Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey! Sign in to get help with your study questionsNew here? Join for free to post

OCR A2 History: Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964 discussion thread

Announcements Posted on
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I keep getting Essays back from my teacher saying include more pace, does anyone have any hints of the best way to include pace in an essay?

    Thanks
    • 7 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I'm doing Russia :woo:

    This seems like a useful thread
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Okay I would break this essay down into 3 parts as the Russian people consists of 3 main groups (gentry, working class and peasants).

    Peasants: life was difficult for peasants throughout the period, demonstrated by the fact that all rulers of Russia tangled with the problem of Russia agriculture: Emancipation of the Serfs, introduction of Land Captains, Stolypin's land reforms, Lenin's NEP, Stalin's collectivisation (a second serfdom?) and Khrushchev's Virgin Land Programme. Some of these reforms had an overall positive effect on peasant life, perhaps 1861 and 1921 were years of relative prosperity for peasants. However overall it can be seen that the peasants ended the period in 1964 remaining in a position of extreme social and economic weakness.

    Working class: the great reforms of AII caused economic and concomitant social shifts which shaped the empire of the Romanov's during its twilight years. Slowly but surely a middle class began to develop, no doubt facilitated by AII's legal and educational reform which created the jobs for this new social class. The far sighted financial policy pursued by Serge Witte led to the great spurt of the 1890's which again was brilliant for workers.

    I havent really revised how workers fared under the communists yet, and I don't know a great deal about the gentry either other than their total land ownership fell dramatically following the great reforms, owing no doubt to the rise of the industrial middle class.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Forgot, if you really wanna show off then u could make a 4th paragraph on the treatment of national minorities.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dramdunda)
    I like the structure as it produces a more synoptic essay, you will have many paragraphs which span across the entire period which I believe is exactly what the examiners are looking for.

    I just had a few questions: would it not be better to define the words "effective" and "autocrat" separately, after all it is possible to be an effective ruler of Russia without having absolute and total power concentrated in your hands, one could point to Lenin who had to argue at the 10th Party Congress to implement NEP, contrasting to Stalin whose wish became a command instantaneously.
    And I'm not sure how the use of coercion/terror/censorship can determine how autocratic/effective a ruler is? These mechanisms demonstrate authoritarianism/totalitarianism and the use of these doesn't make a regime effective (although they can be use effectively), after all if you need to resort to oppression then it is probably because your regime lacks legitimacy of some sort.

    Sorry for that! I am sure that you are correct I was just wondering if you could shed some light on the matter for my benefit. Thanks.
    I like your point about defining 'effective' and 'autocrat' separately. This opens up a wealth of opportunities for lively debate; arguably, Nicholas II was autocratic [Bloody Sunday, Fundamental Laws of 1906, Article 87, changes to the electoral system of the Duma after 1907 that meant that only patricians could make up the lower chamber (also the limited power of the State Council and the Committee of Ministers)], however he wasn't 'effective' as he failed to handle the war effort and lost power to a largely disorganised cohort of Bolsheviks.
    As for the use of coercion and terror, I would argue that it's a means to a certain end (submission of the state) and it was used creatively and effectively by the communists (Stalin).
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Filoux)
    dramdunda's approach sounds nice!

    Personally, in my introduction I'd agree with the statement, but establish that it is somewhat over a simplification. A theoretical historian would not call the communists 'autocrats', but as pragmatists say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's a duck... Introduction would define the 'effective autocrat' (a leader that keeps all subjects in line, focusses on the short term aim of preserving their reign whilst modernising the state) then suggest that on balance, there were more instances of autocrats being 'effective' during the communist period because the superstructures they employed to assert authority were more pervasive and grandiose.

    One paragraph assessing how the tsars and the communists maintained control over organs of government (nods to democracy under both in the form of the Duma and the Soviet of the Union/Nationalities).
    One paragraph assessing coercion and terror.
    One paragraph assessing censorship and the promotion of 'big ideas'.
    One paragraph assessing modernisation of the state.

    And conclude!
    Could you clarify this point for me please? I understand that the Tsar Alexander II and Alexander III had their Council of Ministers whom they appointed and they answered to him alone, and thus though the power-base was spread, ultimately it was still an autocracy.

    But how would you define the strucutre of government in the USSR?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Hello, doing this exam too.

    We spent a good couple of weeks revising before study leave began and I got reasonable marks on some of the questions we did. I've also got a humungous list of past paper questions to sift through.

    The only way we revised during this time was using grid system essay plans to get us into the habit of thinking synoptically.

    Several tips:
    Not all peasants were the same, make sure that you spell that out in the essay if the peasants are talked about. Agricultural policies affected them in different ways. Stolypin's land reforms for example would've benefited the Kulaks but wouldn't have benefited the really poor farmers nor the middle majority who were staunchly conservative.
    When talking about opposition or the urban workers in relation to the communists, do talk about greater social mobility.
    Always throw in the nationalities issue if you can. Russia during this period was an Empire.


    Note: I haven't read all of this thread, so don't know if these points have already been mentioned.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Found a fun and useful quiz on Lenin's Revolution:

    http://www.sparknotes.com/history/eu...nrev/quiz.html

    I got 64% aha but took notes on all the points
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    How would you structure a question: Why do the rulers of Russia in this period so frequently use repression?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    How are you guys revising for this? I literally have no idea where to start - I know NOTHING and need to do some serious cramming! Where do I start? And have your teachers/yourselves made any predictions on what will come up?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I would imagine one question comparing/contrasting the government of the Tsars against that of the Commisars.
    Other than that I am not sure? Question on the working class perhaps? Turning point question?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dramdunda)
    I would imagine one question comparing/contrasting the government of the Tsars against that of the Commisars.
    Other than that I am not sure? Question on the working class perhaps? Turning point question?
    Thanks! How would you suggest I revise for this exam?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dramdunda)
    I would imagine one question comparing/contrasting the government of the Tsars against that of the Commisars.
    Other than that I am not sure? Question on the working class perhaps? Turning point question?
    I think turning point is going to come up, therefore I doubt we would have another government question.

    I reckon one general question might come up; something like 'opposed to change' or 'favoured repression over reform'.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gemnomnom)
    Could you clarify this point for me please? I understand that the Tsar Alexander II and Alexander III had their Council of Ministers whom they appointed and they answered to him alone, and thus though the power-base was spread, ultimately it was still an autocracy.

    But how would you define the strucutre of government in the USSR?
    With the USSR government, you have a veneer of federal government, just like with the tsars. It appears that power is being spread amongst bureaucratic 'organs', but everything is top-down and all change comes from a hard core of party members. {Known as 'Democratic Centralism'}

    Under Lenin, you have two main institutions: Sovnarkom and the Central Executive Committee. CEE branches off in Politburo, Ogburo and Orgburo. There is a facade of all of these bodies being democratic because they are 'elected' from provincial electoral 'cells' and soviets, however its the Bolsheviks that dominate these soviets. The electoral pool is Bolshevik in make-up, just as under Nicholas II membership to the Duma was restricted after 1907 to the élite who would sympathise with the tsar.

    Under Stalin, there's a nod to democracy in the establishment of the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities. The Soviet of the Union increases political representation for the populace by providing a delegate for each 30,000 Russians. However, despite this, its legislative initiative is limited and all power to formulate policy rests with the presidium and Sovnarkom, upper chambers of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR... you can equate this with many tsarist institutions, like the Duma, the Imperial Council of State, the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Ministers and the State Council.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Kwak)
    My teacher told us that we should analyse the views of historians in our essays to get top grades. Yet mark scheme does not really mention it.

    Can anyone tell me whether I should use historians if my target is 90%+ in this module?
    You really do not need to analyse historians at all! can easily get an a* without mentioning a single one as its not mentioned in the markscheme
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Historiography (Historians' views) isn't needed for the exam at all. That was covered in the coursework.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Could someone outline to me the different types of peasant/worker present in this period please?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    hello, i am not doing this russian paper, but i am doing the OCR civil rights one, but i know the essay structure is basically the same as their both theme papers.

    ive written a few essays over the last couple of days. my exam is tuesday morning and this week is half term. i have no way of contacting my teacher before monday and i am desperate for some feedback on my essays. is anyone willing to have a look at them?? its on civil rights in the USA. it doesnt matter if you know nothing about the course, its mainly the structure (thematically) that im a bit worried about. please please please help me!!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Randomized)
    Good luck everyone taking this I'm studying History at uni but i remember doing this exam last year, and its harder than anything than i've had to do this year! I got 92% in this exam and the best advice i can give to anyone is simply to write out as many essays as you can, plan out a few and then get to work. This exam is all about technique and the more essays you write the better you will get.

    I have a ****load of material on this (essay plans, revision notes for each theme, past papers and a ton of essays which are all grade A) which as its now useless to me, i don't mind sharing. A fair chunk of it i got from this site in the first place. Last year one of my friends was really struggling with this exam, i gave her a load of these notes and she ended up with 90% which was 3 grades above her predicted grade. They helped me out a lot as well.
    I could really use these notes ASAP if you still have them
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RupertDuthie)
    I could really use these notes ASAP if you still have them
    same here, if you still have them would be really useful!

    Thanks

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: November 17, 2014
New on TSR

The future of apprenticeships

Join the discussion in the apprenticeships hub!

Article updates
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.