Comparing/contrasting Lenin - Tsar Nicholas II Watch

albert2012
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Hello,
I have a question about Lenin and the Tsar. How can you compare and contrast these two and can Lenin be remembered as the first red Tsar? Any good websites that might help me?
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Robby_J
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Well, first you'll have to identify themes of their rule.

- Style of rule
NII was obviously an autocrat (even though he, in theory anyway, had a representative body of the peoples, the Duma. But he hung onto his absolute rule with the Fundamental Laws (1905)), and Lenin had spoke alot of 'dictatorship of the proletariat,' both pretty absolute.

- Repression (secret police, censorship)
NII had the Okhrana, and tried to continue his father's 'Reaction.' Secret police for the purpose of preserving the status quo, keeping the Tsars in power. NII was also a massive supporter of Jewish Pogroms and 'Russification'(Lenin also supported R'fication).Lenin established the Cheka for the same reason as the Tsar. Lenin's Cheka was far more efficient, and though the total amount of the Cheka's victims in the civil war are officially 12,000 and something(wiki it), historians widely believe this figure to be in excess 500,000. Lenin therefore could be judged as the worse of the two.

Reform -
NII - Illusory Reform (October Manifesto created the Duma, and as mentioned, this had no real authority), Stolypin's land reforms did almost nothing. Lenin issues the Workers Control Decree, and also the Bolshevik Land Decree - however these were only very temporary (before a return to a very authoritarian economic set-up (strict discipline etc). These therefore could also be judged as illusory.

Elaborate as much on these above sections as you can - make your comparison, evidence it, conclude it.

Conclude with something to the tune of: the Russian's exchanged an innefectual Tsar, for a more ruthless efficient 'Red' varient.

Hope that helps you! Rob x
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albert2012
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Thanks
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Prince Rhyus
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Again, be clear about what you are contrasting - regimes or personalities? (You'll end up with different answers depending on which one you look at.)
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SnowAngel
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(Original post by Prince Rhyus)
Again, be clear about what you are contrasting - regimes or personalities? (You'll end up with different answers depending on which one you look at.)
curious; could he do both?
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Zystra
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Similarities- Both used concessions/reform in order to maintain control. Nicholas with the October Manifesto and the creation of the Duma and Lenin with the NEP to appease the SR's and the rightists of the Bolsheviks. They both 'backtracked' on the reforms however with Lenin calling the NEP a 'tactical retreat' and would've reverted it had he been alive and Nicholas made the 1906 constitution/ Fundamental laws which limited the Duma's powers and maintained his position as an autocrat.

Lenin and Nicholas II also focused on modernising Russia albeit Lenin more so. Lenin believed that Communsim = Soviet power + electrification of the whole country in order to catch up with the west which Nicholas did too, focusing on industrilisation with Witte's great spurt.

Nicholas and Lenin were different in the ways they used repression. Until the Purges and dekulakisation under stalin, the red terror was repression which had never been seen before - killing strikers, ex tsarist officials, and peasants who wouldn't abide by War communism (requistioning of grain).

Lenin also centralised the state even more - known as democratic centralisation however Nicholas gave more representation to the people arguably, allowing free speech and representation in the national parliament.

Also a handy comparison if you're stuck is that the Tsars and Communists always believed they weren't accountable to the people. The Tsar's believed that they were only accountable to God, and questioning the Tsar was an insult to God whilst the Communists were only (realistically) accountable to the Politburo and Sovnarkom.

Hope this helps!
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Zystra
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(Original post by SnowAngel)
curious; could he do both?
You could do both regimes and personality together if you want but only really in the form of ideology - the idea that they both thought they weren't accountable to the people etc. Ideologies are pretty important in this course as the rulers beliefs also help shape the regime as the dictators had lots of power.


Also thought of another comparison.

You could also argue that the NEP was similar to Witte's reforms under Nicholas II as they both made Russia more capitalistic I suppose.
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