Author Topic: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?  (Read 46976 times)

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Multiverse

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #90 on: January 01, 2009, 10:13:51 PM »
There is a thread here asking if The Russian Revolution was inevitable. Let's assume that it was not inevitable, that it could have been prevented.

What would it have taken to prevent The Russian Revolution of 1917? What things would have to have been done to prevent it?

I'm sure it would have to have been before the 20th Century. How far back into 18th or 19th Century Russian History would you have to go to insure continuation of The Russian Monarchy? What things over the years would have had to change? If you could somehow go back in time and save The Russian Monarch how far back would you need to go and what things would you change?

Offline mcdnab

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #91 on: January 02, 2009, 04:46:51 AM »
To save the Russian Monarchy you would have probably needed to change the last two crowned Emperors or have let Alexander II live longer. His premature death meant an end to any liberal reform, his son Alexander III was a convinced autocrat and surrounded by people who shared that view. Had Alexander II lived long enough to institute some form of constitution then the monarchy might have been salvageable. Alexander III was reactionary believing in orthodoxy, nationalism and the preservation of autocracy, out of sympathy with the slightly more liberal views of his father. He held the country together through his relative intelligence, capacity for delegation and his imposing personality. Nicholas II would have probably made an admirable constitutional monarch if he'd inherited a different throne but his own personal determination to reign as an autocrat hurled his country towards revolution.

Offline romanov1918

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #92 on: January 10, 2009, 03:56:52 PM »
I feel the revolution could have been prevented if firstly, Rasputin never came into the picture.  He brought down the prestige of the family, causing rumours that resulted in the loss of confidence and respect towards the family.  Also, without Rasputin, there would have been no meddling by him into the choices of ministers.  Also, Nicholas II NEVER should have taken the role of Commander-in-Chief during WWI, he should have kept Nicholas Nicholaevitch in that position.  With Nicholas at headquarters, it left Alexandra to conspire with Rasputin, and maybe if Nicholas was home, he could have quelled the protests immediately, instead of wires going back and forth, some never reaching Nicholas in time for him to react properly.  I guess the biggest factor is Nicholas himself. We all know his father never prepared him properly, and never thought he would die so young at 49. Nicholas never wanted to rule, and that probably affected many decisions, since when you resent something, you do not give it your all.

IF, Nicholas and Alexandra had never met Rasputin, that is a major factor.  IF Nicholas did not listen to the meddling of Alexandra and Rasputin, that is another factor.  IF Nicholas let his cousin run the Army, instead of trying to be Commander-in-Chief and Tsar, we might be looking at a different Russia today, of course these are just my opinions. 

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Offline Zvezda

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #94 on: February 25, 2009, 03:51:27 PM »
The Entente through their White Czech proxy expanded their military aggression against Russia. In May and June the White Czechs and counterrevolutionary groups seized Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Vladivostok, Samara, Zlatoust, Syzran, Novonikolaevsk, routing the Soviet organization and murdering many Communists and workers and peasants. The Entente declared the Czechoslovak Corps part of its troops, stating that it would consider its disarmament an unfriendly act toward the allied countries.

Evidence collected in Samara reveals that the Czech aggressors shot and many innocent workers. Most of the Russian troops of Simbirsk were murdered. Workers at the explosive factory at Ivashchenkovo who resisted the terror were punished, with over 300 corpses of workers, women, and children mutilitated by sabre cuts. Of the workers who were arrested, some 1500 were later slan during transportation from prison by the Czechs and White Guards.
http://books.google.com/books?id=2mhGAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA125&dq=Soviet+Czechoslovak+Ivashchenkovo
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 03:54:58 PM by Zvezda »

Offline Olga Maria

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #95 on: February 26, 2009, 10:16:32 AM »
Where the Czechs really pro to Whites?

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Offline Zvezda

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #96 on: March 09, 2009, 02:38:57 PM »
The Czech through their aggression were largely responsible for the intensification and prolonging of the civil war in Russia. In the period from November-April 1918, with some interruption by the German offensive in February, the Russian people were in the process of peacefully completing the establishment of soviet power throughout the country. By the beginning of March 1918, all of Russia except for the western regions under German occupation and the Transcaucasian provinces (minus Baku) were under soviet power. Prior to the Czech aggression, the situation in Russia was largely peaceful.

The Czech aggression of 25 May 1918 allowed counterrevolutionary forces to establish a stronghold in Siberia. This was followed by the establishment of the SR-Menshevik regime on June 8 in Samara. The Czechs and White Guards conquered Simbirsk, Ufa, and Ekaterinburg in July and Kazan in August.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 02:43:25 PM by Zvezda »

Offline Zvezda

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #97 on: March 14, 2009, 03:16:47 PM »
Quote
Where the Czechs really pro to Whites?

After the end of the imperialist war in November 1918, the Czechs became more reluctant to fight against Russia. It was the leadership of the corps that decided to arrest Kolchak in early 1920 and turn him over to the Irkutsk Military Revolutionary Committee. Nevertheless, the Czechs bear a major responsibility for the outbreak of the catastrophic civil war in Russia. Without their help, the counter-revolution could not have possibly established itself in Siberia.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 03:30:21 PM by Zvezda »

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #98 on: March 15, 2009, 03:43:47 PM »
My dear Zvezda
    There was nothing peaceful about the establishment of soviet power.  Lenin lied, cheated and had no problems killing whoever stood in his way.  It is true that there were attrocities on both sides and that White leadeers like Kolchak were bloody but to state that the establishment of communism in Russia was peaceful, you have been blinded by Pravda.

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #99 on: March 16, 2009, 01:52:05 PM »
Quote
There was nothing peaceful about the establishment of soviet power.
In March 1918, soviet power was established in all of Russia except for the western regions under German occupation and the Transcaucasian provinces where power was held by bourgeois nationalists. Before the Germans invasion of Rostov and the Czechoslovak aggression in Central Russia, the civil war had just about ended. Kaledin shot himself in January 1918 and Kornilov was killed in April.

Quote
Lenin lied, cheated and had no problems killing whoever stood in his way.

The establishment of soviet power was the will of the people. To accuse Lenin of lying and cheating his way into power is to slander the Russian people as mindless sheep who had no control over their lives.

When the Russian Government foiled the Kerensky-Krasnov invasion of Petrograd in November 1917, Krasnov was released from custody on the condition that he would not fight the Russian Government. Krasnov could have and should have been shot in November 1917, but he was given a second chance and released.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2009, 01:55:17 PM by Zvezda »

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #100 on: May 02, 2009, 12:04:38 AM »
I feel the revolution could have been prevented if firstly, Rasputin never came into the picture.  He brought down the prestige of the family, causing rumours that resulted in the loss of confidence and respect towards the family.  Also, without Rasputin, there would have been no meddling by him into the choices of ministers.  Also, Nicholas II NEVER should have taken the role of Commander-in-Chief during WWI, he should have kept Nicholas Nicholaevitch in that position.  With Nicholas at headquarters, it left Alexandra to conspire with Rasputin, and maybe if Nicholas was home, he could have quelled the protests immediately, instead of wires going back and forth, some never reaching Nicholas in time for him to react properly.  I guess the biggest factor is Nicholas himself. We all know his father never prepared him properly, and never thought he would die so young at 49. Nicholas never wanted to rule, and that probably affected many decisions, since when you resent something, you do not give it your all.

IF, Nicholas and Alexandra had never met Rasputin, that is a major factor.  IF Nicholas did not listen to the meddling of Alexandra and Rasputin, that is another factor.  IF Nicholas let his cousin run the Army, instead of trying to be Commander-in-Chief and Tsar, we might be looking at a different Russia today, of course these are just my opinions. 

When both Alexander III and Nicholas II came to the throne, there was still a sense that revolution would come to Russia sooner rather than later. So, I remain convinced that the archaic structure of the government and the court, rather than ideology, made the revolution inevitable.

The advent of Rasputin, Nicholas II's absence from his capital - and even the first world war all helped determine the timing of the revolution, but not whether or not it was going to happen.

While Nicholas said several things in confidence to his cousin in his grief over his father, as a conservative person, I don't think he seriously doubted his fitness or his duty. And, I don't think the Empress can be said to have "conspired" with Rasputin. She was a devoted wife who did exactly what she thought her husband wanted her to do. Rasputin was her friend and advisor, albeit a poor one at both jobs.

These, too, are just my not so humble opinions.

Offline JStorey

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #101 on: May 02, 2009, 12:55:54 PM »
To save the Russian Monarchy you would have probably needed to change the last two crowned Emperors or have let Alexander II live longer. His premature death meant an end to any liberal reform, his son Alexander III was a convinced autocrat and surrounded by people who shared that view. Had Alexander II lived long enough to institute some form of constitution then the monarchy might have been salvageable. Alexander III was reactionary believing in orthodoxy, nationalism and the preservation of autocracy, out of sympathy with the slightly more liberal views of his father. He held the country together through his relative intelligence, capacity for delegation and his imposing personality. Nicholas II would have probably made an admirable constitutional monarch if he'd inherited a different throne but his own personal determination to reign as an autocrat hurled his country towards revolution.

The problem with this argument is that the era of the liberal reformer Alexander II was the same one in which Russian nihilism, revolutionary ideas, etc. were blossoming like never before.  This was no conincidence: his liberal reforms helped create an environment in which these very ideas were finally allowed to flourish. 

Don't forget that Alexander II was assassinated by revolutionaries, after numerous attempts on his life!  From this, Alexander II - and, by extension, Nicholas II - learned what they considered a very important lesson:  liberalism and leniency leads to weakness and vulnerability, a Russian Tsar should "guide with the firm hand down the right path ordained by God", etc.

Now one thing I often read is Nicholas' "stubborn personal need to preserve autocracy" which I don't believe is fair, because he was raised from birth to believe - with all his heart and soul - that he had been ordained by God to rule Russia, and that one of his sole responsibilities was to pass this on to his male heir.  It was a fundamental, unquestioned premise upon which his entire world view was based, reinforced by everyone around him - in short, a sacred given.  So how could you say, "Oh Nicky, you're being so stubborn!"     

Offline historylover

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #102 on: May 02, 2009, 06:19:38 PM »

Nicky was definitely brain-washed into the belief of the Divine Right of Kings.  Perhaps he should have had the foresight to see what was happening in other countries, however, and think for himself more?  Didn't Edward VII and even Sir George Buchanan point out to him the dangers of autocracy and the benefits of democracy in England, very forcefully?
I see what you mean but I'm inclined to think that the Tsar was stubborn, too!

Offline JStorey

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #103 on: May 03, 2009, 12:21:46 PM »
Politically, did England embody the same revolutionary milieu as Russia?  I would say no.  My point is that because Russia entered into the inevitable dissolution of autocracy so late in the game, the possibility for something like a constitutional monarchy was absolutely nil.  In fact, all nascent efforts towards that end resulted in complete failure.  During his reign after 1905, the constant dissolution of the Duma was due to - essentially - irreconcilable differences between the political left and the monarchy.  Political left in Russia, at that time, was so extreme that coexistence with autocracy was incompatible.  That is not to say that dissolution of the Duma was the correct response - of course it wasn't - but let's just put it this way:  I can assure you the idea did not originate in the mind of Nicholas II.  He had advisers of his own, and was far more inclined to listen to them then he was to those from other countries.  So I wouldn't call him stubborn.  That is too convenient.  He was not too stubborn to abdicate, after all, and for that he was roundly criticized for being weak and fickle.  So which is it?  Stubborn or fickle?

Now having said all this I wouldn't call him a good leader either.  I make no attempt to defend him as a ruler.

Revolutionary conditions were magnified in Russia because the process of polarization - the extreme widening between left and right - had come so far that there was no possibility of even symbolic reconciliation (i.e.; constitutional monarchy - that's really all it is.  And on a side note, there isn't a great deal of difference, in my mind, between representative democracy in the U.S.and constitutional monarchy - just substitute a president for a king.  Americans love to invent romantic "first family" idealism that mimics, to a T, residual fondness for an autocrat). 

Inevitable I say.  Take Kerensky.  His path could also be seen as one leading, eventually, to the restoration of a constitutional monarchy.  While initially his sentiment was viscerally anti-Romanov, once in power he turned more towards a role of protectorate (relatively speaking, under the circumstances that is) perhaps to his political detriment.  His notion of Tsar reverted to what he had internalized unconsciously as a child, when he had wept at the death of Alexander III and made a wreath.  While the political world around him called for the Tsar's head, he was spending an inordinate amount of time and energy working on ensuring their safety.  And his task - the formation of a Constituent Assembly - was simply not enough to satisfy the revolutionary appetite.  So even after abdication, some semblance of democracy, of constitutional monarchy, etc. was not going to cut it.  The gap had grown to wide, the pressures too great; something had to give.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #104 on: May 03, 2009, 05:02:19 PM »
JStorey, I think it's very common in fact for weak leaders to demonstrate uncommon obstinacy in upholding a particular policy. Unwavering obstinacy in the face of change is indeed a sign of weakness, because it means you are intellectually and emotionally incapable of adapting to circumstances. The contemporary political leader who reminds me most - indeed, uncannily - of Nicholas II is George W. Bush, whom I regard as an essentially decent man (as NII was), but prey to the unreasonable influence of trusted advisors (as NII was), and blindly committed to a demonstrably (self-)destructive policy - in Bush's case, the war in Iraq. In Nicholas's case, he upheld the principle of autocracy at the possible cost of his throne.

Although I have to reiterate that I agree with the moderators here that Russia was a lost cause by 1917. I tend to believe that even if Nicholas had been a far-sighted, wise, politically shrewd and adaptive leader (pragmatic as opposed to ideological in other words), he still would have lost the throne, just as Kerensky, even if he had been smarter, would have forfeited the provisional government to the Bolsheviks. Because both of them were men with an old-fashioned sense of honor and would have under any and all imagined circumstances have insisted that Russia continue fighting World War I in support of its allies Britain and France. Which was bad policy for Russia, however honorable in the abstract. I repeat, Russia could not withstand the pressure of this ongoing drain on its resources, in large part because longstanding problems which at the very least dated back to the reign of Nicholas I (1825-1855) had not yet been resolved (the peasant question, industrialization, the administration of the empire, etc.).


« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 05:05:07 PM by Elisabeth »
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