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Text-Dependent Questions And Answers
|Which TWO of the following statements best summarize the central ideas of the text?
|1. Red October was the culminating event in the path toward a communist revolution in Russia, as the Bolsheviks officially took power.
2. Whatever progress was made under Nicholas II was outweighed by the catastrophic mistakes and bloody tragedies that characterized his rule.
|Which two of the following quotes best support the answer to Part A?
|“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)
|How do paragraphs 1-3 contribute to the text’s central ideas?
|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.
|How does the British historian Figes connect the weather of 1890-1891 to the decline of the Russian empire in the 20th century?
|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.
|Why does the author likely include the section entitled “Changing Russia”?
|To point out that the progress made under Nicholas II contributed to the revolution, for more people were being educated and began demanding change.
|Why did Marxism likely find a particular foothold in Russia and its politics?
|Marxism appealed to the Russian working class’s frustration with the upper classes by advocating class warfare.
|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.
|– Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin were both hungry for power but differed in their paths to leadership.
– Nicholas II, born into royalty, contrasted with Lenin, who gained prominence in the Bolshevik party.
– Lenin was more willing to lead and more brutal in his methods, whereas Nicholas II was less interested in leadership.<br>- Nicholas II and his family were assassinated, while Lenin died of natural causes.
– Lenin delegated military responsibility, unlike Nicholas II.
– Both leaders ultimately failed to care for the poor and oppressed.
|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.
|– The Russian Revolution failed due to a naval mutiny and commanders’ inability to make peace.
– The government’s excessive focus on war led to worsening economic and social problems.
– Despite the uprising against the government, the revolution could not be sustained.
Discussion Questions & Answers
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?
Answer: 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. Still, 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. Most of the population lived 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, deeper structural factors were also at play, such as the long-standing feudal system that had persisted in Russia for centuries. This system resisted change and created deep social divisions 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?
Answer: 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 limiting 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 society.
- 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.
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?
Answer: 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 profoundly impacted Russia’s history, culture, and society, as well as 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.
Answer: Changes are created from adverse situations that negatively affect people. The methods by which the Russian Revolution was created were incorrect, 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.