Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution

Table of Contents

Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution

Answer the following questions:

Q.No. 1) Who were liberals, radicals, and conservatives? Describe them on the basis of their ideologies.

Answer –

Ideologies of liberals –

  1. They wanted a nation that tolerated all religions.
  2. Liberals also opposed the uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers.
  3. They wanted to safeguard the rights of individuals against governments.
  4. They argued for a representative, elected parliamentary government, subject to laws interpreted by a well-trained judiciary that was independent of rulers and officials.
  5. They did not believe in universal adult franchises.

Ideologies of radicals –

  1. Radicals wanted a nation in which government was based on the majority of a country’s population.
  2. Many supported women’s suffragette movements.
  3. Unlike liberals, they opposed the privileges of great landowners and wealthy factory owners.
  4. They were not against the existence of private property but disliked the concentration of property in the hands of a few.

Ideologies of conservatives –

Conservatives were generally opposed to radicals and liberals but after the French Revolution, they had opened their minds to the need for change. By the nineteenth century, they accepted that some change was inevitable but believed that the past had to be respected and change had to be brought about through a slow process.

Q.No. 2) List two differences between the capitalist and socialist ideas of private property.

Answer –

The capitalist ideas of private propertyThe socialist ideas of the private property
i) Capitalists were the owners of the private propertyi) The property should be controlled by the society.
ii) Profit produced by the workers but the profit was accumulated only by the capitalists.ii) As the profit was produced by the workers, so the profit should be shared by the workers.

Q.No. 3) What was the belief of Karl Marx regarding capitalism and communalism?

Answer –

The belief of Karl Marx can be summarised as follows –

  1. Marx argued that industrial society was ‘capitalist’. Capitalists owned the capital invested in factories, and the profit of capitalists was produced by workers. The conditions of workers could not improve as long as this profit was accumulated by private capitalists.
  2. Workers had to overthrow capitalism and the rule of private property.
  3. Marx believed that to free themselves from capitalist exploitation, workers had to construct a radically socialist society where all property was socially controlled. This would be a communist society.
  4. He was convinced that workers would triumph in their conflict with capitalists.
  5. A communist society was the natural society of the future.

Q.No. 4) Who were Jadidists?

Answer –

Jadidists were Muslim reformers within the Russian empire.

Q.No. 5) Who founded the cooperative community called ‘New Harmony in Indiana’?

Answer –

Robert Owen (1771-1858), a leading English manufacturer, build the cooperative community called New Harmony in Indiana (USA).

Q.No. 6) What was the ‘The Second International’?

Answer –

By the 1870s, socialist ideas spread through Europe. To coordinate their efforts, socialists formed an international body – namely, the Second International.

Q.No. 7) Who was the emperor of Russia in 1914? What was the extent of his empire? Which religion was followed by the majority of people?

Answer –

In 1914, Tsar Nicholas II ruled Russia and its empire.

Besides the territory around Moscow, the Russian empire included current-day Finland, Latvia, 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.

The majority religion was Russian Orthodox Christianity, which had grown out of the Greek Orthodox Church, but the empire also included Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Buddhists.

Q.No. 8) How were the Russian peasants different from other European peasants?

Answer –

Russian pooled their land together periodically and their commune (Mir) divided it according to the needs of individual families.

Q.No. 9) When was The Russian Social Democratic Workers Party founded and by whom?

Answer –

The Russian Social Democratic Workers Party was founded in 1898 by socialists who respected Marx’s ideas.

Q.No. 10) When was the Socialist Revolutionary Party formed and what was its objective?

Answer –

The Socialist Revolutionary Party was formed in 1900.

This party struggled for peasants’ rights and demanded that land belonging to nobles be transferred to peasants.

Q.No. 11) Who were Bolsheviks and Mensheviks?

Answer –

The Russian Social Democratic Workers Party was divided over the strategy of organisation.

Bolsheviks thought that in a repressive society like Tsarist Russia, the party should be disciplined and should control the number and quality of its members. The Bolshevik group was led by Vladimir Lenin.

On the other hand, the Mensheviks thought that the party should be open to all as in Germany.

Q.No. 12) What was the ‘Bloody Sunday’?

Answer –

When four members of the Assembly of Russian Workers, which had been formed in 1904, were dismissed at the Putilov Iron Works, there was a call for industrial action. Over the next few days over 110,000 workers in St Petersburg went on strike demanding a reduction in the working day to eight hours, an increase in wages and improvement in working conditions.

When 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. The incident was known as Bloody Sunday.

It started a series of events that became known as the 1905 Revolution.

Q.No. 13) Why were there revolutionary disturbances in Russia in 1905? What were the demands of revolutionaries?

Answer –

There were revolutionary disturbances in Russia in 1905 because –

  1. Prices of essential goods rose exponentially in 1904.
  2. It was so quick that the real wages of the workers declined by 20 percent.
  3. Meanwhile, when four members of the Assembly of Russian Workers, which had been formed in 1904, were dismissed at the Putilov Iron Works, there was a call for industrial action, and the industrial workers set to go for strike.

The revolutionaries demanded the reduction in the working day to eight hours, an increase in wages, and improvement in the working conditions of the industrial workers.

Q.No. 14) What was the First World War?

Answer –

In 1914, war broke out between two European alliances – Germany, Austria, and Turkey (the Central powers) and France, Britain, and Russia (later Italy and Romania). Each country had a global empire and the war was fought outside Europe as well as in Europe. This was the First World War.

Q.No. 15) Why was the Tsar Nicholas II become unpopular during the World War I?

Answer –

The reasons for which Tsar Nicholas became unpopular in Russia were-

  1. As the war continued, the Tsar refused to consult the main parties in the Duma.
  2. The Tsarina Alexandra’s German origins and poor advisers, especially a monk called Rasputin, made the autocracy unpopular.

Q.No. 16) What was the ‘April Thesis’?

Answer –

In April 1917, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia from his exile. He and the Bolsheviks had opposed the war since 1914 and he felt that it was the time for the soviets to take over power.

He declared that the war be brought to a close, land be transferred to the peasants, and banks be nationalised. These three demands were Lenin’s ‘April Theses’.

Q.No. 17) What was ‘Budeonovka’?

Answer –

Budeonovka was the Soviet hat introduced by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution, to assert the change.

Q.No. 18) What was the Bolshevik party renamed as?

Answer –

The Bolshevik Party was renamed as the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik).

Q.No. 19) What was the “Cheka first”?

Answer –

Cheka first was the secret police which punished those who criticized the Bolsheviks.

Q.No. 20) Which day was celebrated as “International Women’s Day” and why?

Answer –

During the February Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd, on 22nd February, a lockout took place at a factory on the right bank of river Neva. The next day, workers in fifty factories called a strike in sympathy.

In many factories, women led the way to strikes. So the 23rd Feb was celebrated as “International Women’s Day”.

Q.No. 21) Who were the ‘greens’, ‘whites’, and the ‘reds’?

Answer –

The Bolsheviks were the ‘reds, the Socialist Revolutionaries were the ‘greens’ and the pro-Tsarists were the ‘whites’.

Q.No. 22) Who were ‘Kulaks’?

Answer –

The well-to-do peasants in Russia were called ‘Kulaks’.

Q.No. 23) Write a short note on Stalin’s collectivisation programme.

Answer –

Stalin’s collectivization programme –

  1. From 1929, the Party forced all peasants to cultivate in collective farms (kolkhoz).
  2. The bulk of land and implements were transferred to the ownership of collective farms.
  3. Peasants worked on the land, and the kolkhoz profit was shared.
  4. Enraged peasants resisted the authorities and destroyed their livestock.
  5. Between 1929 and 1931, the number of cattle fell by one-third.
  6. Those who resisted collectivization were severely punished. Many were deported and exiled.
  7. Stalin’s government allowed some independent cultivation but treated such cultivators unsympathetically.
  8. In spite of collectivization, production did not increase immediately.
  9. In fact, the bad harvests of 1930-1933 led to one of the most devastating famines in Soviet history when over 4 million died.

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