By Mauricio Borrero
Read or Download Russia: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present (Facts On File Library of World History: European Nations) PDF
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Additional resources for Russia: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present (Facts On File Library of World History: European Nations)
The formation of an anti-Bolshevik Volunteer (White) Army in southern Russia in December 1917 signaled the beginning of a bloody civil war that lasted for the next three years. At its weakest moment, the borders of Bolshevik-controlled Russia coincided roughly with those of 15th-century Muscovy, before it began its territorial expansion. Surrounded by White forces and their foreign allies, isolated from other socialists who felt the revolution was premature, and mired in a deep economic crisis of industrial production and severe food shortages the Bolsheviks revealed dictatorial underpinnings of their plans for the country: internal opposition within the party was restricted, other socialists like the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) were persecuted, and a new ruthless secret police—the Cheka—was established to root out enemies of the revolution.
Petersburg. But Peter also died young, at the age of 14, after an attack of smallpox (supposedly on the day scheduled for his wedding, marrying a daughter of the Dolgorukys), and the male branch of the Romanov dynasty died out. Peter was succeeded by Anna, the daughter of Peter’s half brother, Ivan V, who had spent most of her adult life in the German duchy of Kurland, as wife to the duke. Her reign has long been presented as a period of cruel, misguided rule by individual Germans and by a “German party” in Russia.
Razin was the commander of a band of Cossacks in the Don region. He had raided Persia and other areas in the south. In the spring of 1670, he led his army on a more ambitious venture, moving up the Volga and proclaiming freedom from officials and landlords. Peasants murdered their landlords and welcomed Razin. The rebel army reached Simbirsk with about 200,000 troops. But regular Muscovite troops, probably better trained, won the battle there. Razin escaped, but in 1671 he was taken by cossacks and given to Muscovite officials for a public execution.