Ques 1. Explain how a society, according to socialists, can operate without property. What would be the basis of socialist society?
Ans: Socialists had different visions of the future. Some such as Robert Owen, a leading English manufacturer, sought to build a co-operative community called New Harmony in Indiana (USA). Other socialists felt that co-operatives could not be built on a wide scale only through individual initiative.
They wanted that governments must encourage co-operatives and replace capitalist enterprise. This was propagated by Louis Blanc in France. They said that cooperatives were to be associations of people who produced goods together and divided the profits according to the work done by members. More ideas were added to this body of arguments.
These ideas were added by Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels. Marx argued that industrial society was capitalist. Capitalist owned the capital invested in factories. The profit which came to them through these factories was produced by the workers. The workers contributed to the profits but did not gain anything.
Their condition could improve only if the workers freed themselves from capitalists exploitation. For this the workers needed to construct a radically socialist society where all property was socially controlled. This would be a communist society. The second International was the body termed to coordinate their efforts. Russian revolution
Ques 2. What developments took place in Europe in support of socialism?
Ans: By the 1870s the socialists formed an international body, namely the Second International to coordinate their efforts. Associations were formed by workers in Germany and England to fight for better living and working conditions. To help members in times of distress, they set up funds and demanded a reduction in working hours and the right to vote. In Germany, these associations worked closely with the Social Democratic Party and helped it win parliamentary seats. By 1905 socialists and trade unionists formed a Labour Party in Britain and a Socialist Party in France.
Ques 3. Discuss Stalin’s collectivisation programme.
What was Collectivisation? How did stalin use this programme?
Ans: Stalin felt that collectivisation would definitely solve the problem of shortage. From 1929 the Party forced the 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 1/3. Those who resisted collectivisation were severely punished. Many were exiled and deported. The peasants argued that they were not rich and were not against socialism but they opposed collectivisation for a variety of reasons. Some independent cultivation was allowed by Stalin’s government but such cultivators were treated unsympathetically. In spite of all these measures production did not increase immediately.Fig. Collectivisation in Russia
Ques 4. How did socialism spread in Europe?
Ans: The International Workingmen’s Association — the First International–was formed in 1864. With its formation “Socialism stepped onto the stage of history as a World Movement”. Its slogan was “proletarians of all countries unite”. It worked for the emancipation of the workers and laid stress on the ‘‘abolition of all class rules”. It continued up to 1872. In 1889, the socialists formed the Second International to coordinate their efforts. Associations were formed by workers in Germany and England for better living and working conditions. They set up funds to help members in times of distress. By 1905, socialists and trade unionists formed a Labour Party in Britain and a Socialist Party in France.
Ques 5. Discuss the causes that led to the Revolution of 1917.
Describe the circumstances which were responsible for Russian Revolution.
Ans: Russian peasantry was in a miserable condition. Feudalism and serfdom prevailed till 1861. The capitalist industrialists exploited the workers by making them work 12-14 hours, for low wages. The despotic rule of Tsar Nicholas II. The bureaucracy was corrupt, rigid and inefficient. The common people were fed up with the absolute rule of the Tsar. Karl Marx propagated scientific socialism. Liberal ideas of the west through literature entered Russia plus Tolstoy and other thinkers infused revolutionary thoughts in the youth.
Ques 6. Comment on the role of Vladimir Lenin in the revolution and his contribution to the economic policy.
Ans: Vladimir Lenin played an important part in the Russian Revolution of 1917. He led the revolutionaries after the fall of the Tsar Under Lenin’s leadership, the Bolshevik Party put forward clear policies to end the war, transfer land to the peasants and advance the slogan ‘All power to the Soviets’. He was of the opinion that no genuine democracy could be established unless all the non-Russians were given equal rights. These were the real objectives of the Russian Revolution and he fulfilled all these objectives. That is why Lenin’s name has become inseparable from the Russian Revolution. Fig. Vladimir Lenin
Ques 7. Discuss the role and importance of Lenin in the history of the USSR.
Examine the role of Lenin in Russian Revolution.
Ans: In April 1917, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia from exile. He said it was time for the Soviets to take over power. He declared that the war be brought to a close, land be transferred to peasants, banks be nationalised. These three demands were Lenin’s ‘April Theses’. He argued that Bolshevik Party be renamed the Communist Party. In January 1918, Lenin dismissed the Constituent Assembly. There was only one party — the All Russian Congress of Soviets. It also became the Parliament of the country. The secret police OGPU and NKVD punished those who criticised the Bolsheviks. By 1920, the Bolsheviks controlled most of the former empire. The Bolsheviks created the USSR from the Russian Empire in December 1922.
Ques 8. What were the immediate consequences of the Russian Revolution? (CBSE 2010)
What were the impacts of the Russian Revolution on Russia?
Ans: Most industries and banks were nationalised in November 1917. This meant the government took over the ownership and management. 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 requirements. They banned the use of old title 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.
Ques 9. How did communism in Russia influence capitalist societies?
Ans: Karl Marx argued that industrial society was capitalist. Capitalists owned the capital invested in factories. The profit of capitalists was produced by workers. Workers had to overthrow capitalism and the rule of private property. A radically socialist society had to be constructed. A communist society was the natural society of the future. By 1870s, socialists ideas spread through Europe.
Ques 10. What were the social, economic and political conditions in Russia before 1905?
Ans: Social conditions : People of different social status, classes, religions and diverse nationalities were there. Imposition of Russian language was made to belittle the cultures of these people. Main groups of Russian population were farmers, workers, landowners, capitalists, industrialists and traders. Economic conditions : 85 percent of Russians were agriculturists. Agriculture provided employment to a vast population. Cultivators produced food for market as well as their own needs Political conditions : Nobles got their power and position through their services to the Tsar, not through local popularity. This was unlike France where peasants respected nobles and fought for them. In Russia, peasants wanted the land of the nobles, they refused to pay rent and even murdered landlords.
Ques 11. In what ways was the working population is Russia different from other countries in Europe, before 1917?
Ans: Workers were a divided social group in Russia. Some had strong links with villages, some had settled in cities. Workers were divided by skill. Metal workers considered themselves aristocrats. Despite division they did unite to strike work when they disagreed with employers. Like workers, peasants were also divided. But they had no respect for the nobility. They wanted the land of the nobles. They refused to pay rent and even murdered landlords.
Ques 12. What were the main changes brought about by the Bolsheviks immediately after the October Revolution?
Ans: Most industry and banks were nationalised. This meant that the government took over the ownership and management. Land was declared social property and peasants were allowed to seize the land of the nobility. In cities, Bolsheviks enforced partition of large houses according to family requirements. Use of old aristocratic titles were banned. New uniforms were designed for the army and the officials. The Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party. Russia became a one-party state. The secret police OGPU and NKVP punished those who criticised Bolsheviks.
Ques 13. Comment on the global influence of the Russian Revolution.
What were the international consequences of the Russian Revolution?
Ans: Existing socialist parties in Europe did not wholly approve of the way the Bolsheviks took power and kept it. Still the possibility of a workers’ state fired their imagination across the world. In many countries communist parties were formed. Bolsheviks encouraged colonial people to follow their example. Many non-Russians received education in the USSR’s University of the Peoples of the East. By the time the Second World War broke out, the USSR had given socialism a global face and world stature.
Ques 14. How did Russia's participation in the World War caused the fall of the Tsar?
Ans: The war was initially popular and people rallied around Tsar Nicholas II. But as the war continued, support became thin and Tsar's popularity declined. Anti-German sentiments became high. The Tsarina Alexandra's German origins and poor advisers, especially a monk called Rasputin, made the autocracy unpopular. Defeats were shocking and demoralising. Russia's armies lost badly in Germany and Austria between 1914 and 1916. There were over 7 million casualties by 1917. The destruction of crops and buildings led to over 3 million refugees in Russia. The situation discredited the government and the Tsar. The war also had a severe impact on industry. Many of them producing essential goods were shut down. Able bodied men were called up to the war. Large supplies of grains 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 shops were common.
Ques 15. What conditions led to the Russian Civil War in 1918-1920? Any four points.
Fig. Russian civil war
(i) The Russian army began to break up after Bolsheviks ordered land redistribution. Soldiers who were mostly peasants wished to go home for the land and deserted.
(ii) Now Bolshevik Socialists, Liberals and supporters of autocracy condemned the Bolshevik uprising. Their leaders organised the troops to fight the Bolsheviks.
(iii) During 1918 and 1919, the ‘greens’ (Socialist Revolutionaries) and ‘whites’ (pro-Tsarists) controlled most of the Russian empire. They were backed by French, American, British and Japanese troops. As these troops and the Bolsheviks fought a civil war, looting, banditry and famine became common.
(iv) Supporters of private property among ‘whites’ took harsh steps with peasants who had seized land.