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History vs. Vladimir Lenin - Alex Gendler


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Vladimir Lenin overthrew Russian Czar Nicholas II and founded the Soviet Union, forever changing the course of Russian politics. But was he a hero who toppled an oppressive tyranny or a villain who replaced it with another? Alex Gendler puts this controversial figure on trial, exploring both sides of a nearly century-long debate.

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Bloody Sunday, Russian Krovavoye Voskresenye , (January 9, 1905), massacre in St. Petersburg, Russia, of peaceful demonstrators marking the beginning of the violent phase of the Russian Revolution of 1905. At the end of the 19th century, industrial workers in Russia had begun to organize; police agents, eager to prevent the Labour Movement from being dominated by revolutionary influences, formed legal labour unions and encouraged the workers to concentrate their energies on making economic gains and to disregard broader social and political problems.

The 1905 Russian Revolution was sparked off by a peaceful protest held on January 22nd. This protest may well have been the turning point in the relationship the czar, Nicholas II, enjoyed with his people. Led by a Russian Orthodox priest, Father Gapon, 150,000 people took to the cold and snow covered streets of St Petersburg to protest about their lifestyle. They were not intent on making any form of political protest in the sense of calling for the overthrow of the government or royal family. The petition they carried clearly shows that they wanted Nicholas to help them.

Seventeen Moments in Soviet History contains a rich archive of texts, images, maps and audio and video materials from the Soviet era (1917-1991). The materials are arranged by year and by subject, are fully searchable, and are translated into English. Students, educators, and scholars will find fascinating materials about Soviet propaganda, politics, economics, society, crime, literature, art, dissidents and hundreds of other topics.

The mass strike, as it appears for the most part in the discussion in Germany, is a very clear and simply thought out, sharply sketched isolated phenomenon. It is the political mass strike exclusively that is spoken of. What is meant by it is a single grand rising of the industrial proletariat springing from some political motive of the highest importance, and undertaken on the basis of an opportune and mutual understanding on the part of the controlling authorities of the new party and of the trade unions, and carried through in the spirit of party discipline and in perfect order, and in still more perfect order brought to the directing committees as a signal given at the proper time, by which committees the regulation of support, the cost, the sacrifice – in a word, the whole material balance of the mass strike – is exactly determined in advance.

Resistance to Bolshevik oppression and economic policy did not only occur in the cities or garrisons like Kronstadt – there were dozens of peasant uprisings during and after the Civil War. The largest of these was in Tambov, an agricultural province several hundred miles south-west of Moscow. Here the peasants quickly became dissatisfied with Bolshevik policies, particularly grain requisitioning; they united and formed militias, deposing and driving away government officials. A political group called the Union of Toiling Peasants (UTP) quickly won the support of most Tambov peasants. In December 1920 it issued a manifesto calling for political equality, land reform, an end to the civil war and various liberal reforms. The UTP was led by Alexander Antonov (pictured), a former SR who had been a police officer under the Provisional Government before reverting to terrorism and assassinations against Bolshevik targets. By late 1920 Antonov had formed a cavalry force of several thousand men which attacked Bolshevik strongholds around Tambov province. His ultimate goal though was to drive the Bolsheviks from Moscow, and by 1921 his army had more than 20,000 men, as well as supplies, weapons, an organised hierarchy and its own uniforms. (To make matters more confusing Antonov’s troops were sometimes referred to as the ‘Blue Army’ in contrast to the Bolshevik Red Army, the counter-revolutionary White Army, the nationalist Green Army and the anarchist Black Army.)
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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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