Key Topic 1: SIMPLIFIED Flashcards Preview

Unit 2 - Russia 1917-39 SIMPLIFIED > Key Topic 1: SIMPLIFIED > Flashcards

Flashcards in Key Topic 1: SIMPLIFIED Deck (28):

Describe how Russia was ruled under the Tsar before the February Revolution 1917

  • Tsar had complete power (Autocracy
  • Tsar could make any decisions without telling anyone else
  • There was a weak Parliament (Duma) that failed to represent the people’s views
  • The Tsar used his secret police (Okhrana) to get rid of anybody who went against him 


Explain why the Tsar was a weak leader

He avoided making important decisions.

Tsar tried to getting involved in everything!

Tsar was not a strong character.

Tsar showed little understanding of politics and how to run a country.

He appointed family members and friends to important positions - Many where stupid and corrupt and took bribes.


Explain why there was a revolution in 1905? (Bloody Sunday)


  • Bad harvests in 1900 and 1902.
  • Russia was at war with Japan (1904-05).
  • The war produced food shortages.
  • Peasants and workers were forced to join the army.
  • People were fed up of a poor life - bad working conditions and low wages.


What were the key features of Bloody Sunday?

200,000 people protested outside the Tsar’s Winter Palace because they wanted:

  • The war with Japan to end
  • Better working conditions and higher wages


BUT! The Tsar’s soldiers fired on the crowd without warning and killed hundreds and wounded thousands.


What were the effects of Bloody Sunday and the 1905 revolution?

Chaos spread throughout the country:

  • Strikes, riots and mutiny (revolt) in the navy.
  • Strikers formed Soviets - worker’s council to organise strikes.

THEREFORE - Tsar issued the October Manifesto (1905) to stop further chaos.

Tsar promised:

  • Freedom of speech
  • A national parliament (Duma)
  • An end to censorship
  • The right to form other political parties.


Describe the problems of ruling Russia in 1917

  • Russian empire in 1917 was HUGE! (92 times as big as Britain).
  • Communications were difficult.
  • Roads were unpaved and slow.
  • Farming methods were old-fashioned and slow.
  • Population was rising so more food was needed and food shortages were common.


Describe the key features of political parties in Russia before World War I

Constitutionalists (Cadets) - Wanted a democratic style government.

Social Revolutionaries (SRs) - Believed in the OVERTHROW of the Tsar.

The Social Democrats - Believed in a revolution led by the workers in towns.

The Social Democrats were split into two groups:

Bolsheviks (led by Lenin) - wanted a small party who would organise the revolution. Mensheviks - wanted a mass party and were prepared for slow change.


Explain the effects of the First World War on Russia in 1917.

1914 - Russian First and Second armies destroyed at battles of Tannenburg and Massurian Lakes

1915Tsar took personal command of the army and starts to be blamed for defeat

1915 - Tsar left the Tsarina in charge of Russia. Many didn’t trust her (she was German) and did not like the influence Rasputin had. This made the Tsar MORE UNPOPULAR.

From 1915 to 1917No fuel or food because workers and farmers were sent to fight the war. The army also took horses from farms which made it hard to grow crops.


Explain why there was a revolution in Russia in February 1917?

People got hungry and angry because:


  • Russia was losing the war (people dying)
  • No food or fuel (because of the war)
  • No food - also because of a very cold winter


What were the key features of the February Revolution?

  • Strikes - people began to demand food.
  • Tsar lost support and control (Tsar ordered his soldiers to shoot at the mobs but many refused).
  • Unrest turned into revolution! The soldiers and workers fought together against the police.
  • On 27-28 Feb they stormed prisons and released political prisoners.
  • The Duma (government) took control and set up the Provisional Government to take over.


What were the effects of the February Revolution?

  1. Russia now had a Provisional Government.
  2. The Petrograd Soviet issued Order No 1 to the army in Petrograd
  3. The Tsar abdicated (gave up his throne) and was taken prisoner.


Explain why the February Revolution succeeded.

  1. The army joined the people
  2. The Tsar made things worse by ordering troops to fire
  3. The army then became an important part of the Petrograd Soviet and getting the Provisional government accepted.


What happened at the battle of Tannenburg?

  1. The Battle of Tannenburg in August 1914 was Russia’s worst defeat in World War One.
  2. Secret Russian messages were intercepted by the Germans
  3. Samsonov and the Second Russian Army were heavily defeated by the Germans


What happened at the battle of Masurian Lakes?

  1. Russian First Army led by Rennenkampf destroyed by the Germans.
  2. The Russians lost 125,000 men.


Explain the effects of the Kornilov Affair.

  1. Kerensky (leader of PG) gave weapons to the Bolsheviks
  2. These weapons were later used by the Red Army against the Provisional Government in the October revolution.
  3. The PG had lost support of the army and the Bolsheviks were now the real power in Russia.
  4. Lenin encouraged Trotsky to prepare plans for seizing power.


What was the Tsar’s nickname at the start of his rule?

The ‘Little Father of Russia


Which battleship (beginning with ‘P’) mutinied after Bloody Sunday in 1905?

Battleship Potempkin.


What did the Tsar set up in 1906?

The Duma (like a parliament).


What was the approximate population of Russia by 1917?

170 million


What percentage of the population could speak Russian in 1917?

40% (this shows how hard it was to rule over Russia).


What was the name of the railway that crossed Russia from West to East?

Trans-Siberian Railway


Give three reasons why it was a bad decision by the Tsar to leave the Tsarina in charge of Russia.

1. Tsarina wasn’t trusted as she was German

2. She fell under the influence of Rasputin

3. She was also autocratic and didn’t listen to the people and gave the Tsar bad advice.


What word, beginning with ‘p’ describes the industrial working class?



Describe why the quality of life was low for industrial workers in big Russian cities like Petrograd and Moscow in 1917. Give three reasons.

1. Low pay

2. Exploitation by employers

3. No protection from e.g. unions

4. Dangerous and filthy working conditions

5. Overcrowded accommodation


Name at least one of the Tsar’s closest advisers (not Rasputin).

  1. Stolypin
  2. Rodzianko
  3. Witte.


Name the Tsar’s secret police.



Describe ‘Order No. 1’

No laws are valid unless ratified by the Petrograd Soviet.


What was the Petrograd Soviet?

A worker’s council  - in Petrograd - dominated by the Bolsheviks.