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Russian History - Background Oppression by most czars of...

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Background Oppression by most czars of the 1800s Cruel to peasants; great social inequalities Army revolt: 1825 ALEXANDER II: reform-minded czar, assassinated in 1881 by student revolutionaries ALEXANDER III: halted reforms. Autocratic government (total power). Could not challenge the czar, worship outside ROC, or speak anything but Russian. Enforced with: censorship, even of private letters; exile to Siberia. Made Russia a police state of spies and informers. POGRAMS: organized violence against helpless people, such as against Jews. Alexander III encouraged prejudice with laws against Jews (could not live among others or own land). Nicholas II: takes over in 1894, maintains A III’s autocracy, no reform. Blind to change. Czarina Alexandra—married to Nicholas II. Rasputin: a mysterious “holy man.” Czarina Alexandra, her sick son, under R’s spell. Poisoned in 1916, survived. Shot, survived. Died only when thrown in river INDUSTRIALIZATION OF RUSSIA: Leads to MORE UNREST. Russia becomes big steel producer Builds Trans-Siberian Railway. Bad working conditions in factories, low wages, child labor. No unions allowed, but workers still went on strike. Huge gap between rich and poor. AMID UNREST, REVOLUTIONARY GROUPS GREW. Karl Marx: 19 th -century German philosopher. Said workers would overthrow ruling class, share wealth equally. Workers rule. Inspired Russian revolutionaries. Two groups: Mensheviks (wanted broad popular support, everyone knows about.) Bolsheviks (few committed revs that teach everyone. Ready to sacrifice for radical change) Communism: Marx’s description for classless society after workers seizes power. LENIN : Leader of Bolsheviks. Exiled to Siberia. Brother killed. In 1900s, fled to Western Europe to avoid arrest. He is Germany’s “secret weapon” in WWI when they send him back to Russia in 1917, thinking the unrest he would stir up would hurt the Russian war effort. Slogan: Peace, Land and Bread. Revered as “Father of the Revolution.” Background: Repeated losses in Russo-Japanese War in 1904 sparked revolt, unrest.
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