09-04-07 notes - Russia-Flashpoint a critical region which...

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09/04/07 Russia -Flashpoint: a critical region which could “flash” at any moment. There is the potential in these areas from “front page” stories each and every day. -Russia is indeed a flashpoint The Twentieth century legacy of Russia - What is Russia’s role? -During the 18 th century Russia, was an expansionist country, which many would argue is typical Russian behavior as a central Asian country constantly concerned about its borders. Expansionist or Protectionist? -Russia during the 19 th century became a key player in the balance of power in world politics. The Czarist family, which was connected to most of the royal families of Europe, played a large political role. -The early revolutions of the 20 th century, including the Bolshevik Revolution, changed Russia’s position of power. -Massive casualties and extreme suffering brought about the necessity for change during WWI. The Czarist government was ultimate defeated by the Bolshevik position. -The Civil War (Reds vs. Whites) went on for a considerable amount of time, and until the early 20’s people were unsure the degree to which Russia would change. -Western powers supported the Whites, and were positioned against the Bolshevik ideals. This sowed the seeds of the “East/West” split, and the eventual Cold War. -After the Bolsheviks won, they were virtually ostracized by Western powers. -Stalin took over after Lenin. He placed an emphasis not on IR, but rather on domestic factors such as the centralization of the Leninist government and the rooting of Communism. -Later people began to focus on the overall Marxist/Leninist vision of worldwide Communism, and thus began to focus on spreading the ideology.
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