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

Chapter 2 - Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution

Question 1: Write a short note on liberals, radicals and conservatives.

→ Liberals: One of the groups which looked to change society were 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 individual against governments. They argued for a representative, elected parliamentary government, subject to law.

→ Radical: Wanted a nation in which government was built on the majority of a country's population. Supported women's suffragette movement. Opposed the privileges of great landowners and wealthy factory owners.

→ Conservative: Conservative were opposed to radicals and liberals. After French Revolution even conservatives had opened their minds to the need for change.

Question 2: What do you mean by socialism?
Socialism means common ownership and common ownership means everybody has the right to participate on decisions how the global resources will be used.

Question 3: Explain the economic condition of the workers before the Russian Revolution.

• Industrialization bought men, women and children to factory.
• 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.

Question 4: Explain the views of different socialists and philosophers regarding the vision of future to transform society.
Socialists had different visions of the future. Some believed in the idea of cooperative.
• Robert Owen (1771-1858) a leading English manufacturer, sought to build 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 the governments to encourage cooperative.
• In France, for instance, Louis Blanc (1813-1882) wanted the government to encourage cooperative and replace capitalist enterprises.
• These cooperatives were to be the associations of people who produced goods together and divided the profits according to the work done by members.
• Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) added other ideas to this body of arguments. Marx argued that Industrial society was ‘capitalist’. Capitalists owned the capital invested in factories, and the profit of capitalist was produced by workers.
• Marx believed that to free themselves from capitalist exploitation, workers had to construct a radically socialist society where all property was socially controlled. This would be a communist society.

Question 5: Name the International Body formed by the socialists.
Second International was the international body formed by the socialists.

Question 6: How were the peasants of Russia different from those of rest of Europe of Russia.

→ Peasants of Russia:
• Peasants wanted the land of the nobles to be given to them. They refused to pay the rent and even murdered the landlord. Thus, they had no respect for the landlord.
• Peasants in Russia pooled their land together periodically and their commune (mir) divided it according to the needs of individual families.

→ Peasants of Europe:
• Peasants in Europe respected the landlords and fought for them.
• But peasants in other European country cultivated the land which they owned.

Question 7: Differentiate between socialism and capitalism.

→ Socialism:
• Assets are owned by government/cooperative.
• Redistribution of income
• Prices were controlled
• Healthcare provided by government free at point-of-use.

→ Capitalism:
• Assets are owned by private firm
• Income determined by market
• Price determined by supply and demand
• Health Care left to free market

Question 8: What was the impact of World War I on Russian industries?
The war also had a severe impact on industry.
• Russia’s own industries were few in number and the country was cut off from other suppliers of industrial goods by German control of the Baltic Sea.
• Industrial equipments disintegrated more rapidly in Russia than elsewhere in Europe.
• By 1916, railway lines began to break down. Able-bodied men were called up to the war. As a result, there were labour shortage and small workshops producing essentials were shut down.
• Large suppliers of grain were sent to feed the army. For the people in the cities, bread and flour became scarce.
• By the winter of 1916, riots at bread shop for common.

Question 9: Write a short note on Bloody Sunday.

• The year 1904 was a particularly bad one for Russian workers. Prices of essential goods rose so quickly that the real wages declined by 20%.
• Over the next few days over 110000 workers in St Petersburg went on strike demanding a reduction in the working day to 8 hours, an increase in wages and improvement in working conditions.
• When 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. This incident, known as Bloody Sunday, started a series of events that became known as 1905 Revolution.
• Strikes took place all over the country and universities closed down when student bodies staged out walkouts, complaining about the lack of civil liberties. Lawyers, doctor, engineers and other middle-class workers established the Union of Unions and demanded a Constituent Assembly.

Question 10: Write a short note on socio-economic condition of Russia before Russian Revolution. Write socio-economic condition of Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.

• At the beginning of the 20th century the vast majority of Russia's people were agriculturalists. About 85% of the Russian’s empire population earned their living from agriculture.
• Industry was found in pockets. Prominent industrial areas were St Petersburg and Moscow.
• Many factories were setup in 1890s when Russia railway network was extended and foreign investment in industry increased. Coal production doubled and iron and output quadrupled. By the 1900s, in some areas factory workers and craftman were almost equal in number.
• Most industry was the private property of industrialists. Government supervised large factories to ensure to minimum wages and limited hours of work. But factory inspectors could not prevent rules being broken.
• In craft units and small workshops, the working day was sometimes 15 hours, compared with 10 to 12 hours in factory. Accommodation varied from rooms to dormitories.
• Women made up 31% of factory labour force by 1914, but they were paid less than men (between half and three quarter the man’s wage)

Question 11: Evaluate the circumstances leading to February Revolution.

• In winter of 1917, conditions in the capital, Petrograd, were grim. The layout of the city seemed to emphasize the division among its people.
• The workers quarters and factories were located on the right bank of the River Neva. On the left bank were the fashionable areas, the Winter Palace and official buildings, including the palace where the Duma met.
• In February 1917, food shortages were deeply felt in the worker’s quarters. The winter was very cold - there had been exceptional frost and heavy snow. Parliamentarians wishing to preserve elected government, were opposed to the Tsar’s desire to dissolve the Duma.
• On 22 February, a lockout took place at a factory on the right bank. The next day workers of 50 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.
• On Sunday 25th February, the government suspended the Duma.
• Demonstrators returned in force to the street on the left bank of the 26th. On the 27th, the police headquarters were ransacked. The streets thronged with people raising slogans about bread, wages, better hours and democracy.
• Military commanders advised Tsar to abdicate. Tsar followed their advice. Petrograd had led the February Revolution that brought down the monarch in February 1917.

Question 12: Write a short note on October Revolution.

• Lenin feared the Provisional Government would set up a dictatorship. In September, he began discussions for an uprising against the government.
• On 16 October 1917, Lenin persuaded the Petrograd Soviet and the Bolshevik Party to agree to a socialist seizure of power. A Military Revolutionary Party was appointed by the Soviet under Leon Trostskii to organize the seizure.
• The uprising began on 24 October. Sensing trouble, Prime Minister Kerenskii had left the city to summon the troops. At dawn, military men loyal to the government seized the buildings of 2 Bolshevik newspaper.
• Pro-government troops were sent to take over telephone and telegraph offices and protect the Winter Palace. In a swift response, the military Revolutionary Comitteeordered its supporters to seize government offices and arrest ministers.
• At a meeting of the All Russian Congress of Soviet in Petrograd, the majority approved the Bolshevik action. Uprising took place in other cities. There was heavy fighting - especially in Moscow - but by December the Bolshevik controlled the Moscow-Petrograd area.

Question 13: What were the main changes brought by Bolsheviks immediately after October revolution?

• The Bolsheviks were totally opposed to private property. Most industry and banks were nationalized in November 1917.
• Land was declared social property and peasants were allowed to seize the land of the nobility.
• In cities, Bolsheviks enforced the partition of large houses according to family requirement. They banned the use of the old titles of aristocracy.
• To assert the change, new uniforms were designed for the army and the officials.
• The Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party.
• The Bolsheviks made peace with Germany at Brest Litovsk. In the years that followed the Bolsheviks became the only party to participate in the elections to the All Russian Congress of Soviets, which became the Parliament of the country.
• Russia became a one-party state state. Trade unions were kept under party control. The secret police punished those who criticized the Bolsheviks.

Question 14: Write a short note on Civil War in Russia.

• When the Bolsheviks ordered land redistribution, the Russian Army began to break up. Soldiers, mostly peasants, wished to go home for the redistribution and deserted.
• Non-Bolsheviks, socialist, 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-Tsarist) controlled most of the Russian empire. They were backed by French, American, British and Japanese troops - all these forces 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.

Question 15: Explain the Collectivization policy of Stalin.

• From 1929, the party headed by Stalin forced all the peasants to cultivate in collective farms (kolkhozs).
• Peasants worked on the land, and the kolkhoz profit was shared. Enraged peasants resisted the authorities and destroyed in livestock.
• Those who resisted collectivisation was severely punished. Many were deported and exiled.
• As they resisted collectivization, peasants argued that they weren’t rich and they weren’t against socialism. They didn’t merely want to work in collective farms for a variety of reasons.
• Stalin’s government allowed some independent cultivation, but treated such cultivators unsympathetically.

Question 16: What were the impact of Russian Revolution on Russia and the world?

• It put an end on arbitrary rule in Russia.
• In many countries, communist parties were formed like – the Communist Party of Great Britain.
• The socialist government announced the nationalization of all industries, banks, lands etc. These were declared State Property.

Question 17: Write a short note on Five Year Plan introduced by Bolsheviks.

• The government fixed all prices to promote industrial growth during first two ‘Plans’ (1927-1932 and 1933-1938). Centralized planning led to economic growth. Industrialization production increased (between 1929 and 1933 by 100% in the case of oil, coal and steel).
• An extended schooling system developed and arrangements were made for factory workers and peasants to enter universities.
• Crèches were established in factories for the children of women workers.
• Cheap public health care was provided.
• Model living quarters was set up for workers.

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