Odisha State Board CHSE Odisha Class 11 History Solutions Unit 5 Long Answer Questions Part 1.
CHSE Odisha 11th Class History Unit 5 Long Answer Questions Part-1
Long Questions With Answers
When the First World War began and what are its causes?
The First World War began in 1914. It ended in 1918. As a war it is unique. It was a war that made all regions of the world take part in it, either directly or indirectly. A century before it, the great wars of Napoleon’s time were limited only to Europe. In other words, before 1914, wars were regional or confined to a continent. But the First World War was a war in which all continents fought on behalf of any one of the two main groups of nations.
Thus, Winston Churchill says, “the great war differed from all previous wars.” The world fought this war for 1565 days from 28 June 1914 to 11 November 1918. Major General Taylor, in his book “History of Modem Wars” describes this war as the bloodiest and the costliest, till 1938.
More than 13 million people died and over 15 million were wounded out of whom 7 million were rendered invalid for the rest of their lives.
These figures are more than twice the total of all wars from 1790 to 1913 taken together. The soldiers killed in the war molded into the soil, and the common people, the civilians, suffered from miseries of starvation, epidemics, massacres, raids, and diseases. The birth rate of many nations came to be affected. The economic losses of a modem war are incalculable.
Speaking of the First World War, Lipson says, “a modem war is fought on two fronts the fighting front and the home front.” Because of the incalculable economic losses in a modem war, “in an economic sense, there are no victors (of a war).” However, according to One account, the world lost 270 billion dollars as a result of the First World War. This great war had no precedent, and it produced a new out¬look to war as an institution.
Causes of the First World War (1914-1918):
The First World War was the first great war of its kind. It involved the big powers and their colonies; as such it was a global war such a great war was bound to have a number of causes at the root of its outbreak. No single cause, however important, could alone have produced such a war. Multiple causes lay behind the outbreak of the First World War.
Aggressive Nationalism :
The first cause of this great war was aggressive nationalism. The French Revolution (1789) had given a new emphasis to nationalism. It came to promote the ideas of nationalism in all countries in general and in Poland, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands in particular. That is why Edmund Burke came to describe the 19th century as the ‘age of nationalism.
During the hundred years from the defeat of Napoleon till the outbreak of the First World War, not only the people in all countries wanted to strengthen their nations but also a sense of national pride led them to work out ways and means for making their nation stronger than other nations.
The second cause of the First World War was the economic competition among the nations as a result of the industrial revolution. It is said, ‘‘Industrialisation gave birth to imperialism.” This is explained by the nature of the effect of the industrial revolution among tile developed nations. As industrialization grew, there also grew keen competition among these advanced countries for finding more raw – materials abroad and finding more markets for their finished products.
Pure economic greed lay at t root of it all. Britain, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal came to be engaged n a cut-throat competition in Asia and Africa for this purpose. Thus industrialization led to commercialism, commercialism to colonialism, colonialism to imperialism, imperialism to militarism, and finally to war.
Commercial Competition :
Commercialism became the natural cause of the Great War. The primary of every commercial nation was to find out new markets and monopolize those markets for individual purposes. Production of industrial goods must be matched by more sales of those so as to bring more profit and more production.
Thus, to increase sales, new markets were necessary. The more the markets, the more the sale and so, so profit. The British did the same in India, and the European powers and Japan did it to China by the end of the 19th century. There were no accepted rules for international commerce and business was the business of the powers.
Sometimes the interests of one came in conflict with that of another. For example, in Morocco in 1906, there was almost a war between Germany on the one hand and Britain and France on the other. War might have been avoided in such cases, but the relationships grew bitter. This made a final show-down among the rivals almost certain. The First World War came as a climax to this international bitterness.
Colonial Rivalries :
One way of relief from this bitterness was to establish one’s own colonies for oneself. A colony would be only under the ‘mother country’ to whom alone it would give its raw- materials and from whom it would purchase the finished products. Regions in Asia, Africa, and South America came to see competition among these powers for colonization.
Examples of colonial rivalries were many, but the most outstanding ones were Japan’s conflict with the USA and Russia in China, Austro-German rivalry with Russia in the Balkans and Central Europe, and Anglo-German enmity arising out of naval competition and armament. Thus, international friendship and rivalries were already determined, before 1914, out of economic interests.
Naturally, colonialism led to imperialism, resulting in wars, sometimes small but finally the big one in 1914. The two centuries before the First World War had seen the powerful European countries establishing vast overseas empires for themselves. During the 19th century, in particular, these imperialist countries fought for more colonies.
Just as India was the colonial ‘Jewel’ in the British Crown, so every country including Germany after 1871 wanted to establish colonies or to acquire more colonies. Imperialism stands for power, strength, and forceful domination. In this game of ‘might is right’, there are no rules or referees.
Short Notes on.
Militarism and race for armaments :
Conquest by force was the order of the day during the forty years before the Great War. So militarism was the result of this process. Victory is possible through better and superior military power. The race for armaments began among all. Each power wanted to have the latest, the best, and the most lethal weapons. Advancements in scientific research brought many new, though inhuman, weapons, without better arms, victory is impossible in modem wars.
The race for armaments was a never-ending process. A minor spark in this race was bound to bring in conflagrations; a minor conflict might end up in a major war. Thus, aggressive nationalism, industrial competition, commercial rivalries, colonial competition, imperialism, and militarism made the First World War inevitable. The basic causes were translated to actual war by the following practical causes.
The big powers of Europe were Britain, Germany, France,- Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Italy. They all looked upon one another with suspicion as all of them were engaged in the competition for more power. The rise of two non-European powers, the USA and Japan, also came to add to this struggle for power.
Thus the relations of nations came to be determined along two lines, namely, the power-politics relationship and the convenient-cooperation relationship. In the former, a friend of a friend and the enemy of an enemy was regarded as friends; the friend of an enemy and the enemy of a friend were enemies. Inconvenient cooperation relationship, two or more countries come together as long as this helped both sides.
The Russain-German friendship till 1882 and the Anglo-Japanese alliance till the war can be cited as two of the many such friendships of the period. This was the game of politics or power politics. Also, in this struggle for power, no country was sure of victory over its enemy in a war, because of the ‘balance of power’.
Balance of Power :
Since the Congress of Vienna, the countries of Europe had agreed upon a ‘balance of power’. It meant that no country would be allowed to grow stronger than others. Napoleon was defeated only by a coalition of European powers because France was stronger than any of them. Thus, they adopted the policy in 1815 that no single country would be allowed to grow stronger than others.
Thus, when a country would not sure of victory over another country, it would not resort to war; and in the absence of war, peace would prevail. From 1815 to 1914, there was no major war except the Crimean War. The peace of this period was due to the balance of power. Lord Hankey, therefore, says that the balance of power “held peace in Europe for the longest time” before the First World War.
Triple Alliance :
But this was an uneasy peace. Countries now decided to safeguard themselves by forming themselves into groups of friends or ‘alliance groups’. Countries with similar interests and having common enemies now came to form themselves into groups or ‘Collective-fronts.’ Germany had defeated France and become the strongest power in Europe. France was now its enemy, determined to avenge the Sedan- defeat. Britain was afraid of Germany.
Austria- Hungary, and Russia were the traditional enemies. After 1882, Germany neglected Russia and openly supported Austria. Italy continued to be the friend of Germany. The Balkan region was now open to domination; Austria-Hungary, with German support, wanted to dominate the region at the cost of Russia. Thus, when Italy, in 1882, decided to join the Austro-German alliance of 1879, the three of them formed the Triple Alliance.
How Germany is responsible for the war?
Germany was defeated in the First World War and in the peace conference of 1919, was declared to be guilty of having started the First World War. The defeated party ways take the blame. So, British and French historians say that Germany was primarily responsible for the First World War. This is neither reasonable nor true.
No single individual or country can be held solely responsible for the outbreak of a global war. Germany had become a newly unified nation in 1871. It was rich in natural resources but did not have colonies as markets for its industry. France was defeated by Germany in 1870-71, but France had its colonies, like Britain, years before the birth of Germany in 1871.
Germany, after 1871, was not only the strongest but also the richest in Europe. It was natural for Germany to search for colonies for herself. This brought her into conflict with France, Britain, and Russia. To hold Germany ‘solely’ responsible for these conflicts is unreasonable. For example, for the crisis in Morocco (1906), France and Britain, and even, the USA were as much responsible for the danger to peace as was the German Emperor, ‘Kaiser’ William II.
Bismarck was the first Chancellor of a United Germany. He continued to enjoy the support of his Emperor ‘Kaiser’ William I in all his steps in making Germany a more industrialized imperial power. But when William I died in 1888, his successor William II could not tolerate Bismarck. ‘There can never be more than one horse in a stable.
So, Bismarck was given retirement in 1890 and William II became the sole guardian of German destiny. Wiliam II was an ambitious militant nationalist. ‘Germany was the result of Bismarck’s policy of ‘blood an iron’. The Kaiser now wanted her to dominate the world. For that, Germany was to have a strong navy.
Napoleon’s France suffered because it did not have a strong navy. So, Germany started building up a strong navy for itself. But Britain had the strongest navy in the world and never liked any other country challenging her superior navy. Therefore, when Germany started having an equally strong navy for itself, Britain wanted an early end to this German challenge and worked for it, while putting the blame on Germany for this naval race.
Imperialism could not be the monopoly policy of one nation. When German imperialism rose from strength to strength, Britain and France were alarmed and wanted to destroy it by all means. Germany had joined the race for armaments, started by Britain and others. The Kaiser asked the German people to be strong nationalists and remember their racial, cultural and military superiority always. German industries started producing to their best capacity.
The Germans now wanted to extend their dominance over the Balkans and Central Asia. Germany started constructing the railway lines to Baghdad. The Persian sea was to be made into a German lake. This naturally alarmed the ‘entente’ members. It posed a direct threat to the Russi empire and to the British Empire in India in terms of security. But this German policy was not illegal, though it came to endanger peace in the region.
Why Historians are confused about Russian Revolution?
Many historians have confused ideas about the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was 1917 when Russia saw two great revolutions, one in March and the other in November. Each of these was historic*. The March revolution was purely a popular revolution for the overthrow of Tsarist rule. The people, not the Bolsheviks or Mensheviks, not Lenin Stalin, or Trotsky brought about this revolution.
It was spontaneous and leaderless. “The revolution found them sleeping”, comments Lipson on the revolutionary leaders. No revolutionary group or party prepared for it or anticipated it. It is only after Tsarism was overthrown and a provisional government set up in Russia that the revolutionary groups became active.
The Bolshevik revolutionary party, then, successfully brought about the second revolution of the year, in November and captured power under Lenin’s leadership. The latter is known as Bolshevik Revolution, with its ideals of socialism. But the March Revolution was aimed at the liberation of the people from the oppressive rule of the Tsars.
Thus, it can be said that the people of Russia liberated themselves; only after that, the Bolsheviks captured power to teach them the doctrine of socialism as opposed to capitalism. The second Bolshevik Revolution adopted the ideas of Karl Marx and Dr. Friedrich Engels. These two German geniuses developed their idea of socialism during the days of the industrial revolution in Europe.
They called for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of socialism in its place. Mainly they wanted all powers of production and distribution for the workers and laborers and from private owners. The means of production, privately owned under capitalism should be socially owned under socialism.
Capitalism stood for profit but socialism stood for service to all the people. Capitalism is based on conflict whereas socialism is based on cooperation. Socialism stood to end the capitalist system of exploitation of man by man. Socialism bridges the gap between the rich and the poor; capitalism widens this gap.
What are ‘February’ and ‘October’ Revolutions?
The Russian Revolution of March 1917 can be described as two revolutions or a single revolution that developed in two-phase. The first phase of March 1017 was the political phase. “It sealed the fate of autocracy” and the monarchy was Overthrown. The second phase was the social phase the Bolshevik revolution of November 1917 – which brought into existence the first Republic of the workers.
It is interesting to remember that the Russian calendar of those days was normally thirteen days behind the international calendar. The Russians called these two revolutions as ‘February’ and ‘October’ revolutions because, as per their calendar, these occurred in the last week of February and October respectively.
The roots of the Russian Revolution lie deeply embedded in the history of Russia. Russia is an old country with a rich history. It was a big empire, almost one-sixth of the total land- area of the world. Though most of this empire was in Asia and the rest of it in Europe, Russia historically has been more European than Asiatic.
Since the early 17th century, it was ruled over by the Romanov dynasty. This dynasty was founded by Romanov. The Russians called their emperor as Tsar (of Czar), just as the Ger Emperor was known as ‘Kaiser’. Both these titles are derived from the title of Caesar, which meant the absolute head ofthe empire. Russia was traditionally an orthodox country.
It did not want to modernize itself as others in Europe were doing. Only Tsar Peter, the Great, wanted to modernize Russia with European ideas and ventures. He is said to have opened a ‘window’ to Europe, it was shut down after him till the 19th century when the people came to be in a revolting mood against their oppressive Tsars.
The military defeats of Russia in the Crimean (1854) and Russo-Japanese (1904-05) wars had resulted in popular revolts which were suppressed easily. But the series of defeats(from 1914 till 1917) during the First World War led to a mass eruption (‘February Revolution, 1917) that swept away the Tsars and the old order.
At the beginning of the 19th Century, Tsar Alexander-I was regarded as a leader of Europe. After him, Tsar Nicholas-I came to be an oppressive ruler who even brought the Crimean war for Russia. His successor, Tsar Alexander II brought in some reforms which roused the people more than benefitted them. This Tsar was killed by the extremists called ‘nihilists’.
The last two Tsars, Alexander-Ill (1881 -1894) and Nicholas-II (1894-1917) were oppressive and inefficient. Popular consciousness, roused since the 19th century could not tolerate the Tsars. The people voluntarily rose in revolt and overthrew the last Tsar in February 1917. This first phase is called the ‘February Revolution’.
What are the causes of the Russian Revolution?
Oppressive Rule of Tsars :
Among the many causes of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the first and foremost cause was the oppressive nature of Tsarist rule in Russia. Russia was a country of extremely rich and extremely poor. Tire Tsar and his royal family, ministers, and officials of the empire formed 1.5 percent of the total population but they controlled nearly 98 percent of national wealth and income.
The rest of the population were poor peasants who worked as slaves (serfs till 1861) and were made to pay the tax that was more than their income. Punishment was heavy and the will of the officers was the law of the land. This was possible because Russia was a backward country, depending only on agriculture, without any attempt at industrialization till 1891, and without an educated middle class.
In a word, Russia was a reactionary state in a liberal Europe. Those members of rich families who got liberal education outside Russia from the latter half of the 19th century, returned to Russia to realize how backward Russia was, and wanted to correct the evils of society by educating the masses. The people ultimately came to blame the Tsar for everything.
The poverty of the people and the military defeats of Russia during the First World War made them violent and revolting. Like in the French Revolution (1789), this Russian Revolution began (March 8, 1917) with cries of ‘bread’ and ‘down with autocracy’. The place of Par in the French Revolution was taken by Petrograd in the Russian Revolution.
The misery of the People of Russia:
The miserable condition of the Russian people was the next cause. The people were poor and illiterate. They had no independent income till 1861 because they worked as ‘Serfs’ in the agricultural lands of their masters (Gentry). After 1861 when the ‘Serf system was abolished, they became agricultural laborers without any land for themselves on a permanent basis.
They were heavily taxed and were also forced to pay an additional tax for having been made free from ‘Serf status. The rotation of land allotments among them made agriculture suffer. No modem methods of cultivation and the total absence of industries (till 1891) made them groan under poverty. Families were frequent. Whatever little industrialization took place after 1891 failed to satisfy the revolutionary mood of the industrial workers.
Peasants and Workers :
The popular unrest of the peasants and industrial workers was directed against the Tsar. People were convinced that Tsar cannot solve their problems of poverty, nor could he bring Russia any wealth and glory. So the people rose in rebellion against Tsar Nicholas II. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain. This was their mood on March 8, 1917.
Discuss the rise of the middle class and political parties.
The rise of the middle class in Russia and their role in the revolution was the third cause. As mentioned earlier, the second half of the 19th century saw the rise of an educated middle class. The members of this middle class were educated in Europe. They realized that Russia was poor because her people were neither educated nor conscious of nationalism.
So, they started educating the people. The Tsar’s government wanted to prevent them from doing so, by threats of punishment and exile. So, they organized themselves into political parties, like the Social Democrat and the Social Revolutionary parties. Leaders like Plekhanov worked to strengthen the political parties with grass-root support and organization.
Even extremists like ‘nihilists’ came to carry out their programs for the overthrow of Tsarism with popular support. Tsar Alexander-II was killed by the nihilists in 1881 .’Tsar Alexander III then wanted to root out the nihilists. These revolutionaries were underground, organized popular support for them, and worked tirelessly for a revolution to overthrow Tsarism.
Military defeats of Russia during the first three years of the First World War I made the people of Russia violent against Tsar Nicholas II. Russians, by nature, are sensitive about national glory. So, whenever Russia lost a war, the people rose in revolt against the Tsar. In 1856, they revolted against Tsar Alexander II for Russia’s defeat in the Crimean war in 1905 they did so against Tsar Nicholas II for Russia’s defeat in the war with Japan. They would never forgive Tsar Nicholas II for a second time for the military defeats from 1914 to 1917.
Racialism of the Tsars was another cause of the revolution, Russia had a large number of Jews. The Jews were rich but without a homeland. The policy of Tsar Nicholas II was to capture the wealth of the Jews by killing them for any slight excuse. He organized ‘pogroms’ in Russia where Jews in large numbers would be assembled and then massacred. This led the Jews in Russia to oppose the racialist policy of the Tsar. They got the support of the Poles, Finns, Muslims, and other subjects of Russia.
Another cause of the February Revolution was the notorious role played by Rasputin in the governance ofRussia. Rasputin was a Siberian monk. He was invited by the Tsar and the Tsarina to the palace at St. Petersburg, the capital of Russia The cause of this invitation was that the baby prince was suffering from a disease that only Rasputin could cure with his magical powers. Rasputin stayed in the palace and won the queen to his side.
The Tsar being away at the battlefields during the First World War, Rasputin influenced the Tsarina to act as per his advice. Soon Rasputin’s words became law. The Tsar also fell for him, as Rasputin was the only hope for the baby prince to be cured. But the people of Russia knew the true nature of Rasputin. They hated him for his oppressive measures. They wanted his removal either by fair or foul means. He was the object of universal hatred and the target of the revolutionaries. He was killed by the revolutionaries in 1916.
What is the ‘Bread’ riot – March 1917, Overthrow of Monarchy and Provisional Govt?
Russia was basically an agricultural country. Industries were very few in number. The Russian peasants used to serve as soldiers in the country in times of war. Most of them were busy in the battles that Russia fought during the first three years of the Great War. So agriculture was neglected. Production of food grains fell down so much that a famine-like situation came over the whole country.
Long queues for bread led to disturbances. These led to strikes and protests against the monarchy. On March 8, 1917, the women workers of textile mills in Petrograd came out with a general strike. They demanded ‘bread’. Soon the workers and general public of Petrograd joined them. Cries for ‘bread’ soon took the tone of ‘Down with the War’ and ‘Down with monarchy’.
Within a week the agitation grew into a revolt. The Tsar ordered the Petrograd troops to go and suppress the revolt. Unfortunately, the troops, sent to suppress the revolt, joined the masses and turned against the Tsar himself. The Tsar had no other alternative. He abdicated the throne. The revolt became a revolution.
It was crowned with the success of the fall of the monarchy in Russia for all times to come. The masses set up a Provisional Government. This government abolished the monarchy in Russia and took over the administration of the whole of Russia. The deposed Tsar was murdered in July 1918 along with his family The workers who had overthrown the monarchy soon realized that they themselves cannot form the new government in Russia.
So they offered the reins of the administration of Russia to the middle class of Russia. The latter controlled the national parliament (Duma) and enjoyed the loyalty of the Russian army. The middle-class (bourgeoisie) would prevent any attempt on the part of the royal supporters for a counter-revolution.
So the ‘Petrograd Soviet of workers and soldiers ’ decided to hand over the power to the Duma. Thus ended the first successful phase of 1917, i.e., the ‘February Revolution’, This was purely and primarily a mass movement, sudden and spontaneous. No political party or person had any major role behind it.
The people, the Duma members, and the Petrograd Garrison were the only instruments of this totally leaderless movement. The leaders rose to give shape to the future destiny of Russia only after the Provisional Government took the place vacated by the monarchy for good.
What is the Great October Revolution (November 1917) and what caused the October Revolution?
The Russian Revolution broke out, in its second phase, in November 1917. As per the Russian calendar which was behind the international calendar by thirteen days it was October in Russia. So it is called the October Revolution As a revolution, it was monumental and unique. It brought into focus a new ideology and a new dictatorship.
The ideology was Marxism, modified by Lenin to suit Russian conditions. The dictatorship was the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat (workers and laborers)’. Karl Marx, who was bom in Germany and who developed his doctrine of socialism in England, became the prophet of Russia.
Causes Of The October Revolution, 1917 (The Bolshevik Revolution):
First World War and the problem of Peace:
The February Revolution had overthrown Tsarism. But it had not been able to solve certain fundamental issues. The Provisional Government set up by the Duma could neither continue the war for Russia nor could it withdraw Russia from the First World War. The soldiers of Russia were tired of war and defeats. Now they “refused to fight”.
The Russian army had ceased to function, for all practical purposes, after the overthrow of the Tsar. Many in Russia believed that it was a war in which Russia took part due to the wrong policies of the Tsar; now that the Ts&r was no more there, why should Russia suffer by continuing the war? But the Provisional Government could not find a suitable way out of the problem.
Organized political parties used this popular discontent with the Government. The Bolshevik Party of Lenin made it an issue for its revolution. Why should Russia fight the imperialist war, they questioned? They commanded full popular support for this cause. Thus the first c use of the October (or Bolshevik) Revolution centered around the problem of war.
Failure of the Bourgeois Ministry:
The second cause of the October Revolution was the failure of the leadership during February-October, 1917. The Provisional Government was formed by the middle-class (bourgeoisie) ofRussia. This bourgeois ministry was liberal but dependent upon the support of the socialists. Since 1905, Russia had come to have a revolutionary body called “the Soviet of Workers’ deputies.”
It continued as a parallel institution to the Provisional Government after February 1917. The Soviets lost no opportunity to criticize the Government over the latter’s failure. The Provisional Government became extremely unpopular. It came to be known as a ‘Government on sufferance and invited its Overthrow.
The problem of land:
The third cause of the Revolution was the problem of land. Though the peasants had been freed from their bondage to the. land-lords since 1861, they were unhappy because they were not allowed to own any land and had to also pay a heavy amount as the price of their liberty (called redemption dues).
The peasants were unhappy because there was a shortage of land and no ownership of them over the land they cultivated. Inspired by the poem of Nekrasov, they believed that tillers of the soil must become the owners of the land. They were, therefore, for a fresh distribution of land and the dissolution of large land holdings of the big land owners.
With the fall of the Tsar, these peasants now became an important factor in rural Russia No government could ignore them. But the Provisional Government did nothing for them. The peasants ’ disaffection was exploited by the Bolsheviks to their advantage in the October Revolution.
What is ‘October’ or Bolshevik Revolution (7 November 1917) and state its results?
The Bolsheviks had an armed guard, called the ‘Red guard’, numbering about 25,000. The number was too little against Government troops. The Bolsheviks won over the Petrograd garrison through its propaganda The Kerensky Government, unpopular due to the Bolshevik propaganda, was now defenseless and helpless Therefore, the Bolsheviks succeeded in over-running this government.
The Bolshevik Revolution began at 2 AM on November 7, 1917, their revolution by capturing the railways, banks, post and telegraph offices, and other government buildings. There was no resistance from the government, no opposition from any quarter to the Bolsheviks. Trotsky described the revolution as highly successful and almost bloodless.
He said, “There is no example in history of a revolutionary movement involving such gigantic masses being so bloodless.” But, without any opposition to it, the Revolution was one of the bloodiest. Yet, the Bolshevik Revolution was a signal triumph and Lenin captured power in Russia on the very day of the Revolution.
Results of the Bolshevik Revolution :
The Bolshevik Revolution is ‘great’ because of its results. These results were as significant for Russia as for the world at large. Firstly, Capitalism was overthrown in Russia. Russia became a dictatorship of the proletariat. It was the first government of its kind in the world. This dictatorship was a government of the proletariat consisting of peasants, soldiers, and industrial workers.
Secondly, all industrial establishments in Russia came to be nationalized. Their old owners were dispossessed and the Government became the owner and manager of all industrial and commercial establishments. Thirdly, all agricultural lands were nationalized. New committees of peasants came to be formed at the village level.
These were to not only allot land to farmers but look after agricultural production while protecting the interests of the farmers. Fourthly, the Soviets of workers came to be formed and these were given the charge of production and distribution. Thus a state of workers and peasants came to be formed. Marx developed his theory for an industrial society.
Lenin modified the theory to suit the agricultural and industrial set-up in Russia. Bolshevism, thus, stands for Marxism- Leninism. Fifthly, Lenin wanted no part in the 1 imperialist First World War. He wanted Russia to withdraw from the war. He had to sign a peace treaty with Germany. Germany dictated the terms of the treaty to Russia.
Though insulting to Russia, Lenin signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in 1918. Russia thereby withdrew from the First World War. Lenin could now focus all attention on the internal reorganization of Russia. Sixthly, the Bolshevik government did not forgive its enemies inside Russia. After November 1917, the government started a ‘Red Terror’.
The deposed Tsar and his family members were killed in 1918. The opponents of the Bolsheviks called upon the ‘Allied Powers’ led by Britain and France to protect their life and property from the Bolshevik’s Red j Terror’. Seventhly, the Civil War in Russia came to be fought between the opponents and supporters of Bolshevism.
The former was led by Gen. Denikin and Admiral Kolchak, with the direct support of the foreign powers. The foreign powers did not want the Bolshevik experiment to succeed in Russia, because if it succeeds, it may infect them like a contagious disease. The foreign and Russian troops fought against the Bolshevik Red Army.
The Civil War continued for three years arid ended with success for Lenin and Bolshevik Russia. After the civil war, Lenin’s Russia came to be known by the new name of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Lorain fondly ed that the example of the USSR would inspire the workers and peasants in other countries to start a series of national revolutions.
Eighthly, the Bolshevik Revolution came as an alarm to the world. After 1918, the countries of Europe as well as the USA came to stand as opposed to USSR. The world now witnessed a tug-of-war between Communist Russia and the capitalist countries. Communism came as a new ideology. Fear of Bolsheviks- a type of uprising in their own countries made every Government fearful.
Small countries in Europe and South America were the first to come under the spell of the Bolshevik ideas. Marx had given the slogan “Workers of the world unite you have nothing to lose except your chains.” This became the bible of poor workers everywhere throughout the world. Ninthly, Soviet Russia recovered economically within a short time. This was given as a credit to the Soviet system of nationalization of property and new methods of production and distribution there since 1918.
This came as an example to be followed by people from many countries. For them, it was a reality, though, in reality, it was an illusion. Communism was the enemy of democracy and this was highlighted by the military and economic steps of Lenin and Stalin. Hitler would describe communism as “a bluff, a comedy, a speculation, and a blackmail.” Gorbachev would realize the truth of it in the USSR in 1986.
What is the Treaty of Versailles?
Retrospectively with the wisdom of hindsight, one could emphatically assert that the germs of the Second World War could already be seen in the Treaty of Versailles, signed in Paris. In their obsession to cripple Germany, the Alliance, France, and Great Britain in particular, encouraged the development of a revenge psychosis in Germany that needed an opportunity to break the shackles.
The Treaty of Versailles was a symbol of national humiliation for the Germans and it was logical that German nationalism would assert itself to free itself from the obligations of Versailles. It was evident that peace could prevail as long as the status quo of Paris was maintained but when Germany made gross violations of the status quo in 1939, war became inevitable.
What are the features of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler’s Nazi Party?
The Allies, by redeeming Germany of the autocracy of King Kaizer William-H, had set up a republic in Germany known as the Weimar Republic. From the outset, however, the Weimer Republic was doomed to failure since it appeared to Germans to be a pliant tool in the hands of the Allies. It was denounced by the Nazi Party as the Weimar Jewish Republic, which more than anything else was responsible for the defeat of Germany.
A feeling soon grew that the Republic not only compromised German nationalism but also symbolized the betrayal of the Fatherland. In 1933, the Weimar Republic was ousted and its place was taken by the National Socialists better known as the Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s rise to power in Germany paved the way for another global crisis.
Rise of Fascism :
Of the many ominous developments during the interwar period, one that truly convulsed European civilization was the birth and growth of fascism in Italy. The frustration of Italians not being able to extract concessions in Paris after their victory in the First World War led to the collapse of the parliamentary government in Italy.
Italians in their zeal for social and economic stability party promised everything to the Italians. The Fascist Party of Benito Mussolini was against parliamentary democracy and international peace and when in its zeal, it sought to destroy the balance of power in Europe, it invited the Second World War.
What is the Cold war? Its origin and initial actors?
The cold war is characterized by a situation where there is neither a direct confrontation nor a lasting peace. It is a situation marked by mutual suspicion, jealousy, hostility, and rivalry. The term ‘war’ implies that a real war was actually going on but that war was fought not by ‘hot’ or nuclear weapons, but by ‘cold’ or conventional arms.
The two superpowers avoided a direct confrontation but met each other indirectly through their respective allies. A mistaken notion that has generally been accepted as a fact is that the cold war originated between the United States and the Soviet Union. Nothing could be more fallacious. The original players in the Cold war were Great Britain and the Soviet Union with the Americans playing the role of mediators.
Such a situation remained unchanged virtually till the end of World War II and the death of American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As long as Franklin Roosevelt was alive he thought in terms of a new world order where the Americans and Russians would cooperate for the maintenance of international peace and security.
The end of World War II saw the relegation of Great Britain to a distant background depending upon the United States for its survival and the death of Roosevelt brought Harry S. Truman as the new President of the United States. Unlike Roosevelt, Truman detested communism and the Soviet Union, just as much as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill did.
Roosevelt’s political acumen lay in pacifying both Churchill and Stalin, the Soviet Premier. But, Truman’s ascendence to the Presidency saw the Americans be the major opponents of the Russians and after 1945, the Americans replaced Great Britain as the major player in the cold war.
Different views on the cold war:
To trace the origins of the cold war, some historians believe that it started as early as 1917 when the Bolshevik party under VI Leninousted Czarist misrule from Russia after the October Revolution. The Bolshevik victory in Russia led to the establishment of communism which appeared to be a direct challenge to the capitalist world. Hence, to nip communism in the bud, a sustained effort was made by western powers, and therein lies the genesis of the cold war.
Another group of historians however believes that the cold war originated during the course of the Second World War when Churchill and Stalin met for the first time during the Teheran Conference of 1943. Whatever the timing of the cold war, it remains the most, complex political development of the 20th century. All international developments after 1945 took shape under the shadow of the cold war.
Evolving of Cold war in East Europe:
The basis of the cold war, in its initial phase undoubtedly centered on developments in East Europe. For centuries East and West had been struggling with each other for control of the huge area rich inhuman and industrial resources and one that was strategically vital to both sides, either to Russia as a buffer against the west or to Germany and France as a gateway for invasion of Russia.
Till almost 1940, East Europe had sided with the west. But when East Europe was devasted by the marauding Nazi troops, the Russians bore the brunt of the war and were finally successful in liberating East Europe. Russia after 1945 controlled East Europe and this crucial result of World War II destroyed the Grand Alliance between the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union and gave birth to the Cold War.
The American view of Friendly East European Governments:
The West, with America leading the way, was unwilling to accept Russian domination of East Europe. Although the Anglo-Americans were willing to allow Stalin a major say in the politics of the region and realized that Russian security demanded friendly governments there, they were not prepared to abandon East Europe altogether.
The Americans had a mistaken notion that it was still possible to have East European governments that were both capitalistic but friendly to Russia The Russians on the other hand forcefully put forth their plea that a ‘friendly’ government in East Europe meant only a communist government.
British intervention in Greece starts the cold war:
The first move in the cold war was, however, made by Great Britain when British Prime Minister Churchill intervened in Greece with the help of British ground forces. Though Greece had been liberated by Soviet troops and the Russian troops won the admiration of the Greeks, Churchill could never think of giving up Greece for fear of losing the entire Mediterranean zone. Stalin for the time being allowed the British to move to Greece.
Russian countermove in Poland and Rumania:
But the brazen British action in Greece had profound Churchill and far-reaching consequences and as retaliation to this action, Stalin brought Poland into the Russian fold by according to recognizing the provisional Government there. Then it was the turn of Rumania. Vyshinsky, the Soviet Foreign Minister on February 27, 1945, visited Bucharest, the Rumanian capital, and demanded the dismissal of the coalition government.
On March 6, 1945, a communist-dominated Government was sworn in. Neither the Americans nor the British could raise any objection since the Soviet action in Poland and Romania was an answer to the British action in Greece. Thus the onset of the cold war led to the formal division of Europe and it was reflected in all parts of the world.
The turning point in Soviet-American Relations :
The real turning point in Russo-American relations came during the period between December 1944 and April 1945. It was during this period that the American ambassador to the Soviet Union, Harriman, brought about a drastic changeful his attitude toward the Russians. Till very recently an ardent proponent of close Russo-American ties, Harriman, ring March- April 1945 constantly advised the American foreign office to adopt a tough attitude towards the Russians.
According to him, the Russians had violated the spirit of the Yalta Conference of February 1945 to cooperate with the west for establishing a new world order, through their action in Rumania. Hence Harriman believed that the only way of making the Russians stick to the agreements made by them was to force them to do so.
Death of Roosevelt and Ascendence of Truman:
Another major factor was the death of Roosevelt and the entry of Harry S. Truman as the President of the United States. Truman was new to international diplomacy and personally, he had an intense dislike for communism and the Soviet Union. Whereas Roosevelt always tried to act as a mediator between extreme British and Soviet positions, Truman pushed aside Great Britain to make the United States the chief antagonist of the Soviet Union in the cold war.
Common Enemy collapsed after 1945:
A basic factor that must be home in mind was that there never was any cordiality in Russo-American relations. They had merely come closer during World War II since both found a common enemy in Hitler. With Hitler gone, the Grand Alliance between the East and the West which had been forged during the war, also collapsed.
UN making exposed differences:
The process of the U.N. making also contributed to the growing suspicion between the parties. Stalin, never a proponent of having a strong United Nations, demanded certain built-in devices in the UN charter that would make Soviet participation in the world body meaningful. Russian stubbornness led to the formulation ofthe ‘Veto’ formula in the Security Council ensuring that no issue could pass through the U without the approval of all the five permanent members of the Security Council.
Hard Stance by Americans:
President Truman’s hostility towards the Soviet Union was further demonstrated When he stopped the supply of loans to the Soviet Union. These loans had been promised to the Russians for their help during the war. The Russians had been expecting a large American post-war loan for the purpose of Reconstruction and this sudden stoppage at the end of the war in Europe convinced the Russians of American betrayal.
What is the Truman Doctrine? States its criticism.
The genesis of the Truman Doctrine: The American declaration of the cold war came about on March 12, 1947, when President Harry Truman went before a joint session of Congress to deliver a truly epochal speech in American history. President Truman was provoked by the British who shocked Washington by declaring that an economically burdened Britain could no longer sustain a pro-western government in Greece. Great Britain further warned that once they withdrew from Greece, communist guerillas there would receive help from their communist patrons in the Soviet Union which would probably seize control of Greece.
Greece would then gravitate within the Soviet orbit, and the position of neighboring Turkey which was already unstable would become untenable Iodine to the strategically vital eastern Mediterranean fell into Soviet hands with dangerous consequences for the western world. It was imperative, therefore, on the part of the United States as the champion of democracy to intervene in Greece and Turkey to not only save these countries from communist infiltration but also to safeguard western interests in the Mediterranean zone.
Enunciation of the Doctrine :
After hurried consultations with military and congressional leaders, President Truman outlined the situation in Greece and spelled out what was to become known as the Truman Doctrine. What he said in essence was “It must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”
A bolder statement, far more elaborate in scope could be interpreted when he said “wherever aggression, direct or indirect, threatens the peace, the security of the United States was involved.” The President asked congress to appropriate $400 million for economic aid and military supplies for Greece and Turkey and to authorize the dispatch of American personnel to assist with reconstruction and to provide their armies with proper instruction. Thus the United States began the policy of containment and its initial implementation was to be witnessed in Greece and Turkey.
Justification of the Doctrine :
President Truman justified his position by emphasizing that Soviet expansionist efforts left the United States with no choice but to adopt a countervailing policy. It was further stated that anti-communism had never been a major American policy during the Second World War, but hostile Soviet behavior and words were the reasons for the gradual shift of American policy and public opinion from amity to enmity.
Truman declared that despite, the universalism of the Truman Doctrine, its application was intended to be specific and limited, not global. In other words, containment was to be implemented only where the Soviet state appeared to be expanding its power.
Criticism of the Doctrine :
Despite all the show of morality and democratic pretensions, the Truman Doctrine was far from being flawless. With all talk of democratic purposes, Truman Doctrine’s first application was to Greece and Turkey, neither of which was democratic. One had to shut off one’s reasoning capacity to call Greece of the day or Turkey “free” countries both had unpopular, fascist regimes against which the United States had so recently fought World War II.
Their strategic location was considered more important than their domestic nature. The doctrine had the impact of oversimplifying issues by conveniently dividing the world into two hostile camps – the one free and the other totalitarian and declared that every nation must now choose between the two. This was tantamount to drawing the battle lines.
Henceforward, American policy all over the world was geared toward defining this split – one who is not with me is against me. The United States firmly rejected the existence of a third and middle course and in its anxiety to isolate the Soviet bloc, included all reactionary, undemocratic, and unpopular regimes in the ‘free’ camp.
At home, the Trueman Doctrine came in for severe criticism. It was stated that the scheme would cost too much since communism could not be fought with dollars. Rich though America was she would bankrupt herself by helping bankrupt governments all over the world. Americans by poking their noses into the internal affairs of foreign governments might unite the world against them.
Although Truman had been careful not to mention Soviet Russia by name, there could be no doubt that he was aiming his doctrine at her, with the imminent danger of provoking her into war. Nevertheless, the Truman Doctrine was approved in the House by 297 to 107 and in the Senate by 67 to 23, on May 15, 1947.
The Truman Doctrine was of incalculable significance. Through it, the United States seized the tactical offensive in the cold war to contain communism, Although limited for the present to Greece and Turkey the new policy was actually general in scope and led by dire steps to tire vastly more important Marshall Plan and the North Atlantic Pact.
What is the Marshall Plan?
The genesis of the Marshall Plan :
The commitment to Greece and Turkey was only the beginning of the first act under the American project of containing Soviet expansion; Soon, however, the United States realized that aid for only Greece and Turkey was quite inadequate. The war in Europe had devastated the economies of all the countries and western Europe particularly was not making the necessary economic recovery.
The deepest fear was that the Soviet Union would be able to exploit Europe’s post-war economic collapse and if the situation was allowed to prevail, the communists would probably seize control of Italy and France.
American and European interests were interlinked:
The collapse of Europe posed once again the basic question of whether Europe was vital to U.S. security. The answer was obvious since America’s two previous interventions had been made to protect Europe. During both world wars, the United States had been drawn by Germany and both wars had been fought to uphold democracy in Europe.
Europe’s vital importance became quite evident since it ranked second only to the United States in its potential power – in industry, productivity, skilled manpower, scientists, and technicians. If these vital assets moved toward the Soviet side the strategic military balance would swing sharply toward the Russians and U.S. security would be endangered.
Given its huge potential and its strategic geographic position, it became apparent that Europe’s security was indeed inseparable from U.S. security. Moreover, the United States could never allow the Soviet Union the control the Western approaches to the Atlantic. Hence it was imperative for the U.S. to find a way to help Europe recover.
With Europe on the verge of not only economic ruin, but also a complete social and political breakdown, everything seemed to force it into dependence upon it. America Almost every item needed for reconstruction like wheat, cotton, coal, sulfur, sugar, machinery, and trucks, could be obtained in sufficient quantities only from the United States.
Tragically enough, Europe in 1947 had lost her capacity to buy. The only cure for Europe’s sick state was a massive injection of dollars since only a tremendous program of economic aid could restore Europe’s economy and enable it to surpass its prewar agricultural and industrial production.
Enunciation of Marshall Plan :
To come to Europe’s rescue, Secretary of State George C. Marshall announced a policy in his address at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, which eclipsed the Truman Doctrine in importance. The essence of his speech was that, if the nations of Europe would get together and devise far-visioned plans for economic recovery, concentrate on self-help and mutual assistance and present to Washington a specific statement of their needs, the United States would support them with financial help so far as it may be practical.
In “other words, American aid to Europe was made conditional upon economic cooperation among the European states and it put the burden of initiative on Europe’s shoulders. However, it soon became apparent that the Marshall scheme, unlike the Truman Doctrine which aimed at military aid or temporary relief to Greece and Turkey, was an all-inclusive plan looking toward long-range rehabilitation of Europe.