Preparing a Force or Movement Essay

Resources that cover the whole topic

This PowerPoint summarises a lot of the key content. It will be a useful revision/summary tool..

Glossary of Russian Terms
Content sourced from
Bolshevik : a member of the Bolshevik Party lead by Lenin. It later became the Communist Party. It believed that a small group of intellectuals should lead the fight for the working class as they had the education to know what to do and the poor did not.

Cheka : the name given to Lenin's secret police. It later became the KGB.

**Collectivisation** : the grouping together of farmland under Stalin so that farm production increased. Land given to the peasants' by Lenin, was taken back by Stalin.
Communism : a belief developed by Karl Marx. It basically stated that everybody is equal and no-one was better than anybody else. One person's luxury lifestyle, lead to another person's poverty and exploitation.

**Five Year Plans** : the name given to Stalin's industrial plans for the USSR so that she could catch up quickly with the west.

Gulag : the name given to Stalin's prison camps. Many were built in the harshest of conditions - frequently Siberia. The treatment given to these prisoners was harsh and extreme.

**New Economic Policy (NEP**) : introduced after the failure of War Communism whereby peasants could keep what they grew and sell it for a proexternal image Lenin5.jpgfit.

Personality Cult : when a country's leader gets the people of that country to all but worship hem/her. Cities, rivers, regions etc are named after him and towns and cities are littered with huge posters of the leader. Stalin tried to do this in Russia.

Purges : the name given to the time when Stalin shot or sent to the gulags those who he felt opposed his rule. Millions were dealt with in this manner after show trials.

Reds : the name given to anything associated with the Bolsheviks; such as the Red Army during the Civil War.

Tsar : Russia's equivalent of king such as in Tsar Nicholas II.

**War Communism** : the name given to the policy introduced by Lenin at the start of the civil war whereby the Cheka confiscated whatever it needed with regards to food, equipment etc. Those who opposed the Cheka were shot as "enemies of the state".

Whites : the name given to the groups that opposed the Bolsheviks after the overthrow of the Provisional Government and during the Civil War.

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The superb website by the English teacher John D.Clare (covers events from 1917...)
A quirky summary of the Revolution by the BBC...well worth a look if you are starting the topic.

Identity Resources

Biography of Lenin

Biographical notes on Lenin

NAME: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov

BORN: 1870 at Simbrisk (now called Ulyanovsk) on the Volga

FAMILY: His father was a Physics and Maths teacher. He eventually became the Director of Schools for the Simbrisk province. His mother was a member of the land owning gentry from German decent and the daughter of a Jewish doctor. They had six children, five of which were revolutionaries.

1887 – Lenin’s older brother Alexander was executed for his part in a plot to kill Alexander III.

1888 – Lenin became a revolutionary although not yet a Marxist. He also gets expelled from the University of Kazan for revolutionary activities.

1891 – Lenin graduates from the University of St Petersburg with a law degree.

1893 – Lenin becomes a Marxist and begins political agitation among factory workers inSt Petersburg.

1895 – Lenin moved to Switzerland and joined a small revolutionary group known as the Liberation of Labour. Lenin and his friend Jules Martov returned to Russia and formed a group which called themselves the Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class.1897 Lenin was arrested for his involvement in organising strikes and exiled to a remote village in Siberia. A year later Lenin married Nadezhda Krupskaya, a daughter of a Russian military officer, lifelong revolutionary and fellow member of the Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class.

1900 – Lenin’s exile in Siberia ended. He joined the Social Democrat Party. Lenin, Jules and Nadezhda left Russia for Geneva and other European cities. In the German city of Leipzig they start publishing Iskra (the Spark) – a political newspaper for Russians in exile around the world.

1902 – Lenin publishes “What is to be done?”. In this pamphlet he argues that waiting for a mass uprising to overthrow the Tsar is a waste of time. What is needed is to establish a small group of professional revolutionaries to plan the overthrow of the autocratic system.

1903 – The Social Democrats meet in London for a conference (known as a Congress). Lenin’s desire for a small elite group of full time professional revolutionaries leads to a split in the Social Democrat Party. His friend Martov disagrees with Lenin and argues that only a movement with a broad-base of support and large membership has legitimacy. Lenin’s followers (including Stalin) become known as the Bolsheviks (majority). Martov ends up as the leader of the Mensheviks and the two friends become rivals.

1905 – A disastrous war against Japan leads to the 1905 revolution in Russia. Lenin is taken by surprise and rushes back to Russia. He does not play a major part in events at this time.

1907 – The Tsar’s forces begin to clamp down on revolutionaries and Lenin goes into exile in Finland. He travels around Europe and lectures at a number of universities. During this period he publishes several books on Socialism that are widely read and admired in radical circles.

1914 – World War One breaks out. Lenin moves to neutral Switzerland. He is horrified that some socialists are supporting their government and argues that the war is forcing working men to kill other working men for the benefit of the ruling classes. His opposition to the war and growing following is noticed in Germany….

1917 – The Russian Revolution. The German government smuggles Lenin into Russia in a sealed train (hoping that he will further destabilise the country and that Russia will become ungovernable and be forced to abandon its war efforts). He returns to Russia after the Provisional Government came to power, urging a second revolution. Later the same year he flees to Finland but returns to lead the second revolution. It is after this that he becomes leader of the Russian government.

1924 – Lenin dies. From this point on only Tony Stark, jazz drummers, beat poets and evil geniuses are allowed to have goatee beards.

external image msword.png Lenin Biography with key dates and events.doc external image msword.png Notes on what Lenin was doing before the 1917 March Revolution.doc external image msword.png Lenin Biography.doc The importance of Lenin and Trotsky (describes key events AND qualities) external image msword.png Battle of the Bolsheviks.doc

Bolsheviks contains some incredibly detailed and well-structured information on Russia from 1917. There are LOTS of simple memory tricks, podlinks and videos etc... **Visit John D.Clare!**


Opposition groups in Russia

Notes from the screening of "Russia: Land of the Tsars"

Early Russian society

Tsar Nicholas II was the last Tsar of Russia. His family (the Romanovs) had ruled the Russian people for over 300 years. **Visit the palace of the last Tsar and his wife Alexandra.**

What is communism?

The Communist Smurfs

Opposition Groups in Russia



The Russo-Japanese War

The 1905 Russian Revolution

The notes we looked at in class:

1905 - 1914 The Troubled Years

Russia and World War One

A sheet evaluating the state of Tsarist Russia in 1913.

Some brief notes explaining why Russia went to war (World War One).


The March Revolution

March Revolution Worksheet

VERY basic outline of the 1905 Revolution

The Provisional Government

Dual Power (Petrograd Soviet and Provisional Government) and Kerensky profile

Lenin returns (and what had he been doing?)

April to July 1917

The Kornilov Affair

The November Revolution itself!

Why 1917?

What happened during the revolution?

**A classic eye-witness account of the 1917 storming of the Winter Palace...**

Why did the Revolution succeed?

Consequences of the Russian Revolution

The Russian Civil War