russian revolution: background    

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Browse down the page or just click one of these sections.... 
  1. Background
  2. The Romanovs
  3. Political Situation
  4. Stolypin
  5. Rasputin
  6. The impact of World War I

  7. General sites

Other core casahistoria Russia/USSR pages:

1917 Revolutions
Lenin´s Russia
Stalin's Russia 1927-39
Stalin: Economics & Terror, 1927-41

  Related casahistoria sites
Single Party States · Ideologies of left & right ·


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1. Background
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For a basic introduction by world-renowned historians:
This material (From PBS) was gathered during the making of The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century.






2. The Romanovs  

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  • Nicholas II biography from Spartacus site with primary sources and good cross links in support. NB Remember to scroll down the page: the content is below the ad!!
  • Nicholas II Romanov Modern Russian bio on the last Russian tsar. From the Russian international TV news channel RT Russia.
  • Alexander Palace: Time Machine Extraordinarily lavish presentation of images and information related to the palace, Nicholas II, Alexandra, and other members of the Romanov family. Features well-organized tours of every room in the palace, richly detailed biographies, Romanov diaries and letters that afford insights into daily life in the palace, and a plethora of additional materials. Some key pages:.
  • Nicholas and Alexandra  Virtual tour of the travelling exhibit Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia. Presents an easily navigated, clickable exhibition site map offering a selection of topically organized galleries. These galleries provide an extensive preview of the exhibit, which includes artifacts such as the dresses, coach, and menu from the coronation of Nicholas II in 1896.
  • Alexandra - the last Tsarina BBC audio report (about 10mins) on a side of Alexandra that is little-known to most people. Maureen Barry talks about the last Tsarina.
  • Diagnosis of The Tsarevich Made Public - 1912 Facsimile copy of the New York Times article telling of Alexey’s “bleeding disease”
  • Mathilde Kschessinska BBC audio report (about 10mins) recalling the first Russian Prima Ballerina and famed lover of the future Tsar Nicholas II
  • Family Album of interesting snapshots.... but the music!!!
  • Exploring Anastasia BBC article
For links to the demise of the Romanovs, click on the 1917 casahistoria page




3. Political Situation
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Black Repartition 
Constitutional Democrats (Cadets)
Land and Liberty 
Liberation of Labour Group     
People's Will 
Social Democratic Labour Party
Socialist Revolutionaries (SR's)
Left Socialist Revolutionaries




4. Stolypin

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  • Pyotr Stolypin Useful Russian outline illustrated Bio of the minister famous chiefly for his agricultural reforms and the draconian methods he used to deal with his opponents. From the Russian international TV news channel RT Russia.
  • Stolypin Sound, basic biography from Spartacus site with primary sources and good cross links in support. NB Remember to scroll down the page: the content is below the ad!!
  • Stolypin Land Reform Excerpts from the Ukaz of 9 November 1906 On Peasants Leaving the Land Commune. §
Two articles by Lenin on Stolypin:
  • Stolypin and the Revolution  Sotsial-Demokrat, No. 24, October 18 (31), 1911 Published according to the Sotsial-Demokrat text From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1968 First printing 1963  §
  • Stolypin and the Narodnik Agrarian Programmes  July 1, 1912  Published according to the text in Nevskaya Zvezda From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition  §





5. Rasputin

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  • Grigory Rasputin Bio from the Russian international TV news channel RT Russia of the wandering peasant who eventually exerted a powerful influence over Nicholas II and Aleksandra, the last Tsar and Tsarina of Imperial Russia.
  • Rasputin: Biography from Alexandra Palace
  • Rasputin Sound, basic biography from Spartacus site with primary sources and good cross links in support. Includes extracts from sources describing his death. NB Remember to scroll down the page: the content is below the ad!!
  • Rasputin § biography from the European Royal History Journal
  • The Murder of Rasputin A detailed article from . To save the Russian monarchy, several members of the aristocracy attempted to murder the holy man, Rasputin. Though their plan was simple, they soon found that Rasputin would be very difficult to kill.
  • Channel 4: Masters of Darkness Website on the Rasputin programme in the series. Well presented information with wide ranging (!) links.  §
  • Okhrana Surveillance Report on Rasputin The Okhrana (Russian security police) had placed officers outside of Rasputin's home to monitor his and his visitors' comings and goings. This report gives some details of Rasputin's life from January 1, 1915 through February 10, 1916.



6. World War I

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General Background to World War 1

  Go to the casahistoria World War 1 site for links to the war in general  

  • PBS Great War site : excellent chronological information and useful, brief articles by historians on many aspects of the war and the resultant peace

The Russian War

Allied intervention

 Primary sources



7. General link sites to the period

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  • Soviet Union From the Library of Congress Country Studies . Clear, concise and thorough description of the key stages, both before and after the events of 1917. Research completed May 1989 and coauthored by Eugene K. Keefe. Unfortunately this is now only available as an epub or pdf book download and is no longer so easy to dip in and out of. This is the link to the epub for fastest download.
  • The Russian Revolution  This is a good place to start. It has many links to sites on the background and events of the Revolution. A useful collection of annotated links to other sites relating to the Russian Revolution. It is very suitable for IB Level. NB! The red background to the site will drive you mad if you look at it too long...
  • Russian Studies on the Internet  A very thorough, and quite academic listing of sites relevant to Russian History. For serious casahistorians in particular, but difficult to navigate.
  • History of the Russian Revolution Complete three-volume work by Leon Trotsky. Scroll half way down the page for epub, pdf etc of each volume.

Links to documentary evidence

  • Chronology of Russian History: Soviet Period  A well presented university site, looking at the grand sweep of Russian/Soviet history from a chronological position. Good linked access to documents such as  Tsar´s abdication letter, Order No 1, April Theses...  §
  • Photographs of the Russian Empire A collection of photographs of Imperial Russia from the archives of the University of California Riverside. It gives an interesting picture of Russia in the period 1890-1920.
  • History of the Soviet Union This website of translated documents by the Univ of East Anglia  is designed to give students easy access to a wide selection of sources on Russian history translated into English and available electronically.  §
  • Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Russian Revolution Key Documents on the revolutionary period
  • PLP translations: an enormous number of books/documents translated by Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds. This links to the enormous index. Good for browsing for sample documents - but you need a general idea of what/who you are looking for as the index is author based, not thematic  §
  • People's Century: Red Flag Companion website to a PBS series on the Russian Revolution. Not the easiest site to navigate but includes interviews with participants and eyewitnesses to the rise of the Soviet State.



  Revolutions of 1917 For extensive links to the events of 1917 go to the casahistoria site 

the casahistoria Russia/USSR core sites:
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  Background to Revolution
1917 Revolutions
Lenin´s Russia
  Stalin's Russia 1927-39
  Stalin: Economics & Terror, 1927-41  



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