Bolshevik Criticisms of Tsarist Russia Essay

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Bolshevik Criticisms of Tsarist Russia

At the beginning of the 19th century, Russia functioned under an autocratic monarchical system. The monarch at this time was Tsar Nicholas II, who lacked the leadership skills of his father and was unintelligent although some historians believe that he was a "conscientious hard worker". He had autocratic power over the country and he had the final word on all matters. Around this time, Marxism was growing across Europe. This has been largely accredited to the increase in heavy industry in this period. The Bolshevik party practiced a particular brand of Marxism. They believed that Russia wasn't ready for a proletarian revolution yet and that a small group
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This killed over 100 people and was a major cause of the 1905 revolution after which the Tsar was forced to allow a Duma, or parliament. However, he gave this body no real power as he was allowed to override any of its decisions. Although, the Bolsheviks were not that bothered about this, as they never saw this as a viable way to bring about revolution, the peasants and proletariat grew increasingly disillusioned with the Tsar. This disillusionment was increased when the Tsar took personal control of the army in 1915. The results were disastrous as Nicholas was not a very intelligent or charismatic leader.

Another criticism of the regime was the immense power of the church. The Bolsheviks, as Marxists, believed that religion was "the opium of the masses", i.e. just another part of the superstructure used to oppress the proletariat. The church was closely linked to the state and was deeply conservative. This angered Bolsheviks further. The Tsar used religion to keep the masses in their place by teaching them that "God commands us to love and obey every authority, particularly the Tsar".

The army, along with the church, was used to suppress the masses. Soldiers were conscripted mainly from the peasantry. Bolsheviks thought that peasants shouldn't be used to suppress their fellow peasants and they criticised this. Recruits took a pledge to the

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