Russian Revolution: Consolidation Period Study Notes


This poster reads "From the NEP Russia will come the socialist Russia." Below are a collection of notes to aid in the study of the "Consolidation Period" of the Russian Revolution which effectively took hold in October 1917, yet spiralled out of control up until 1921. Please note, however, that they should not be used as a replacement for your own studies of the topic. Rather, they should be used to help consolidate your own notes, and/or as a quick revision tool before tests or exams. They are not intended to be complete or comprehensive, and instead are what I personally found to be significant in my own studies of the topic, either in preperation for tests/exams or the writing of essays. In addition to this, they may contain notes outside of the period of study, in order to to fulfill the "Cause and Effect" requirement of many History curriculums.

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1. Political
2. Economic
3. Social

1. Political

Now Lenin and the Bolsheviks had full control; however the country was poor and devastated.
Lenin had created a one party state, in which the Bolsheviks ruled through fear and intimidation
               main instrument of this was the CHEKA (secret police)
                          this was in direct contrast with the teachings of Marx, who never outlined the use of
                            violence in his works.
The government was centralised, evident in the renaming of the Soviet state in 1922 as the USSR.
                This centralised government possessed immediate decision-making abilities.
Dealing with threats to the regime remained one of Lenin’s top priorities throughout his life, and ideology came second to remaining in power.
                 Often policy was wrapped up in ideological packages, which when unwrapped revealed
                    that such measures were necessary even if it did not comply with the ideas of the party.
Lenin’s death in 1924 created an immediate power struggle
                 Before the death, a rivalry came about between Trotsky and Stalin
                      Lenin did not trust Stalin, and in his testament wrote that he preferred Trotsky
                        Lenin discussed with Trotsky the idea of purging the Stalin-controlled bureaucracy,
                          but in 1923 these ideas were put to rest when a final stroke rid Lenin of the power
                          of speech
              By 1930 Stalin would stand alone as the leader of Russia
                               Stalin’s regime would prove to be one of the bloodiest in history; famine and terror killed millions of people, and millions more found themselves exiled to Siberian prisons. However, the terrors, murders, and famines of the 1930s merely served to build on and intensify what Lenin had begun during the Revolution. Both men brutally liquidated the peasantry; both imprisoned their political enemies in concentration camps; both created large- scale famines. Lenin had prepared a dark and bloody path to Stalin's subsequent terrors.  

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2. Economic

New Economic Plan returned a degree of capitalism and private enterprise to the economy, along with the restoration of the currency.
              State would not own any industry with less than 20 workers, which largely included light and consumer goods, whilst holding on to the larger, key industries of the country including heavy industry, communications and transport.
                    this generated opportunity for jobs and generated capital.
                        Through smaller business (less than 20 workers) the government obtained money from taxes
                              The people who owned these smaller businesses were called “NEP men”, and were able to make a profit.
The NEP stabilised the economy, and by mid 1920’s it was back to healthy 1913 levels.
1923 – The Dawes Plan, Russia was injected with foreign capital from western countries
When Stalin came to power, he went against the NEP with his Five Year Plan
              Abolished private farming, with collective farming put in its place. Also rapidly industrialised the country, with the aim of putting it on par with Western Europe and the USA – without foreign aid.
        Stalin imposed a vast and complex planned economy, in which every decision would be made centrally, rather than individually.

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3. Social

As a result of the NEP, the discontent that previously plagued the peasantry had now faded
               By 1921 the government was able to provide “bread” to the people without force.
                 The NEP allowed farmers to make a profit off their work, but a certain percentage of those goods must be given to the state.
                This emphasized and rewarded the hard work of the farming community
                      Raised morale and encouraged positive relations with government.
The NEP created the Kulak class
                this goes against the Marxist idea of a classless society
Lenin’s government provided education to the people, previously over 80% of the people were illiterate.
             sent young activists to the country to teach.
     Lenin decided to tolerate religious institutions in favour of the nation’s stability.

     Stalin’s Five Year Plan had disastrous effects on society
                 Fifteen million peasants were uprooted from their homes and marched at gunpoint across the country into inhospitable regions, where they were expected to farm--or, more realistically, expected to die.
                  This lead to rebellion by the peasants; they preferred to kill all of their livestock and produce than give it up to collective farming.
                          This lead to famine all over Russia, killing millions of people.
                              In response, Stalin decided to liquidate the Kulak class, in which over 3 million people were shot or died in prison.

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