• facebook
  • twitter
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 THE WORLD BETWEEN WARS 1900 - 1950 (PART - II)   

     "The Chief fruit of the First World War was the Russian Revolution and the rise of Communism as a national power." -Whittaker Chambers
Russian Revolution - 1917:
     Russian Revolution was an important event in the world history and especially for the toiling masses which brought new light to the working-class. It was a great political, social and economic revolution. The revolution resulted in the formation of the first workers' Republic. From then, Communist Russia emerged as friend and a supporter to all the working class people of the world.
    Tsarist Russia, which spread over Asia and Africa continents, had the third largest populated country. It comprised of several nations like the Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkomania etc., The livelihood of most Russians was derived from agriculture and control over land was the basic cause for struggle between peasants and feudal lords. The feudal lords owned most of the lands and most peasants paid rent for the land they tilled.
      During 1917, there were two Revolutions in Russians, or it would be more correct to say that there was a single revolution which developed into two phases. The political phase or March Revolution, that occurred in march 1917, and it sealed the fate of the autocracy. Social phase or November (Bolshevick) Revolution occurred in November 1917 and it brought into existence the first worker Republic. The old Russian calender (Julian Calendar) was 13 days behind the international Gregorian calendar (present Russian calender)

February/ March Revolution
     Tsar Nicholas - II ruled over his vast Russian empire like any autocrat with the help of the army and bureaucracy. But the Russian economy was bled in the extreme by the World War. The Russian army was the largest in the world before World War-I. Yet, by 1917, The Russia had lost two million soldiers and civilians and became the biggest loser of human lives in World War-I. The diversion of food to the war front led to shortages in the cities. On March 8th 1917, around 10,000 women of the capital, St.Petersburg, took out a procession demanding Peace and Bread. Workers joined them in this protest. Unnerved at the protest in the capital, Tsar Nicholas-II ordered the army to suppress the demonstrators, even by firing at them. Instead, the soldiers joined the demonstrators. In just two days, the situation went so much out of hand that the Tsar abdicated and non-aristocratic Russians made a provisional government. This was the first Russian Revolution of 1917 and it was called the March Revolution.

Provisional Government
     The Provisional Government was a Bourgeoisie or middle class government, composing mostly of cadets who were constitutional democrats. It announced that a National constituent Assembly would shortly be elected to determine the form of permanent government for Russia. It declared continuance of war. But the people did not care for the political reforms. Their more urgent demands were peace and bread.
    They desired for a radical social and economic changes thus a revolution that began as a liberal movement drifted towards socialism. Local soviets were set up all over Russia, these became centres of popular agitation. Workmen refused to work, peasants seized large estates of Nobility. Soldiers refused to obey their officers and murdered some of them. The policies of cadets who headed to provisional government became unpopular and so they were removed from office. They were replaced by moderate socialists known as Mensheviks under the leadership of Kerensky.

Mensheviks - Kerensky
    Kerensky aimed to continue war and bring it to a speedy but honourable conclusion. He wanted to guide the revolution into the safe channels and active socialism by constitutional methods and in gradual stages. His policy was apposed by extremist wings of socialists known as the Bolsheviks.
    Fatigued by military reverses and upset at economic shortages, the common people didn’t want the war. They began organising themselves in councils which were called soviets. Such Soviets of soldiers, industrial workers and also people in rural areas were the expression of common people's power which was channelised by a group of Russian Communists party called Bolshevicks.
October/ November Revolution (Bolshevik Revolution)
    Owing to the continuous defeats of Russian army at several fronts, dissatisfaction arose among the people of Russia. On the other hand Bolshevik party under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky propagated against the government of Kerensky. Since the Bolshevik party was fully supported by the farmers and labourers, this class of people deliberately opposed the policy of Kerensky's government.
On 7th November 1917, the Bolshevik volunteers captured the Government offices and Railway Stations of Petrograd. Kerensky fled to an unknown place. Several of his colleagues and ministers were arrested.
    The army headquarters were also captured. In this way the government of Kerensky fell and Bolshevik party, without shedding a drop of blood, had established its full control over the government of Russia. Lenin became the Prime Minister of the new government and Trotsky was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Bolsheviks - Lenin (1870 - 1924)
     Lenin's original name was Vladimir Illich Vlyanov. His father was district inspector of schools. His brother was hanged in 1887 by the government. Since then Lenin developed Marxist ideas. He was imprisoned and was exiled to Siberia. On his return from Siberia in 1900 he joined the social democratic party and edited party newspaper, Iskra. He differed with social democrats and formed a new party namely the Bolshevik party in 1903.
     The Bolsheviks were led by Lenin. They were able to win the confidence of the Soviets (councils of peasants, workers and soldiers) because they took up the demand for immediate and control over prices and nationalisation of all factories and banks.

he soviets under the Bolshevik leadership seized power from the Provisional Government in October-November 1917 and immediately took steps to end the war and redistribute land. Full peace could not return to Russia because there started a civil war led by White Armies of Russian monarchists and anti-communist soldiers with help from Britain, France, USA and Japan. These were all defeated by 1920.
     The Bolsheviks also announced the ending of the Russian empire and permitted the various nations under it to become independent. However, gradually most of the former Tsarist empire's nations agreed to join the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) which was set up in 1924 by the Soviet Government of Russia.
      With this began a great experiment of building a country without exploiters like feudal lords, kings or capitalists. The USSR tried to build a society that was industrialised and modern and yet did not have inequality or exclusion of people on basis of birth, gender, language etc.

Rise of Stalin
     After the death of Lenin in 1924 Stalin emerged as the leader of Communist Party and he became the Prime Minister of the new government. He used his undisputed power to build the economy of USSR.
 USSR introduced Five Year Plans in 1928. This pursued a twin policy of rapid industrialisation and collectivisation of agriculture. Introducing Collective Forms, in which farmers worked together and sharing the production. But it was opposed by the large farmers. They had to face imprisonment, deportation and even death. This caused a severe famine in 1929 - 30 leading to the death of a very large number of people. Gradually USSR became industrialised and all the industries were centralised in the Government Sector, which led the industrial goods sold to the consumers directly. Lenin's declaration of the Rights of People gave self decision making power to all soviets. His main aim was to give peace, land, bread to the people.
New Governmental Programmes - Russia Reorganisation - Stalin
     After the death of the father of Bolshevism Lenin, there was a power race between Tratesky and Joseph Stalin. Finally, Stalin came to power on 1927. He began a programme of planned economic development with its five year plans in 1928.
     An extended schooling system developed, and managements were made for factory workers and peasants to enter universities. Creches were established in factories for the children of working women. Cheap public health care was provided. Model living quarters were set up for workers. The effect of all this was uneven, though, since government resources were limited.
USSR achieved full employment for all its citizens and was able to improve their standard of living substantially. It also managed to universalise literacy and primary education.
      However, all this was built through an enormous centralisation of political power in the hands of the communist party and its leaders and denial of ordinary democratic liberties to the citizens and doing away with any opposition through the use of force including large scale execution of opposition leaders. All this was done on the plea that it was necessary to build socialism and defeat the designs of capitalist powers which were constantly trying to undermine the USSR.
      The experience of the USSR inspired people all over the world who were committed to the ideas of equality and national liberation. A large number of them now became communists and tried for a communist revolution in their countries. Many of them like M.N.Roy, Tagore and Nehru were inspired by it even though they did not agree with many aspects of communism like suppression of opposition political parties.

The Great Depression (1929 - 39)
     The Great Depression began around the end of 1929 and lasted almost till 1939 when the Second World War began. During this decade there was a worldwide economic decline triggered by a decline in demand and fall in prices. The decline in demand led to closure of factory production which in turn meant further decline in the purchasing power of people leading to further decline in demand. This cyclical effect caused massive unemployment and decline of real incomes of ordinary people as well as governments across the world. It initially began with a stock market collapse in the US, but before long affected almost every country.
     All the capitalist countries were affected by the Great Depression except socialist country like Russia. This in turn caused a collapse of prices (upto 60%) for agricultural produce causing pauperisation of millions farmers and stopping of cultivation. It had decreasing social consequences sharply increasing poverty, desolation, homelessness etc.
    America and Britain were started some remedial measures to decrease the intensity of Depression. Their steps were... Relief to the victims of depression, Reform of financial Institutions, steps to ensure economic recovery etc. by USA. Brain too adopted extreme social security measures like unemployment doles, sickness coverage, health schemes, child care etc.

Germany after World War - I
     After the First World War, the Weimar Republic (1919 - 33) was not satisfied the will and pleasure of the Germans. Germany had faced so many financial crises with Versailles Treaty, which treated her sole responsible of war damages. For this, German Government printed currency notes for paying damages, which led to inflation.
    Germany was the worst hit by the depression. Unemployment and poverty led the people to criminal activities and total despair became common place some section of people were filled with the fear of pauperisation, an anxiety of being reduced to the ranks of the working class, or worse still, the unemployed. Even women were unable to fill their children's stomach with a sense of deep despair. This caused acute political instability as government after government collapsed and could not provide a stable rule.

Rise of Nazism in Germany
    Under the leadership of Hitler Nazi party got only 12 seats in the Reichstag - the German Parliament in 1928, but it was raised as the largest party in 1932 and Hitler appointed as Chancellor. After the death of German President Hindenberg in 1934, Hitler capture the Presidential Post also.
Hitler was a great speaker. He promised to build a strong nation, undo the injustice of the Versailles Treaty and restore the destiny of the German people. His policies were anti communism and capitalism, anti-Jews, importance to state-supremacy than individual liberty. According to the famous enabling act, he established dictatorship in Germany. Special surveillance and security forces were created to control political opponents and order society in ways that the Nazis wanted. Apart from the already existing regular police in green uniform, setup storm Troops (Black Shirts), Elite Guards (Black Shirts) and the secret police agency Gestapo were used to arrest and torture millions of political activists, trade unionists and people of minority committees and build a state of unprecedented horror and fear.
     Hitler setup General council of Industry for the industrial development. His finance minister Schacht had also implemented the best economic policies for instant economic development. He introduced Barter system in Foreign trade which led to no tax-burden on people.
    Hitler pressured an aggressive foreign policy of recovering the territories lost after the first world war. Then by 1939 he attacked poland and as we saw earlier this triggered off the second world war. As the war proceeded the Nazi regime unfolded its horrible programme of building the racial supremacy of Germans by mass extermination of minority communities. Under the shadow of the Second World War, Germany had waged a genocidal war, which resulted in the mass murder of selected groups of innocent civilians of Europe.

Germany defeat - World War - II End
     The Hide of initial victories scored by German armies was turned back after the defeat of the German forces in the famous battle of Stalingrad in early 1943. By hearing the news of capturing capital Berlin, Hitler and his close associates committed suicide to avoid being captured and tried. Eventually Germany was divided into two with the eastern part named German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the western portion named Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The GDR and FRG came under the influence of USSR and USA. In the far-east with bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered to USA. US armies captured but allowed the Japanese Emperor to continue. Japan was ruled by the elected government responsible to the Parliament (DIET).
    The Allies did not want to be as harsh on defeated Germany as they had been after the First World War. After the collapse of Germany and Japan after the war, the USA came up with Marshal plan to fund their economic revival. USSR also came up with a package for the revival of East European countries.

 Just as the First World War saw the end of large monarchic empires the Second World War also ended with ending of large colonial empires of the Britain, France, Japan, Italy and Germany by 1950, countries like India, China, Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria etc. became independent. The new super powers emerged on the world scene, the USSR and the USA. The United Nations Organisation (UNO) was setup for promote world peace and mutual cooperation among nations.


* In the World War - I Germany severely beat Russia inflicting severe losses. Under these circumstances the revolution broke out in Russia in early 1917. The revolutionaries forced Czar to abdicate on 15th March 1917. A Provisional Government was formed under the leadership of Princelov.
* The people of Russia were hard pressed for bread and land. They desired for radical, social and economic reforms. The Political reform announced by Princelov were not taken notice of and the Princelove's government was also overthrown and the moderate socialists known as Mensheviks under the leadership of Kerensky formed the government.
* Kerensky advocated the continuation of Russia in the world war but aimed to bring it to a respectable and quick end. Bolshevicks led by Lenin, were opposed to Kerensky's methods of reforms. Bolshevicks overthrew Kerensky in November 1917.
* Bolshevicks formed the government under the leadership of Lenin. Lenin's government announced the abolition of private property. Workers took over the management of factories. Hard work was made necessary for anyone to entitle himself the voting right. Russians worked to prepare the world for a revolution on similar lines as that of Russia.
* The Global influence of the Russian Revolution led to formation of Communist Party in many countries.
* Due to Economic Depression, which continued from 1929 to 1939 arised massive unemployment and decline of income around the world.
* When the world was facing the Great Economic Depression in 1929 onwards, the USSR was safe, since it was not integrated to the international market and also having a planned economy.
* Germany printed currency notes on large scale, which resulted in extreme inflation.
* The World War - II was ended with the victory of allied powers over Axis Powers. Nations such as Japan and Germany got totally ruined. About one and a half crores of people died in the war and many more were injured. The economic losses of the war could not be estimated exactly.
* In the far-east with bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered to USA.
* The destruction witnessed by the world made all nations to feel the need for a world organisation to maintain international peace and order. This led to the birth of United Nations Organisation (UNO)
* The new Super Powers emerged on the world scene, the USSR and the USA.

Posted Date : 16-11-2020


గమనిక : ప్రతిభ.ఈనాడు.నెట్‌లో కనిపించే వ్యాపార ప్రకటనలు వివిధ దేశాల్లోని వ్యాపారులు, సంస్థల నుంచి వస్తాయి. మరి కొన్ని ప్రకటనలు పాఠకుల అభిరుచి మేరకు కృత్రిమ మేధస్సు సాంకేతికత సాయంతో ప్రదర్శితమవుతుంటాయి. ఆ ప్రకటనల్లోని ఉత్పత్తులను లేదా సేవలను పాఠకులు స్వయంగా విచారించుకొని, జాగ్రత్తగా పరిశీలించి కొనుక్కోవాలి లేదా వినియోగించుకోవాలి. వాటి నాణ్యత లేదా లోపాలతో ఈనాడు యాజమాన్యానికి ఎలాంటి సంబంధం లేదు. ఈ విషయంలో ఉత్తర ప్రత్యుత్తరాలకు, ఈ-మెయిల్స్ కి, ఇంకా ఇతర రూపాల్లో సమాచార మార్పిడికి తావు లేదు. ఫిర్యాదులు స్వీకరించడం కుదరదు. పాఠకులు గమనించి, సహకరించాలని మనవి.

ప్రత్యేక కథనాలు


విద్యా ఉద్యోగ సమాచారం