World War And Russian Revolution – History

World War And Russian Revolution – History

This chapter covers world war and Russian revolution history


The poor, uneducated peasants who were legally bound to the noble whose land they worked.


Many people believed this was the key to modernizing Russia; the czars refused to end it.


A ruler with absolute power; in Russia, they were called czars.

Alexander I

The Romanov czar who gained international respect after defeating Napoleon; his time in power was plagued with civil unrest.

Nicholas I

The Romanov czar who ruled with an “iron fist” after soldiers staged a revolt; he opposed all reform including a parliament and constitution.

Alexander II

The Romanov czar who tried to modernize Russia; he ended serfdom, improved education and civil service; his rule was a disappointment.

Alexander III

The Romanov czar who ruled harshly as a result of his father’s assassination; he opposed reform, increased censorship and decreased education.

Nicholas II

The Romanov czar who was forced to abdicate his throne as a result of a series of mistakes that evenutally lead to the Russian Revolution.


To resign or to give up one’s throne.

Russo-Japanese War (cause)

Nicholas II wanted to be an imperial power, to have a warm water port, and to distract the Russia people from their internal problem. As a result, he fought a war with Japan over Korea.

Russo-Japanese War (effect)

Nicholas II lost the war; As a result, Russia lost most of its naval fleet, civil unrest at home increased, Russia has to stay out of Manchuria and acknowledge Japan’s right to rule Korea

Revolution of 1905 (cause)

As a result of poor, unsafe working conditions and inflation, some workers were fired; others went on strike. 200,000 workers marched peacefully to the czar’s winter palace asking for better working conditons, universal sufferage and an end to the Russo-Japanese War (aka: Bloody Sunday).

Revolution of 1905 (effects)

As a result of Bloody Sunday, strikes, uprisings and mutinies were occuring throughout Russia. To end the revolution, Nicholas II agreed to create a Duma and to make reforms for the people.

World War I (cause — military)

Nicholas II committed an unprepared Russian army to war; the army was no match for the German machine guns. As a result, the army suffered heavy losses and low moral. Nicholas traveled to the frontline to inspire his troops leaving his wife (and Rasputin) in charge.

World War I (cause — economic)

Eventually shortages in food and fuel as well as Nicholas II’s refusal to leave the war, led to protests that escalated into the overthrow of the czar. He could not meet the needs of the soldiers or the civilians.


The Russian parliament (i.e. legislative body of the Russian national government).


The council of elected workers in the major cities of Russia; they controlled Russia.

First Revolution

Part one of the Russian Revolution; it began with the abdication of Nicholas II; As a result, the Duma created a provisional government under the leadership of Alexander Kerensky (aka February Revolution).

Alexander Kerensky

A respected member of the Duma and a Soviet; he was chosen to be the leader of the provisional government that replaced Nicholas II.

Provisional Government

A temporary government created by the Duma after the abdication of the czar; it made the decision to remain in World War One, costing it the support of the soviets and the people.


A revolutionary leader who was exiled from Russia and the leader of the Bolshevik Party; he returned to Russia with the help of the Germans during World War I.

Bolshevik Party

A political party that wanted Russia to lead an immediate worldwide revolution; it gained control of Russia by getting elected to the soviets by promising to leave World War I.

Second Revolution

Part two of the Russian Revolution; it began when Lenin overthrew the provisional government and established Russia as a socialist state under the Bolshevik Party (aka: October Revolution).

Peace, Land and Bread

The slogan used by Lenin to win the support of the people; Peace appealed to the soldiers; Land appealed to the peasants; and Bread appealed to the workers.


The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic; the new name given to Russia under Lenin.

Social Democrats

A group of Marxists who believed that a worldwide revolution would begin in Russia with the workers; they were divided into the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.

Social Revolutionaries

A group of Marxists who believed that a worldwide revolution would begin in Russia with the peasants; they won the elected of 1917 following the Second Revolution but Lenin arrested them and tried them as enemies of the state.

Russian Civil War

The battle between the Bolsheviks (Red Army) and their opponents (White Army); the Bolsheviks won, however, 15 million Russians were dead, the economy was in ruins, trade was at a standstill and there was a shortage of skilled labor.

New Economic Policy

In response to the failing socialist policies, Lenin established a temporary compromise with capitalism; Under the NEP, farmers could sell their surplus, individuals could buy and sell for profit and some private ownership of land and business was allowed.

Communist Party

The new name given to the Bolshevik Party; Lenin also moved the capital of the USSR to Moscow.

Leon Trotsky

A revolutionary leader who organized the October (Second) Revolution and the Red Guard (Civil War); he was a popular and capable leader but people feared he would rule as a dictator.

Joseph Stalin

A revolution leader who was cold and impersonal; As party secretary, he worked behind the scenes to appoint his supporters to positions of power; he succeeded Lenin.

Totalitarian State

A type of government ruled by a dictator; the government controls every aspect of life; there is one-party rule and surpemacy of the state over the individual. In the USSR, there was collective ownership, centralized planning, censorship and secret police.

Five Year Plans

Stalin’s attempt to modernize the Soviet Union; these set almost impossible quotas for industrial workers and agricultural farmers to meet; As a result of these, the USSR did modernize.

Weapons of Totalitarianism

Indoctrination, Propaganda, Censorship, Religious Persecution (refer to your assignment for details).