Author Topic: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?  (Read 46253 times)

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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #45 on: April 10, 2005, 03:16:08 PM »
"No savior from on high delivers
no faith have we in prince or peer.
Ou own right hand the chains must secer,
the chains of hatred greed and fear"
 Adapted from a french factory workers song to become "The Internationale" of Communist Party fame.
Catchy tune.....
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2006, 10:25:28 AM »
Do you think revolution was inevitable in Russia in the early twentieth century, or do you believe it could have been averted if Russia had not entered into World War I? Historians are divided into two basic camps on this issue. The optimists believe that, given more time, and peace, Russia would have gradually developed along democratic lines. The October Manifesto had instituted a constitutional monarchy; Stolypin's reforms of agriculture were slowly but surely creating a new peasant middle class that would ultimately support the tsarist regime. On the other hand, the pessimists believe that Russia was ripe for revolution, with or without the October Manifesto and Stolypin's reforms, and that World War I only sped up what was the inevitable outcome anyway - the Russian Revolution.

I myself have not quite made up my mind on this question, so I am curious to know what other people here think.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 12:00:39 PM by Alixz »
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Offline Chelsea

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2006, 08:58:57 PM »
My AP European History textbook has several first hand accounts of major historical events including the Russian revolution, this is from the memoirs of Maurice Paleologue, a french ambassador, I found it interesting to read not only a first hand account but the account of a foriegner in the midst of the turmoil.

Monday, March 12, 1917
    At half-past eight this morning, just as I finished dressing, I heard a strange and prolonged did which seemed to come from the Alexander Bridge.  I looked out: there was no one on the bridge, which usually presents such a busy scene.  But, almost immediately, a disorderly mob carrying red flags appeared at the end which is on the right bank of the Neva, and a regiment came towards it from the opposite side.  It looked as if there would be a violent collision, but on the contrary the two bodies coalesced.  The army was fraternizing with revolt.
    Shortly afterwards, someone came to tell me that the Volhynian regiment of the Guard had mutinied during the night, killed its officers and was parading the city, calling on the people to take part in the revolution and trying to win over the troops who still remain loyal.
    At ten o'clock there was a sharp burst of firing and flames could be seen rising somewhere on the Liteiny Prospekt which is quite close to the embassy.  Then silence.  Accompanied by my military attache Lieutenant-Colonel Lavergne, I went out to see what was happening.  Frightened inhabitants were scattering through the streets.  There was indescribable confusion at the corner of the Liteiny.  Soldiers were helping civilians erect a barricade.  Flames mounted from the Law Courts.  The gates of the arsenal burst open with a crash.  Suddenly the crack of machine-gun fire split the air: it was the regulars whe had just taken up position near the Nevsky Prospekt.  The revolutionaries replied.  I had seen enought to have no doubt as to what was coming.  Under a hail of bullets I returned totheembassy with Lavergne who had walked calmly and slowly to thehottest corner out of sheer bravado.
     About half-past eleven I went to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, picking up Buchanan [British ambassador] on the way.
     I told Pokrovski [Russian foriegn minister] everything that I had just witnessed.
    "So it's even more serious than I thought," he said.
     But he perserved unruffled composure, flavoured with a touch of scepticism, when he told me of the steps on which the ministers had decided during the night:
     "The sitting of the Duma has been prorogued to April and we have sent a telegram to the Emperor, begging him to return at once.  With the exception of M. Protopopov, my colleagues and I all thought that a dictatorship should be established without delay; it would be conferred upon some general whose prestige with the army is pretty hight, General Russky for example."
     I argued that, judging by what I saw this morning, the loyalty of the army was already too heavily shaken for our hopes of salvation to be based on the use of the "strong hand", and that the immediate appointment of a ministry inspiring confidence in the Duma seemed more essential than ever, as there is not a moment tolose.  I reminded Pokrovski that in 1789, 1830, and 1848, three French dynasties were overthrown because they were too late in realizing the significance and strength of the movement against them.  I added that in such a grave crisis the representative of allied France had a right to give the Imperial Government advice on a matter of international politics.
   Buchanan endorsed my opinion.
   Pokrovski replied that he personally shared our views, but that the presence of Protopopov in the Council of Ministers paralyzed action of any kind.
   I asked him:
   "Is there no on who can open the Emperor's eyes to the real situation?"
   He heaved a despairing sigh.
   "The Emperor is blind!"
   Deep grief was writ large on the face of the honest man and good citizen whose uprightness, patriotism, and disinterestedness I can never sufficiently extol.
~Chelsea~

Offline historywriter

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2006, 01:25:21 AM »
I haven't really made up my mind either but I am inclined to take the optimistic view.  Reforms were beginning to be made and the process of constitutional change had started.  On the other hand, the Tsar was very much in favour of autocratic rule and didn't like giving up any powers.

Best,

Lisa

Offline mconrad

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #49 on: May 10, 2006, 07:41:27 AM »
For 300 years, Russia had slowly but inevitably followed western Europe. As modern democracy grew in the west, so would it do so in Russia since it was part of the greater European cultural community.  

So, Russia would have become democratic as long has it didn't receive shocks that drove people to violence against it chronically poorly performing government.  But here is the paradox - the bad government is safe from revolution if it avoids trauma, but one of the characteristics of bad government is that is does indeed blunder into military defeat, crises, etc.  Through it's ineptitude, tsarism set up its own downfall, inevitably.

Mark C.

Offline Lyss

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2006, 10:40:41 AM »
I thought about thisa lot, although I'm still pondering about it, I think revolution was inevitable. Changes came late, maybe too late but even if all the necessary changes would have been made at the beginning of the 20th century, it would have been too much for the people. Change is hard, people need to adjust to it, it has to come slowly and gradualy. If it comes too fast too soon, the changes won't last. (Look at much of the post colonial African countries who have so much trouble to cope with the notion of democracy). If it's prepared, guided and people have the time to adjust and get used to it, the changes have much more chance to last permanantely (see India as a stable democracy for example).
I also believe that one of the reasons why the changes came too late or not at all what lead to the revolution, was that a lot of intelligent people who knew what had to be done were simply not admited in the brainstorming and decision making process.
Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #51 on: May 13, 2006, 10:59:33 AM »
One of my favorite quotes:

"The Optimist believes this to be the best of all possible worlds...
the Pessimist is afraid that the Optimist is right..."


Offline Lyss

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2006, 11:54:46 AM »
 :)

I stick with

"Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity"
Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.

Offline Tania+

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #53 on: May 13, 2006, 02:17:29 PM »
I'm getting old to be sure, [chuckle] when I can't remember the program I saw last evening. Anywho, on it were a couple from one of the African nations in civil war etc. They said something quite mind provoking. It was to do with those gathering food, monies for their people most in need of their country. They said, in fact all, or most monies gathered for the people, were in reality taken by the governing people themselves. The people most needful, never saw anything from these gifts of those whose intentions were so giving. They said the remainde of monies, and monies that continued to flow in under these understandings, just kept those in power, with ample necessities, etc. Even more anyone who spoke up from any avenue of the country were either to flee for fear of life or limb being attacked, or their businesses, etc. homes, were demolished.

So, whilst I'm an optimist in so many understandings, when I hear of stories as the above, I tend to hesitate to give to countries as these asking for help. When you see nothing but utter poverty, even after millions of millions being poured into a given 'needful' country, it makes you hesitate even more as to what, and why these countries and heads of governments are receiving support as such. It makes you wonder, why all the more, we support countries, and governments, and heads of states as we do ?

I wonder if the sameness is going on in Russia today ? There and everywhere else, is there full accountability of the help, the monies we give, etc. ?

Tatiana+
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 11:58:29 AM by Alixz »
TatianaA


Offline imperial angel

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2006, 01:18:38 PM »
I tend to think the revolution might not have happened had it not been for circumstances. Certainly, there was a long history of many of the issues that unfolded during the revolution. These issues were there, and had been, such as revolutionary discontent, that might not have accepted an easy answer.ie. less than revolution. I think had Stolypin not been killed, and if World War I had not happened, and if reforms were continued, gradually as needed ( as they would have been under Stolypin, I think), that Revolution might never have happened. I read, but can't remember where that the revolutionaries didn't want Russia to be content with the czarist system, even if it was okay, or would work, and that they just wanted a revolution because they wanted one, even if it was not the best thing for Russia, and another goverment was. I think that might well be true, they were more about being ''revolutionary'' than they were about was actually needed. Some issues did need to be addressed, whether there was a revolution or no. But saying it was circumstances is not to say that Nicholas or whoever was to blame for the revolution.This is such a hard question answer about the Revolution-I sometimes hesitate on it.

As for helping countries, I heard someone talking about this the other day in person, they seemed to be saying that if you help countries, you are doing them good, and that's a reason to be involved in such things. My first thought was that they were naive. Well, you might be doing that in the short term, but can you do it in the long term?  In some countries history just plays over and over again the same, and no matter what you do, you can't break that cycle. You might have helped them whenever, but a century from now or then, it's just the same, it will be the same-they will need help again. The point raised by the last poster is very true, and accurate.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #55 on: November 06, 2006, 09:31:59 AM »
And here is my favorite: "A pessimist is a well informed optimist"  ;).

Offline Tania+

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #56 on: November 06, 2006, 11:09:05 AM »
Thank you Imperial Angel  ;) I think it would have made definite importance for Russia to have listened to Stolypin. Perhaps he could have made a measurable difference. I also think in time, a democratic approach of governing would have happened. Unfortunately too many things transpired at once, and upheval of the worst of historical onslaught found a foothold and the devil's grasp held on for 80 years.

I am an optimist, and know that good changes will come to pass in and for Russia, and already are.

Mcconrod, very interesting statement : "But here is the paradox - the bad government is safe from revolution if it avoids trauma, but one of the characteristics of bad government is that is does indeed blunder into military defeat, crises, etc" Thanks for your sharing.

Tatiana+
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #57 on: November 06, 2006, 12:52:14 PM »
And here is my favorite: "A pessimist is a well informed optimist"  ;).

Yes, those quotes are great. I think pessimism regarding a country is only really justified if the history bears that out. I mean countries can change, and do, but it seems much of the time whatever the countries history is, it just keeps repeating in some cases at least. It's only if there is a desire for positive change within the country, rather than from without that things get done. The country has to choose, and not have some other country choose for it. I am just talking about countries in general, not specifically Russia, so maybe we should get back on topic.

Offline historylover

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2007, 12:03:17 AM »
Hello Chelsea,

I enjoyed your post. I am reading Witnesses to the Russian Revolution which also gives first-hand accounts of Western ambassadors, journalists, and diplomats.  It is quite exciting as I really feel that I'm actually in the thick of it when I read some of the accounts!  Some of them are by women journalists.  It is well-worth reading.

Regards,
Lisa
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Offline Trevor

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2007, 06:00:42 PM »
You know the one thing i can't understand is why do they have to destroy something that we can never get back? They destroyed jewels, and many other things. It's really sad to think about what people have destroyed in the past because of hate.