04 Rise of Communism

Unit Summary:

Student Contribution #1

In the chapter Rise of Communism in Russia and China, we are focusing on how communism has affected the economy and government of the country as well. We have talked as the trend of the crisis has begun from revolutionary ideas to the immediate crisis of world war one to the civil war which led to the political fighting and the concludes by the happy ending of societal restructuring. The cause of the revolution was triggered by the 150 years of new economic theories, the Tsars corrupting the government, the enormous losses of the world war one and the inequalities between the peasants and aristocrats. When the Russians started striking a crisis started because of the attitudes of the Russian soldiers, life of the peasants being very disturbing and having inexperienced replacements of farmers. The original revolution was started by the bourgeoisie while the second phase was led by proletarians.

On the Bolshevik Revolution as Lenin was expecting to win he ended up with 9 million votes only. In Russia the main three men on power were Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin. The social realism was the demand of the truth and historically a concrete representation of reality in its revolutionary development. And for its restructure Russia begins to change into the Soviet Union Under Stalin. This caused the forced industrialization where enormous was spent on military and sacrificed consumer goods for national aims, forced collectivization of Agriculture where peasants regrouped on collective farms and state farms, domestic consolidation of control and power where millions were expelled from communist party and finally expand International political power where they were recognized by leading countries.

The Soviet Union weakened after the death of Stalin, as Poland broke away, and it becomes smaller republic again. We have also read about the tear down of the Brandenburg Gate as US president Reagan called on USSR to tear down the Berlin Wall. This call became effective after 3 years of the president’s speech. In the late 1980s a protest which started as a high food price ended up to be an independent labor movement in Poland. The strike Gdansk, led by Lech Walensa continued for 18 days and ended to be Poland’s victory. China went through the same communism where poverty cycle affected the peasants. Mao connected with the peasants to advocate improve for better life which succeeded due to his blending with them in terms of dressing. As China attempted the Nonviolent change, that led Poland and India to victory, they failed. On 1989 the student protests led to massive demonstration at Tiananmen Square.

Key Vocabulary Terms:

Set #1:

  • Revolutionary Socialism: Is a movement to give the political power to the working class, so the country is directly controlled by the working class. Also socialism is the idea of redistribution of wealth equally. Socialism is an orthodox theory, later then leader of Russian Revolution socialist Lenin used this theory to change the power. This revolution then was spread all over the world. It inspires poor people to be socialist and change their society. The authors of these ideas are Karl Marx and Frederich Engels.
  • Destalinization: Removing or elimination the politics idealized by Joseph Stalin. It also includes removing Stalin’s supporters from important positions.
  • Bourgeoisie: Is a working middle class. In Lenin’s idealization, bourgeoisie won the competition with the Proletarinas for power thousands of years ago. Ever since then, those two classes have been in conflict. The Socialists promised to overthrow the Bourgeoisie and give the power to the Proletarians.
  • Proletarians: Proletarians are a poor people working class who doesn't own a land or property. Proletarians are the lower class that works more hours than others to survive. They are also treated unfairly by the upper classes. Typical jobs for these people are working as peasants in the farm fields or workers in the industrial factories.
  • Gosplan: Gosplan is a committee plan for the Soviet central economic planning. Gos-plan was established by the Sovnarkan decree. It was an introduction of five years plans of economic change. The plan had four parts: industrial growth, agricultural collectives, intimidation of the citizens, and improved international relations.
  • Berlin Wall: Berlin wall is a wall that separated the communist east Berlin and Demo-cratic the other side of Berlin. The Berlin wall was considered as anti fascists protective wall, mean to to keep away Nato countries and west Germany. It was then opened in 1989 by the government officials. The wall was meant to keep away the west from en-tering to east due to bad living condition in west.

Set #2

  • Red Guard: Group of college students Mao Zedong gathered together to lead the local peasants in confronting local political, military, and land owner leaders. They had red bands on their arms and wore olive green military uniforms. The Red Guards were formed during the Cultural Revolution and they were basically a group of young rebels trying to take down the Chinese government system. They were basically Communist youth because they wanted things ran a certain way and removed political leaders from their power to get their way. They were responsible for educating people back in the villages of this new civilization.
  • Little Red Book: Book written by Mao Zedong, which is the number one published book in Southeast Asia. This book contains sayings from Mao and is said to be a guide for the Red Guards, they would carry them around during gatherings. People mostly read it during the time of the Cultural Revolution since it was used to educate children in elementary school. This book was even said to be a “symbol of loyalty” towards the Cultural Revolution.
  • Collective farms: Association of farmers working on government land. It was a communal system that was established in 1958 and essentially, all farmers were members in this system. Collective farming started due to communist government officials pushing it onto their people and making them practice this system. In China, they had a variety of activities of collective farming, which also included nonagricultural farming as well.
  • Cultural Revolution: The formal name is the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which was basically a socialist movement that ended all disagreement with the communist government. This started because Mao Zedong felt like he was losing power over China and he wanted to restore his power. This was led by Mao Zedong in 1966 and during this time, he also created the Red Guards. Schools were shut down since the education system was being attacked and the Red Guards were attacking the government officials in order to remove them from power. The Chinese economy also fell during this time as well.
  • Tienanmen Square Movement The Tienanmen Square Movement was also known as the June Fourth Incident. This is a peaceful student led protest to improve the government system. The Chinese government wanted to suppress this movement in which they brought in military troops and killed innocent lives in order to stop this protest. The protestors were unarmed and thousands of lives were lost that day. Up until today, the Tienanmen Square Massacre is a topic that is not to be spoken of in china.
  • Influence of "Tank Man" Anonymous man who stood in front of multiple tanks in order to protest against the Chinese military. He was an inspiration for freedom and inspired people to protest against the government system and fight for their freedom. Basically, the tank man symbolizes courage and a tipping point for the Chinese people being tired of the government attacking innocent lives at the Tienanmen Square Movement.

Potential Essay Questions:

Essay Question #1.What were the short-term and long-term causes of the Russian and Chinese Communist Revolutions? How did Stalin and Mao justify violence instead of the path taken by Gandhi?

This is another essay question that requires you to draw course material from previous units: Imperialism, Industrial Revolution (new economic and political ideas), and World War One along with what you learned in this unit. Key readings and video clips played during class include those by Lenin, Mao, Mao's followers, and Soloman

Student Contribution #1


Explanation of background (what was going on at that time)

- Brief description of Body contents


1. Long term causes

o Class conflict; peasant and gentry class; abject poverty and famine

o Imperialism

2. Short term causes

o Involvement in WWI

o Leaders who persuade people to stand up for their right

 Lenin, Trotsky, and Mao

o People feel no optimism over what they are doing -> cannot endure their toil anymore -> wanting to change their country; lead to revolution -> violent movements

3. Violence was justified by Stalin and Mao

o Both thought that violence was in need in order to fight against violence

o Source of political power is from the military that they hold-> in order to go against the power from violence, violence was the only key to oppose that power.

o Mao insists “We do not desire war; but war can only be abolished through war” “In order to get rid of the gun, we must first grasp it in hand”

Essay Question #2. Compare and contrast the protest movements in Poland and China. What were key choices made by protest organizers in Poland and China? How were their struggles similar or different from Gandhi in India? Explain why you think change occurred in Poland but not in China during 1989.

This essay question requires you to draw on course material from the Gandhi's protest in the imperialism unit along with what you learned in this one. Detailed information drawn from the video documentaries on protest in Poland and China will be important to illustrate and support your essay response.

Student Contribution #1