Modern World History Course 7.1: The Russian Revolution and Stalinism

The Russian Revolution was the result of a long and complicated history. It definitely didn't go like the cartoon version, either.

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Transcript

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Russia. those troubles started long before he was born. his great-great uncle

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Czar Alexander the first ruled Russia from 1801 to 1825. well in 1812 Napoleon

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Bonaparte invaded Alexander's country. Bonaparte fell victim to one of the

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classic blunders the most famous of which is never solve a crossword puzzle

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in ink, but only slightly less well-known is never invade Russia especially if

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there's a chance for snow. now while Alexander held off Napoleon and

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made some reforms at the beginning of his reign, he was really more of a [soldiers march through a blizzard]

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talker than a doer. also he eventually changed his mind about many of the

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reforms he'd made and while he just undid them. in the wake of a failed revolt

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led by The Decemberists ,Alexander's younger brother Tsar Nicholas the first

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took the throne. well Nicholas was pretty aggressive by nature but the attempted

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revolt made him worse. he presided over a Russia remarkable for its repression

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stagnation and corruption. he also managed to completely miss read the British and

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dragged his country into the Crimean War. in 1855 Nicholas son tsar alexander ii

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became the emperor of Russia. alexander tried. he really did. sure his secret

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police sent thousands of dissidents to Siberia, but he also emancipated the

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serfs and opened russia up to industrialization. well that didn't stop [proclamation being made]

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a terrorist from killing alexander with a bomb in 1881. Alexander's son Tsar

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Alexander the third, understandably doubled down when he came to the throne.

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remember the russification policy where minorities were forced to give up their

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languages and religions for the Russian tongue into Christianity? and now for its

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our Nicholas the second. well there's no nice way to say this but well he

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weenie. to make things worse Nicholas was married to a German, acted like an [Nicholas the second pictured]

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English gentleman. took advice from a death-defying mystic, and thought anyone

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who didn't obey him was well just evil. while having a ruler that no one liked

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in charge, certainly moved Russia closer to revolution. there were other factors

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at play in the country as well. at the end of the 19th century Russian

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philosophers writers and artists embraced the European idea that every

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person has value no matter their station in life. now some of these people would

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be flagged as dissidents by the Romanoff regime and after spending time on the

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lam in Europe or in a gulag in Siberia would reappear during the Revolution of

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1917. another issue for Russia was its move towards industrialization. well the

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country didn't handle it all that well. factory workers who'd moved to the city

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found they were just as poor and hungry as they'd been when they were farmers in [factory worker looks angry]

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the country. furthermore these same laborers realized that the profits being

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made off of Russian manufacturing were going into the pockets of European

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investors, and not to your average Russian. and then there was World War one.

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you already know about this part but to summarize two million Russians died. yep

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billions of rubles had been spent on the war and the kulaks or well-to-do

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peasants of Russia, had made money off the war by selling their crops at high

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prices. so Russia in 1917 was an interesting place to say the least.

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it had an inept ruler overseeing a political and economic system that was a

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nightmare on the citizenry, and things were about to get interesting. [Nicholas the second pictured with personified Russia]