Chapter 30


Revolution and Nationalism 1900 - 1939


Section 1: Revolutions in Russia

Main Idea: Long-term social unrest in Russia erupted in revolution, ushering in the first Communist government

Why It Matters Now: The Communist Party controlled the Soviet Union until the country's breakup in 1991.

Setting The Stage: The Russian Revolution was like a firecracker with a very long fuse. The explosion came in 1917. Yet the fuse had been burning for nearly a century. The cruel, oppressive rule of most 19th-century czars caused widespread social unrest for decades. Anger over social inequalities and the ruthless treatment of peasants grew. The czars' unfair governing sparked many violent reactions. Army officers revolted in 1825. Hundreds of peasants rioted. Secret revolutionary groups formed and plotted to overthrow the government. In 1881, student revolutionaries were angry over the slow pace of political change. They assassinated the reform-minded czar, Alexander II. Russia was heading toward a full-scale revolution.


Russian Revolution: a good site with a lot of background information on the Russian Revolution

Russian Revolution Site: a nice site with pictures and descriptions

Alexander II: Emporer of Russia: a very detailed biography of Alexander II

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Section 2: Totalitarianism Case Study: Stalinist Russia

Main Idea: After Lenin died; Stalin seized power and transformed the Soviet Union into a totalitarian state.

Why It Matters Now: More recent dictators have used Stalin's tactics for seizing total control over individuals and the state.

Setting The Stage: Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin were among Lenin's revolutionary supporters. They both helped create the Soviet state. After Lenin died, these two men became bitter rivals for control of the Communist Party. The outcome of this struggle would determine the future course of the Soviet Union. Stalin, Lenin's successor, would aim at dramatically transforming the government and controlling ever aspect of citizens' lives.


The History Guide- Joseph Stalin: a picture Joseph Stalin and information about his life.

The Leon Trotsky Internet Archive: many good pictures and a detailed biography of Leon Trotsky.

The Stalin Reference Archive: a good site with a biography of Joseph Stalin, pictures, and some of his documents

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Section 3: Collapse of Chinese Imperial Rule

Main Idea: After the fall of the Qing dynasty, nationalist and Communist movements struggled for power.

Why It Matters Now: The seeds of China's late-20th-century political thought, communism, were planted at this time.

Setting The Stage: In the early 1900s, China was ripe for revolution. China had faced years of humiliation at the hands of outsiders. Foreign countries controlled china's trade and economic resources. Many Chinese believed that modernization and nationalism held the country's keys for survival. They wanted to build up the army and navy, to construct modern factories, and to reform education. Yet others feared change. They believed that china's greatness lay in its traditional ways.


The Qing Dynasty: 1644 AD to 1911 AD: a good description complete with a timeline and links to other dynasty information

History of China: a good big site with a lot of information about China

Mao-Tse-tung's Biography: a biography of one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party

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Section 4: Nationalism in India and Southwest Asia

Main Idea: Nationalism triggered independence movements to overthrow colonial power.

Why It Matters Now: These independent nations-India, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia-are key players on the world stage today.

Setting The Stage: The end of World War I stirred nationalist activity in India, Turkey, and some Southwest Asian countries. The British Empire, which controlled India, began to show signs of cracking.


World War 1 History - a very good and descriptive page about World War 1. It also has a few pictures.

World War 1: a good page with a very long description and a picture. It has good information about the end of the world war.

Ghandi: a very big and good site about Mohandas K. Ghandi, with his biographies, his autobiography, and pictures

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