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54 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

1. How much bigger was the Russian Empire in 1917 compared to Britain?

It was 92 times bigger

2. Where did it stretch?

It stretched from Europe in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to Afghanistan in the south.

3. How many km^2 did it cover?

It covered about 22.3 million square kilometers, about a sixth of all the land in the world

4. What did the size make it hard to do?

Its size made it very hard to govern

5. How was it hard to govern?

1. communications were difficult

2. roads were unpaved and slow, thick with mud for much of the year in some places

3. new railways only connected a fraction of the country

6. How else were communications difficult?

In 1897, when its only census was taken, Russia had over 125.6 million people.

7. How many of these people spoe Russian?

Only 55 million people could speak Russian

8. What happened despite this?

Russian was the language of government and people were expected to conform to Russian ways, in a process called 'Russification'.

9. Talk about the nationalities?

There were hundreds of different nationalities, living in very different ways in climates that ranged from desert to permanent ice.

10. What did they all have in common?

They were all PEASANTS

11. What did the 1897 census show?

It showed terrible social inequality in Russia

12. What key facts were discovered?

1. over half of the peasants had no land or homes of their own

2. much of the farmland was of poor quality and farmed with old fashioned methods

3. thee population was rising and more people were moving to towns, so more food was needed and food shortages were common

13. Who did most of the land belong to?

Most of the land, most of the wealth and all of the power belonged to about 1 million of the 125.6 million people. These people did no go hungry when there were food shortages

14. What were more and more peasants doing?

They were moving to towns and cities to look for work in factories.

15. Talk about Moscow?

Moscow, with a total population of 1.8 million, was the most industrialized city; just under 50% of all factory workers worked there.

16. How was the life in towns?

Life in towns was not easy. Work was difficult to find. The hours were long, the pay was low and the work was hard and dangerous - accidents were common.

17. Where did factory workers live?

They lived in the worst part of town, it was often ten to a room, taking it turns to sleep. However, many thought it was better than being a peasant

18. How did factory owners live?

They lived well. They made huge profits by paying low wages and they spent very little on improving living or working conditions for their workers

19. What was Russia ruled by?

It was ruled by a Tsar who made all the decisions, advised by a Council of Ministers chosen from his friends in the nobility

20. What happened since 1613?

The Tsar had always come from Romanov family.

21. What did the Russian Orthodox Church support?

It supported the Tsars and encouraged the belief that they were above criticism and chosen to rule by God; people should always obey the Tsar and his officials.

22. Who became the Tsar in 1894?

Nicholas II

23. What type of man was he?

He was an indecisive man who, when told he had become Tsar said 'I am not ready to be Tsar. I know nothing aabout the business of ruling'

24. What did he think about the problems in Russia?

He did not think enough about them. Books and newspapers were censored to make sure they were not hostile.

25. What did a secret police do?

A secret police, the Okhrana, looked for opponents of the Tsar. These people were usually exiled to Siberia, 3000 miles away in the icy north. Other critics left the country.

26. What happened in 1905?

There was a series of demonstrations and strikes against the way things were.

27. What did Troops guarding the Tsar's Winter Palace in St Petersburg do?

Troops guarding the Tsar's Winter Palace in St Petersburg fired into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators killing 130 and wounding many more.

28. What did this produce?

It produced more strikes and more unrest.

29. What did the St Petersburg strikers form?

They formed a soviet - a workers' council to organise strikes.

30. What happened in the city?

Work in the city stopped. Soviets were organised in more and more towns and cities. They took over in some places, replacing the Tsar's government

31. What did Nicholas II set up survive?

He set up a Duma, a parliament with two houses, one elected by the people, to advise him.

32. What did he agree?

He agreed people coul set up political parties and trade unions.

33. What could people now do?

They could now hold meetings and discuss politics openly

34. Despite his promises, what did Nicholas not want?

Nicholas did not want to share power. He believed in his right to rule alone. He changed the voting system to make sure the people elected to the system to the Duma would agree with him, not demand reforms.

35. What could political parties do?

They could meet, even if they had no real power in the Duma

36. Who were monarchists?

They supported the Tsar and wanted a return to the rule of the Tsar, advised by a few nobles.

37. Who were constitutionalists?

They wanted the Tsar's power limited by a constitution and some kind of parliament. The most important were the Constitutional Democratic Party, the Octobrists, and the Progressists, Most of the first Duma's came from these parties.

38. What happened as time passed?

The Tsar began to feel safe again, it became clear there was a huge difference between what he had promised in October 1905 and what he would really allow

39. What did he reduce?

He reduced the voting rights of the Duma, and then stopped calling it at all.

40. What happened to political parties and trade unions?

They were all legal, but the secret police often broke up their meetings. Their leaders often went to prison or exile in Siberia. The St Petersburg Soviet stopped meeting, although smaller soviets kept going.

41. In Duma, how many socialists deputies didn't vote for extra taxes for the war?


42. What did the name of the capital change from?

It changed from St Petersburg to Petrograd.

43. Why was Russia at a disadvantage?

Because of its size, poor transport systems and its inefficient industry and agriculture. The army was huge, but badly equipped. At its worst this meant some Russia soldiers took part in attacks with no rifle - they were told to pick up one dropped by a shot comrade before they got to the German trenches.

44. What happened 1915?

The Germans pushed the Russia army back. It lost over 2 million men, and large parts of four provinces, including a major coal mining district.

45. What happened in September 1915?

Because the war was going so badly, Tsar took personal command of the Army. This made his situation worse. The war went no better and Tsar was blamed. He left his wife, her mistakes by Tsar unpopular

46. What happened by 1917?

Over 15 million had joined the army - most because they were constripted.

47. What did constripting millions of peasants and trained factory workers do?

Made it harder to grow enough food and to keep industrial production up. The army also requisitioned horses from the farms, which made it hard to plough as well as causing transpart problems.

48. What did the collapse of fertiliser production do?

It made food shortages in the cities much worse, just as 6 million extra people went to live there to work in the new factories needed for the war effort.

49. Why did the workers in the cities in the north suffer the most?

Unlike the peasants, who might have some crops stored up, they had to buy food or not eat.

50. What happened between 1914 and 1916?

The amount of food people ate fell by at least 25% while infant mortality doubled.

51. By 1917, how was the crime rate affected?

It was three times as great in cities as in 1914.

52. What were the leaders quick to do?

The leaders of the soviets in these cities, often Bolsheviks or Mensheviks, were quick to repsond to the worsening conditions and the growing lack of government control.

53. What did they hold?

They held meetings about the shortages, the deaths at the front, government incompetence. They talked about revolution and the workers listened. People no longer gave the Tsar the automatic loyalty they once did - making excuses that he was ;badly advised' and that he loved his people

54. What did the loyalty mean?

It was one of the factors that had stopped people short of open revolt before. Now it was gone.