Council of workers; seized the government of St. Petersburg in 1917 to precipitate the Russian Revolution.
Liberal revolutionary leader during the early stages of the Russian Revolution of 1917; attempted development of parliamentary rule but supported continuance of the war against Germany.
Russian Communist Party
Bolshevik wing of the Russian socialists; came to power under Lenin in the November 1917 revolution.
Council of People's Commissars
Government council composed of representatives from Russian soviets and headed by Lenin; came to power after November of 1917.
Social Revolutionary Party
Majority vote winners in first elections after November 1917; removed from office by Bolsheviks.
Congress of Soviets
Lenin's parliamentary institution based on soviets under Bolshevik domination; replaced the Social Revolutionary Party.
Built up under the leadership of Leon Trotsky; its victories secured communist power after the early years of turmoil following the Russian Revolution.
New Economic Policy (NEP)
Initiated in 1921 by Lenin; combined the state establishing basic economic policies with individual initiative; allowed food production to recover.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
Russian federal system controlled by the Communist Party, established in 1923.
Communist controlled parliament of the USSR.
Communist International, an organization under dominance of the USSR; designed to encourage the spread of communism in the rest of the world.
Lenin's successor as leader of the USSR; strong nationalist view of communism; crushed oppostion to his predominance; ruled USSR until his death in 1953.
Creation of large state-run farms replacing individual holdings; allowed mechanization of agriculture and more efficient control over peasants.
Stalin's plans to hasten Soviet industrialization; constructed massive factories for heavy industries at the expense of consumer goods.
Twenty-member executive committee of the Communist Party.
Built in 1961 to prevent the flight of East Germans to the West; dismantled in 1990.
Polish labor movement formed in the 1970's under Lech Walesa; challenged Soviet-dominated rule of Poland; later a dominant force in independent Poland.
Soviet effort to replace Western literature and the arts with works glorifying state-approved achievements by the masses (propaganda).
Russian author of works critical of the Soviet regime; included the trilogy on Siberian prison camps, the "Gulag Archipelago."
Russian writer persecuted by the communist state
Leader of the Soviet Union from 1956; attacked Stalinist methods of rule; lost power because of conservative oppostion.
First manned spacecraft in 1957; initiated a space race with the United States.
Leader of the USSR (1985-1991); inaugurated major reforms that led to the disintegration of the communist regime.
Term meaning openness; Gorbachev policy opening the opportunity to criticize the government.
Term meaning economic restructuring; Gorbachev policy for the economic rebuilding of the USSR by allowing more private ownership and decentralized economic control.
Elected successor to Gorbachev; defeated coup effort by former communists; presided over reform efforts 2000.