AS History Paper 2 RussiaWatch
1 (i) 'Explain why the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks split in 1903'
The split was largely personal and a clash of personalities between Martov and Lenin. Lenin led the Bolsheviks the majority and desired small centralised leadership with highly disciplined and professional revolutionaries who would seek revolution immediately. The Mensheviks were led by Martov who were the minority. He advocated open debate and wanted a larger broader base and take in all those who wanted to join etc and improve conditions before a revolution.
1 (ii) 'The Tsar'response to Bloody Sunday was the most important reason for the outbreak of the Revolution of 1905'
Bloody Sunday-22nd of January 1905- Father Gapon led 150,000 protesters in St.Petersberg- Tsar was absent and it was believed that he ordered the troops to open fire on the unarmed peaceful demonstration- this damaged his reputation as the little Father of the Russian people
Other factors- Long term problems- Peasants and urban workers economic discontent/lack of political reform/use of repression/policy of Russification/short term factors- Witte's economic policies/ Russo-Japanese War/ I gave more detail on these points but don't worry lol won't add it all here
3 (i) 'Explain the weaknesses of the Whites in the Russian Civil War- 1918-1921 (8)
The Whites did not possess the leadership, organisation, commitment and resources to rival the Reds. The only thing they had in common was that they were anti-Bolshevik. They were divided politically and economically about the future of Russia. They found it difficult to cooperate with one another as they disliked and distrusted each other. There was often squabbles and in fighting. There was also indiscipline and corruption as Admiral Kolchak sold uniforms and weapons to the Black market and many white generals lived in brothels in a haze of vodka and cocaine. The foreign intervention was half hearted and ineffective and large distances made communications very difficult. The tendency to fight regionally rather than nationally also hindered the progress of the Whites.
3 (ii) 'The weaknesses of the Provisional Government was the most important reason for the success of the Bolsheviks in the Revolution of October 1917' (22)
Weaknesses of the Whites- War, land, economy and the Kornilov affair
Strengths of the Bolsheviks- Lenin and Trotsky able to exploit and capitalise on the errors of the Provisional Government. Does this sound okay? Any replies are much appreciated