Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution Class 9 History Chapter 2 Notes

Class 9 History Chapter 2 Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution Notes | Class 9 History Chapter 2 Notes, The russian revolution sought to cange society in a different way. It raised the questions of economic equality and the well being of workers and peasants. the notes will tell you about the changes that were initiated by the new soviet government, the problems it faced and the measures it undertook.

Class 9 History Chapter 2 Notes

Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution Notes

The age of Social Change

  • The French Revolution opened up the possibility of creating a change in the way in which society was structured.
  • Not everyone in Europe, however, wanted a complete transformation of society.
  • Change was necessary but wished for a gradual shift.
  • One group believed that a radical restructuring of the society was necessary.
  • Russia, socialism become one of the most significant and powerful ideas to shape society in the twentieth century.

Liberals, Radicals and Conservatives

  • One of the groups which looked to change society were the liberals.
  • Liberals wanted a nation which tolerated all religions.
  • Liberals also opposed the uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers.
  • They wanted to safeguard the rights of individuals against governments.
  • They argued for a representative, elected parliamentary government, subject to laws interpreted by a well-trained judiciary that was independent of rulers and officials.
  • However, they were not ‘democrats’.
  • They did not believe in universal ault franchise, that is the right of every citizens to vote.
  • They felt men of property mainly should have the vote.
  • They also did not want to vote for women.
  • Radicals wanted a nation in which government was based on the majority of a country’s population.
  • They opposed the privileges of great landowners an wealthy factory owners.
  • They were not against the existence of private property but disliked concentration of property in the hands of a few.
  • Conservatives were opposed to radicals and liberals.
  • After the French revolution, however, even conservatives had opened their minds to the need for change.
  • In the eighteenth century, conservatives had been generally opposed to the idea of change.
  • They accepted that some change was inevitable but believed that the past had t be respected and change had to be brought about through a slow process.

Industrial Society and Social Change

  • It was time of profound social and economic change.
  • It was a time when new cities came up and new industrialized regions developed.
    • Railways expanded
    • The Industrial Revolution occurred.
  • Industrialisation brought men, women and children to factories.
  • Work hours were often long and wages were poor.
  • Unemployment was common, particularly during times of low demand for industrial goods.
  • Housing and sanitation were problems since towns were growing rapidly.
Liberals and radicals searched for solutions to these issues.
  • They felt that benefits would be achieved if the workforce in the economy was healthy and citizens were educated.
  • Opposed to  the privileges the old aristocracy had by birth, they firmly believed in the value of individual effort, labour and enterprise.
  • If freedom of individuals was ensured, if the poor could labour, and those with capital could operate without restraint, they believed that societies would develop.

The Coming of Socialism to Europe

  • Perhaps one of the most far-reaching visions of how society should be structured was socialism.
  • By the mid-nineteenth century in Europe, socialism was a well-known body.
  • Socialism were against private property, and saw it as the root of all social ills of the time.
  • Individuals owned the property that gave employment but the propertied were concerned only with personal gain and not with the welfare of those who made the property productive.
  • If society as a whole rather than single individuals controlled property, more attention would be paid to collective social interests.

Different Visions of Socialists
  • Robert owen, a leading English manufacturer, sought to build a cooperative community called New Harmony in Indiana (USA). 
  • Other socialists felt that cooperatives could not be built on a wide scale only through individual initiative: they demanded that governments encourage cooperatives.
  • Louis Blanc, wanted the government to encourage cooperatives and replace capitalist enterprises.
  • These cooperatives were to be associations of people who produced goods together and divided the profits according to the work done by members.
Ideology of Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels
  • Karl Marx 1818-1883 and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) added other ideas.
  • Marx argued that industrial society was ‘capitalist’.
  • Capitalists owned the capital invested in factories, and the profit of capitalists was produced by workers.
  • The conditions of workers could not improve as long as this profit was accumulated by the private capitalists.
  • Workers had to overthrow capitalism and the rule of private property.
  • Marx believed that to free from capitalist exploitation, workers had to construct a radically socialist society where all property was socially controlled.
  • This would be a communist society.

Support for Socialism

  • By the 1870s, socialist ideas spread through Europe.
  • socialists formed an international body – namely, the Second International.
  • Workers in England and Germany began forming associations to fight for better living and working conditions.
    • They set up funds to help members in times of distress
    • Demanded a reduction of working hours and the right to vote.
  • In Germany, these associations worked closely with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and helped it win parliamentary seats.
  • 1905, socialists and trade unionists formed a Labour Party in Britain and a Socialist Party in France.

The Russian Revolution

  • Socialists rook over the government in Russia through the October Revolution of 1917.
  • The fall of monarchy in February 1917 and the events of October are normally called the Russian Revolution.

The Russian Empire in 1914

  • In 1914, Tsar Nicholas II ruled Russia and its empire.
  • The territory around Moscow, the Russian empire included current-day Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Parts of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus.
    • Central Asian states, as well as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
  • the majority religion was russian orthodox Christianity.

Economy and Society

Agriculture Society in Russia
  • At the beginning of the twentieth century, the vast majority of Russia’s people were agriculturists.
  • About 85 percent of the Russian empire’s population earned their living from agriculture.
  • cultivators produced for the market as well ad for their own needs
  • Russia was a major exporter of grain.
Starting of industry in russian 
  • Industry was found in pockets.
  • Prominent industrial areas were St Petersburg and Moscow.
  • Many factories were set up in the 1890s, when Russia’s railway network was extended and foreign investment in industry increased.
  • Coal production doubled and iron and steel output quadrupled.
  • By the 1900s, in some areas factory workers and craftsmen were almost equal in number.
  • Industry was the private property of industrialists.
  • Government supervised large factories to ensure minimum wages and limited hours of work.
  • The working day was sometimes 15 hours, compared with 10 or 12 hours in factories.
Divisions of workers in social Groups 
  • Workers were a divided social group.
    • Workers were divided by skill.
  • A metalworker of St. Petersburg recalled, ‘Metalworkers considered themselves aristocrats among other workers.
  • Women made up 31 per cent of the factory labour force by 1914.
  • But they were paid less than men between half and three-quarters of a men’s wage
  • Divisions among workers showed themselves in dress and manners too.
  • Workers formed associaions to help members in times of unemployment of financial hardship
Unite in workers
  • Workers did unite to strike work stop work when they disagreed with employers about dismissals or work conditions.
  • These strikes took place frequently in the txtile industry during 1896-1897, and in the metal industry during 1902.
Peasants in russia
  • The Crown and the Orthodox church owned large properties.
  • Peasants had no respect for the nobility.
  • Nobles got their power and position through their services to the Tsar. 
  • In Russia, peasants wanted the land of the nobles to be given to them.
  • Peasants refused to pay rent and even murdered landlords
  • 1902, this occurred on a large scale in south Russia.
  • In 1905, such incidents took place all over Russia.
  • Russian Peasants pooled their land together periodically and their commune divided it according to the needs of individual families.

Socialism in Russia

  • All political parties were illegal in Russia before 1914.
  • The Russian social democratic works party was founded in 1898 by socialists who respected Marx’s ideas.
    • because of government policing, it had to operate as an illegal organisation 
  • Some Russian socialists felt that peasants, would be the main force of the revolutions.
  • They socialist revolutionary party in 1900.
    • This party struggled for peasants’ rights and demanded that land belonging to nobles be transferred to peasants.
  • Lenin felt that peasants were not one united group.
    • Some were poor and others rich, some worked as labourers while others were capitalists who employed workers.
    • They could not all be part of a socialist movement.

A Turbulent Time: The 1905 Revolution

  • Russia was an autocracy. Liberals in Russia campaigned to end The Autocracy of the Tsar
  • Social Democrats and Socialist Revolutionaries, they worked with peasants and workers during the revolution of 1905 to demand a constitution.
Bloody Sunday
  • The year 1904 was a particularly bad one for Russian workers.
  • Prices of essential goods rose so quickly that real wages declined by 20 percent.
  • When four members of the Assembly of Russian Workers, which had been formed in 1904, were dismissed at the Putilav Iron Works, there was a call for industrial action.
  • Over 110000 workers in St Petersburg went on strike demanding a reduction in the working day to eight hours, an increase in wages and improvement in working conditions.
    • The procession of workers led by Father Gapon reached the Winter Palace it was attacked by the police and the Cossacks.
    • Over 100 workers were killed and about 300 wounded.
  • The inident, known as Bloody Sunday.
Consequences of the 1905 Revolution
  • Strikes took place all over the country and universities closed down when student bodies staged walkouts, complaining about the lack of civil liberties.
    • Lawyers, doctors, engineers and other middle-class workers established the union of Unions and demanded a constituent assembly.
  • During the 1905 Revolution, the Tsar allowed the creation of an elected consultative Parliament or Duma.
  • The Tsar dismissed the first Duma within 75 days and the re-elected second Duma within three months.
  • He did not want any questioning of his authority or any reduction in his power.
    • He changed the voting laws and packed the third Duma with conservative politicians.

The First World War and the Russian Empire

  • In 1914, war broke out between two European alliances – Germany, Austria and Turkey (the Central powers) and France, Britain and Russia (later Italy and Romanian).
    • War was fought outside Europe as well as in Europe. This was the First World War.
  • Anti-German sentiments ran high, as can be seen in the renaming of St Petersburg – a German name – as Petrograd.
  • Russia’s armies lost badly in Germany and Austria between 1914 and 1916.
  • There were over 7 million casualties by 1917.
    • The Russian army destroyed crops and buildings to prevent the enemy from being able to live off the land.
    • The destruction of crops and buildings led to over 3 million refugees in Russia.
War Impact on Industry
  • russian industrial equipment disintegrated more rapidly in russia than elsewhere in Europe.
  • By 1916, Railway lines began to break down.
  • Abled bodied men were called up to the war.
    • there were labour shortage 
    • small workshops producing essentials were shut down .
  • The people in the cities, bread and flour became scarce.
    • By the winter of 1916, riots at bread shops wee common.

The February Revolution in Petrograd

  • In the winter of 1917, conditions in the capital, Petrograd, were grim.
  • In February 1917, food shortages were deeply felt in the workers quarters.
  • On 22 February a lockout took place at a factory. Workers in fifty factories called a strike in sympathy.
    • In many factories, women led the way to strikes.
    • This came to be called the International Women’s day.
  • Official buildings were surrounded by workers, the government imposed a curfew.
  • On Sunday, 25 February, the government suspended the Duma. Politicians spoke out against the measure.
  • On the 27th, the Police Headquarers were ransacked.
  • The streets thronged with people raising slogans about bread, wages, better hours and democracy.
  • The government tried to control the situation and called out the cavalry.
    • The cavalry refused to five on the demonstrators.
  • An officer was shot at the barracks of a regiment and three other regiments mutinied, voting to join the striking workers.
  • Soldiers and striking workers had gathered to form a ‘soviet’ or ‘council’ in the same building as the Duma met.
    • This was the Petrograd Soviet.
  • A delegation went to see the Tsar. Military commanders advised him to abdicate.
    • Tsar Abdicated on 2 March.
  • Soviet leaders and Duma leaders formed a Provisional Government to run the country.
  • Russia’s future would be decided by a constituent assembly, elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage.

After February

  • Restrictions on public meetings and associations were removed.
    • ‘Soviet’, like te petograd Soviet, were setup everywhere.
  • In April 1917, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia from his exile.
  • Vladimir Lenin three demands which are known as Lenin’s April Theses.
    • Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks had opposed the war.
    • He declared that the war be brought to a close.
    • Land be transferred to the peasants and banks be nationalized.
  • He also argued that the Bolshevik Party rename itself the Communist Party to indicate its new radical aims.
Effect of February Revolution
  • In industrial areas, factory committees were formed which began questioning the way industrialists ran their factories.
    • Trade unions grew in number.
  • Soldiers’ committees were formed in the army.
  • The Provisional Government saw its power reduce and Bolshevik influence grow,
    • It decided to take stern measures against the spreading discontent.
  • It resisted attempts by workers to run factories and began arresting leaders.
    • peasants and their Socialist Revolutionary leaders pressed for a redistribution of land.

The Revolution of October 1917

  • Lenin feared the Provisional Government would set up a dictatorship. 
  • On 16 October 1917, Lenin persuaded the Petrograd Soviet and the Bolshevik Party to agree to a socialist seizure of power.
    • A Military Revolutionary Committee was appointed by the Soviet under Leon Trotskii to organize the seizure.
  • The uprising began on 24 October.
    • Sensing trouble, Prime Minister Kerenskii had left the city to summon troops.
  • Military men loyal to the government seized the buildings of two Bolshevik newspapers.
    • Pro-government troops were sent to take over telephone and telegraph offices and protect the Winter Palaces.
  • The Military Revolutionary Committee ordered its supporters to seize government offices and arrest ministers.
    • Late in the day, the ship Aurora shelled the Winter Palace.
    • By nightfall, the city was under the committee’s control and the ministers had surrendered.
  • All Russian Congress of Soviets in Petrograd, the majority approved the Bolshevik action.
  • Uprisings took place in other cities. By December, the bolsheviks controlled the Moscow Petrograd area.

What Changed after October? | After the Revolution of October, 1917 :-

  • The Bolsheviks were totally opposed to private property.
  • Most industry and banks were nationalized in November 1917.
  • The government took over ownership and management.
  • Land as declared social property and peasants were allowed to seize the land of the nobility.
  • Bolsheviks enforced the partition of large houses according to family requirements.
  • Bolsheviks banned the use of the old titles of aristocracy.
  • The Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party.
  • Russia became a one-party state and the Russian Communist Party was the only party
    • Trade unions were kept under party control.

The Civil War

  • Non-Bolshevik socialists, liberals and supporters of autocracy condemned the Bolshevik uprising.
  • Their leaders moved to south Russia and organized troops to fight the Bolsheviks (the ‘reds’)
  • During 1918 and 1919, the ‘greens’ Socialist Revolutionaries and ‘whites’ (pro-Tsarists) controlled most of the Russian empire.
    • They were backed French, American, British and Japanese troops – all those forces who were worried at the growth of socialism in Russia.
  • As these troops and the Bolsheviks fought a civil war, looting, banditry and famine became common.
  • By January 1920, the Bolsheviks controlled most of the former Russian empire.

Making a Socialist Society

  • During the civil war the Bolsheviks kept industries and banks nationalized.
  • They permitted peasants to cultivate the land that had been socialized.
  • A process of centralized planning was introduced.
  • Official assessed how the economy could work and set targets for a five-year period.
  • The government fixed all prices to promote industrial growth during the first two plans.
  • Industrial production increased between 1929 and 1933 by 100 per cent in the case of oil, coal and steel.
    • However, rapid construction led to poor working conditions.
  • An extended schooling system developed, and arrangements were made for factory workers and peasants to enter universities.
    • Creches were established in factories for the children of women workers.
    • Cheap public health care was provided.
    • Model living quarters were set up for workers.

Stalinism and Collectivisation

  • By 1927-1928, the towns in Sovi et Russia were facing an acute problem of grain supplies.
  • The government fixed prices at which grain must be sold, but the peasants refused to sell their grain to government buyers at these prices.
  • Stalin, who headed the party after the death of Lenin, introduced firm emergency measures.
    • He believed that rich peasants and traders in the countryside were holding stocks in the hope of higher prices.
    • speculation had to stopped and supplies confiscated.
  • As shortages continued, the decision was taken to collectivise farms.
    • argued that grain shortages were partly due to the small size of holdings.
  • To develop modern farms, and run them along industrial lines with machinery, it was necessary to eliminate kulaks take away land from peasants, and establish state- controlled large farms.
Stalin’s collectivisations programme
  • From 1929, the party forced all peasants to cultivate in collective farms(kolkhoz).
  • The bulk of land and implements were transferred to the ownership of collective farms.
  • Peasants worked on the Land and the kolkhoz profit was shared.
  • Enraged peasants resisted the authorities and destroyed their livestock..
  • Between 1929 and 1931, the number of cattle fell by one-third.
  • Those who resisted collectivization were severely punished many were deported and exiled.

In fact, the bad harvests of 1930-1933 led to one of most devastating famines in Soviet history when over 4 million died.

The Global Influence of the Russian Revolution and the USSR

  • The possibility of a workers’ state fired people’s imagination across the world.
  • In many countries, communist parties were formed – like the Communist Party of Great Britain.
  • Many non-Russians form outside the USSR participated in the conference of the peoples of the East (1920) and the bolshevik-founded comintern (an international union of pro-Bolshevik socialist parties).
  • By the time of the outbreak of the Second World War, the USSR had given socialism a global face and world stature.
  • The Style of government in the USSR was not in keeping with the ideals of the Russian Revolution.
  • Its industries and agriculture had developed and the poor were being fed.
  • But it had denied the essential freedoms to its citizens and carried out its developmental projects through repressive policies.
  • By the end of the twentieth century, the international reputation of the USSR as a socialist country had declined.

Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution Class 9 History Chapter 2 Notes FAQs

What Changed After the Revolution of October 1917?

1. The Bolsheviks were totally opposed to private property.
2. Most industry and banks were nationalized in November 1917.
3. The government took over ownership and management.
4. Land as declared social property and peasants were allowed to seize the land of the nobility.
5. Bolsheviks enforced the partition of large houses according to family requirements.
6. Bolsheviks banned the use of the old titles of aristocracy.
7. The Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party.
8. Russia became a one-party state and the Russian Communist Party was the only party Trade unions were kept under party control.

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