Answer: The effects of the First World War on Russia were:

I. Russia’s armies lost badly in Germany and & Austria between 1914 and 1916. There were over 7 lakh casualties by 1917.
II. As they retreated, the Russian army destroyed crops and buildings to prevent the enemy from being able to live off the land. The destruction of crops and buildings led to over 3 million refugees in Russia.
III. The war also had a severe impact on the industry. Russia’s own industries were few in number and the country was cut off from other suppliers of industrial goods by German control of the Baltic Sea.
IV. Able-bodied men were called up to the war. As a result, there were labour shortage and small workshops producing essentials were shut down.
V. Large supplies of grain were sent to feed an army. For the people in the cities, bread and flour became scarce.
VI. By the winter of 1916, riots at bread shops were common.

5. Discuss any two features of the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Answer: Two features of the New Economic Policy (NEP) were:

I. Lenin’s NEP was the adoption of a mixed economy. The Soviet Government controlled major industries, trade and banking, while the individuals were allowed to sell their food grains in the open market.
II. The industries were also given permits to open stores and small factories and a stable currency was introduced.

IV. Long Answer Type Questions

1. Discuss the causes that led to the Revolution of 1917.

Answer: The causes that led to the Revolution of 1917 were:

i. The Czar believed in the divine right of the King to rule. The nobles enjoyed all the privileges and powers and held all key position in the administration.
ii. The nobles and the Church supported the Czar which made him the autocrat of all the Russians.
iii. Serfdom had been abolished in l861 but that had failed to improve the conditions of the peasants. Their holdings were too small and uneconomical.
iv. Most factories were owned by foreigners. The Russian owned factories paid very little wages to the workers.
v. Poor advisers, especially a monk called Rasputin who indirectly controlled the government through Czarine, made the autocracy unpopular.
vi. The first world war who plunged the country into an economic crisis and poverty. There were shortages of labours and essential commodities.

2. Comment on the role of Vladimir Lenin in the Revolution and his contribution to the economic policy. [HOTS]

Answer: In April 1917, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia from his exile. Lenin feared that the Provisional Government could set up a dictatorship. In September, he began discussions for an uprising against the government. The uprising began on 25 October and on 7 November, an All-Russia Congress of Soviets, which supported the Bolsheviks, assumed full political power. With the fall of Kerensky’s Menshevik Government, Vladimir Lenin took command.

Lenin’s NEP was the adoption of a mixed economy. The Soviet Government controlled major industries, trade and banking, while the individuals were allowed to sell their food grains in the open market. They were also given permits to open stores and small factories. The aim of NEP was to encourage the economic contribution of workers, peasants in urban and rural areas to improve the country’s economy and to allow partial capitalism.

3. Why did the Czarist autocracy collapse in 1917?

Answer: The Czarist autocracy collapsed in 1917 because of the following reasons:

i. People were not happy with the economic condition of the country as Russia remained a feudal state despite industrialisation. The condition of the peasants remained pathetic.
ii. The Czars were absolute autocrats and enjoyed unlimited authority. The church and nobles supported the Czars.
iii. Czar Nicholas II was a man of good intentions but his associates were unscrupulous. In Russia absolutism was still prevalent. The Czar believed in the divine right of the king to rule.
iv. One of the most dominating persons amongst his associates was a godman called Rasputin. He dominated the Czarina and through her exercised considerable influence over the functioning of the government of Russia.
v. Industrialisation had led to the formation of workers’ organisation in Russia which united people in the lower strata of the society.
vi. The First World War led to widespread poverty and people were disappointed with the war. As the war continued the
Czar refused to consult the main parties in the Duma and support wore thin.

4. What were the immediate consequences of the Russian Revolution?

Answer: The immediate consequences of the Russian Revolutions were:

i. Lenin established the Soviet Republic and made peace with Germany by signing the treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918.
ii. Lenin set out to work for building a new socialist order in his country.
iii. The October Revolution was succeeded by a period of Civil War in Russia. An armed rebellion against the new government was organised by the officers of the Czar’s army. The Civil War raged till 1920.
iv. Lenin found it necessary to compromise with the old economic order by permitting individuals to own and operate small business under the supervision of the state.
v. Lands owned by the church and the Czar were confiscated. The lands thus confiscated were transferred to peasant societies who in turn allotted them to peasant families to be cultivated without hired labour.
vi. All foreign debts were, repudiated and foreign investments were confiscated. The railways, insurance companies, mines, water transport and large industries were nationalised.

5. Describe the main features of the Revolution of 1905.

Answer: The main features of the revolution of 1905 were:

i. Bloody Sunday started a series of events that was called the 1905 Revolution. Strikes took place all over the country and universities closed down.
ii. Students, lawyers, doctors, engineers and other middle-class workers established their unions and demanded civil liberties and a constituent Assembly.
iii. The Czar allowed the creation of an elected parliament or Duma. The Czar dismissed the first Duma within 75 days and the re-elected second Duma within 90 days.
iv. He packed the third Duma with conservative politicians and kept out liberals and revolutionaries. All trade unions, committees and workers’ associations were declared illegal.
v. The peasants also formed their Soviets. These organisations later became the instruments of political power in Russia.
vi. The army and navy were involved in protests against the killing of innocent workers and their family members. The sailors of the battleship Potemkin joined the revolutionaries.

6. Discuss the causes and the nature of the October Revolution.

Answer: Alexander Kerensky was a moderate among the socialists. He tried to establish a liberal democratic form of government. However, he could not implement the main demands of the revolutionaries which were peace, land to the tillers, control of industry by workers and equal status for the non-Russian nationalities. As the conflict between the Provisional Government and the Bolsheviks grew, Lenin feared the Provisional Government would set up a dictatorship. On 16 October, Lenin persuaded the Petrograd Soviet and the Bolshevik Party to agree to a socialist seizure of power. The uprising began on 25 October.

Uprisings took place in different cities. There was heavy fighting – especially in Moscow – but by December, the Bolsheviks controlled the Moscow- Petrograd area. On 7 November 1917, an All-Russia Congress of Soviets assumed full political power. The date as per the old Russian calendar was October 25 and hence the name October Revolution.

7. Discuss the legacy of the Russian Revolution.

Answer: The legacy of the Russian Revolution were:

i. The USSR gave the model of centralised economic planning which is still relevant in the case of developing economies. Communism came as a warning to exploitative capitalist societies.
ii. Capitalist countries all over the world took measures to ensure that workers got fair wages that enable them to live with dignity.
iii. The possibility of a workers’ state fired the imagination of people across the world. In many countries, including India and Great Britain communist parties were formed.
iv. The Bolsheviks encouraged colonial people to throw off the yokes of slavery.
v. Many Indians were inspired by the Russian Revolution. Several attended the Communist University.
vi. The Russian experiment has many lessons. The importance of profit as an incentive to bring out the best in the human effort cannot be negated.

Click here for notes of other chapters of Class 9 Social Science


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