As discussed in the first chapter of the French Revolution, opportunities for dramatic change have been created, including equality, fraternity and freedom in Europe.
Not all, though, was in favour of this transition in culture. Responses vary from those who want a complete change, want a gradual shift, or want to restructure society. These variations were giving rise to liberals, radicals and conservatives.
- 1 Liberals
- 2 Radicals
- 3 Conservatives
- 4 Industrial Society and Social Change
- 5 Nationalists
- 6 Coming of Socialism in Europe
- 7 Karl Marx
- 8 Spread of Socialism
- 9 The Russian Revolution
- 10 Economy and Society in Russia
- 11 Industrial Workers
- 12 Revolution Of 1905
- 13 Bloody Sunday
- 14 The Duma
- 15 Russian Revolution and the First World War
- 16 Impact of the War
- 17 Aftermath of the February Revolution
- 18 The Russian Revolution of October 1917
- 19 Effects of the October Revolution
- 20 Making of a Socialist Society
(i) The liberals wanted a nation which tolerated all religions.
(ii) Liberals also opposed uncontrolled power by dynastic rulers.
(iii) They wanted to safeguard the rights of the individuals against governments.
(iv) The argued for a representative elected Parliamentary Government.
(v) They favoured a well trained judiciary that was independent of rulers and officials.
(vi) They were not democrats.
(vii) They did not favour universal adult franchise.
(viii) Liberals wanted that men of property only should have the right to vote.
(ix) They did not want the voting right for women.
(i) Radicals wanted a nation in which the government was based on the majority of a country’s population.
(ii) Radicals opposed the privileges of big landowners and wealthy factory owners.
(iii) They were not against the existence of private property but disliked concentration of property in the hands of a few.
(i) They were opposed to radicals and liberals.
(ii) One after the French Revolution, the conservatives also opened their minds to the need for change.
(iii) Earlier in the 18th century, conservatives had been opposed to the idea of change.
(iv) By the 19th century, they accepted that some change was inevitable but believed that the past had to be respected and change had to be brought about through a slow process.
Industrial Society and Social Change
(i) New cities came up and new industrialised regions developed and railways expanded.
(ii) Industrialisation brought-men, women and children to factories.
(iii) Working hours were often long and wages poor.
(iv) Unemployment was common.
(v) Housing and sanitation problems were growing fast.
(vi) Almost all industries were the property of individuals.
(vii) The liberals and radicals wanted that the workforce should be educated and healthy.
(viii) Many workers who wanted changes rallied around liberals and radicals.
(ix) Some liberals and radicals wanted a revolution to put an end to the governments established in Europe in 1815.
Nationalists talked of revolutions that would create nations where all citizens would have equal rights.
Coming of Socialism in Europe
(a) The socialists were against private property and as it as the root of all social evils of the time.
(b) Socialists believed that if society as a whole rather than single individuals control property, more attention would be paid to collective social interests.
(a) Some socialists believed in the idea of co-operatives.
(b) Robert Owen sought to build a co-operative community called New Harmony in Indiana in USA.
(c) Other socialists felt that co-operatives could not be built on a wide scale only through individual initiative; they demanded that governments should encourage co-operatives.
(d) In France, Louis Blanc wanted the government to and replace capitalist co-operatives encourage enterprises.
(e) The co-operatives were to be associations of people who produced goods together and divided the profits according to the work done by the members.
(i) Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels added other ideas to the concept of co-operatives.
(ii) Karl Marx felt that capitalists also took the share of profit which was due to the workers.
(iii) He believed that workers should overthrow capitalism and the rule of private property.
(iv) He believed that workers should free themselves from capitalist exploitation and construct a radically socialist state where all property was socially controlled i.e., communist society should be formed which was the society of the future.
Spread of Socialism
(i) By the 1870s, socialism spread through Europe. To co-ordinate their activities socialist formed an international body called the Second International.
(ii) Workers in England and Germany formed associations to achieve better living and working conditions.
(iii) Parties like the socialist party in France and the Labour Party in Britain were formed by socialists and trade unionists.
The Russian Revolution
(i) In 1914, Tsar Nicholas II, who ruled Russia, was autocratic.
(ii) He levied heavy taxes on the peasants.
(iii) He took Russia into the First World War and a large number of Russian soldiers were killed.
Economy and Society in Russia
(i) Peasants : About 85 per cent of the Russian population earned their living from agriculture.
(ii) Cultivators produced for the market and for themselves.
(iii) They had to pay high taxes as land revenue.
(iv) They had to do free labour.
(v) Their condition was very miserable.
(vi) They seldom owned land.
(i) Industry was found in pockets.
(ii) Most industries were the private property of industrialists.
(iii) Government supervised large factories to ensure minimum wages and limited hours of work, but rules were broken.
(iv) Working hours in small workshops were sometimes 15 hours compared to 10-12 hours in factories.
(v) Workers were divided into social groups divided by skills.
(vi) Women made up 31 per cent of the factory labour force in 1914, but they were paid less than men.
(vii) Division among workers showed in their dress and manners too.
(viii) Workers formed associations to help members in times of unemployment of financial hardships.
(ix) They also united to strike work.
(x) They were paid low wages and their condition was miserable.
Revolution Of 1905
(i) The year 1904 was a particularly bad one for the Russian workers. Prices of essential goods rose and real wages declined by 20 per cent.
(ii) Due to dismissal of four members of the Assembly of Russian Workers, a call for industrial action was given.
(iii) 1,10,000 workers in St Petersburg went on strike, demanding a reduction in the working day to eight hours and an increase in wages and improvement in working conditions.
(i) When protesting workers led by Father Gapon reached the Winter Palace, it was attacked by the police.
(ii) Over 100 workers were killed and about 300 wounded. This incident came to be known as ‘Bloody Sunday’.
(iii) Strikes began, universities closed down and students staged walkouts.
(iv) This event is also known as the Revolution of 1905 because the Tsar agreed to give some concessions.
(i) During the Revolution of 1905, the Tsar allowed the formation of the Duma or an elected consultative Parliament.
(ii) Within 75 days the Duma was dismissed and the second Duma was reelected within three months.
(iii) The Tsar did not want any challenge to his authority.
(iv) Liberals and revolutionaries were kept out of the Duma.
Russian Revolution and the First World War
(i) In Russia the war was initially popular and people supported Tsar Nicholas II.
(ii) He did not consult the Duma.
(ii) Anti German sentiments were high in Russia.
(iv) Russian armies suffered defeats and a large number of Russian soldiers were killed.
(v) Russian armies destroyed crops and buildings to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.
(vi) The Russian population wanted an end to the war but the Tsar did not agree.
(vii) The army did not want to fight the war.
Impact of the War
(i) Industries suffered a setback.
(ii) Railway lines began to break up.
(iii) Large supplies of grains were sent to feed the army.
(iv) There was shortage of grain and bread in the cities. Riots at bread shops became common.
(v) There were seven million casualities.
(vi) People turned against the Tsar.
The February Revolution
(i) In February 1917, food shortages were deeply felt in the workers quarters.
(ii) The winter was very cold with heavy snow Frost which made the life of workers very difficult.
(iii) On 22nd February, a lockout took place at a factory on the right bank of the river Neva. Next day fifty factories called a strike.
(iv) In many places women led the strikes.
(v) Workers crossed the river and surrounded the government buildings. The Duma was suspended.
(vi) The cavalry was called out to control the workers, but it refused to fire on the workers.
(vii) The cavalry soldiers joined the workers and jointly formed a “Soviet’ or Council’. This was the Petrograd Soviet Petrograd Soviel.
(viii) The Tsar abdicated on the advice of the military commanders on 2nd March.
(ix) A provisional government was formed to run the country.
(x) The Petrograd Soviet had led the February Revolution that the brought down the monarch (monarchy) in February 1917.
Aftermath of the February Revolution
(i) Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia from his exile in April.
(ii) Lenin put forward three demands which were called “Lenin’s April Theses‘, they were
(a) The war should be brought to a close.
(b) Land be transferred to the peasants.
(c) Banks be nationalised.
The Russian Revolution of October 1917
(i) Conflict between the provisional government led by Kerenskii and the Bolsheviks grew.
(ii) The Bolsheviks under Leon Trotskii decided to seize power.
(iii) Prime Minister Kerenskii called the troops.
(iv) Military men loyal to the Bolsheviks went to take control of the telephone and telegraph offices.
(v) The ship Aurora shelled the Winter Palace. By nightfall the city was under the control of Military Revolutionary Committee and the ministers surrendered. By December, the Bolsheviks controlled the Moscow – Petrograd area.
Effects of the October Revolution
(i) Most industries and banks were nationalised in November 1917.
(ii) Land was declared social property and peasants were allowed to seize the land of the nobility.
(iii) In the cities, Bolsheviks enforced the partition of large houses according to family requirements.
(iv) They banned the use of the old titles of aristocracy.
(v) New uniforms were designed for the army and officials.
(vi) In 1918, the Bolsheviks made peace with Germany at Brest Litovsk and withdrew from the First World War.
(vii) Russia became a one party state and censorship was introduced.
(viii) Civil war took place in Russia between the supporters of the Bolsheviks and the non-Bolsheviks socialists, liberals and the supporters of autocracy.
Making of a Socialist Society
(i) Banks and industries were kept nationalised.
(ii) Five Year Plans were introduced.
(iii) Stalin introduced collectivisation of agriculture; collective farms were introduced and profit was shared. Those who opposed collectivisation were punished.
Global Influence of Russian Revolution
(i) In many countries communist parties were formed.
(ii) Comintern, an organisation of socialists was formed.
(iii) By the 1950s, the Russian Government started losing support.
(iv) By the end of 20th century, socialism suffered a set back. When the Soviet Union was split into different countries.