OCR Russian History A - Russia and its rulers 1855-1964 Watch

James115
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Hi,

'The need to modernise their backward economy was the most important reason why the rulers of Russia introduced reforms'. How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1855 to 1964? (60)

Has anyone got a model answer for this question? I'm struggling with all the synthesis needed for this question.

Thanks
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StephZ
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My school did it as a practice, I got 54/60 - hardly a "model answer" but hopefully my structure is somehow helpful!
I did
1. economic backwardness
2. need to catch up with the west
3. ideology
4. war or fear of war
then I said in my conclusion that war was the most important reason as it exposed the backwardness and sparked the need to catch up with the west bla bla bla...
If it's still unclear I'll type my essay up.
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James115
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Hi, thanks for replying. I had a similar structure worked out, but my teacher told me that themes such as ideology are irrelevant for this question. I don't think he knows what he's doing lol.
Would it be too much hassle to type the essay up? No worries if you can't!
Thanks for the help
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crocker710
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Hi, my school has been on the ball on the Russian topic leaving the coursework almost solely down us :'(, but on the bright side of things, it's meant we've had ample time for revision of Russia.

The best way to tackle this question I think is finding three or four things that drove reform in Russia.

Firstly, the named reason, the economy. Alexander III with Count Witte to improve industrial output, Stalin with the first two 'five-year-plans' to modernise heavy industry, for example.

Secondly I would choose society. Alexander II and the emancipation of the serfs, The october manifesto under Nicholas II, Khrushchev introducing larger consumer industry to improve living standards.

Thirdly I would choose Political tension / revolution. The assassination of Alexander II caused harsh reforms from his son to avoid a repeat. The october 1917 revolution caused massive reform in respects to private property, shown with war communism and the requisition squads.

Finally I would choose War as the biggest contributing factor to reform in Russia. The Crimean war at the beginning of the period caused the emancipation of the serfs (social reform). The Russo-Japanese war caused the october manifesto (political and social reform). The Russo-Turkish war caused Witte's great spurt (economical reform).

In the conclusion I would say that the social, political & economical reform were all as a result of a war which highlighted the inadequacies and the need for reform & change in those areas.

I hope this is of some help, you can choose any topic areas you wish, as you were saying earlier its perfectly possible to choose ideologies as a reason for reform, you just need to have examples where it has influenced reform in Russia. However, I would advise against going with things which are obscure. Try stick to social, economical, political and conflict as the four themes if you can, simply because they have the most accessible examples to use.
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CashmiaFunk
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(Original post by crocker710)
Hi, my school has been on the ball on the Russian topic leaving the coursework almost solely down us :'(, but on the bright side of things, it's meant we've had ample time for revision of Russia.

The best way to tackle this question I think is finding three or four things that drove reform in Russia.

Firstly, the named reason, the economy. Alexander III with Count Witte to improve industrial output, Stalin with the first two 'five-year-plans' to modernise heavy industry, for example.

Secondly I would choose society. Alexander II and the emancipation of the serfs, The october manifesto under Nicholas II, Khrushchev introducing larger consumer industry to improve living standards.

Thirdly I would choose Political tension / revolution. The assassination of Alexander II caused harsh reforms from his son to avoid a repeat. The october 1917 revolution caused massive reform in respects to private property, shown with war communism and the requisition squads.

Finally I would choose War as the biggest contributing factor to reform in Russia. The Crimean war at the beginning of the period caused the emancipation of the serfs (social reform). The Russo-Japanese war caused the october manifesto (political and social reform). The Russo-Turkish war caused Witte's great spurt (economical reform).

In the conclusion I would say that the social, political & economical reform were all as a result of a war which highlighted the inadequacies and the need for reform & change in those areas.

I hope this is of some help, you can choose any topic areas you wish, as you were saying earlier its perfectly possible to choose ideologies as a reason for reform, you just need to have examples where it has influenced reform in Russia. However, I would advise against going with things which are obscure. Try stick to social, economical, political and conflict as the four themes if you can, simply because they have the most accessible examples to use.
ahhh god thats so helpful for revising, we didnt do any coursework in russian, we split it up at my college, do coursework about Elizabeth I then exam stuff about russia. God i wish it was the other way around
!!
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TheProviso
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Anybody struggling to write three thematic sections which each cover all of the relevant rulers in one hour?

Give that you're spending at least 5 mins planning, 5 mins with your introduction and about 10 for your conclusion you've got about 13 mins for each section, covering the whole period in each one.

According to my teacher each section should start with a synoptic overview, followed by evidence and then an explanation (synthesis) explaining the pattern of continuity or change.

Doing that three times in one hour, plus planning, introduction and conclusion is not easy. grrr.
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James115
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Yeah it's rubbish. Plus any event could be considered a turning point lol
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dukeofgrove
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Does anyone have the mark schemes for or at least know the key themes for the following?

Faced with a vast and backward empire, Russias rulersin the period 1855-1956 consistently viewed repression as there most effective tool of government. To what extent to you agree with this judgement? (jan 03 Q22)

The Rulers of Russia prefferd repression to reform. How far do you agree with this view for the period 1855-1956? (jun 06 Q22)

Why did the rulers of russia so often resort to reppresion in the period 1855-1956? (jan 02 Q22)
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dukeofgrove
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http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=246826


old thread for this course

i think ive found themes for repression if anyones intrested:

Easy to repress peasnts: isolated, unorganised, lack of political knowledge/influence

Minorities: If appeard to give into one the others would follow (polish 1863, hungarian uprising) had vastly superior numbers, could use to rally patriotism (pogroms)

Political ideology: Tsars wanted to remain absoloute monarchs, Communists wanted to create polteriate, eliminate kulaks

Outside threats: Repression necesary during civil war, due to threat of fascism, due to threat of capitalism


anymore?
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TheProviso
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(Original post by dukeofgrove)
Does anyone have the mark schemes for or at least know the key themes for the following?

Faced with a vast and backward empire, Russias rulersin the period 1855-1956 consistently viewed repression as there most effective tool of government. To what extent to you agree with this judgement? (jan 03 Q22)

The Rulers of Russia prefferd repression to reform. How far do you agree with this view for the period 1855-1956? (jun 06 Q22)

Why did the rulers of russia so often resort to reppresion in the period 1855-1956? (jan 02 Q22)
I'm not sure exactly what you mean but that's for the old course, they've bolted on an extra 10 years to the new one. It's now 1855 -1964.

If I was doing the second question I'd probably say that save for the provisional government both the communists and tsars used reform and repression but for the same goal - to preserve their power.

I'd probably have a paragraph on the secret police, on censorship and on working/living conditions and just say how the tsars preferred reform in secret police and censorship but their reform of working living conditions was indirect. I'd say that conversely the communists preferred repression with secret police and censorship, but used more direct reform of working and living conditions. By direct I mean directly using reform to control people such as with stalin's stackhanovite targets, whilst the tsars were more indirect by trying to appease the peasants with emancipation.

Obviously Alexander III doesn't really fit in to this synopsis so I'd say that shows the personality of individual rulers was sometimes more important than the underlying ideology when it comes to the use of reform or repression, this is true to some extent with Krushchev as well.

Dunno if that helps... it helped me though. This is good practise :woo:
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shewasdeleted
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Really struggling with "Why were the opponents of the Tsars more successful than those who opposed the communist regime?" I have no idea how to structure an opposition question...Any one have any idea on what can be included?
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crocker710
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(Original post by TheProviso)
Anybody struggling to write three thematic sections which each cover all of the relevant rulers in one hour?

Give that you're spending at least 5 mins planning, 5 mins with your introduction and about 10 for your conclusion you've got about 13 mins for each section, covering the whole period in each one.

According to my teacher each section should start with a synoptic overview, followed by evidence and then an explanation (synthesis) explaining the pattern of continuity or change.

Doing that three times in one hour, plus planning, introduction and conclusion is not easy. grrr.
Hi, you've trying to cram every ruler into each theme, but its not necessary! all you must do to cover the period is use all 6 rulers ( and Provisional Government where applicable ) within the whole essay. This clearly doesn't mean that you can put one sentence in about a ruler such as Khrushchev. Also, try to get four themes into an essay just to secure the marks for knowledge and analysis! good luck.
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crocker710
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(Original post by James115)
Yeah it's rubbish. Plus any event could be considered a turning point lol
Hi James again, the feature of a turning point is meaningful change. So to call the 1905 revolution a turning point would be dubious for example, as the things which were gained with the October manifesto were revoked. Although if you were to argue that it gave the workers a taste of power which they then grasped in 1917 you could get away with it (this was the Jan 1010 question ). Just bare in mind, to be considered a turning point it must have long felt effects, and a key turning point must have a significant effect across many themes, hope this has been some help.
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dukeofgrove
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(Original post by shewasdeleted)
Really struggling with "Why were the opponents of the Tsars more successful than those who opposed the communist regime?" I have no idea how to structure an opposition question...Any one have any idea on what can be included?
1. Loyalty of Army ex 1905 some mutnieed and had to give concessions, 1917 army caused downfall where as communists had total loyalty

2.Control over peoples lives ex Millions of informers, kolkohz, NKVD, communal housing etc none of which present under Tsars

3.Use of terror. ex eliminating millions of real and imagined enemies, red terror, purges, Gulags, executions. Tsars carried out few executions and exile was innefective

4. Lack of unity: under tsars only had sucess when united (1905 and feb 1917) where as they were never united under communists (various white armies, stalin defeating poliburto members one by one, kronstadt uprising)

2&3 could be put together and 4 left out but thats roughly how ild do it
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dukeofgrove
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(Original post by James115)
Yeah it's rubbish. Plus any event could be considered a turning point lol
This is the mark scheme for a turning point question for the old scheme (basically the same one with 8 fairly insignificant years added on)

"How far do you agree that the communist takeover in 1917 was the most important turning-point in the development of Russian government in the period from 1855 to 1956?

Focus: An assessment of the relative significance of the communist takeover in 1917 as a turning point in the development of Russian government in the period 1855 - 1956.

No set conclusions are to be expected, but candidates must answer the question and address the theme over the full period.
Candidates should focus on the phrase ‘most important turning point’ and ‘the development of Russian government’ in their answers. Candidates may argue either for or against the communist takeover in 1917 as the most important turning point, but must do so comparatively in the context of other turning points. What follows is not an exclusive list, but consideration could be given to 1855, 1866, 1881, 1905 / 1906, February 1917, 1924, or Stalin’s gaining total power by 1929 or Stalin’s death in 1953. For example, candidates might argue that the assassination of Alexander II in 1881 marked the end of any hope of meaningful reform from above by the Romanov dynasty, and set the Romanovs on course for revolution and their downfall. Candidates may argue that the end of over 300 years of Romanov rule in February 1917 was the most significant turning point as it ended the 304 year old Romanov dynasty, but may argue that ultimately this led to the replacement of ‘Romanov Tsars’ by ‘red Tsars’. Many candidates will undoubtedly argue that October 1917 and the triumph of Bolshevism was the most important turning point as it crushed all possibility that a liberal democracy might emerge in Russia and transformed Russia into the Soviet Union – the world’s first communist state. Candidates however may well consider that Lenin’s death in 1924 was the most significant turning point, perverting the true course of the Russian Revolution because circumstances enabled Stalin to succeed Lenin. Candidates who argue this are likely to suggest that Stalin’s victory in the ensuing power struggle led Russia down a very different road than that being paved by Lenin. Other candidates may use a counter-argument based on more recent archival evidence to suggest that there was significant continuity between Lenin and Stalin."


The other mark schemes say pretty much the same thing that the years that could be considerd turning point are:
1855,
1866,
1881,
1905 / 1906,
February 1917,
October 1917
1924,
Stalin’s gaining total power by 1929
Stalin’s death in 1953
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dukeofgrove
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How many themes do we need 3 or 4? :erm:
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shewasdeleted
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(Original post by dukeofgrove)
1. Loyalty of Army ex 1905 some mutnieed and had to give concessions, 1917 army caused downfall where as communists had total loyalty

2.Control over peoples lives ex Millions of informers, kolkohz, NKVD, communal housing etc none of which present under Tsars

3.Use of terror. ex eliminating millions of real and imagined enemies, red terror, purges, Gulags, executions. Tsars carried out few executions and exile was innefective

4. Lack of unity: under tsars only had sucess when united (1905 and feb 1917) where as they were never united under communists (various white armies, stalin defeating poliburto members one by one, kronstadt uprising)

2&3 could be put together and 4 left out but thats roughly how ild do it
Thanks for that, very helpful
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shewasdeleted
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(Original post by dukeofgrove)

The other mark schemes say pretty much the same thing that the years that could be considerd turning point are:
1855,
1866,
1881,
1905 / 1906,
February 1917,
October 1917
1924,
Stalin’s gaining total power by 1929
Stalin’s death in 1953
I would personally also include the Civil War. Because whilst the October revolution is a turning point, Bolsheviks still faced great opposition and had yet to consolidate their power. It was the Civil War that consolidated Bolshevism, it was when the Constituent Assembly was shut down and SR leaders executed. If they hadn't won the Civil War, then the October revolution wouldn't have had any long term impact.
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jakkowakko123
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What do people think will come up?
I hope WAR, Industry and Agriculture.
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folgs
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Does anyone know the three questions that came up in January 10? Thanks!
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