Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution
Q82. Describe the views of radicals.
What were the views of radicals?
Write a short note on ‘radicals’.
Ans. The following were the views of radicals:
- Radicals wanted a nation in which government was based on the majority of a country’s population.
- Many supported women’s suffragette movements.
- They opposed the privileges of great landowners and wealthy factory owners.
- They were not against the existence of private property but disliked concentration of property in the hands of a few.
Q83. Discuss the positive aspects of the Bolshevik government on Soviet Union and on its people.
Ans. The positive aspects of the Bolshevik government on Soviet Union and on its people were:
- Most industry and banks were nationalised in November 1917. This meant that the government took over ownership and management.
- Land was declared social property and peasants were allowed to seize the land of the nobility.
- They banned the use of the old titles of aristocracy. To assert the change, new uniforms were designed for the army and officials.
Q84. Why was the decision to collectivise farms taken?
Ans. Stalin believed that rich peasants and traders in the countryside were holding stocks in the hope of higher prices. This created the shortage. In 1928, Party members toured the grain-producing areas, supervising enforced grain collections, and raiding kulaks.’ As shortages continued, the decision was taken to collectivise farms. It was argued that grain shortages were partly due to the small size of holdings. These small-sized peasant farms could not be modernised. To develop modern farms, and run them along industrial lines with machinery, it was necessary to establish state-controlled large farms.
Q85. What changes did industrialisation bring to the then society in Russia?
- It was a time of profound social and economic changes.
- It was a time when new cities came up and new industrialised regions developed, railways expanded and the Industrial Revolution occurred.
- Industrialisation brought men, women and children to factories.
- Work hours were often long and wages were poor.
- Unemployment was common, particularly during times of low demand for industrial goods.
- Housing and sanitation were problems since towns were growing rapidly.
Q86. What solutions did radicals and liberals find to the problems of industrial society?
Ans. The following solutions were found by the radicals and liberals find to the problems of industrial society:
- Having made their wealth through trade or industrial ventures, they felt that such effort should be encouraged - that its benefits would be achieved if the workforce in the economy was healthy and citizens were educated.
- They believed that societies would develop, if freedom of individuals was ensured, if the poor could labour, and those with capital could operate without restraint.
Q87. Explain how workers were divided in social groups in Russia.
How were workers divided in social groups in Russia?
State how workers were divided in social groups in Russia.
Ans. Workers were a divided social group in the following ways:
- Some had strong links with the villages from which they came. Others had settled in cities permanently.
- Workers were divided by skill. Metalworkers considered themselves aristocrats among other workers as their occupations demanded more training and skill.
- Women made up 31 per cent of the factory labour force by 1914, but they were paid less than men.
- Divisions among workers showed themselves in dress and manners too.
Q88. Critically examine Stalin's collectivisation programme.
Ans. Stalin introduced collectivisation programme to find a solution to food shortage. But this proved to be disastrous in the following ways:
- The Party forced all peasants to cultivate in collective farms (kolkhoz).
- Enraged peasants resisted the authorities and destroyed their livestock.
- Those who resisted collectivisation were severely punished. Many were deported and exiled.
- Stalin’s government allowed some independent cultivation, but treated such cultivators unsympathetically.
- In spite of collectivisation, production did not increase immediately.
Q89. What developments took place in Europe in support of socialism?
Ans. The following developments took place in Europe in support of socialism:
- To coordinate their efforts, socialists formed an international body – namely, the Second International.
- Workers in England and Germany began forming associations to fight for better living and working conditions.
- In Germany, these associations worked closely with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and helped it win parliamentary seats.
- By 1905, socialists and trade unionists formed a Labour Party in Britain and a Socialist Party in France.
Q90. Discuss the role and importance of Lenin in the history of USSR?
What was the role of Lenin in the Russian Revolution?
Explain in brief the Lenin’s contribution to the Russian Revolution.
Ans. Role of Lenin in the Russian Revolution
- He and the Bolsheviks had opposed the war since 1914. He declared that the war be brought to a close, land be transferred to the peasants, and banks be nationalised. These three demands were Lenin’s April Theses.
- He introduced radical land reforms that led to turn Russia into socialist society.
- He was driving force behind the October Revolution that eventually led to the formation of the Soviet Union.
- He was instrumental in the victory of Bolsheviks in the civil war.