Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution
the Russian Revolution was the revolution in the Russian empire in 1917, in which the tsarist regime was overthrown and replaced by Bolshevik rule under Lenin. The Bolsheviks took over in November (October on the Russian calendar) of 1917.
A revolutionary council of workers or peasants in Russia before 1917
a major political leader before and during the Russian Revolutions of 1917. He believed strongly in liberalism, and was overthrown by the Bolsheviks. He was replaced by Lenin.
A Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As a leader of the Bolsheviks he headed the Soviet state during its initial years (1917-1924), as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a socialist economic system
Russian Communist Party
Group of communist integrated within Russia. Basically it was Lenin and the Bolsheviks.
Council of People's Commissars
a government institution formed shortly after the October Revolution in 1917. It was created in the Russian Republic the council laid foundations in reconstructing the country to form the Soviet Union. It was headed by Lenin and drawn from Soviet's across the nation to govern the state.
Social Revolutionary Party
emphasized peasant support and rural reform. Lenin shut it down and replaced it with a Bolshevik dominated Congress of Soviets
Congress of Soviets
Created by Lenin, the Congress of Soviets was a group of Bolshevik dominated people that pushed a communist style government. They did not want a Western style system within Russia.
Produced a powerful new army called the Red Army. He led the Red Army for a while, then became a Soviet politician.
Created by Leon Trotsky, the Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil war of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930's the Red Army was among the largest in world history.
New Economic Policy (NEP)
Issued by Lenin, the NEP promised freedom of action for small businesspeople and peasant land owners. Although temporary, NEP caused food production to recover, and the regime gained time to prepare the more durable structures of the communist system.
Union of Soviet Socialists
In 1923 after a new constitution was set up by the Bolsheviks, the country known as Russian went by the Union of Soviet Socialists.
controlled firmly by the Communist party
Had many trappings of a parliament and was elected by universal suffrage
Lenin set up the Comintern, which was a Communist International office to guide international revolutionary activity
an undisputed leader of the Soviet State. Stalin represented a strongly nationalist version of communism rather than a more international vision that many other countries had. Under Stalin, the revolutionary leadership pulled back out of international duties to focus more on Russian developments. Stalin represented anti-Western tradition
a bulk of the land in Russia belonged to the kulaks. They were mostly peasants with an exception of a few wealthy people. They were particularly attuned to a profit based market agriculture.
creating large, state run farms rather than individual holding as in the West. The communist party pressed peasants to join collectives. Collectivization promised to facilitate the mechanization of agriculture by sharing scarce machines while increasing Communist party control over peasants.
Five Year Plans
The plans set clear priorities for industrial development, including new facilities. The 5 year plans made the enabled the government to build massive factories for various reasons.
Politburo was the executive committee for a number of communist political parties
the pact was created due to the unprepared army of the Soviet Union. They formed a pact to basically stall, and create more time to prepare for war. The historical document was signed by Hitler. The pact also enabled the Soviet Union to attack eastern Poland and Finland in an effort to regain territories lost in World War I.
most east European nations were all included in the common defense alliance of the Warsaw Pact.
the wall was built in 1961 to contain the troops from the West Germany uprising from the workers. Soviet troops strongly repressed the workers and eventually built the wall.
Revolt of 1956 (Hungary)
Relaxation of Stalinism in the Soviet Union created new hopes that laws might be loosened in Hungary and Poland. Many liberalist leaders arose in both countries. They all had a large backing of people behind them. Everyone wanted more freedom within communism.
Dubcek was the leader in the Czechoslovakian uprising. He was a communist who fought against the Nazis in World War II. With communism power, he quickly moved up the ranks in Czechoslovakia. When the reform movement began in 1968, he stood his ground against the Soviet Union and advocated more freedoms of press and speech
Polish labor movement in the late 1970's which was challenged by the Soviet Union
a style created by Soviet culture focused on glorifying heroic workers, soldiers, and peasants. It was seen as a vital education tool and an antidote to Western cultural decadence
He was an author exiled to the West because of the publication of his trilogy about the Siberian prison camps, The Gulag Archipelago. He also believed the West was too materialistic and individualistic. Even though he was not in his homeland, he kept Soviet beliefs and values.
She was a woman born into a Jewish family, but converted to Christianity later in her life. She saw her poet husband arrested, and she never saw him again. Mandelstam decided to devote her life to his memory. She also taught English to unintelligible teachers training institutes. She wrote two volumes called Hope Against Hope and Hope Abandoned that told the story of her husband. Her books were initially published in the US then later in the Soviet Union.
the focus on a one man rule of the Soviet Union caused succession problems, but a man named Nikita Khrushchev stepped up and took Stalin's place after his death. He was against Stalinization and Stalin as a person. He got rid of Stalinization in Russia.
Succeeded Stalin after his death as the leader in the Soviet Union. He attacked Stalinism and changed the Soviet Union all together. He lessened the amount of police force in the country and political trials became less common. He shifted away from military emphasis as well.
Sputnik & Yuri Gargarin
Sputnik was the first satellite sent into space by the Soviet Union in 1957. Yuri Gargarin was the first person to be sent into space in 1961. He was also a Soviet. The Soviet Union accomplished these both before the US did.
War in Afghanistan
The Soviet Union faced many problems with other countries while trying to maintain their superpower image. The Muslim awareness in the 1970's troubled the Soviet Union because of the minority of Muslims in their country. This caused an invasion in Afghanistan to promote a friendly regime, which caused guerilla warfare in the 1980's. The Soviets never engaged in war, but were prepared for one.
Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985. He replaced some of the old line bureaucrats and conveyed a more Western style way of life. He changed the cold war stance of the Soviet Union by negotiating with the US. He urged a reduction of missile size in Europe which Americans agreed upon. He ended the war in Afghanistan and brought troops home. Gorbachev's policies brought Western culture into the Soviet Union. He was elected a new and powerful presidency in the USSR in 1990.
It was a policy created by Gorbachev which meant openness. The new policy allowed people to speak up and comment and criticize on whatever they felt like.
One keynote of the reform program was perestroika. It was economic reconstructing which Gorbachev translated into more leeway for private ownership and decentralized control in industry and agriculture
He was Gorbachev's successor, and he stood by Gorbachev's beliefs. Yeltsin struggled to gain a political base.