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Discussion Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. Based on your reading of the text, how could the Russian Revolution have been avoided? What factors could have been changed that might have stemmed the call for revolution? Or was it inevitable?
Ans: The Russian Revolution was a complex event, with various factors contributing to its occurrence. It is difficult to say definitively whether it could have been avoided altogether, but there were certainly some factors that could have been changed to potentially stem the call for revolution.
One factor that could have been addressed was the extreme poverty and inequality that existed in Russia at the time. The vast majority of the population was living in poverty, while a small elite enjoyed immense wealth and power. If the government had taken steps to address this inequality, such as implementing more progressive taxation or investing in social programs, it may have lessened the desire for revolution among the masses. Another factor was the political repression and censorship that existed under the Tsarist regime. If there had been greater political freedom and openness, it may have allowed for more peaceful dissent and dialogue, rather than pushing revolutionary movements underground.
However, there were also deeper structural factors at play, such as the long-standing feudal system that had persisted in Russia for centuries. This system was resistant to change and created deep divisions within society that would have been difficult to overcome without significant upheaval. Ultimately, it is impossible to say whether the Russian Revolution could have been avoided entirely, but addressing issues such as poverty and political repression may have stemmed the tide of the revolution. However, the complex and deeply ingrained issues within Russian society at the time suggest that it may have been inevitable in some form.
Q.2. Who would you rather live under, Nicholas or Lenin? Whose leadership style was more dangerous?
Ans: This is a complex and controversial question that may have different answers depending on one’s perspective and values. However, based on some of the search results I found, here are some possible points to consider:
- Nicholas II was the last czar of Russia who ruled from 1894 to 1917. He was seen as a weak and ineffective leader who failed to address the social and economic problems of his country, especially after the humiliating defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. He also resisted any reforms that would limit his absolute power, such as a constitutional monarchy or a representative parliament. His poor leadership and stubbornness contributed to the outbreak of the Russian Revolution of 1917, which ended his dynasty and the autocracy in Russia.
- Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks, a radical socialist faction that seized power in Russia in October 1917. He was a revolutionary thinker and strategist who advocated for a “dictatorship of the proletariat”, a direct rule by the armed workers and peasants that would eventually lead to a classless, stateless, communist society². He also created the Red Army, which fought against the anti-Bolshevik forces in the Russian Civil War. He had a positive impact on some aspects of Russian society, such as land redistribution, workers’ control, and national self-determination, but he also used violence, terror, and censorship to suppress any opposition or dissent²⁴.
Therefore, one could argue that Nicholas’s leadership style was more dangerous for Russia because he ignored the needs and demands of his people, leading to widespread discontent and revolt. On the other hand, one could also argue that Lenin’s leadership style was more dangerous for Russia because he imposed a radical and violent ideology that caused civil war, famine, and repression. Ultimately, both leaders had a significant and lasting impact on Russia’s history and politics.
What do you think?
Q.3. Based on your reading and your knowledge or experience, provide your own definition of a “revolution.” How does the Russian Revolution of 1917 fit this definition?
Ans: There are different ways to define a revolution, but one possible definition is a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system. This definition implies that a revolution involves a radical change in the political structure and power relations of a society, often through violent means.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 fits this definition because it was a series of events that overthrew the imperial government of Russia and replaced it with a socialist system led by the Bolsheviks. The revolution was triggered by various factors, such as economic hardship, food shortages, government corruption, and dissatisfaction with the czar’s involvement in World War I. The revolution consisted of two main phases: the February Revolution, which ended the monarchy and established a provisional government; and the October Revolution, which ousted the provisional government and brought the Bolsheviks to power. The revolution had a profound impact on Russia’s history, culture, and society, as well as on the world stage.
Q.4. In the context of this article, how do people create change? Were the methods by which change was created in the 1917 Russian Revolution right? Is there a way to morally incite a revolution? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.
Ans: Changes are created from adverse situations that create negative effects on people. The methods by which the Russian Revolution was created were not the most correct, but they were developed in desperate situations. A revolution must be incited on moral grounds, even if its actions are not of the same nature.
The Russian Revolution was created by the end of the monarchy in the country. The reasons for this were moral and correct, as it occurred with the revolt of the population over the negligence of the royal family with the social problems they had to face.
However, the methods were not so correct, as they encouraged severe violence, abuse of power, and exploitation of the lower social classes.
You don’t provide the text to which this question refers, which makes it impossible for it to be answered exactly, but I hope the information above can help you.
(1) Russian Revolution: Causes, Timeline & Bolsheviks | HISTORY. https://www.history.com/topics/european-history/russian-revolution.
(2) Tsar Nicholas II and his effects on the Russian Revolution of 1917. https://schoolworkhelper.net/tsar-nicholas-ii-and-his-effects-on-the-russian-revolution-of-1917/.
(3) Russian Revolution of 1905 | Causes, Consequences & Impact. https://www.britannica.com/event/Russian-Revolution-of-1905.
(4) Czar Nicholas II: The Russian Revolution | ipl.org. https://www.ipl.org/essay/Czar-Nicholas-II-The-Russian-Revolution-FCLSHSKVZV.
(5) How Did Lenin Influence The Russian Revolution | ipl.org. https://www.ipl.org/essay/How-Did-Lenin-Influence-The-Russian-Revolution-PKQFP8QBGXPV.
(6) Vladimir Lenin – Revolutionary, Marxism, Bolsheviks | Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Vladimir-Lenin/Leadership-in-the-Russian-Revolution.
Assessment Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. PART A: Which TWO of the following statements best summarize the central ideas of the text?
-Red October was the culminating event in the path toward a communist revolution in Russia, as the Bolsheviks officially took power.
-Whatever progress was made under Nicholas II was outweighed by the catastrophic mistakes and bloody tragedies that characterized his rule.
Q.2. PART B: Which TWO of the following quotes best support the answer to Part A?
Ans: “The czarist government’s first response was to warn the newspapers against describing the catastrophe as “famine.” The eventual food deliveries were so slow and clumsy that millions of peasants lost their faith in their unwritten bargain with the monarchy….” (Paragraph 8)
Q.3. How do paragraphs 1-3 contribute to the text’s central ideas?
Ans: The first three paragraphs introduce the idea that the Russian Revolution—rather than being a simple coup, in which sometimes the term “revolution” is incorrectly used—was a complex chain of events and causes.
Q.4. How does the British historian Figes connect the weather of 1890-1891 to the decline of the Russian empire in the 20th century?
Ans: The weather in 1890-1891 led to the Great Famine of 1891; the people superstitiously blamed the czar and his strange adviser, Rasputin, for this unfortunate event.
Q.5. Why does the author likely include the section entitled “Changing Russia”?
Ans: To point out that the progress made under Nicholas II contributed to the revolution, for more people were being educated and began demanding change.
Q.6. Why did Marxism likely find a particular foothold in Russia and its politics?
Ans: Marxism appealed to the Russian working class’s frustration with the upper classes by advocating class warfare.
Q.7. Compare and contrast the author’s depictions of Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin. What do
these depictions reveal about these historical figures? Cite evidence in your answer.
Ans: Both the leaders were hungry for power and came on to become leaders by promising good for the people but the similarity didn’t catch one’s eye but how different each historical figure was has been highlighted many a time.
-Nicholas II was a czar and hence being born into a royal family made him an obvious leader whereas Lenin gained prominence in the party and came into power thus.
-Lenin had the willingness to lead Russia and used the Bolshevik party to do so, however, the Tsar was happy to be with his family and pets and not a bit interested in leadership.
-Nicholas II and his entire family were assassinated whereas Lenin died of natural causes way later.
-Lenin was the more brutal of the two and used his power to get what he wanted even if it meant torturing or murdering. here Nicholas made some concessions.
-The military responsibility was on Nicholas II during his regime but when Lenin took over he would delegate it.
Finally, none of them actually cared for the poor, the oppressed were further in distress when these two came to power. Based on the complete text, the author talks about Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin and their quest for power and promise for the betterment of their people.
Q.8. Why, according to the text, was the Russian Revolution a failure? Consider the goals of the
revolutionaries in your answer. Cite evidence to support your answer.
Ans: According to the text, Russian Revolution was a total failure. Some of the reasons why the Russian Revolution was a failure are:
-There was a naval mutiny as the commanders did not understand when to make peace
-The government was too focused on the war, and the economic and social problems began to worsen, etc.
It must be noted that during the Russian Revolution when the people were fed up with their government and they had an uprising, but along the line, they could not sustain it and it failed.
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In CommonLit, “THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION” is one of the students’ favorite articles authored by Mike Kubic for grade 12 students.
“The Russian Revolution” is an article by Mike Kubic that was published on CommonLit. It is an informational text that explores the causes and consequences of the 1917 Russian Revolution, as well as its similarities and differences with the French Revolution and the American Revolution.
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