The rule of Nicholas II, 1894–1905
The nature of autocratic rule: the Tsarist principles of autocracy, nationality and orthodoxy; the oppression of nationalities; anti-semitism; the Okhrana.
Opposition to Tsarism: unrest among peasants and workers; middle-class opposition and the League of Liberation; the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats; reasons for the lack of success of opposition groups.
The 1905 Revolution: the impact of the Russo-Japanese war; Bloody Sunday; the spread of revolutionary activity among peasants, workers and national minorities; the St. Petersburg Soviet.
Nicholas II’s response: the failure of the August Manifesto; the October Manifesto and the response of opposition
groups; the crushing of the Moscow Uprising; the extent of the recovery of Tsarist power.
The end of Romanov rule, 1906–17
Change and continuity in government: the Fundamental Law; the radicalism of the first two dumas; Nicholas II’s relations with the dumas, 1906–14; the nature of Tsarist government and royal power in 1914.
Repression and reform, 1906–14: Stolypin’s repression and the restoration of stability; actions against revolutionary
parties; reform of agricultural landholdings and emigration to Siberia; the Lena goldfields massacre 1912.
The impact of the First World War: the state of the armed forces in 1914; economic problems including inflation and
supplies for cities. The roles of Nicholas, Alexandra and Rasputin; the Progressive Bloc and Zemgor.
The February Revolution: growth of unrest in towns and countryside; International Women’s Day and the Petrograd
general strike; the creation of the Provisional Committee and the Petrograd Soviet; the abdication of Nicholas II.
The Provisional government and its opponents, February– October 1917
The nature of dual power: the political complexion of the Provisional government; the extent of its power and support; the aims and membership of the Petrograd Soviet; early political reforms.
Opposition to the Provisional government: conflicting attitudes on the continuation of the war; Lenin’s return to Russia and the April Theses; the Milyukov crisis; the June Offensive and the July Days.
The second Provisional government, July–October: Kerensky as Prime Minister; the membership of the new government; problems in industry and agriculture; the Kornilov affair and its impact on the government and the Bolsheviks.
The October Revolution: Lenin’s influence on the Central Committee; the Constituent Assembly elections; Trotsky and the Military Revolutionary Committee; the events of 24–26 October; the formation of the Bolshevik government
Defending the Bolshevik revolution, October 1917–24
Consolidating Bolshevik power: the closing of the Constituent Assembly; making peace at Brest-Litovsk; the formation of the Cheka; attacks on Bolshevik opponents; the Red Terror.
Bolshevik economic policies: state capitalism; War Communism; the Tambov rising and the Kronstadt mutiny; economic and political results of the New Economic Policy; the ban on factions 1921.
Defeat of domestic enemies: the Social Revolutionaries, national minorities and the Whites; Trotsky and the Red Army; the geography of the civil war; the defeat of Kolchak, Denikin and Yudenich.
Foreign intervention in Russia: reasons, nature and extent of intervention; the impact of war weariness and the lack of
support in the west for intervention; the end of intervention.