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Final Paper History 102

Final Paper History 102 - The Bolshevik and Nazi Rise to...

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The Bolshevik and Nazi Rise to Power In the early twentieth century Europe was going through many social and political changes. Old rulers and weak governments were being overthrown and new never before seen systems of government were taking over. World War I was contributing to the social unrest in the masses, making people believe that “Europe was ripe for revolution” (Jackson J. Speilvogel 738). Two nations that were especially susceptible to revolution were Russia and Germany. Both these nations were completely transformed in very short period of time, being taken over by totalitarian rulers. Even though both countries were reshaped by newly created political groups, the process by which they did this was considerably different. There are many similarities and differences in both the countries of the revolutions and the groups facilitating the revolutions. This paper will be comparing and contrasting the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the rise of the Nazi State in Germany. Before discussing the actual revolutions, background information on pre- revolution conditions is important to understand. Russia had gone through a revolution in 1905; the people had demanded a publicly elected official in office. A Duma or president position had been created by Tsar Nicholas II but any substantial change had failed. The tsar was relying on his army and bureaucracy to protect his reign. When Russia entered World War I it went very badly. Russian industry could not produce enough weapons and the army was ill-led. “Between 1914 and 1916, two million soldiers were killed while another four to six million were wounded or captured” (Speilvogel 736). Peasant became very disconcerted and started to demand change. In March 1917 the monarchy was
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replaced when a series of strikes broke out in Petrograd. The situation was so bad that on March 15 a provisional government was established by the legislature. Another effect of the strikes was the creation of soviets, or councils of workers’ and soldier’s deputies. These were very radical groups representing the lower class. One of these groups was the Bolsheviks, a faction of the Marxist Social Democratic Party. The leader of the Bolsheviks was Lenin, considered “the 20th century’s first great revolutionary. He was reviled as the architect of the modern totalitarian dictatorship” (AP 2005). The Bolsheviks gained in power because they articulated the needs of the common people. They promised to end the Russian involvement in the war, redistribute land to the peasantry, and turn over factories and industries to committees of workers. They were also going to make the soviets in charge of governmental powers. With this political stand the Bolsheviks were poised to take over an unpopular provisional government. After Germany’s defeat in World War I, there was a change in government and
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Final Paper History 102 - The Bolshevik and Nazi Rise to...

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