Opposition Lecture

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, War And Revolution (1914-1938), Russian Revolution
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Opposition Lecture Are you sitting comfortably? I am not.

Lecture 2: The Opposition Strikes Back

Causes of Opposition + Reactions Aims of the lecture: – To identify all forms of opposition and identify causes. – To compare and contrast oppositions and reactions. – To prepare for essay question (if there is time).

Alexander II – big statue • Nardoniks influenced by Marxism and led by Pyotr Lavrov, organised rural campaigns, including 1876 Land and Liberty. • Repressed the January uprising in 186364, hundreds of Poles were executed for their rebellions and Polish was banned. • Known as “the Good Tsar” in Finland and did allow an increase in autonomy and allowed Finnish to be the national language. • Alexander II survived several assassination attempts, but did allow the preparation of parliamentary reform to head off further attempts. • He was assassinated 13th March 1881 by a People’s Will cell.

Nardoniks/Populists • Group of intellectuals who formed after 1861 to reject peasant “wage slavery”. • 1874 “Went to the People”, little support – viewed as being too modernised and treated with suspicion. • 1877 Nardoniks revolted with support of thousands of peasants, brutally crushed – imprisonments and beatings followed. • Caused the creation of the People’s Will (Narodnaya Volya).

People’s Will – and rat boy • Devolution of Nardoniks, created theory of “direct struggle” that involved terrorist attacks. • Political demands: constitution, freedom of press and expression, universal suffrage. • Its newspapers, "Narodnaya Volya" and “The Worker’s Gazette”, attempted to popularize the idea of a political struggle with the autocracy. • Tsars realised that there was little to no national support, so counterattacked under Al II and III. • In 1879–1883, there were more than 70 trials of N.V.’s members (with about 2,000 people brought to trial). Narodnaya Volya's members were imprisoned or exiled. • Killed Alexander II and attempted to kill Alexander III.

Alexander III – you looking at me? • Continued to target the People’s Will. • Enforced Russification on Ukraine. • Clamped down on migration from the Jewish Pale. • Carried out pogrom called “Little Thunder” in 1882. • Followed by anti-Semitic measures, i.e. removal of Jews from Zemstva electoral registers and confinement to the Pale.

Nicholas II Social Revolutionaries • SR’s focused on living conditions of poor. • Formed SRP in 1901 and by 1905 had split into radical and moderate groups, by 1905 responsible for 2,000 political assassinations. • Moderates worked with smaller parties and gained support from peasants, largest threat to Tsardom until 1917.

• • •

Social Democrats 1898 All Russian Social Democratic Worker’s Party. Based on Marxist principles and aimed to educate workers. Initially looked at worker’s pay and lower working hours, but too slow for Lenin. Split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.

More Nicholas II…Moron Kadets and Octobrists • Kadets also known as Constitutional Democrats, led by Paul Milyukov. • Formed in 1905 they were the Intellectual arm in first Duma. • Octobrists displayed loyalty to Tsar, but wanted changes to system of government. • Members went on to become members of Provisional Government.

Provisional Government – more than you can shake a stick at… • Formed out of opposition to Tsar in 1917. • Created dual authority with Bolsheviks, Prov. Gov. did legal change, Petrograd covered behaviour of workers.

Provisional Government Changes [moronic] • Allowed political parties to oppose. • Allowed attacks by Bolsheviks, Lenin launched April Theses. • Propaganda used against Provisional Government, i.e. Bread, Peace and Land. • Couldn’t deal with Bolsheviks, attempted to arrest them too late and allowed them propaganda coup in Kornilov Affair.

Lenin – wearing a sarong • Allowed opposition from Kamenev, Zinoviev and Rykov to form coalition with SRs (saw him as a German collaborator), rejected by Lenin. • Brest-Litovsk criticised by Trotsky. • Allowed change from War Communism to NEP in 1921. • Allowed (though health was a factor) triumverate to form against Trotsky. • 1922 Testament criticised key Bolsheviks. • Allowed elections in 1918, but overruled results with military, dismissed it as “malignant bourgeoisie”.

Civil War – bad times • Lenin also fought of the Greens (peasant revolts) and the Whites (Mensheviks, Tsarists etc). • Designed to wipe out all opposition? • By 1921 left Bolsheviks in complete control, banned factionalism under paper “On Party Unity”.

Red Terror • Lenin, perhaps on Stalin’s suggestion, launched the Red Terror in 1918 following Kaplan’s failed assassination attempt. • 16,000 executed and 70,000 imprisoned. • Was gradually reduced by 1921.

Stalin – Mad, bad, Manipulator • Skilfully manipulated debates following Lenin’s death. • Formed troika with Kamenev and Zinoviev to discredit Trotsky, achieved by 1925. • Split with Kam and Zin over foreign policy and peasants, removed in 1925 and Politburo expanded to 8, filled with Stalinists, i.e. Molotov and Tomsky. • Kam, Zin and Trot formed United Opposition, all excluded by 1927 and Trotsky expelled, then exiled in 1929 after attempting United Opposition demonstration.

Collectivisation and Bukharin • Opposed by the right wing Bolsheviks, including Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky. • Argued it resembled War Communism. • Bukharin branded a factionalist. • 1/3 of party removed in mid 30s as critics of collectivisation.

• 1929 Bukharin removed from position as President of Comintern. • Tomsky and Rykov demoted. • Stalin needed approval from supporters to demote or remove opposition.

Stalinist Purges • Started as removing opponents, turned into mass executions. • Wanted to “liquidate the kulaks as a class”. • Began to also identify “oppositionists”, i.e. Kirov, Kossior. Led to show trials. • By WWII, Stalin had wiped out most generals and there was little opposition left.

Khrushchev – lets dance! • Much more open to opposition, 11,000 in Gulags in 1959, 5.5m in 1953. • Does experience criticism for releasing prisoners. • Removed Beria, Malenkov and Vorisilov as potential rivals. • Instigated de-stalinisation, but not a method of removing autocracy.

Responses to Opposition as Factors

Use of Secret Police • Deemed to work “beyond the law”. • Originally 3rd Section, abandoned in 1880 and replaced by Okhrana. • Lasted until 1917 and varied in extremity, i.e. heavy use under Al III, less so in 1890s, peaked in 1905.

• Provisional Government removed Okhrana. • Cheka created under Dzerzhinsky, terrorised class groups [bourgeois], not individual targets. • Launched Red Terror, labour camps, militarisation of labour. • Replaced by GPU in 1922 and renamed OGPU 1924, less brutal.

NKVD • Formed in 1934 at time of collectivisation, 5 Year Plans and personalised power. • Very intense evidence gathering. • Administered gulags, over 40m sent there under Stalin.

• Yezhov blamed for an “anti-purge” group, replaced by Beria who then executed Yezhov in 1938. • The NKVD had purged itself of 20,000 members by WWII. • In 1943 NKVD tarnished and disbanded.

MVD • NKGB under Beria replaced by MGB and MVB [Min. of state security and Min. for internal affairs]. • In 1953 merged into MVD, Beria removed as Khrushchev feared a coup.

• Torture abandoned and use of Gulags lessened. • Dealt with ordinary criminal activity and had remit to use counter espionage. • Until 1964 the number of political arrests plummeted.

Censorship – I think ----------• Under Al II Russia experienced a certain level of glasnost. – 1865 relaxed censorship; daily newspapers and foreign books not censored before printing. – Could still withdraw publications if they had “dangerous orientation”.

• Gov. departments published newspapers (Ruskii) = increase in number of publications. • 1855 – 140 periodicals • 1855 – 1020 books • 1864 – 1836 books • 1894 – 10,691 books published

[email protected]#[& • Under Al II publishers could criticise gov. over economy/social problems. • Al III clamped down, but Nic II opened up again (idiot!). – Officials censored material and closed down certain publications, but work was allowed if it was deemed patriotic, i.e. Tchaikovsky.

• Prepublication censorship disappeared and newspapers aimed at the Proletariat were allowed, including the Kopek newspaper, which hit 25,000 circulation within 2 years. • Events in the Duma were also published, but some finer aspects could be omitted.

Цензура • In WWI press was censored (soldiers only found out about Romanovs through foreign press). • Upon seizing power the Bolsheviks controlled press to prevent “counter-revolutionaries”, 1920s Bol. Had complete control. • 1921 Agitation and Propaganda Department set up to idealise Russian life. • Constant surveillance of cinemas, radio and schools to avoid counter-rev. • Writers who supported the regime flourished, i.e. Shokolov, whilst writers who predicted totalitarianism, i.e. Zemyatin, were victimised.

YOU WILL BE A BOLSHEVIK!!! MOTHER RUSSIA COMMANDS IT!! • Censorship grew exponentially under Stalin, by 1932 all literary groups closed and writers had to join Union of Soviet Writers. • All members forced to produce “socialist realism” (heroic efforts of working class). • Some writers adapted, i.e. Pasternak, others were victimised, arrested or executed and many, including Bulgakov, committed suicide. • WWII saw “New Soviet Man” ideal created and Stalin became glorified even more. News was fictionalised and radio reports distorted. • Khrushchev eased censorship and by 1950s 65,000 books published per year, double that of the mid 1920s. • 1959 135,000 libraries and the Lenin Library alone held 19m books. Newspapers had 60m readership by 1960s, but news still distorted.

Propaganda – Lenin is Great, All Hail Lenin • Nic II used Propaganda, staged tercentenury celebrations in 1913 of Romanovs, very successful. Pictures used in Civil War. • Slogans used well by Bolsheviks, i.e. Bread, Peace and Land. • Posters, pamphlets and newspapers used, Cult of Personality built up. • Newspapers mouthpiece of Bolsheviks, i.e. Pravda and Izvestiya, used well under Stalin.

Cult of Personality Examples • Imagery of Lenin continued and body embalmed. • Petrograd renamed Leningrad [1924]. • Tsaritsyn renamed Stalingrad [1923]. • “Stalin is the Lenin of today” [1924] • Pictures of Stalin depicted as a peasant. • Continued into Khrushchev’s period.

But what is Art? Art and Cinema • Emphasised the role of the “little man” and traditional values. • Banned homosexuality, jazz music and drug use. • Cinema used from 1907, over 1,000 by 1917. • Used to promote Collectivisation and 5 Year Plans.

Stakhanovite Movement • Formed out of the actions of Alexei Stakhanov – produced more than usual coal in one man shift. • Held up as propaganda tool to promote Communist targets. • Time and money invested into Dynamo Kiev and Spartak Moscow.

The Army Tsars • Pre-Crimea army was 1.4m, forced conscripts of 25yrs service. Could be internal or external force. • Crimea showed inefficiencies, poor health and need for revision. • Russification = police force, could contribute to disturbances, i.e. 1903 Cossack attacks on Jews. • Excessive force – Bloody Sunday had 200 dead, 800 wounded. • Dealt with strikes from 1905-1917 but summer of 1917 lost faith in Kerensky and the Provisional Government.


• By 1917 many soldiers willing to join revolution, 150,000 of Petrograd Garrison. • Military Revolutionary Committee formed 1917. • Red Guard and MRC seized power in October. Used to keep power, dealt with flash strikes and financial workers. • Trotsky created Red Army, 5m by 1921, compared to 500,000 Whites. • Still faced rebellions, 50,000 sailors at Kronstadt rebelled, put down at cost of 10,000 RA.

Army under Stalin • Used to requisition grain for collectivisation. • Enforced Purges, but were ironically also purged, 40% of top echelon removed by 1938, including war hero General Tukhachevski. • Enormous casualties in WWII, desertion met with executions and little/no civil unrest. • Still suspicion after WWII, Marshal Zhukov removed. Used for internal security, including uncovering alleged Doctors’ Plot. • Khrushchev reduced army from 3.6m to 2.4m, but still used to deal with global flashpoints.

Reform • Economic, political and social reforms implemented under Tsars. • Emancipation, Duma and Provisional Government removed Okhrana – successful? • War Communism and 5 Year Plans used with repression in order to ensure success. • Reform or die, opposition to the reform was not tolerated = economic drive and repression of opposition.

General Trends in Opposition? Repression

Violent Opposition

Effective Opposition

Ineffective Opposition

Social Groups

Comparisons Tsars



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