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					Eastern Europe

      Russian Empire 1721-1917
• Nearly two hundred year Empire ends with the
  Russian Revolution of 1917.
• Empire was the successor to the Tsardom of
  Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union.
• One of the largest empires in world history,
  surpassed in landmass only by the British and
  Mongol empires.
• At one point in 1866, it stretched from eastern
  Europe across Asia and into North America!
            Russian Empire 1721-1917
   The Capital of the
   Russian Empire, St.
Petersburg was founded
by Tsar Peter the Great.
    It was changed to
   Petrograd in 1914
 because St. Petersburg
 sounded too German.
 Renamed Leningrad in
   1924 (for Vladimir
 Lenin). In 1991 the city
was once again called St.
 Petersburg. Today it is
 Russia's second largest                 What’s the
  city with 4.8 million                largest city in
       inhabitants!                    Russia today?
    Quick Review Events of 1917
• February: Bread riots, Workers fill the streets
  of St. Petersburg
• March Revolution: Soldiers join protest, Czar
  Nicholas II abdicates the throne
• “Soviets” are formed! *these are councils
  made up of workers, soldiers, and peasants
• The Bolshevik Revolution Begins!
    Bolsheviks and the Revolution
• Bolsheviks: Mass organization of workers. Considered
  themselves the leaders of the revolutionary working
  class of Russia. In 1903, appointed Lenin as leader.
• Rise to power during the October Revolution phase of
  the Russian Revolution of 1917.

• Belief: Lenin believed that Russia was being
  used as a tool of French and British capitalist
  imperialism in World War I and that
  participation in the conflict was at the heart    est
  of those interests. “PEACE, BREAD, LAND”
            Russia to U.S.S.R
• The Russian Revolution of 1917 caused the
  downfall of the Russian Empire. Following the
  Russian Revolution, there was a struggle for
  power between the Bolshevik party, led by
  Vladimir Lenin, and the anti-communist White
• In December 1922, the Bolsheviks won the
  civil war, and the Soviet Union was formed
         “Peace, Bread, and Land
• "We shall now proceed to construct the Socialist
  order!" Lenin to Congress of Soviets in October of 1917.
• Proposed a Decree on Peace (no more WWI)
• And Decree on Land (transferring ownership of all
  "land-owners' estates to the state), and all lands
  belonging to the Crown, and to monasteries" to
  the Peasants' Soviets.
• The Congress passed the Decree on Peace unanimously, and
  the Decree on Land faced only one vote in opposition.
• Leninism: The Russian application of Marxist
  economics and political philosophy originated
  by Vladimir Lenin.
• Comprises political and socialist economic
  theories, developed from Marxism, and
  Lenin’s interpretations of Marxist theory, for
  practical application to the socio-political
  conditions of the agrarian Russian Empire
  (1721–1917) of the early 20th century.
                          Quick Review…
  • Why did the Russian people resort to drastic
    measures to bring about change?
  • Peace, Hungry, land

The River Neva flows through much
  of the center of St. Petersburg
     (R: the “Winter Palace” )
                                • Chinese premier Sun Yat-sen,:
                                • “You, Lenin, were an exception. You
                                  not only spoke and taught us, but
                                  translated your words into deeds.
                                  You created a new country. You
                                  showed us the road of joint
                                • Winston Churchill, who encouraged
                                  British intervention against the
                                  Russian Revolution, in league with
                                  the White Movement, to destroy the
                                  Bolsheviks and Bolshevism, said:
                                • “He alone could have found the way
                                  back to the causeway... The Russian
                                  people were left floundering in the
                                  bog. Their worst misfortune was his
                                  birth... their next worst his death.”
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died in
January of 1924 at the age of
53. Original cause of death
was stroke, later changed to
                   Key Terms
• Communism: A classless society (in the Marxist-
  Leninist version) in which capitalism is overthrown
  by a working class revolution. Gives ownership
  and control of wealth and property TO THE
• Totalitarian: Government system in which a
  single party controls EVERY aspect of citizens
  lives through a single-party dictatorship
• Socialism: political theory or system in which
  the means of production and distribution are
  controlled BY THE PEOPLE and and operated in
  equity. (In Marxist theory, the stage after the
  proletarian revolution).
                       Key Terms
• Marxism: is an economic and sociopolitical
  worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry.
  Centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a
  dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique
  of the development of capitalism.
• Détente: periods of relaxation of tensions
  between U.S. and U.S.S.R during Cold War
• Imperialism: The practice of one country
  extending its control over the territory, political
  system, or economic life of another country.
                Soviet Union
• Soviet Union: Union of Soviet Socialist
  Republics (U.S.S.R) a constitutionally socialist
  state that existed between 1922 and 1991.
  Ruled by the Communist Party (designed by
  Lenin and Stalin).
• USSR was technically a union of 15
  independent Soviet republics.
• Government and economy was highly
       Soviet Union and Stalin
• A power struggle begun in 1924 with the
  death of communist leader Vladimir Lenin
  ended in 1927 when Joseph Stalin gained
• Stalin launched a PLANNED Economy
  campaign that turned Soviet Union into a
  socialist state.
• ***UNDER Socialism, the government makes
  the basic decisions about the economy.
          Communist System
• 1936 Stalin writes new Constitution
• Legislature called Supreme Soviet
• Citizens expected to vote for members of
  Supreme Soviet (only one political party
  though so voters had no choice)
• Supreme Soviet made the laws-Communist
  party ran the Soviet Union.
• Totalitarian Rule under Stalin run by
  Communist party!
             Economic Goal
• Implemented the first of the “Five-Year Plans”
  in 1928 which set goals of Modernizing and
  developing Soviet industry and increasing food
  production through collective agriculture.
        Industrial Development
• “We are 50 to 100 years behind the advanced
  countries…either we do it or they crush us,”
  Joseph Stalin.
• Emphasized heavy industry over consumer
• Poured resources into building steel mills and
  dams for hydroelectric power.
• Coal and oil production increased.
• Steel, oil and other industries climbed rapidly
  but at a high human cost!
• Factories and mines were operated by forced
• Many people were worked to death.
• Free workers forbidden to strike.
• Any who protested DISAPPEARED into Stalin’s
  huge network of prison and slave-labor
• Industrial growth required increased food
• Stalin combined millions of small peasant
  farms into large COLLECTIVE farms.
• Collectivization led to disaster.
• Peasants protested, millions resist. Destroy
  crops and livestock and contribute to terrible
  famine that spread across the Soviet Union in
       Collectivized Agriculture
• Stalin’s response to peasant protest?
• Violence!!!
• Red Army soldiers shot peasants who refused
  to give up their farms. KULAKS (prosperous
  peasants) sent to brutal labor camps.
• Between 5 to 10 million people died as a
  result of collectivization and state terror.
        Stalin…“Man of Steel”
• Mid 1930s Time of Purges and public trials
  Purge=expel       “Great Purge”
• Stalin’s high ranking rivals within the
  Communist Party and military officers charged
  with treason and either executed or
• Great Purge increased Stalin’s Power but
  Soviet Military weakened (Hitler building)
Non-aggression Pact with Germany
• Stalin signs pact in 1939 to protect his
  economic success
• Within two years Hitler broke pact attacks
  Soviet Union.
• WWII most devastating war in their history
• By the end of WWII more than 20 million
  people, approximately 20% of the Soviet
  population had died.
                 Cold War
• 1945. WWII ends. Stalin sets up friendly
  communist governments in Eastern Europe
  Germany never again will invade Soviet Union
• 1941-1945 U.S. and Soviet Union allies versus
  Germany in WWII
• 1945 U.S. friendship ends “Cold War” begins
• Stalin dies in 1953
         Soviet Union Fast Facts
• Russian official language (multinational country)
• Communist leaders become elite social class:
  wealth, housing, best schools, goods
• Communists hostile to ALL Religions
• Why? Religion competes for peoples loyalty
• “Not a single house of prayer will be needed
  any longer in any territory of the Soviet
  Union,” –Joseph Stalin
                  Soviet Union
• Soviet Economy had          • All Soviet children
  major problems                received at least eight
• Food shortages (often         years of schooling
  rotted in railway cars      • By 1960s, Soviet Union
  before it reached cities)     had virtually ended
• Industry low production       illiteracy.
• *Demand exceeded            • 5th Grade=intense study
  production in almost all      of English
  areas                       • Taught, “Evils of
           Nikita Khrushchev
• Following Stalin's death, Nikita Khrushchev
  succeeds-Communist party stays in tact
• 1956 denounces Stalin as a tyrant who caused
  the Soviet people great suffering
• Reduces censorship, brutal terror of Stalin
• Visits Des Moines, Iowa cornfield in 1959
  worried over his country’s low crop yields
    Leonid (Lee-ah-nid) Brezhnev
• Communist party leader 1964-1982
• Ends openness of Khrushchev regime
• Dissidents (people who speak out against
  government) jailed, exiled or sent to hospitals
  for the mentally ill
• Global influence of the Soviet Union
  grew dramatically during his reign
           Mikhail Gorbachev
• Communist Party leader of the Soviet Union
  from 1985 until 1991 (Last USSR head of state)
• Stated that Soviet Union was, “on the brink of
  disaster,” as food and housing shortages hit
  major cities.
• Alcoholism and absenteeism among workers
• Black Market, corruption gave little incentive
  to work hard (Russians-Sting)
           Mikhail Gorbachev
• Policy of Glasnost or Openness
• Perestroika-restructuring of Soviet economy
• Lifted controls from the Press, opened media
  to political debate, 1989 “free elections”
  voters given a choice of candidates for each
  public office
            End of Soviet Union
• End of 1990, communist     • Dissolution of Soviet
  government toppled,          Union on Dec. 25, 1991.
  program to create a
  market economy
• Boris Yeltsin radical
  reformer wins election
  over Gorbachev in 1991
• August 1991 Communist
  coup attempt failed
• Soviet Union falls apart
  republics declare their
        Changes and Challenges
    from Communism to Democracy
• Transition from planned economy to free
  market economy difficult (HYPERINFLATION as prices
  soar, imported goods more plentiful-just not affordable)
• Known as Privatization (to take something out of
  state control, to transfer to private ownership)
• 75% of Russians lost pensions (like our SSI)
• Life expectancy fell from 66yrs to 58yrs
• 2000 to present: period of prosperity (oil $$$)
                 Russia Today
• President Vladimir Putin
  elected in 1999
• Platform: Bread,
  Pensions, gasoline
• Promise to bring back
• March 2012 should win
  Presidency again
Countries in the world under Soviet influence 1959
• The 15 soviet socialist republics that gained
  independence at its dissolution: Armenia,
  Azerbaijan, Belorussia (now Belarus), Estonia,
  Georgia (now Republic of Georgia),
  Kazakhstan, Kirgiziya (now Kyrgyzstan), Latvia,
  Lithuania, Moldavia (now Moldova), Russia,
  Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and
         Stalin and Communism
• Joseph Stalin 1st General Secretary of the Communist
  Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee from
  1922-1953. Takes over after Lenin’s death.
• Leads with “Iron Fist” leading the USSR through a
  large-scale industrialization program (weapons,
• Harnessed arts and press through
  nationwide radio network.
     Joseph Stalin Rise to Power
• Two keys to Stalin: established a planned
  economy and suppressed political opposition
  to him and the Communist party
• Consolidated more and more power in his hands
• Put down all opposition groups within the
  Communist party including Leon Trotsky, the Red
  Army organizer,
• Stalin's idea of socialism in one country became
  the primary line of the Soviet politics
        Stalin and Soviet Union
• The initial upheaval in the changing
  agricultural sector disrupted food production
  in the early 1930s, contributing to the
  catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–1933, one
  of the last major famines in Russia.
• In 1937–38, the Great Purge, a period of mass
  repression in which hundreds of thousands of
  people were executed, including Red Army
  leaders convicted in coup d'état plots
Stalinist Architecture
(Right: Apartment
building in Moscow)
"Seven Sisters" is the
English name given to
a group of Moscow
skyscrapers designed
in the Stalinist style.
Built from 1947 to
1953, in an elaborate
combination of
Russian Baroque and
Gothic styles, and the
technology used in
building American
       Space Race and Cold War
• The successful development of the Soviet nuclear
  program enabled the country to become the
  world's second nuclear weapons power; the
  Soviet space program was started as spin-off of
  the nuclear project (sputnik).
• Soviet Union's first atomic bomb test in 1949, a
  missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to
  the United States—as many mocked the idea of
  launching satellites and manned spacecraft.
  Nonetheless, the first Soviet rocket with animals
  aboard launched in July 1951

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