William Henry Chamberlin | Soviet Russia: A Living Record and a History

Historical Background

MANY of the roots of the Bolshevist Revolution are to be found in the remote past of Russian history. True, the Marxian economic teachings that constitute the theoretical basis of Russian Communism are less than a century old; and the first congress of Russian Social Democrats was held in 1897. But the course of the Russian Revolution and the forms of the Soviet state are unmistakably moulded by factors which point far back into the Russian Middle Ages. The Tartar Conquest has left its imprint on Russian politics and Russian culture. The agrarian side of the Russian Revolution would be difficult to understand without some knowledge of Stenka Razin and Pugachev, of Russian serfdom and the Russian mir, or primitive peasant community. And the nationality problems and policies of the Soviet Union grow very directly out of the fact that the pre-revolutionary Russian state, over a period of four centuries of conquest and expansion, crushed without assimilating a host of non-Russian peoples.

The Slav race, to which the Russians belong, apparently settled originally in the river valleys of the Pripet, the Dniester, the Vistula, the Bug, and the Dnieper. The most important early Slavonic state centres were in the cities of Novgorod, in the northwest, and Kiev, in the southwest, of the future Russian Empire. Both these states in the ninth century A.D. fell under the domination of Norse mercenary captains, who entered the country through the chain of rivers in the north-west. The flotillas of the Kiev state alternately carried troops for war and goods for trade with the Byzantine Empire; and Princess Olga of Kiev was converted to Christianity and baptized in Constantinople in 957. One of her successors, Saint Vladimir, extended the process of conversion to include his people.

Kiev flourished as a cultural and religious centre during the eleventh century, but began to decline in the twelfth as a result of frequent dynastic feuds among the princes of the ruling house and the constant pressure of the wild pagan nomadic tribes from the east. It was involved in the general ruin that over-took all the Russian principalities when innumerable hordes of Tartar horsemen, led by the successors of Genghiz Khan, poured over the country in a devastating and irresistible flood in the first half of the thirteenth century.

For more than a century the Tartar rule was absolute and unchallenged; the Russian princes held office only as vassals of the Tartar khans, to whom they were obliged to pay tribute and make periodic visits of homage and obeisance. This period of Tartar domination had several important effects on the future development of the Russian people. It cut them off to a large extent from the influence of Western Europe and introduced an oriental element that never since has been altogether lacking in Russian life. It destroyed much of the rather thin veneer of imported Byzantine art and learning and appreciably retarded Russia's cultural development, as compared with that of the Western European countries which escaped the Tartar scourge. It favored the growth of two distinctive features of the future Russian Empire: autocracy and serfdom. There was little opportunity for the development of even the most embryonic free institutions under the Tartar yoke; and after the devastation wrought by the alien invaders, the peasants fell into increasing dependence upon the boyars, or nobles, since the latter offered them some security and aid in farming.

The principality of Moscow took the lead in shaking off the Tartar yoke. Lying somewhat off the main route of the invasions, the Moscow princes bided their time, bowed their heads to the storm, and profited by the misfortunes of neighboring principalities, which they gradually absorbed. The establishment of the patriarchate, the headship of the Russian Church, in Moscow and the observance of the law of primogeniture in the succession to the dynasty, which averted the process of subdivision that weakened many other Russian states, were additional factors in promoting the growth of Muscovite power and prestige.

The liberation of Russia from the Tartar rule was a gradual development, conditioned quite as much by the growing weakness and disunion of the Tartars as by the military prowess of the Russians. Signs of successful resistance were offered in the latter part of the fourteenth century; but it was 1476 before Tsar Ivan III, by refusing to obey a summons to go to the Tartar court, definitely broke the last link in the chain of dependence.

In the sixteenth century the roles of the Russians and the Tartars were reversed. Tsar Ivan IV, known in history as the Terrible, because of the countless executions, tortures, and cruelties associated with his reign, captured the Tartar strong-holds of Kazan, on the middle Volga, and of Astrakhan, at the mouth of the river, in 1566. In 1581 the adventurous Cossack or free-lance soldier Yermak began to occupy Siberia in the name of the Russian Tsar.

As a personality Ivan was clearly a psychopathic case, comparable with the bloodiest tyrants of the Roman Empire. He alternated between excesses of sadistic cruelty and fits of periodic remorse. His own son died under his hands. However, his reign was not a mere orgy of senseless brutality, but an important period of Russian historical development. Ivan's methods of government greatly strengthened the autocratic basis of the Muscovite state. By his institution of the so-called oprichniki, a body of hired retainers who roved over the country, killing and plundering the property of any noble whom the Tsar suspected of disloyalty, he nipped in the bud any tendency toward the development of an independent baronial class and reduced his subjects, from the oldest boyar, or noble, to the lowliest serf, to the common status of slaves of the Tsar, dependent in life and property upon the autocrat's slightest whim. He also ruthlessly destroyed the traditional liberties of Novgorod and Pskov, two towns of northwestern Russia which belonged to the Hanseatic League and for a time maintained a position similar to that of the great city-states of mediaeval Europe.

The expansionist tendencies of the future Russian Empire were also more or less clearly defined under Ivan the Terrible. Russia commenced its steady eastward march of conquest and colonization, a march which was unchecked until the disastrous clash with Japan in 1905. In the west Russia came into hostile contact with Sweden, Poland, and Turkey.

Ivan the Terrible was succeeded by a weak son, Fyodor, who was dominated by his brother-in-law, the crafty, strong-willed, and ambitious boyar, Boris Godunov. Fyodor's young son, Dmitry, was murdered, most probably with the connivance of Boris; and the latter succeeded in obtaining his own election as Tsar by the Zemsky Sobor, or loose popular assembly, with representatives of all classes except the serfs, which was convened after the death of the heartbroken Tsar Fyodor in 1598.

The accession of Boris Godunov ushered in the period of anarchical, political, and social convulsions known in Russian history as the Troubled Times. A pretender to the throne arose in the person of an impostor who gave himself out as the murdered Dmitry, married a Polish noblewoman, and invaded Russia with the support of a Polish army. The death of Boris in 1605 marked the lapse of the country into complete chaos. The Pretender with his Polish army entered Moscow, but was soon murdered, whereupon another "false Dmitry" came up in his place. Russia was ravaged by the invading Poles, by marauding bands of Don Cossacks, by serf uprisings. The slender bonds of social order snapped over a period of some years.

A movement of awakening national consciousness, led by Prince Pozharsky and the patriotic Nizhni Novgorod butcher, Kuzma Minin, put an end to this epoch of turbulent disorders. In 1612 the Poles, after a stubborn siege, were driven from Moscow's historic fortress-palace, the Kremlin. In the following year a Zemsky Sobor elected as Tsar Michael Romanov, the first ruler of a dynasty which was destined to hold power for more than three centuries, until it was swept away by a revolution greater than that of the Troubled Times.

Throughout the seventeenth century the chains of serfdom were more and more firmly riveted on the Russian peasants. In earlier times they had been attached to the lands of the Crown and of the boyars, which they were forbidden to leave. They were obligated to pay feudal dues and taxes to the state and to perform labor services for the owner of the estate on which they were located. In 1646 serfdom was made general and hereditary. In 1675 the status of the Russian peasant-serf was made practically equivalent to that of a slave, since a law issued in that year permitted the sale of the serf apart from the land.

The treatment of the peasants under this system was extremely cruel. The landowner had practically power of life and death over his serfs, and merciless flogging with whips or rods was a common punishment. Sharper and sharper decrees were issued against the peasants who fled from this intolerable condition of servitude and sought a refuge among the turbulent free Cossacks of the lower Dnieper or in the eternal No Man's Land of the southeastern frontier districts.

This oppression naturally produced jacqueries more savage and more extensive than those which took place in Europe in the Middle Ages. Unrest among the serfs was one of many factors that contributed to the chaos of the Troubled Times. From 1667 until 1671 the valley of the Volga was the scene of a great peasant uprising, led by the picturesque Cossack bandit and adventurer, Stenka Razin, one of the most popular figures in Russian song and legend. Razin captured Astrakhan and had the governor thrown from the church tower; wherever his wild bands went they massacred gentry and officials and called on the peasants to join them. At its high-water mark the rebellion touched provinces quite close to Moscow, such as Tambov, Penza, and Nizhni Novgorod; but in the end the central government was strong enough to suppress the movement, and Razin was executed in 1676. But his spirit lived in many subsequent tumults and disorders; the peasantry was the first of the ultimate revolutionary forces to appear on the Russian historical scene.

The reign of Peter the Great (1682-1721) was a distinct landmark in Russian history. A man of prodigious mental and physical energy, unconquerable will, and ungovernable passions (like Ivan the Terrible, he killed his own son), Peter was dominated by the desire to Westernize Russia, to turn the country definitely away from Asia and toward Europe. A prolonged war with Sweden ended in the Russian annexation of the Swedish Baltic provinces and gave Russia a closer route of communication with Europe. The Tsar traveled in Western Europe, worked in the shipyards incognito, brought into Russia a host of foreign experts, military and civilian. To emphasize his break with the Russian past Peter built a new capital, St. Petersburg, on the marshes of the river Neva beside the sea to which he had conquered an outlet. He started factories, shaved off the beards of his courtiers, abolished the office of Patriarch and made himself head of the Russian Church, whose ceremonies he ridiculed and parodied in his drunken orgies, extended greatly the practice of printing, decreed the establishment of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and erected an enormous Admiralty building as a sign of his faith in the future destiny of Russia on the seas.

Peter was probably the greatest energizing and individual factor in the history of the Russian Empire. Yet his modernizing and Westernizing changes, impressive and sweeping as they seem at first glance, proved in many respects to be little more than skin deep. The part of the people that benefited by the imported European culture was extremely small, much smaller in proportion to the population than the educated classes in Western countries. Peter could give his officials titles borrowed from Germany and other European countries; but he could not abolish their habits of oriental corruption. The basic factor in keeping Russia a poor and backward country, the holding of the masses in a state of bondage, remained unchanged.

The next important sovereign after Peter was Catherine II, who has also gone into history with the title of the Great. By origin a princess of a petty German state, Catherine quickly pushed aside her feeble-minded husband, Peter III, and, with the aid of her own clever and unscrupulous diplomacy and the victories of her generals and lovers, Orlov and Potyemkin, she extended the boundaries of her adopted country very considerably to the south and east. The rich southern provinces inhabited by the Ukrainians, or Little Russians, were brought into submission; the last vestige of Tartar power in Russia vanished with the conquest of the Crimea; and Russia received the lion's share in the three partitions of Poland.

Catherine prided herself on being a philosophic ruler; in her extensive correspondence with Frederick the Great, Voltaire, Herder, Grimm, and other eminent men of the time she often expressed liberal ideas. Her reign was marked by the last of the great Russian jacqueries, the peasant revolt headed by Emilian Pugachev in 1773. Besides rousing the peasants to kill the gentry, rob the manor houses, and seize the land, Pugachev drew to his standard Tartars, Mordvians, Votyaks, and other small nationalities and tribes of the Volga Valley which had been robbed of their best lands and subjected to racial oppression by the Russians. This was an echo of what happened at the time of the earlier disturbances associated with the Troubled Times and with the rebellion of Stenka Razin, and foreshadowed another of the permanent disintegrating elements in the Tsarist Empire: the chronic discontent of its numerous non-Russian peoples. For a time the tide of Pugachev's revolt swelled high; like Stenka Razin, he moved up the Volga, carrying everything before him; but his movement was too wild and undisciplined to achieve the over-throw of the existing social order. He was finally defeated by Catherine's troops and executed in 1775.

Russia's prestige as a European power was very considerably enhanced under Catherine the Great's grandson, Alexander I. The stubbornness of the Russian army, the impossibly bad condition of the Russian roads, and the rigors of the Russian winter combined to destroy Napoleon's army in 1812 and thereby created the basis for the coalition which finally broke the Bonapartist domination of Europe. Tsar Alexander played a leading role in this coalition and in the subsequent Peace Congress at Vienna.

If Russian armies at this time helped to mould the development of Europe, Western ideas affected even more profoundly the development of Russia. The French Revolution had little direct and immediate repercussion in Russia; but French revolutionary ideals of liberty and democracy were brought back by Russian officers who served in the Napoleonic Wars, and their ferment led to the uprising of the Dekabristi in 1825.

At first the young officers and aristocrats who shared the new and forbidden European ideas were content to band them-selves together in small groups and societies for study and discussion. However, there soon was a natural tendency to proceed from theory to action; and the confusion about the succession after the death of Alexander I in 1825 gave the conspirators an excellent opportunity to strike. Alexander had no son, and his brother Constantine, the legal heir, renounced his claim in favor of a younger brother, Nicholas.

Constantine's abdication was not very clearly expressed or generally known, and it was comparatively an easy matter for the revolutionary officers, subsequently called Dekabristi because their uprising occurred in Dekaber, the Russian word for December, to stir up a mutiny among some of the Guard regiments in St. Petersburg under the pretext of vindicating the rights of Constantine. The slogan of the revolt was Konstantin i konstitutsia (" Constantine and a constitution"), and an anecdote, which symbolized quite well the gulf between the revolutionary theorists and the Russian masses, soon became current to the effect that the Guard soldiers were firmly convinced that "Konstitutsia" was Constantine's wife.

At first the chances of the coup seemed excellent; one of Nicholas's chief officials was shot dead, and the Guard regiments, whose support had decided many previous palace revolutions, seemed to be solidly on the side of the conspirators. But irresolution, indecision, and lack of a clearly thought out plan proved fatal to the success of the plot; as soon as Nicholas recovered from his initial panic he dispersed the mutinous regiments with a few salvos of artillery fire. A simultaneous revolt in southern Russia by another branch of the revolutionary organization was quickly crushed. Five of the chief leaders of the movement were hanged, and many of its participants were banished to the wilds of Siberia for long periods of time.

The objectives of the Dekabristi were not very clearly formulated, even in their own minds. Judging from their own sketches of their plans, the substitution of a constitutional monarchy or republic for the autocracy and the abolition of serfdom were two of their outstanding ideas. Some of them also cherished mystical' religious aspirations and Pan-Slavic theories about the creation of a great federal union of all the Slav peoples, centring about Russia.

Previous upheavals in Russian history were elemental slave revolts of the oppressed and poverty-stricken masses. The rising of the Dekabristi signalizes the appearance on the scene of a new revolutionary force, the radical intelligentsia, driven to revolt not by material need, but by moral and intellectual disgust with the Asiatic despotism of the Russian state. Throughout the nineteenth century the intelligentsia plays the leading role in the Russian revolutionary movement.

The reign of Nicholas I (1825-1855) was a period of most uncompromising reaction. He attempted so far as possible to shut Russia off from what he regarded as the contaminating influence of European ideas. Russians were forbidden to travel abroad. Nicholas referred to the Moscow University as a "den of wolves," and restricted the number of students at that institution to three hundred. The censorship of Nicholas I has become proverbial even in a country which, except for extremely short intervals, has never been able to dispense with that institution. Such expressions as "forces of nature" and "movement of minds" fell under the censorial prohibition. Nicholas himself was enraged at finding the word "progress" used in a ministerial report and demanded its deletion from all future official documents. Under the regime of Nicholas, Fyodor Dostoevsky, the great master of the Russian psychological novel, was condemned to death for belonging to a discussion club, the sentence being commuted, just on the eve of execution, to penal servitude in Siberia. The Ukrainian national poet, Taras Shevchenko, convicted of membership in a Ukrainian nationalist society, the Union of Cyril and Methodius, was sentenced to serve many years in a military disciplinary battalion in a remote part of the Empire, where he was denied the use of writing materials.

Not content with maintaining a regime of iron reaction at home, Nicholas intervened actively on behalf of the maintenance of the status quo in Europe, his most noteworthy effort in this direction being the despatch of Russian troops to help the Austrian Emperor suppress the Hungarian revolt of 1848. It was under his reign that Russia earned and acquired the nickname, "the policeman of Europe."

It is one of the striking paradoxes of Russian history that the rule of Nicholas I, which might have been expected to stifle every impulse in the direction of creative thought, coincided with the birth and development of the rich Russian literary culture of the nineteenth century. The romantic poetry of Pushkin and Lermontov, the salty, exuberant comedies of Gogol, the first works of Tolstoy and Turgeniev, all date from the period of Nicholas. One finds other names, perhaps less known abroad, but famous in the history of Russian literature: Ostrovsky, Griboyedov, Goncharov, Nekrasov. The Russian revolutionary publicist, Herzen, began to thunder against the abuses of autocracy in his magazine, the Bell, published in England and smuggled into Russia. The critic Byelinsky even managed to utter some daring thoughts under Nicholas's censorship; to be sure, he was saved from arrest only by his pre-mature death. Russia under Nicholas I, so far as its intellectual life was concerned, justified Herzen's characterization as "the land of outward slavery and inner freedom."

An external factor, Russia's defeat at the hands of France, England, and Piedmont, acting in alliance with Turkey, in the Crimean War of 1854-1855, helped to end the era of extreme repression associated with Nicholas I. The failure of the Russian armies to resist successfully the much smaller invading force of the Allies, a failure traceable in large part to incompetent supply and transport arrangements, faulty administration, and the use of antiquated and ineffective weapons, is supposed to have convinced the despotic Tsar himself that some progressive administrative changes were necessary.

Nicholas died too soon to realize any reforms; but his successor, Alexander II, besides relaxing the restrictions on foreign travel and study, immediately set about devising a project to abolish serfdom. The more reactionary nobles opposed this reform; but Alexander told them that "it would be better to abolish serfdom from above than to wait until it will begin to liberate itself from below," and after much preliminary discussion and effort to adjust the change to the varying conditions existing in different parts of the country the decree of liberation was promulgated on February 19, 1861. By this stroke of the imperial pen almost eleven million serfs belonging to the state and to the imperial family and about an equal number belonging to private owners were set free.

It was a striking and prophetic fact that the promulgation of this decree, which had been anticipated for several years, was marked in some parts of the country by an outburst of peasant disorders, which required the efforts of troops to subdue. This was because the peasants were disappointed with the regulations governing the future distribution of the land. Under serfdom the peasant had worked as a rule three days a week on his own land and three days on the land of the pomyeschik, or estate owner. Under the decree of liberation the peasants received about half the cultivated land; the remainder continued in the possession of 140,000 estate owners, the Church, and the Crown. At best the peasants obtained only their own allotments, on which they had formerly worked only half the time and which were generally too small, under the existing primitive methods of cultivation, to yield a living.

Moreover, the peasants were compelled to pay for these in-adequate allotments over a long term of years (the last of these redemption payments were only canceled after the 1905 Revolution in order to repay the state for the financial compensation Zilch it granted to the landowners for the loss of their serfs). The peasants also had to bear the largest share of the direct taxation levied by the state. Of 208,000,000 rubles collected in direct taxes in one year of the reign of Alexander II all but 13,000,000 came from the peasants.

Inasmuch as it abolished the legal state of bondage in which the majority of the Russian people lived, the liberation of the serfs must be reckoned as a great social and humanitarian reform. But coming, in the Tsar's words, "from above," and framed with an eye to the protests of the landed nobility, the former owners of the serfs, the act of liberation did not abolish the economic dependence of the peasants upon the landlords. Starting on their career as freed men with little or no capital, burdened with taxes and redemption payments, provided with inadequate land allotments which they could expand only by renting land from the landlords, often on very hard terms, the masses of the Russian peasants remained pitifully poor, as was proved by the recurring famines in bad harvest years during the latter part of the century. The peasantry remained one of the main potential forces of discontent and revolution.

The early years of the reign of Alexander II were marked by a number of other reforms. He introduced zemstvos, organs of local administration for the country districts to which three classes, the nobility, the propertied townsmen, and the peas-ants, sent representatives. The activities of these organizations were jealously circumscribed by the Tsarist officials, and they never were permitted to develop into full-fledged democratic organs of self-government; but they performed useful functions in gradually building up a network of schools and hospitals which, while certainly far from adequate, marked a distinct advance in the cultural level of the Russian villages. The Tsar made the courts independent of the executive power and thereby raised their standard of impartiality and integrity; his progressive War Minister, General Milyutin, shortened the terms and improved the conditions of military service.

However, Alexander's reforms did not keep pace with the expectations and demands of the radical wing of the educated classes, which plunged into a ferment of new ideas after the iron hand of Nicholas I was removed. The Tsar never made up his mind to complete his reforms by the grant of a constitution; and after the revolutionist Karakozov made an unsuccessful attempt on his life in 1866 his policy was distinctly modified in a reactionary direction. A conservative Minister of Education, Count Dmitry Tolstoy, introduced a regime of strict repression in the schools and universities. The censor-ship of printed works was strengthened, and political cases were withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts.

Meanwhile the revolutionary spirit among the educated classes steadily grew. In 1861 a number of radical students were expelled from the universities; and the emigre publicist Herzen, in his Bell, gave them the slogan of V narod ("To the People "). As a result of this incident the revolutionists of that time were generally known as Narodniki, or Populists. Among their intellectual leaders were Lavrov, who emphasized the moral obligation of every educated man "not only to conserve civilization, but also to move it forward," and the fiery international anarchist, Bakunin, who was impatient with the more peaceful methods advocated by Lavrov and urged the creation of secret societies with a view to the violent overthrow of the autocracy.

Returned Russian students who had discussed and developed revolutionary ideas while studying at the University of Zurich took the lead in a movement to apply literally the slogan "To the People" in 1874. A considerable number of these students, together with sympathizers whom they found in Russia, went into the peasant villages and tried to carry on propaganda and agitation for their ideas. This idealistic but somewhat naive experiment failed to bring practical results; the peasants received them distrustfully and in some cases denounced them to the police. Almost eight hundred of these Narodniki were arrested over a period of two or three months. Representatives of all social classes took part in the movement, self-educated workers and peasants participating along with Sofia Perovskaya, who was a colonel's daughter and Prince Kropotkin, the intellectual leader and outstanding personality of Russian anarchism.

The Narodniki who escaped arrest and imprisonment formed the society, Zemyla i Volya(Land and Liberty); and out of this developed the Terrorist group, Narodnaya Volya(People's Liberty), which set as its main goal the assassination of the Tsar. These early Russian revolutionists developed an extra-ordinary technique of underground conspiracy, of making and laying bombs, which finally enabled them to carry out their purpose in spite of all the vigilance of the secret police.

No fugitive serf was ever hunted down more systematically and ruthlessly than the Russian autocrat, Alexander II, in the last years of his reign. A scheme to blow up his train and another plan to blow him up in the dining room of the Winter Palace failed through the merest accidents. Finally, on March 1, 1881, as the Tsar was driving in the streets of St. Petersburg, a bomb hurled by Rysakov, one of the Narodnaya Volya group of conspirators, burst near his carriage, wounding some of his guards. "Thank God, I am unharmed," cried Alexander, replying to the inquiries of his suite, whereupon another Terrorist, Grinevitzky, shouting, "It is too soon to thank God," hurled a second bomb, which exploded and inflicted a fatal wound upon the Tsar, also killing Grinevitzky himself.

This regicide was the crowning achievement of the Narodnaya Volya. It did not lead to a popular uprising or to any change in the existing system. On the contrary, the next Tsar, Alexander III, was an uncompromising reactionary, and his reign (1881-1894) was marked by a lull in the revolutionary movement. Five of the leaders of the Narodnaya Volya, Sofia Perovskaya, Kibalchich, Rysakov, Mikhailov, and Zhelyabov, were captured and executed for participation in the murder of Alexander II, and the whole organization of the secret society was discovered by the police and broken up.

The regime of Alexander III, who was very much under the influence of his chief ecclesiastical official, Pobyedonostze, the Procurator of the Holy Synod, was distinguished by harsh repressive measures against the non-Russian nationalities of the Empire and also against heretics who dissented from the Orthodox Church. The Jews were especially singled out for persecution; and Pobyedonostzev is reported to have predicted that his policy would drive one third of the Jews to starvation, one third to emigration, and the other third to con-version. The restricted area in which the Jews were permitted to reside was further cut down; the percentage of Jewish children admitted to the higher schools was limited to a very small figure; Jews were forbidden to live outside the cities and small towns; pogroms, or mob outbreaks against the Jews, accompanied by loss of life and property, took place with little serious opposition from the authorities. The policy of Alexander III, which was continued by his successor, Nicholas II, led to a mass emigration of Jews from Russia to foreign countries, especially to America.

At the very time when reaction seemed securely enthroned in the person of Alexander III a process of economic transformation was going on which in the end proved more fatal to the stability of the old order than all the weapons of the romantic Terrorists. This was the industrialization of Russia, with its inevitable accompaniment, the growth in numbers and significance of the class of factory workers. The following table indicates the development of Russian industry, with its especially rapid strides in the latter half of the nineteenth century:



































There was a correspondingly rapid development in the field of railroad transportation. The mileage of the Russian rail-roads in versts (a verst is about two thirds of a mile) was as follows: (1860) 1488; (1870) 10,202; (1880) 21,155; (1890) 27,229; (1900) 41,714.

A marked feature of the development of Russian capitalism was the concentration of the workers in large factories. As early as 1890, 46 per cent of the industrial workers were in factories employing more than one thousand men. A factor which doubtless contributed to this tendency was the marked inflow of British, French, German, Belgian, and other foreign capital into the rapidly growing Russian industries. The total sum of foreign capital invested in Russian industry before the Revolution has been computed at 2,200,000,000 rubles, besides 5,400,000,000 rubles in state and municipal loans. The pro-portion of foreign capital invested in individual industries has been estimated as follows: for iron mining, 85 per cent; for metallurgy, 90 per cent; for the Donetz coal mines, 46 per cent; for the oil industry, 87 per cent.

A certain amount of friction between labor and capital has been an inevitable result of the introduction of the modern industrial system in every country. But this friction, which has been merely an element of unrest in healthy and progressive societies, proved ultimately to be one of the decisive subversive revolutionary factors in reactionary, semi-feudal Tsarist Russia. The influences that have helped to keep the class struggle within more or less peaceful bounds in Western Europe and America - freedom of trade-union organization, recognition of labor's right to strike, social protective legislation - were either altogether absent or quite inadequate in Russia. With every effort at labor organization suppressed by the ever watchful police, with strikes habitually crushed by the free use of the police and the Cossacks, it was natural that wages, as a general rule, were low, that hours were long, and the general living conditions of the workers bad. At the same time it was obviously easier for the revolutionary agitators to reach the workers in their large factories than it was to reach the peasants in their remote and isolated villages.

The industrialization of Russia had an important effect on the ideology of the revolutionary movement. The Narodniki believed that Russia would escape the evils of industrialism and reach some kind of ideal agrarian communist society, built around the traditional mir, or Russian village community. With the growth of the factory system and of an industrial working class the disciples of Karl Marx, the Social Democrats, acquired more influence.

The first Social Democratic demonstration in Russia took the form of a protest gathering in front of the Kazan Cathedral, in St. Petersburg, on December 6, 1876. George Plekhanov, later one of the most renowned theoreticians of Russian socialism, as a young man participated in this meeting, which, of course, was dispersed by the police. More than twenty years elapsed before the various Social Democratic groups and circles, which sprang up in conspirative fashion among students and workers, were able to hold their first illegal national convention. This first Social Democratic convention was held in 1897 in the city of Minsk, in Western Russia. Despite the secrecy which attended its convocation, it was discovered by the police, and most of its participants were soon afterwards arrested. In 1903, largely as a result of the initiative taken by the Social Democratic journal, Iskra ("The Spark"), which was edited abroad with the collaboration of Plekhanov, Lenin, Trotzky, Martov, Axelrod, and other outstanding figures in the Social Democratic movement, a second congress was held in Brussels, which was obliged to transfer its later sessions to London as a result of the pressure which Tsarist diplomacy exercised upon the Belgian government.

This second congress was an important event in Russian revolutionary history because it signalized the emergence of the so-called Bolshevik and Menshevik wings of the Social Democratic party and the appearance of Vladimir Ilyitch Lenin as the recognized and uncompromising leader of the Bolsheviks. The names were more or less accidental, being derived from the Russian words bolshinstvo, meaning "majority," and menshinstvo, meaning "minority." Lenin and his followers had a small majority at this congress; but at later congresses the Menshevik delegates were sometimes in the majority; and the actual numerical strength of the two factions, in view of the necessarily illegal and conspirative nature of their political activity, was always difficult to establish precisely.

The chief points of difference at the Brussels Congress were in the field of organization. Lenin then, as always, advocated a centralized, strongly disciplined party, headed by an organ, the central committee, which should possess absolute authority over the political activities of its members. He emphasized the importance of quality as opposed to numbers in the make-up of a revolutionary party and insisted that only persons who were willing to take the risks involved in formally joining the party should be regarded as members; whereas the Mensheviks favored a milder and looser formula, which would have accepted as members persons who did some work under the control of the Party organization.

The Brussels Congress also revealed the germs of what was later to prove one of the most important differences between the Bolshevik and Menshevik wings of the Russian Social Democracy: the question of what attitude should be taken toward the liberal middle-class elements which were striving for political democracy. The Bolsheviks, under Lenin's guidance, were profoundly distrustful of liberalism as a revolutionary force in Russia and favored, instead of cooperation with the middle-class democrats, an understanding with the peas-ants, offering to the latter the bait of the expropriation of the large estates. The Mensheviks, on the other hand, held to the viewpoint that, since Russia was insufficiently industrialized to undertake a socialist revolution, a preliminary period of democratic capitalism was necessary and that a certain measure of cooperation with middle-class liberalism was permissible in struggling against the obstacles which the ,autocracy interposed in the way of the introduction of such a period.

In general it may be said that Bolshevism represented the extreme revolutionary interpretation of Marxian socialism, emphasizing the necessity for the violent overthrow of the capitalist-state order and the substitution of the dictatorship of the proletariat, or industrial working class. Menshevism tended to approximate to the more moderate interpretation of Marxism which prevails among the Socialists of Western Europe, although the Russian Mensheviks, being denied any possibility of constructive political activity under the conditions of Tsarist Russia, always retained a greater amount of theoretical doctrinaire radicalism than one is apt to find among the Social Democrats of France, Germany, or England.

The chief competitor of the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks for leadership in the Russian revolutionary movement was the Party of Social Revolutionists, which to a large extent may be considered the spiritual and intellectual heir of the Narodniki of the seventies and eighties. Whereas the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, disagreeing about almost everything else, both regarded the political and economic organization of the industrial working class as the most pressing problem of the revolutionary movement, the Social Revolutionists concentrated their attention upon the peasants and looked forward to the establishment of a cooperative peasant society, freed from the yoke of the landlords. The Social Revolutionists, unlike the Social Democrats of both Bolshevik and Menshevik wings, advocated and practised individual terrorism as a weapon of revolutionary struggle; and the bombs and bullets of the so-called Fighting Organization of the Social Revolutionists caused the death of many Tsarist ministers and officials. Not having any recognized theoretical authority, such as Marx and Engels constituted for the Social Democrats, the ideology of the Social Revolutionists was loose and vague; and the party, although probably the largest numerically of-the three leading revolutionary organizations, was quite unable to maintain unity of programme and action after the overthrow of Tsarism.

The first decade of the reign of Nicholas II (1894-1917) was marked by an increasing number of strikes, student demonstrations, agrarian disorders, political assassinations, and other symptoms of popular discontent. At the very outset of his reign the new Tsar placed himself clearly on the side of reaction, roughly rejecting as "senseless dreams" the suggestions of one of the more liberal zemstvos that Russia might now obtain constitutional institutions. But the forces of dissatisfaction were too strong to be held in check by mere repression. The year 1905 marked a crisis in the very existence of the Tsarist state.

Russia's policy of aggressive expansion in the Far East precipitated a war with Japan in 1904; and the hardships of this conflict, combined with the continual defeats of the Russian . armies, acted as a further stimulus to outbursts of internal dissatisfaction. On January 22, 1905, a day remembered in Russian history as "Bloody Sunday," a great throng of St. Petersburg workers, under the leadership of a priest, Father Gapon, who had tried to organize trade-unions along religious and national lines, marched to the Tsar's palace with ikons and religious banners to ask the Tsar for relief in their difficult conditions. The Tsar was absent from the capital; but troops, acting under the orders of the government, poured volleys of rifle fire on the demonstration, killing or wounding 1500 persons. The order to fire was delivered by the Grand Duke Vladimir, uncle of the Tsar.

This provoked explosions of indignation all over the country. The government for a time seemed helpless in the face of the widespread movement of revolt, which assumed here the form of a strike, there of a naval mutiny, to the constant accompaniment of peasant attacks on landlords and seizures of land. The institution of the workers' Soviet, revived with such important consequences in 1917, first came into existence in St. Petersburg in 1905. The word soviet in Russian means simply council; and the St. Petersburg Soviet was a council of delegates elected from factories and trade-unions and led by a sprinkling of intellectuals from the various revolutionary parties. A certain Khrustaliov, who fell into obscurity after 1905, was the first president of the Soviet, while Leon Trotzky played a prominent role in its sessions. It assumed general leadership of the labor movement throughout the country and in the autumn successfully organized a general strike of very wide dimensions. The general strike marked the high-water stage of the 1905 revolutionary movement, and brought the Tsar to issue a decree conceding a Duma, or parliament, to be elected by the people, although by a rather complicated and indirect balloting procedure.

Following the decree of October 30, establishing the Duma, the revolutionary wave began to subside, partly because the various elements participating in the movement were by no means agreed among themselves as to a definite policy, partly because the government, finding that the army as a whole had not succumbed to revolutionary propaganda, began to take the offensive against the revolutionists.

A wave of bloody pogroms in southern Russia in the autumn of 1905 showed that the Russian masses were still responsive to the familiar governmental demagogic device of stirring up anti-Semitic outbursts as an antidote to revolution. The St. Petersburg Soviet failed in its effort to organize new general strikes for the achievement of further revolutionary objectives; and in December the government felt strong enough to dissolve the Soviet and arrest its members. An armed uprising in Moscow in the last weeks of December in a district inhabited by textile workers was crushed with the aid of an artillery bombardment; and after this the government was master of the situation. Punitive military expeditions inflicted ruthless punishment upon the peasant districts which had shown most signs of unrest. Peter Stolypin, the Tsarist Premier in the period of reaction which followed the defeat of the 1905 Revolution, established throughout the country a regime of courts-martial, which between 1906 and 1913 are said to have executed more than three thousand persons.

When the Duma, the first Russian parliament, met in the spring of 1906 the revolutionary movement which had brought it into being was already crushed. Stolypin put up with two Dumas, elected on a more or less popular basis, in which the liberal and revolutionary parties had by far the greatest number of delegates. Then, in the summer of 1907, he dissolved the second Duma on the pretext of an imaginary Social Democratic plot, simultaneously issuing a new electoral law which completely destroyed the character of the Duma as a popular representative body. Under the new electoral law the manual workers were almost disfranchised, being permitted to elect only six representatives in a general body of more than four hundred. The representation of the peasants and non-Russian nationalities was drastically curtailed, while that of the landed nobility and of the wealthy classes in the cities was artificially increased. Under these conditions the Third and Fourth Dumas (the latter was in session at the time of the 1917 Revolution) were very conservative bodies, actually representative only of a small propertied minority in the population.

Another important measure adopted by Stolypin was the Agrarian Law of November 9, 1906, which gave a strong impetus to the break-up of the old Russian mir, or village community. Next to the long survival of serfdom, perhaps the factor of greatest importance in Russian agrarian history was the comparatively slight spread of full private proprietorship in land among the Russian peasantry. Both before and after the emancipation of the serfs the land in the possession of the peasants, for the most part, belonged not to individuals, but to the whole village community, which assigned land to its members in accordance with the size of their families and often carried out periodic redistributions of land. This system was fatal to the development of progressive individualistic farming, because the peasant who put improvements on his land had no assurance that it would not be taken away from him in the course of some redistribution. At the same time it gave the poorest peasants some security against complete pauperization by assuring them a share of land.

The Tsarist Government supported the mir as a conservative institution, and also because it was liable for arrears of taxes contracted by any, of its members. However, the agrarian disorders of 1905, when whole village communities moved to seize the land of the neighboring estate owners, convinced the government that the mir was no safeguard against explosions of peasant discontent, and Stolypin hit upon the idea of building up a support for the government in the villages by giving the more ambitious and capable peasants the opportunity to develop as independent farmers, free from the restrictions imposed by the mir. Under the Agrarian Law of 1906 any peasant had the right to demand his share of land in the form of a permanent homestead, free from re-allocation. The effect of this law was to hasten the process of declassification in the Russian village. The richer peasants, freed from the restraints of the mir, increased their land holdings and their general level of prosperity. Many of the poorer peasants, on the other hand, were unable to maintain their holdings under a more individualistic system and sold them to their richer neighbors, becoming agricultural laborers themselves or going into the cities in search of work. As the experience of 1917 demonstrated, Stolypin's measure did not improve the well-being of the masses of the peasantry sufficiently to transform them from a revolutionary into a conservative class.

On the eve of the World War, which was destined to be the decisive factor in bringing about the long-threatened Russian Revolution, a keen observer could scarcely fail to have been impressed by the striking contrasts and contradictions in the political, economic, and social structure of the Russian Empire. The original Muscovite state had swelled to gigantic proportions over a long period of conquest and colonization; it occupied almost a sixth of the surface of the globe, with a population estimated at 180,000,000. But it was so backward in technical development and methods of administration that it repeatedly suffered defeat in wars with countries much smaller in area and population.

Two hundred thousand landlords, owning something over a quarter of the arable land in European Russia, were an object of sullen envy and hatred on the part of the vast majority of the sixteen million peasant households, which lived in a state of dire poverty. Against the rapid pace of industrial development in Russia, the growth of production, and the enrichment of individual manufacturers had to be set the profound dissatisfaction of the two and a half million Russian industrial workers, all the more potentially dangerous as a class because they were denied any means of legal expression. The Tsarist policy of oppression and discrimination against the non-Russian nationalities which constituted more than half the population of the Empire fed the flames of centrifugal nationalism and made it certain that Poles and Letts, Finns and Ukrainians, Jews and Caucasians, would play an active part in any movement tending toward the disintegration of the Empire.

Culturally as well as materially the contrasts in pre-revolutionary Russia were extraordinarily sharp. The Russian intelligentsia was second to none in the world in range and breadth of intellectual interests, in warmth and subtlety of artistic appreciation. There was no field of art or science in which Russia could not point to great names; one thinks instinctively of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgeniev, Moussorgsky Tchaikovsky, Repin, Bechterev, Metchnikov, and Pavlov. But these brilliant achievements of the educated minority were the full property of only a very small percentage of the Russian population; with an illiteracy figure of over sixty per cent Russia could not possess a broad popular culture like that of England, France, or Germany.

As the wiser conservatives among the Tsar's counselors had foreseen,(1) the Tsarist system, which had been severely shaken by the minor shock of the Japanese War, succumbed completely to the infinitely greater strain of the World War. At the out-set the almost unanimous support of the Duma created at least an illusion of national unity on behalf of the War. But the tremendous problems involved in the conduct of the War proved quite beyond the capacity of the corrupt and incompetent civilian and military bureaucracy. The 'casualty lists mounted higher and higher, and the Russian armies went from defeat to defeat, partly as a result of bad leadership and general inferiority of preparation as compared with the German troops against which they were pitted, partly as a result of the inadequate supply of shells and other munitions.

The internal situation of the country deteriorated rapidly; the harvest fields were denuded of working hands as a result of the constant mobilizations; the transportation system broke down under the strain of military requirements; the bread lines in the cities grew longer and longer. A personal factor that discredited the monarchy in the eyes of its most loyal supporters and probably hastened the inevitable crash was the extraordinary influence at court of the dissolute and ignorant but cunning Siberian peasant monk, Gregory Rasputin, a man possessed of unusual hypnotic powers. He acquired almost unbounded influence over the Empress, whose hysterical temperament made her peculiarly susceptible to Rasputin's psychical fascination; and the Empress, in turn, dominated the weak-willed Tsar. A word from Rasputin was sufficient to displace a minister or a general; and his mumbled fortune-telling counsels were even seriously recommended by the Empress to the Tsar for consideration in planning battles and campaigns.

An unplanned and unorganized popular tumult in the streets of Petrograd, growing out of the shortage of bread and a labor dispute at the big Putilov factory, was all that was necessary to bring down the rotting structure of the monarchy in March 1917. A few regiments of disciplined soldiers could have dispersed the rioters, who lacked both arms and organized leader-ship; but the turning point of the whole movement came on March 12, when regiment after regiment refused to obey orders to fire and went over to the insurgents. From that moment the cause of the monarchy was lost.

The provisional government which was hastily patched up on the ruins of the autocracy was the outcome of a compromise between the only two organized political forces which appeared on the scene: a committee elected by the Duma and the new Petrograd Soviet, consisting of representatives elected by the factories, the revolutionary political parties, and the units of the Petrograd garrison. The first Cabinet consisted entirely of non-Socialists, except for the Minister of Justice, A. F. Kerensky, a member of the Social Revolutionary Party. Later, under the pressure of the turbulent masses, the more conservative figures were eliminated and Kerensky became the outstanding leader of a series of unstable and short-lived ministerial combinations.

The history of the period from the fall of the autocracy in March-to the triumph of Bolshevism in November is a record of the vain efforts of the Liberals and moderate Socialists in the Provisional Government, equally devoid of support in tradition, in broad popular sympathy, and in reliable armed force, to check and deflect by eloquence and parliamentary manoeuvring a tremendous fourfold revolutionary process which had set in motion tens of millions of people.

The first of the four aspects of this process was the disintegration of the Russian army, the greatest mutiny in history. The prestige and authority of the officers were fatally shaken by the removal of the iron restraint which had been associated with the old regime and by the fact that insurgent soldiers had made the revolution in Petrograd. The decay of discipline, which was first most pronounced in the war-weary peasant soldiers of the infantry, gradually penetrated to other branches of the service; the sole serious offensive undertaken by the Russian armies in July ended in a fiasco and panic-stricken flight of the demoralized Russian troops before greatly inferior German and Austrian forces; by autumn no officer's life was safe in the trenches, and even the regimental and army committees, largely made up of moderate Socialists, had lost influence on the soldiers, who listened eagerly to the Bolshevik slogan of immediate peace.

The second element in the revolutionary process was the seizure of land by the peasants, who quickly realized the absence of any governmental restraint and began to drive the landlords from their estates. Sometimes the peasant land-seizures were peaceful; sometimes they were accompanied by violence and murder; but in any event the actual transfer of land to the peasantry, to a large extent, preceded the Bolshevik Revolution and the promulgation of the decree nationalizing the land.

Side by side with the mutiny of the army and the agrarian upheaval in the countryside went the workers' revolt in the cities. Starting with demands for the eight-hour working day and for wage increases, the labor movement became increasingly radical as the Bolsheviks captured the leadership in the factories and most of the trade-unions from the Mensheviks, and by October and November the workers were filling the ranks of the Red Guard, or insurgent armed force, and demanding complete control over production, in some cases driving owners and foremen out of the factories.

Finally, as the fourth element in the process of old Russia's disintegration, must be noted the demands for separation, or at least for very broad autonomy, which emanated from all but the most backward of the non-Russian nationalities. The separatist movement was especially strong in Ukraina and Finland, and added materially to the difficulties of the Provisional Government.

All these manifestations had their root in Russian history; they were far too sweeping and elemental to be ascribed to the handiwork of any group of agitators or conspirators, however active and energetic. But the Bolshevik Party unquestionably furnished an indispensable leaven of unifying leadership for all these elements of popular revolt. Under the leadership of Lenin, who returned from his exile in Switzerland across Germany in a sealed train about a month after the March Revolution, the Bolsheviks proclaimed a thoroughgoing revolutionary programme. They demanded immediate peace negotiations, transfer of political power to the Soviets, confiscation of all the lands of the estate owners for the benefit of the peas-ants, and fullest freedom for the non-Russian nationalities. The upward curve of revolution was temporarily halted in July, when the Bolshevik Party, against its will, became involved in a disorderly outburst of the Petrograd workers and some regiments of the garrison, so planless and unorganized that even the weak Provisional Government was able to sup-press it. But the ground lost in July was made up ten times over again in September, when the Commander-in-Chief of the army, General Kornilov, apparently instigated by some of the conservative Duma leaders, who saw in a military dictator-ship the only alternative to anarchy, and laboring under the mistaken impression that Premier Kerensky sympathized with his project, attempted to proclaim himself the supreme authority in the land. This unsuccessful attempted coup was followed by a great swing to the left throughout the country; the Soviets, which had hitherto been under the control of the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionists, began to pass over to the Bolsheviks in the biggest industrial centres.

On October 23 the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, under ceaseless prodding from Lenin, who had been in hiding since the July outbreak, resolved on an armed uprising; and on November 6 and 7 the Bolsheviks, supported by armed workers, sailors, and sympathetic units of the garrison, seized Petrograd and presented a fait accomplito the Second Congress of Soviets, which was meeting just at that time, with a majority of Bolshevik delegates. The coup in Petrograd was gradually extended over the country, with some resistance in Moscow and other provincial centres, but in general with relatively little bloodshed. The new government, which called itself a Council of People's Commissars, hastened to consolidate its position by issuing three decrees, ratifying the triumph of the revolutionary movement: a decree proposing immediate peace to all the warring countries; a second declaring landlord property in land abolished forever and pronouncing the land the property of the state, to be used by the peasants on a basis of personal labor; and a third establishing the control of workers' committees over industrial plants.

Limitations of space make it impracticable to go beyond a very brief review and characterization of the main elements in the struggle which the Soviet Government was obliged to maintain against foreign and domestic enemies before its position was firmly stabilized. From the beginning it was an Ishmael among the governments of the world; Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders were firmly convinced that the Russian Bolshevik revolution was only the beginning of a world socialist revolution, which, according to their theory, had to develop out of the economic ruin and physical suffering caused by the War. Russia's withdrawal from the War and the conclusion of a separate peace with the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk were bitterly resented in the Allied countries; and another cause of friction was provided by the Soviet decrees repudiating Russia's pre-war and war debts and nationalizing foreign industrial enterprises. At first the absorption of the Allied powers. in the World War prevented them from undertaking any hostilities against the new Soviet state; but in the spring and summer of 1918 there were interventionist descents of Allied troops upon the Russian ports of Archangel, Vladivostok, and Baku; and throughout the civil war the Allied governments, especially England and France, supported the Whites (as the anti-Bolshevik forces came to be known) with munitions and technical aid, simultaneously enforcing a strict blockade against Soviet Russia.

The issue of this civil war, which occasionally seemed likely to assume an international character, wavered greatly from time to time. In the summer of 1918 the territory under Soviet control shrank to a few starving provinces around Petrograd and Moscow; and only the most desperate display of revolutionary energy staved off what seemed to be an inevitable collapse.. The breakdown of the Central Powers, which coincided with the development into an effective fighting force of the Red Army created by the Soviet Government, brought a dramatic reversal of the situation; Ukraina, which had been under German occupation, was rapidly overrun by the Bolshevik forces; in the spring and summer of 1919 there were Soviet republics in Bavaria and Hungary, and the existence of the new non-Bolshevik states in Eastern Europe was, to say the least, precarious.

In the autumn of 1919 the fortunes of the Russian civil war again took an unfavorable turn for the Soviet forces; the White army of General Denikin reached a point less than two hundred miles distant from Moscow, and another White general, Yudenitch, was barely beaten off from the very gates of Petrograd. The White armies were decisively defeated in the autumn and winter of 1919; and in the summer of 1920 the Red Army, after routing the Poles, who invaded Ukraina, penetrated almost to Warsaw; and the spectre of the spread of Bolshevism over Eastern Europe again loomed up. The defeat of the Red Army before Warsaw, which was soon offset by the smashing of the last of the White armies, that of General Wrangel, determined, at least for the time being, the fate and limitations of the Bolshevik Revolution: it triumphed in Russia, but stopped at Russia's frontiers.

The civil war in Russia was fought along class rather than territorial lines, the Bolsheviks finding their chief support in the industrial workers, while the motive power in the White movement was furnished by the former propertied and official classes, which had suffered most in the revolutionary upheaval. The peasantry, which constituted the majority of the population, wavered uncertainly in its attitude, now raising insurrections against the ruthless grain requisitions which the Bolsheviks employed to feed the starving cities, now turning sharply against the Whites when they saw that the victory of the latter threatened the return of the hated landlords. If one may judge from the intensity and scope of the insurrections, the peasants regarded the Bolsheviks as the lesser of the two evils, perhaps because they felt that some day the requisitions would cease, whereas the return of the landlords would mean the permanent loss of the land which they had seized in the first period of the Revolution.

The struggle was fought on both sides with a fierceness commensurate with the great social issues at stake, and with the grim traditions of Russian history. The cellars in which the Chekha, the dreaded secret police established by the Soviet Government to combat counter-revolution, executed its victims acquired a notoriety as terrible as that of the guillotine in the French Revolution.

The most eminent victims of the Red Terror, which struck pitilessly at all the classes most closely bound up with the old regime, aristocrats and officers, landlords and big merchants, priests and higher ecclesiastics, were the members of the imperial family. Every revolution of the scope of the Bolshevik upheaval demands the head of the former ruling monarch; and the execution of the Tsar would most probably have occurred even if events had taken a more quiet course. Preparations were on foot to hold a big public trial, with Trotzky as the state's accuser; and there could have been only one verdict after such a trial.

But the exigencies of civil war settled the fate of the Tsar and his family in bloodier and more casual fashion. In the summer of 1918 the Tsar, the Tsarina, their son and four daughters, were confined in the Ural town of Ekaterinburg. The Soviet power had been overthrown in Siberia and was tottering in the Urals; the combined forces of the Czechs and White Russians were approaching Ekaterinburg, which was actually taken on July 28. Under these conditions the local Soviet authorities decided to take no chances on a rescue; and on the night of July 17 the Tsar, the Tsarina, their children, and a few personal attendants were taken into a cellar and mowed down with bullet fire.

Whenever the Whites temporarily occupied a stretch of territory they wreaked on all persons suspected of Bolshevik sympathies the cruel vengeance that invariably marks the return of an ousted privileged class. Anti-Semitism was a psychological trump card of nearly all the White leaders; and the progress of the army of General Denikin and of the Ukrainian nationalist leader Petlura (subsequently assassinated by a Jew in Paris) through Ukraina was marked by terrific pogroms in which tens of thousands of people lost 'their lives.

Not the least of the factors in the final victory of the Bolsheviks (or, as they began to call themselves in 1918, the Communists) was their Party organization, in which every member was at the disposition of the Central Committee. If a section of the front wavered, a picked group of Communists, prepared neither to ask nor to expect quarter, was rushed to strengthen it. If a city or a district had to be evacuated, a little band of Communists was always left behind for the dangerous work of carrying on underground propaganda and stirring up revolt in the White rear. The anti-Bolsheviks never were able to create in their own ranks any organization comparable with the Communist Party as an agency for unity, discipline, and the organization of victory.

Moreover, with all due allowance for the presence in the anti-Bolshevik camp of people of varying political and social views, the predominant ideology in the most important White governments, those of Admiral Kolchak in Siberia and that of General Denikin in South Russia, may fairly be described as restorationist. The chief posts in these governments were held by military and civilian officials of the old regime, who saw in the whole Revolution of 1917 nothing but a detestable and monstrous outburst of mob violence and anarchy, which had to be broken up as thoroughly and completely as possible. Consequently, while some lip service was paid to democratic ideals in official pronouncements, the actual administrative practice of the White regimes usually strengthened the Communist propaganda to the effect that the civil war was a struggle of the poor against the rich, of workers and peasants against capitalists and landowners. "We shall make this a struggle of the hungry against the well fed," wrote a contributor to one of the Communist journals in 1918. Needless to say, there were far more hungry than well-fed people in Russia during the period of civil war.

Despite their victories on the military fronts, the Communists found themselves in a very difficult position in the winter of 1920-1921. The World War had placed a severe strain upon industry and transport; and the disastrous consequences of the civil war, with its accompaniment of blockade, flight and sabotage of many members of the administrative and technical personnel of the factories, physical destruction as a result of military operations, and severance of the industrial centres of northern and central Russia from the sources of food and raw material in the south and east, can scarcely be overstated. Industrial production had sunk to 15 or 20 per cent of the pre-war level; large numbers of workers had fled from the cities to the country as a result of the lack of food; the productivity of agriculture had fallen catastrophically, and in more than one province the peasants were in armed revolt against the requisitions, which still did not yield enough to feed the hungry cities.

It was against this background of economic collapse that Lenin formulated the emergency programme that acquired the name of New Economic Policy, generally shortened in Russia to Nep. The basic feature of the Nep, which was promulgated at the Tenth Communist Party Congress in March 1921, and gradually went into effect during succeeding months, was the substitution of taxation for the former system of requisitioning all the peasant's surplus grain. Permission to sell his surplus in the market revived the peasant's interest in sowing and harvesting larger crops; and the rise of agriculture in turn constituted the necessary prerequisite for the revival of the depopulated cities and the stagnant industries. Under the New Economic Policy the state management and operation of the country's industries and transport remained; but the previous system, under which the industries turned over their products to the state and received, or were supposed to receive, their supplies of food for the workers and raw materials for the plants through a highly bureaucratized and inefficient distributive apparatus, was reorganized in a manner calculated to give the individual industrial units more initiative and more responsibility. Money and banking and other elements of capitalist technique, which had been discarded or had largely lost significance during the so-called war communism of the preceding period, again found a place under the Nep.

A fearful drought, coming immediately on the heels of the ruin and devastation wrought by seven years of war, inflicted on Russia the worst famine of its history in the autumn and winter of 1921-1922. The famine was most extended in the

Volga, but also affected southern Ukraina and the Crimea. There is no accurate record of the number of people who perished in this great natural catastrophe, but it probably ranged from one to two millions. Help rendered by the American Relief Administration and other foreign organizations averted an even greater loss of life.

However, despite the shadow which the famine cast over the first year of its working, the New Economic Policy marked a turning point in the history of the Russian Revolution. Its adoption, which coincided with the stoppage of attacks from without and the gradual restoration of peace and order within the country, marks the dividing line between the destruction of the old and the building up of the new Russian social order, which will be described in the following chapters.

(1)See the extraordinarily farsighted and prophetic memorandum of P. N. Durnovo, reprinted in Documents of Russian History, by Frank A. Golden, pp. 3-23.