Edexcel AS exam revision – Stalinist economics – collectivisation

Having achieved ascendancy over his rivals, Stalin embarked Russia on a colossal programme of industrial growth and social transformation – a second revolution, but this time directed from above by the power of the Soviet state. Continue reading

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Edexcel AS exam revision – Bolshevik consolidation of power 1917-24

When the Bolsheviks “came to power” in October 1917 it was by no means obvious that they would survive. Having proclaimed the new era of Soviet power and socialist revolution, the writ of the new regime barely operated outside the major cities and it faced the basic challenge of either establishing control over the existing machinery of government, or creating a new one.  Continue reading

Edexcel AS exam revision – the February Revolution and the fall of Tsarism

Toppled statue of Alexander III

The fall of the Tsarist regime in 1917 is a pivotal moment in this course – all the previous developments since 1881 can be seen to have led up to this event. It is thus a little surprising that the examiners have not set many questions on this topic. Continue reading

Edexcel AS exam revision – reform in Tsarist Russia 1881-1914

Questions about the extent of reform in late Tsarist Russia have often been set by the examiners. Copyright restrictions prohibit me from listing the actual questions here, but you can find them out for yourselves by following the process outlined here.

These questions ask variously about “change”, “modification”, “reform” or “transformation” – more or less the same, in terms of the issues you are required to write about. Continue reading

Liberal Tsarism? Part II

Bolt from the blue

“…liberal pressure for further reform could be expected to gather momentum. Meanwhile, the military power of the State remained sufficient to maintain order while the beneficial medicine of socio-economic development consolidated the bases for a western-style pluralist democracy. ‘Then, as a thunderbolt, came the terrible catastrophe of 1914, and progress changed into destruction.'(Pavlovsky)” Continue reading