Dictators: Rise of 20thC Dictators | Rule of 20thC Dictators
Wars: Origins of Wars | WW1 / WW2: origins compared
Tsar Alexander II
Tsar Alexander III
IGCSE Revision and Study Skills
•IGCSE Paper 1 Model Answers
IBDP Essay/Sourcework Skills •IB Historiography / TOK •IB Internal Assessment • IB Extended Essay •30+ Model Essays •IB Curriculum Map •IB Revision
Early Modern British:
Henry VII | Henry VIII 1509-1529 | Henry VIII 1529-1547 | Edward VI | Mary I | Elizabeth I
Lutheran Reformation | Zwingli/Calvin/ Radicals | Counter-Reformation | Ferdinand/Isabella | Charles I/Phillip II | Ottoman Empire | French Revolution / Napoleon
Please fill in the following form to contact the author, Russel Tarr
ActiveHistory provides entertaining, educational award-winning interactive simulations, decision-making games, self-marking quizzes, high-quality worksheets and detailed lesson plans for teachers and students.
View the top 75 activities here.
Overview and study guide
During the Cold War, the debate about the nature and origins of the 1917 Communist Revolution was particularly heated. The Capitalist West was eager to discredit the origins of the USSR, and the USSR was equally determined to romanticise them.
Since the end of the Cold War, the debate has continued to rage between Left- and Right-Wing historians.
The Coursework assignment: "Analyse the significance of World War One for Russia"
In this essay (2000 words maximum), we will consider to what extent the Russian Revolution and its legacy was the direct result of World War One. We will do this by considering each of the following questions in turn:
Politically, one of the major events that occurred in Russia during World War One was the overthrow of the Tsarist regime. Assessing the significance of World War One in this context requires us to consider whether the war CAUSED or merely ACCELERATED the collapse of the regime. Reaching a judgement on this issue requires us to determine how stable the regime was on the eve of the war.
1. How stable was the Tsarist regime on the eve of World War One? | Sources 1894-1905 | Sources 1906-1914
Teacher-led multimedia lecture
Complete with sources and video clips, this online lecture serves as a useful re-cap and consolidation of what has been learned so far.
Regardless of whether the war was a cause or merely a catalyst for the February Revolution, it certainly had a significant immediate impact upon Russia. The issue which divides historians in this respect is explaining how military and socio-economic developments during the war were connected together.
Main task: What was the impact of World War One upon Russia up to February 1917?
There is also an extension activity focusing on the accuracy of the film "Rasputin", clips from which are incorporated into the main activity.
Video (above): What is AJP Taylor's typically quirky explanation of how the war contributed to the downfall of the Tsarist regime?
The Provisional Government which took over from the Tsar in February 1917 remained committed to keeping Russia in the Great War. How significant this decision was in terms of contributing to the Provisional Government's overthrow by the Bolsheviks in 1917 is another subject of debate.
Timeline Roleplay Exercise (interactive exercise using the Online ActiveHistory Presentation).
In this exercise, students are asked to start organising evidence under four headings: (a) Provisional Government mistakes/weaknesses; (b) Bolshevik mistakes/weaknesses; (c) Provisional Government strengths/successes; (d) Bolshevik strengths/successes.
The teacher will use this Online ActiveHistory Presentation to guide students through the key events between February and October. Each slide presents a fresh development, and students discuss and then vote on what they think the relevant party (Provisional Government or Bolsheviks) should do in order to increase their popularity. This is then compared to what really did happen so that students can then determine under which heading they should place their notes.
This is a highly effective and efficient way of getting students engaged with, and reflecting on, the key events in a step-by-step manner as a starting point.
Primary / Secondary Source Material
As the next phase of the investigation, students read through a series of selected primary and secondary accounts of the events of October 1917 and decide where each can be used, and which quotes are best to include. They should also be encouraged to reflect on the values and limitations of each of these sources.
Extension Materials for students
Historiography of October 1917 | Narrative overview February-October | Timeline of events February-October |
Assessing the impact of the war upon Russia also requires us to look to the long-term. In this sense, the first thing to consider is the immediate impact upon Russia of Lenin's decision to pull out of the war through the Treaty of Brest Litovsk.
The teacher will use this Online ActiveHistory Presentation to guide students through the key events and debates surrounding why Stalin was able to rise to power. There are several theories to explain why Stalin, who was a relatively anonymous figure at the time of the October Revolution, eventually became leader of the Soviet Union after the death of Lenin in 1924. These can be summarised as follows:
We will consider these various theories to help us answer the question "How significant was the experience and legacy of World War One as a factor in helping Stalin rise to power as leader of the Soviet Union?"
In the longer-term, the experience of World War One and the ensuing civil war which followed in its wake was used by Stalin to justify radical actions to protect the country against future threats. The teacher will use this Online ActiveHistory Presentation to cover the following themes:
At this point, students are ready to write their coursework essay. This document - guidance for writing the coursework essay for students - outlines how to write an introduction, a conclusion, and provides a range of key words and phrases to help them analyse significance. It also makes use of the ClassTools "Essay Writing Bookmark" which I have made freely available for download here.
© 1998-2020 Russel Tarr, ActiveHistory.co.uk Limited (Reg. 6111680)
High Park Lodge, Edstaston Wem, Shropshire, England, SY4 5RD. Telephone/Fax: 01939 233909
Events (150 years ago today): 1870 – The Bersaglieri corps enter Rome through the Porta Pia, and complete the unification of Italy.
Events (100 years ago today): 1920 – Irish War of Independence: British police known as "Black and Tans" burned the town of Balbriggan and killed two local men in revenge for an Irish Republican Army (IRA) assassination.
Births (200 years ago today): 1820 – John F. Reynolds, American general (d. 1863)
Births (100 years ago today): 1920 – Jay Ward, American animator, producer, and screenwriter, founded Jay Ward Productions (d. 1989)
Births (50 years ago today): 1970 – N'Bushe Wright, American actress and dancer
Deaths (50 years ago today): 1970 – Alexandros Othonaios, Greek general and politician, 126h Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1879)
RSS Feed | Full week | Get Widget