Socialism in Europe and The Russian Revolution Class 9 Notes History - Chapter 2

Chapter: 2

What are Socialism In Europe And The Russian Revolution ?

Important Dates

  • Some nationalists, liberals and radicals wanted revolution to put an end to the  kind of governments established in Europe in 1815.
  • Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) added other ideas to this body of arguments.
  • Robert Owen (1771-1858), a leading English manufacturer, sought to build a cooperative community called New Harmony in Indiana (USA).
  • During the 1905 Revolution, the Tsar allowed the creation of an elected consultative Parliament or Duma.
  • All political parties were illegal in Russia before 1914.
  • Till 1914, socialists never succeeded in forming a government in Europe.
  • Socialists took over the government in Russia through the October Revolution of 1917.
  • Russia’s armies lost badly in Germany and Austria between 1914 and 1916.
  • By 1916, railway lines began to break down. Able-bodied men were called up to the war.
  • 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). This was first World War.
  • In the winter of 1917, conditions in the capital, Petrograd, were grim.
  • On Sunday, 25 February 1917, the government suspended the Duma.
  • In February 1917, food shortages were deeply felt in the workers’ quarters.
  • Demonstrators returned in force to the streets of the left bank on the 26th. On the 27th, the Police Headquarters were ransacked.
  • Petrograd had led the February Revolution that brought down the monarchy in February 1917.
  • Encouraged by the Socialist Revolutionaries, peasants seized land between July and September 1917.
  • In April 1917, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia from his exile.
  • 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 24 October 1917.
  • In November 1917, the Bolsheviks conducted the elections to the Constituent Assembly, but they failed to gain majority support.
  • Most industry and banks were nationalised in November 1917.
  • By January 1920, the Bolsheviks controlled most of the former Russian empire.
  • By 1927- 1928, the towns in Soviet Russia were facing an acute problem of grain supplies.
  • December 1922, The USSR was formed.
  • In 1928, Party members toured the grain-producing areas, supervising enforced grain collections, and raiding ‘kulaks’
  • The bad harvests of 1930-1933 led to one of most devastating famines in Soviet history when over 4 million died.
  • Between 1929 and 1931, the number of cattle fell by one-third.

Important Personalities

  • Lenin: The leader of the Bolshevik Party who led the Russian Revolution in 1917. As a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, he withdrew Russia from the First World War and took various measures to make Russia a socialist state.
  • Nicholas II: The Tsar of Russia whose policies precipitated the Russian Revolution.
  • Kerenskii: The leader of the Mensheviks party who wanted to establish a parliamentary form of government in Russia.
  • Leon Trotsky: He headed the Petrograd Soviet and played a leading role in the Russian Revolution and was later assassinated by Stalin.
  • Rasputin: An unscrupulous monk whose influence over the royal family was resented by the Russian people.
  • Engels: Friedrich Engels in association with Karl Marx published the Communist Manifesto that was the guiding spirit of the Russian Revolution.
  • Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht: Leaders of the German revolutionary movement, they tried to foment a revolution in 1919. But the army crushed the revolution. Both were captured and shot.
  • Joseph Stalin: He emerged as the leader of the Communist Party after the death of Lenin in 1924. He assumed complete control of Russian government and its policies till his death in 1953.