Change and Continuity in Russian History

In: Historical Events

Submitted By marx1
Words 3234
Pages 13
Introduction
In the past hundred years Russian history has been littered with Revolutions, from the 1905 Revolution to the fall of Communism in 1991. Throughout this time Tsars, Communists and Democrats have exercised different systems of government in order to stay in power or gain power by offering huge economic reforms in order to appease the masses or to keep most important sectors of society prosperous and content. Although historians would argue that in many of these cases change occurred for political reasons, it is equally as easy to argue, if not more so, that at the heart of every issue that caused or had the potential to cause revolution were underlying economic motives, either for the common man or the ruling elite.
This on-going theme of economic concessions can be seen at various points throughout the past hundred years and proved a key factor to the longevity of the regimes in charge. The first such example of this post-1900 occurred after the 1905 Revolution. Despite The October Manifesto in 1905 which granted political freedoms, little of which benefitted the peasantry, It was Stolypin’s reforms as Prime Minister for Nicholas II that achieved most after the 1905 revolution, quelling the peasant threat that had emerged prior to the revolution and afterwards, much more so than the introduction of the Dumas - representative assemblies granted in the October Manifesto. Similarly Lenin’s New Economic Plan dealt with the ever increasing militant peasantry created during the civil war. These huge reforms to a more capitalist economy were at the cost of political objectives, but were vital in sustaining the Bolsheviks newly found power. As Lenin himself said the policy was:
“Two steps forward and one step back”, referring to the advance of Communist ideals being side-lined by the need to stay in power, an objective achieved by economic rather…...

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