Second Blogpost Guidelines – Updated Thursday 9/4

Ilya Repin - 17 October, 1905Our second set of blog posts will focus on the development of a revolutionary movement in Russia and the revolution of 1905. You should start by reading Freeze (Chapter 8) and then develop one of the following topics:

1) Marxism / Leninism. Use the resources in the Marxist Internet Archive to examine the development of Marxism in Russia before the revolution of 1905.  You should focus in particular on Lenin’s ideas about the kind of revolutionary organization needed in Russia, especially the Chapter on  “The Spontaneity of the Masses and the Consciousness of Social Democrats” in Lenin’s “What is to be Done? and Chapter IV, section C, “The Organization of Workers and the Organization of Revolutionaries”  (vocabulary for this selection also copied below…)**

or 2) The Revolution of 1905. Use the Historical New York Times Database* and Chapter 8 to explore any aspect of the 1905 revolution that interests you.**  You will also find good primary sources in the “Russian Revolution” section of The Internet History Sourcebook.

If you haven’t already done so, please take a few moments to read Courtney’s advice and encouragement for making this next set of posts even better than round one.

*To access the database when you are off campus: Click the “VT Libraries” link on the lower right hand corner of the screen.  This takes you to the Library homepage.  Click “Off campus sign-in” and enter your PID and password.  If you have trouble, use the “Ask a Librarian” link.

** Questions and possible topics follow:

Lenin Questions:

Who is Lenin’s audience?
What does he mean by “tailism”?
What relationship does he envision between trade unions and the revolutionary party?
Why is he so opposed to the economists?
What is his position on the use of terror as a tactic?

Useful Vocabulary:
Julius Martov  – (future) Menshevik leader
Sergei Zubatov – leader of Police-sponsored Trade Unions
Social Democratic Newspapers (mentioned in “What is to be Done?”):
Rabochaya mysl (The Workers’ Thought) – Economist orientation
Rabocheye delo (The Workers’ Affair) – 1st Social Democratic Newspaper
Iskra (“The Spark”)
Zarya (“Dawn”)

Key Questions for next week:

  •  What was the nature of the political order established by the October Manifesto?
  • Did this “Constitutional Experiment” set Russia on the course for progressive political reform and economic modernization (disrupted by World War I) or was the new order so flawed and the pressures on Imperial society so great that a more radical restructuring of politics was inevitable?
  •  The Revolution of 1905 and Russia’s Constitutional Experiment Potential topics (this is just a suggestive not exhaustive list).  Read Ch. 8 first to get a sense of what interests you.
    • Russo-Japanese War
    • Bloody Sunday
    • Father Gapon
    • Soviets
    • Peasant Union
    • Duma
    • October Manifesto
    • Liberals (Kadets / Constitutional Democrats)
    • Octobrists ( Alexander Guchkov)
    • Socialist Revolutionaries
    • Nationalists / Conservatives
    • Peasants!!!!
    • Stolypin
    • Liberals (Peter Struve, Pavel Miliukov)
    • Strikes
    • Ethnic minorities (Jews, Ukrainians, Finns, Poles, etc.)
    • Fundamental Law
    • Social Democrats
    • Sergei Witte
    • Sergei Zubatov (Zubatovshchina)

A. Nelson

I am a historian of Russia with expertise in cultural history and emerging interests in animal studies and environmental history. My current research projects include studies of the Soviet space dogs, the significance of the Belyaev fox domestication project, and the cultural implications of domestication, particularly in Eurasia. 

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