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Russian Revolution to

Stalin’s Totalitarian
USSR
The Russian Revolution and
Totalitarianism
• The March Revolution
– Caused the Czar to finally step down
– A Provisional Government under
Alexander Kerensky was formed.
• Kerensky kept Russia in WWI
• This cost him support of the people
and helped the communists
overthrow his government.
Lenin Returns to Russia
• Lenin returned to Russia to lead the
Bolshevik Revolution.
– Lenin’s slogan was “Peace, land, and
bread.”
– The Red Guards (factory workers)
stormed the government palace,
arresting government officials and
leaders.
– The Bolshevik Revolution was over in
a matter of hours.
The Bolshevik
Government
• Changes:
– All farmland distributed among the
peasants
– Factories turned over to the workers
– They negotiated a treaty with
Germany that gave a large chunk of
Russia to Germany – THIS ANGERED
MANY RUSSIANS.
Lenin Restores Order
• 1922 – Russia’s name is changed to
the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics)
• New Capital – Moscow
• The official party of Russia becomes
the Communist Party – named after
Karl Marx’s classless society in the
Communist Manifesto
• Lenin established a communist
dictatorship.
Totalitarianism
• Lenin suffered a series of strokes that
eventually led to his death.
• With Lenin out of the picture, two
figures tried to take over the
Communist Party
– Trotsky
– Stalin (Man of Steel)
Totalitarianism
• Stalin placed allies into key positions
in the Communist Party and by
1928 he was in total control of the
Party.
• In 1929, he forced Trotsky into exile

Stalin Builds a
Totalitarian State
• Totalitarianism – where the
government takes total, centralized
state control over every aspect of
public and private life.
• Stalin created a command
economy – a system in which the
government made all economic
decisions.
Stalin Builds a
Totalitarian State
• Stalin believed the USSR was fifty
years or more behind Western
Powers – to catch up he would
break down goals into Five Year
Plans.
• Five Year Plans
– Set impossibly high quotas to
increase industrial output.
– To reach the goals of Five Year Plans
consumer goods were limited,
creating shortages of housing, food,
clothing, and other necessary
Stalin Builds a
Totalitarian State
• Collective Farms – hundreds of
families working on one large
government-owned farm producing
food for the state.
• Creating collective farms cost the
lives of millions of Russians
because of famine.
Stalin Builds a
Totalitarian State
• The Great Purge – a campaign of
terror in the USSR in which Stalin
eliminated anyone suspected of
questioning his rule.