Enemies in the Russian Revolution

Enemies in the Russian Revolution
Cole, Wiley, Hanaa
Link to our timeline

  1. Bloody Sunday/Cole
    On January 22, 1905, peaceful protestors were massacred as they marched to the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, organizing against Czar Nicholas II. Imperial guard soldiers opened fire killing what is estimated to be up to 4,000 people. After the massacre, strikes erupted throughout Russia’s industrial centers. It is clear that czar Nicholas II never directly gave the soldiers the order to fire on the protestors. Despite this, he was blamed by the general populous, taking a blow to his popularity. Prior to Bloody Sunday, Czar Nicholas was seen as a champion of the people, always looking out for the best interests of the peasants. After the killings, however, the social contract between the Czar and the lower and peasant class had been broken. This lead to general unrest and protests and strikes throughout the country. In an effort to regain some legitimacy, the czar blamed and targeted peasantry in the following months, executing about 15,000 peasants. Bloody Sunday is considered by many historians to be a key event that led to the beginning of the revolution of 1917. Such a severe change in attitudes toward the czar could never truly be repaired.


  2. Economic Blockade of Petrograd/Wiley
    The Allies continued the Tzar loyalist blockade of Petrograd until 1920. The economic blockade kept the Bolsheviks from selling production surplus or buying machine parts, severely hampering their efforts to establish a new state. The embargo was done under the reasoning that the Allies would not support a rebel group, debasing the Bolsheviks in addition to their increased economic woes.


  3. Occupation of Vladivostok/Wiley
    Under the guise of securing the eastern front against Germany; British, Czechoslovak, Japanese, and Russian White soldiers took over Vladivostok and overthrew local Bolshevik leadership, a clear aggression against the Soviets.This was not a peaceful occupation, the standoff in the Red Staff building resulted in numerous casualties. After the allied forces fought with the Russians, they established a local base in Vladivostok to occupy railways up to 300 miles of Moscow. Local forces continued to resist allied troops throughout the occupation and the story of western aggression and local defiance was later used in anti-western propaganda.


  4. Allied Supply of Anti-Bolshevik/Wiley
    15 May 1919, the Omsk Government expressed its gratitude to Britain for giving them the weapons and tools they needed to fight their 1919 offensive (they were anti-bolsheviks). The British provided them about 100,000 tons of weapons, ammunition, equipment, and clothing. Direct supply of the pro-white forces was a common tactic of the allies to make the Russian revolution unsuccessful. The allied forces and letters of thanks to allied governments confirmed the Soviet suspicion that capitalist forces were at work against the communist revolution.


  5. Bolshevik Political Non-Recognition/Wiley
    12 February 1920, Chicherin sent a letter of anger to the Norwegian Foreign Minister, because no Soviet diplomats were invited to the talks that involved giving the Spitzbergen Islands (soviet owned at the time) to Norway. The non-recognition of the Bolshevik government was the Allies final attempt to impede post-revolution Russian government. By declaring the Bolshevik government as nonlegitimate by refusing to engage diplomatically, the Allies tried to keep the Russians out of the world sphere and crush their political power because they could not stop the revolution altogether.


  6. Exile of Trotsky/Hanaa

    Stalin began creating internal enemies from the state beginning with the propaganda campaign led against Trotsky shortly after beginning his rule. This began with removing him from his position as the war commissariat in 1925, followed by expulsion from the Politburo and eventually the Communist Party. By 1929, Trotsky was exiled from the Soviet Union outright.


  7. Dekulakisation/Hanaa

    Dekulakisation represents a manipulation of language by Stalin to create an internal enemy of the state out of any peasant he wished to eliminate from society. While the term “kulak” previously only referred to a wealthy class of peasants, the dekulakisation campaign changed the connotation to describe kulaks as wealthy peasant farmers who exploited the work of lower-class peasants in order to create a scapegoat for the working class peasants to blame their hardships and poverty on. Later on in the campaign, the word “kulak” was applied loosely to a wide range of peasants, categorized into either “the ‘counterrevolutionaries’; the ‘remaining elements of kulak active, and kulaks who were to be resettled outside the newly established collective farms”.


  8. The Great Purge/Cole
    The Great Purge, which occurred from 1936 to 1938, was a combination of various forms of repression and violence committed by the Soviet Union Regime under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. It is defined by an enormous extermination of The government officials and political leaders associated with the Communist Party, and the oppression of peasants on a large scale. Almost all of these killings and acts of oppression were carried out by Stalin’s inner circle, targeting leaders of both the Red Army and even some “traitorous’ White Army officials. Stalin also enacted a system of sweeping police surveillance, which was used to find and detain suspected “saboteurs” and “counter-revolutionaries”. To ‘purge’ the people that were found guilty of conspiracy (without a trial), Stalin used methods including mass imprisonment and arbitrary executions. The Great Purge directly resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Russian civilians. While historians still debate the exact reasoning and logic behind Stalin’s intentional executions of this may of his own people, the general consensus is that it was an effort to deflect the blame of a crippled economy and prove that he was all-powerful. By labeling groups of people as “traitors”, and “conspirators”, and then torturing the condemned men and women into “admitting” their treason, he forced his people to be loyal to him, betraying anyone they suspected to be working against the regime.


  9. The Katyn Massacre/Cole
    The Katyn Massacre took place in in the Smolensk region during the April and May of 1940. Following direct orders from Joseph Stalin, the NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) carried out mass executions. These killings targeted Polish nationals totaling to be roughly 22,000 dead. The men and women killed were Polish police officers and “intelligentsia” who were a combination of “intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials, and priests” (Kużniar-Plota, Małgorzata, 1). A majority of the killings took place in the Katelyn forest and Kalinin Prison. When the exiled polish government (with headquarters in London) demanded that an investigation take place to discover who was killed and by whom, Stalin severed political and diplomatic ties. The people who were executed were all prisoners-of-war from the Nazi invasion of Poland and were previously being held in camps. Stalin stated to the NKVD that he “wanted to deprive a potential future Polish military of a large portion of its talent” (Gerhard Weinberg). Stalin’s actions highlight the way he moved national attention onto the Poles, portraying them as a potential threat to Russia despite their innocence.


  10. Mass Deportation of Ethnic Germans/Hanaa

    Just after the Nazi German invasion of the USSR in 1941 began the mass deportation of ethnic Germans in the Soviet Union were deported and resettled in Siberia and Kazakhstan. 1.2 million people were resettled. Unlike other internal enemies of the state, Germans were not made into scapegoats but were deported to prevent possible collaboration with Nazis, rather than to punish or make an example out of them. The official decree’s language on deportation was a far stretch from the brutal reality of what the German families faced during their “resettlement”. They were given minutes (or a couple of hours, at best) to pack their belongings, though they were limited to what they could carry and were often forced to leave these belongings at the train stations when they arrived. Many families could not bring enough food supplies to last their families for more than a month in their new homes. This massive, disorganized displacement of people ended with the war in 1945 when thousands of Germans were subject to forceful repatriation. Though these resettled Germans were promised reunions to their previous hometowns with their families, many were sent to labor camps or more settlements for two decades afterward.


  11. Antisemitism/Hanaa

    The Bolsheviks’ changing views on Jews are evidence of their strategy of applying scapegoat labels to distinct population groups to serve their political goals. Similar to the attempted liquidation of the German Jewish population by the Nazis, Russian Jews were easy targets as scapegoats for Stalin’s purges throughout the 1930s. These purges included show trials, murders, and the denial of emigration visas. Afterward, Stalin was quick to denounce Anti-Semitism.


  12. Works Cited
    CANTIR, C. (2011). The Allied punishment and attempted socialization of the Bolsheviks (1917–1924): An English School approach. Review of International Studies, 37(4), 1967-1994. doi:10.1017/S0260210510001506 Accessed on Sept. 18, 2017.

    (Secondary)
    Hickey, Martha Weitzel. The writer in Petrograd and the House of Arts. Evanston, IL, Northwestern University Press, 2009. Accessed on Sept. 19, 2017. Seton-Watson, Hugh. “The Journal of Modern History.” The Journal of Modern History, vol. 42, no. 3, 1970, pp. 440–442. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1905897. Accessed on Sept. 19, 2017.Wesson, Robert Gale. Soviet foreign policy in perspective. Homewood, IL, The Dorsey Press, 1969. Accessed on Sept. 20, 2017. Gracheva, Ekaterina. “Of Russian Origin: Stalin’s Purges.” Stalin’s Purges – Russiapedia Of Russian Origin, russiapedia.rt.com/of-russian-origin/stalins-purges/. Accessed on Sept. 18, 2017. Andreevich Merekov, Alexei. Prisoners At Work. Frost. Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives, Item #215. Accessed on Sept. 18, 2017. “Bloody Sunday (1905).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Sept. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1905). Accessed on Sept. 19, 2017.

    Hill, Laura. “Guided History.” Guided History The Great Purge of Stalinist Russia Comments, Boston University, blogs.bu.edu/guidedhistory/moderneurope/laura-hill/. Accessed on Sept. 18, 2017.

    “Katyn Massacre.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Sept. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre. Accessed on Sept. 20, 2017.

    Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. Soldiers Taking Aim. The Gulag Archipelago. New York City, Basic books 1997. Accessed on Sept. 19, 2017.

    “‘Away With Private Peasants!”.” London School of Economics and Political Science Digital Library, 1920, digital.library.lse.ac.uk/objects/lse:xef997lep. Accessed on Sept. 19, 2017.

    Däs Nelly, and Nancy Bernhardt Holland. Gone Without a Trace: German-Russian Women in Exile. 1st ed. ed., Lincoln, Neb., American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2001. Accessed on Sept. 19, 2017.

    Deni, Viktor. “‘Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth.’” Wikipedia, Nov. 1930, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_in_the_Soviet_Union#/media/File:Tov_lenin_ochishchaet.jpg.

    Gibson, James L., and Marc Morje Howard. “Russian Anti-Semitism and the Scapegoating of Jews.” British Journal of Political Science, vol. 37, no. 02, 2007, pp. 193–223., doi:10.1017/s0007123407000105. Accessed on Sept. 19, 2017.

    Kaznelson, Michael. “Remembering the Soviet State: Kulak Children and Dekulakisation.” Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 59, no. 7, Nov. 2007, pp. 1163-1177. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/09668130701607136. Accessed on Sept. 18, 2017.

    “Peace and Freedom in the Soviet Russia.” British Library , www.bl.uk/collection-items/peace-and-freedom-in-the-soviet-russia. Accessed on Sept. 17, 2017.

 

12 Comments on “Enemies in the Russian Revolution”

  1. I love that you chose to focus on the enemies of the Revolution! Reading your slides revealed to me the hypocrisy of the socialist regime, which claimed to stand for equality, and yet unfairly targeted many individuals and groups. The photos you chose kept me interested in your slides, although some of the photos would not load for me, so you should make sure these photos appear on the slides! One thing to work on is avoiding passive voice in your prose and remembering that the reader may not have as much information as you do on the topic. I was a bit confused about mentions of groups such as the “Omsk Government,” and I sometimes felt that your slides did not have any clear topic sentences, but rather just launched into what you had to say without any regard for the reader. You have such an interesting topic and I think you should think about how you can add intrigue to your writing so that readers want to read on!

  2. Our timeline does a good job of sticking to the topic of scapegoats and enemies and explaining how each event relates to the bigger picture. I think the pictures (at least the ones that work) add to the slides and keep me more engaged. The timeline would be better if some of the information was cut down to be more concise. Additionally, a lot of the information is unclear and seems to be lacking context or explanation. As Ellie said, we need to work on removing the passive voice. Something to think about is the length of some of the slides; It takes away from the legitimacy of the slide when it is either too short or too long.

  3. I like how you decided to focus on one general topic but approached it from three different perspectives. This definitely offered a lot more depth to the Russian Revolution and helped me, at least, understand that the process of the revolution was not as ‘smooth’ as I had perceived it to be. One thing to work on could maybe be thinking how you could incorporate the massacres timeline more effectively with the other two because it seems somewhat out of place. Also, some images for your slides are not showing up it might be a good idea to check on that.

  4. This is a really fascinating topic! I like how you’re approaching this idea of enemies from three different ways, and you do a good job of providing the general gist of each event that you present. Length of slides is something I would definitely focus on, since some are a bit long for the reader to process. A general introduction and maybe conclusion sentence for each one that connects to what’s coming afterwards as well as what came before would be helpful for maintaining continuity. I would also read over each slide for grammatical errors and general flow, since some of these sentences sound copy-pasted from bullet points (I know cuz that’s what I did for some of mine XD). Overall, you guys have picked a really cool topic and are well on your way to making a great timeline!

  5. I think the timeline addresses an interesting perspective. I think it is very fact-heavy and reads like a history book. I would personally be more engaged if the slides spent more time analyzing and discussing how the slides related to the enemies. I found that the first entry was very engaging. I think that an introduction that explains what is being investigated would be very helpful to my personal understanding what is being argued, and what implications the following slides will be making.

  6. Learning about the enemies Russia had, which were many, was very cool to see. However my concerns come in transitions and topics. I was very confused when I read the first slide, “Bloody Sunday” and then all of a sudden I was reading about the economic blockade of Petrograd. There is a gap of 12 years that is unaccounted for and just leaves a big blank. Either way the economic blockade of Petrograd wasn’t introduced well enough. I think explaining the context would help a lot. Another thing is that I couldn’t see many of the images on the timeline but I don’t know if that’s just my laptop. Further on I felt I was just reading event after event with no “So what” in between from the Blockade Slide-Bolshevik Political non-recognition. Also the slide that jumps to the exile of Trotsy could be prefaced with more about context.

  7. Enemies of the revolution are such a broad topic, but you managed to narrow down on certain aspects of it and made it easy for the readers to understand the big picture. However, I’m a little bit confused by the length of each slide. Some of the slides contain a heavy amount of analysis, while some of them are simply stating facts. It’d be a lot better if you could analyze the content in a systematic fashion. It will also help you make your information seem a lot more credible. I definitely see the two themes of your timeline: enemies and purges. It’d be amazing if you could connect these two themes more intricately.

  8. Our topic seems to capture people’s interest, and I happen to like it a lot. I think our timeline can be a lot better in terms of consistency and overall coherence. We need to fix our photographs to make sure they work correctly for each slide. Something we should think about is, although these topics are very similar, how they relate to one another in the grand scheme of the revolution

  9. I think you picked a really interesting topic and the three categories work well with each other and under the general umbrella of “enemies” of the Revolution. I also think generally each slide does a good job not only of factually reporting on the event but providing a general analysis of how it fits within your category. I do think, however, you could work on tightening the analysis component on a few slides (Jeffery mentioned this earlier). I think one other thing that could really help readers understand your pictures would be including captions. You include a few but some of the pictures, without any sort of context, lose a lot of their meaning. Obviously couldn’t be included in this timeline, but would be interesting to think about how the concept of enemies changed throughout the rest of the 20th Century in Russia too.

  10. The topic your group chose was very interesting and I learned some new information! Your topic seemed to really capture important events and there was a nice flow to them. I think there could be improvements to the way the information is presented to make it even more appealing to the reader. One thing to think- would someone who has not had all the exposure about the Russian Revolution as we have in class be able to keep up with all the information?

  11. I think the topic you chose is really interesting. I think we’ve focused a lot on supporters of the revolution and so this is a very interesting perspective.

    One thing you could work on is consistency of tone. It may also help your timeline to have an introduction slide summarizing or giving background on your topic as a whole.

    Great job!

  12. This timeline does an amazing job of analyzing the negative aspects of the Russian Revolution and the way in which certain groups of people became enemies of the revolution. I enjoyed the way that each slide provide factual evidence, which was supported by one’s analysis, which, in my opinion, is the most important part of the timeline project. Since there are so many topics being covered in your timeline, using introduction slides would probably be very helpful and even allow for your presentation to be coherent. From my experience with other groups timelines, I found that the introduction slides were very helpful.

    Great job!

Leave a Reply