History of Russia/the Soviet Union/Russia

History of Russia/the Soviet Union/Russia
Russia – 800-1300s
 Modern Russians, decedents from the Slavic
people , settled near present day Ukraine
Settled area called Kievan Rus
Prospered trading between Scandinavia and
the Byzantines
Converted to Eastern Orthodox in A.D. 988
During the 1200s the Mongols lead by
Genghis Khan conquer basically all of Asia,
and most of Europe, including Kievan Rus
Genghis Khan and his Empire
Russia 1300s - 1500s
 Kiev lost most of its power, many Slavs
moved north to get away from Mongols
 They build a small trading post, Moscow and
inside the new territory of Muscovy.
 Ivan III, prince of Muscovy will begin to reject
the Mongol’s rule, and declare independence
 Ivan III (known as Ivan the Great) and his
territory of Muscovy gains independence in
Ivan III (Ivan the Great
Dark Green – Muscovy 1480
Light Green – What Ivan took over
during his reign
Russia 1500-1600s
 Muscovy/Russia continues to grow after Ivan
the Great
 1547 – Ivan IV declares himself Czar, uses
secret police to carry out his will, conquers
neighboring territories, expands to the
Caspian Sea and past the Ural Mountains.
 Ivan IV (known as Ivan the Terrible) used
violence, including killing his own son in an
argument, used fear to gain and remain in
Ivan the Terrible
Russia 1600s – 1800s
 Russia continues to grow after Ivan the Terrible
 Late 1600s, “Peter the Great” expands Russia
westward towards Europe
Moves capital to major port on European side
Names it St. Petersburg (not after himself ),
mirrors it after European cities of trade
Catherine the Great rules shortly after Peter,
continues building and expanding, soon Russia
expands from Europe to the Pacific Ocean
During this time Muscovy changes name to
Russia, albeit not abruptly
Dark Green– Ivan’s expansion during his
40 years in power
Light Green– Expansion under Peter the
Great and later Catherine the Great
St. Petersburg
Peter the Great
Russia 1600s – 1800s
 Despite its size and power, Russia did not go
through the Renaissance, Reformation,
Enlightenment, or any other ideological
breakthroughs that Europe did.
 For all tense and purposes, Russia was still
stuck in the 13oos, even though it was in the
early 1900s.
 No industry, still used serfs/peasants
 Czars had absolute power, a European idea
that had was now all but extinct
Russia 1800s - 1917
 Russian citizens remained poor and hungry
 Despite being backwards, had success
defeating Napoleon's French invasion by
using its size
 Joined WWI, but lost millions of soldiers and
citizens starved as the country ran out of
money and food
 Russia pulls out of WWI in 1917, and revolted
and forced Czar Nicholas II to step down
Russian Revolution, Rise of Communism
 Vladimir Lenin leads a second revolution
(shortly after the first), and establishes a
communist state, where the government
controls economy and society
 Renames nation to Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics, which includes 15 different nations
and ethnic groups.
 Lenin’s goal, to make all citizens equal, he
stated that the rich owned too much
Vladimir Lenin
Soviet Union 1920s (after revolution)
Soviet Union
 After Lenin’s death, Joseph Stalin takes over,
and continues Lenin’s goals, only stricter and
more violently, and from here until 1980s, all
other dictators will take a violent approach,
removing basic freedoms from its people
(speech, press/media, ideas, etc).
 Stalin used secret police to enforce his will
 Banned religion and religious practices
Joseph Stalin
In power from 1922 – 1952
Soviet Union under Stalin
 WWII, Soviet Union sides with Allies (U.S.,
U.K., France) to fight Germany and Axis
Powers after a “non-aggressive” pact with
Hitler fails
 Lost between 20-30 million soldiers/civilians
(Stalin had many of his own civilians killed)
 After WWII, Stalin kept Eastern Europe under
his control, to prevent any future invasions
into the main part of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union Under Stalin
 Combined farms into a collectivization, which
are large farms ruled by the government and it
chooses what to grow
 This allowed to have more people work in
industry, to industrialize the nation, build
factories quickly, and begin producing
 Farms struggled without competition
 Industries succeeded, and Soviet Union will
become “Industrialized” but only because the
amount of workers (still no competition, no
European Soviet Bloc Countries
Soviet Union
 This struggle over Europe, caused the U.S. to
become involved
 The “Cold War” breaks out
 Cold War refers to when two or more countries have
major tensions, but are not fighting at the time, if they
were, we would call it “hot”
 Soviet Union controls the Soviet Bloc nations
(Eastern Europe), called Warsaw Pact, up against
the U.S.’s NATO (Western Europe, U.S., Canada)
 Berlin Wall is dividing line, and is put up in Berlin
Germany, becomes symbol of the Cold War
Berlin Wall
Literally divides city in half,
East Berlin is Soviet, West
Berlin is NATO
Illegal to cross from East to West Berlin
Soviet Union
 1940s-1990s – Cold War continues, small wars
are fought, but not between each other directly,
but instead through nations aligned with the
Soviet Union and the U.S. (ex. Korean War,
Vietnam War)
 Nations almost go to nuclear war a couple of
times, most notably Cuban Missile Crisis 1960s
 U.S. and Soviet Union begin a space race, then
later an arms race, building nuclear weapons
 This causes the Soviet Union to go bankrupt,
food shortages, oil shortages, gas shortages, etc.
Soviet Union Weakens
 People become upset over shortages, and as
media begins to leak into the Soviet Union,
people begin to realize their lack of freedoms
Mikhail Gorbachev tries to change the Soviet
Glasnost – Soviets can say or write what they
want without fear of punishment
Perestroika – Allowing owners more freedom to
make economic decisions
People begin to doubt communism, protests
begin throughout the Soviet Union, and
communism falls in 1991 along with the tearing
down of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall Falls
Communism Falls
 European Eastern Bloc nations breakaway
 Gorbachev steps down, Boris Yeltsin takes
over and tries to reform Russia back into a
democracy, giving people rights again
 Communists try one last time to take over,
but fails, the Soviet Union will be officially
over in 1991
 Yeltsin begins to build a market economy and
privatization (where the people are in control)
Brief Russia Today
 Yeltsin steps down, Vladimir Putin is elected
in 2000, and has since put more control back
into government
 Putin was a former Soviet KGB, or secret
 Ethnic groups continue to try and break
away, only to have Russia fight back, leading
to bloody conflicts (ex. Chechnya, GeorgiaOssetia, which is near Sochi)
1990s - Ethnic regions
breakaway from Russia

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