top of page

Chapter-2 Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution | Class 9th SST History NCERT

Hi students, this is Krati. I understand how social science could be boring for some students ,however i did my best to make it easy for you all. Section-1 of class 9th History NCERT contains three chapter ūüĎá

Section I: Events and Processes  

I. The French Revolution

II. Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution

III. Nazism and the Rise of Hitler

So let's check the notes for second chapter and do leave your review down at the end of the post ūü§©


1.The Age of Social Change

1. Liberals, Radicals, and Conservatives

  • Liberals:

  • Advocate for religious tolerance, individual rights, and representative parliamentary government.

  • Support property rights but limit voting rights to property-owning men.

  • Radicals:

  • Favor majority-based government, advocate for universal suffrage including women's suffrage.

  • Oppose concentrated wealth and advocate for broader distribution of property.

  • Conservatives:

  • Initially resistant to change but accept some reforms.

  • Prefer gradual change and respect for tradition.

2. Industrial Society and Social Change

  • Industrialization leads to profound social and economic changes:

  • Urbanization, long work hours, poor wages, and unemployment.

  • Liberals and radicals propose solutions such as improved working conditions and education.

  • Nationalism and Revolution:

  • Nationalists and revolutionaries seek to overthrow monarchies and establish nation-states.

  • Giuseppe Mazzini's influence in Italy inspires nationalist movements in Europe and beyond.

3. The Emergence of Socialism

  • Socialist Ideals:

  • Critique private property as the root of social inequality.

  • Advocate for collective ownership and control of resources.

  • Socialist Visions:

  • Robert Owen promotes cooperative communities.

  • Louis Blanc proposes government-backed cooperatives.

  • Karl Marx envisions a communist society where workers control the means of production.

4. Support for Socialism

  • Socialist ideas gain momentum in Europe, leading to the formation of the Second International.

  • Workers' associations and political parties like the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Germany and the Labor Party in Britain advocate for better conditions.

  • Despite significant influence, socialist parties struggle to gain power in European governments until the early 20th century.

2. The Russian Revolution

1. The Russian Empire in 1914

  • Tsarist Rule:¬†Under Tsar Nicholas II, Russia was an autocracy with centralized power in the hands of the monarch. Nicholas II ruled with absolute authority, unrestrained by a constitution or parliamentary system.

  • Geographical Extent:¬†The Russian Empire spanned a vast territory, stretching from Europe to the Pacific Ocean, encompassing a diverse array of ethnicities, cultures, and religions. It included modern-day Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, parts of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and Central Asian states, among others.

  • Religious Diversity:¬†While Russian Orthodox Christianity was the dominant faith, the empire also included Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists, and adherents of other religions.

2. Economy and Society

  • Agrarian Economy:¬†The backbone of Russia's economy was agriculture, with approximately 85% of the population engaged in farming. Russian peasants cultivated the land, producing grain not only for domestic consumption but also for export, making Russia a significant player in the global grain market.

  • Emergence of Industry:¬†Despite its predominantly agrarian character, Russia experienced pockets of industrialization, particularly in urban centers like St. Petersburg and Moscow. Industrial growth was fueled by factors such as foreign investment, the expansion of the railway network, and the establishment of large factories.

  • Social Divisions:¬†Russian society was marked by stark class divisions and gender disparities. Industrial workers and peasants faced harsh working conditions, low wages, and long hours. Women, who constituted a significant portion of the industrial workforce, were paid considerably less than their male counterparts and often subjected to discriminatory practices.

3. Socialism in Russia

  • Political Repression:¬†Political parties were outlawed, and dissent was met with harsh government repression. Despite this, socialist movements gained traction, with clandestine organizations like the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party emerging to challenge the autocratic regime.

  • Ideological Struggle:¬†Within the socialist movement, ideological divisions emerged, most notably between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik faction, advocated for a disciplined, revolutionary party committed to overthrowing the Tsarist regime and establishing a socialist state.

  • Peasant Socialism:¬†Some socialist thinkers believed that Russia's agrarian peasantry held the key to revolutionary change. They argued that the periodic redistribution of land within peasant communes laid the groundwork for a more equitable society, challenging the traditional Marxist focus on industrial workers as the vanguard of the revolution.

4. The Turbulent 1905 Revolution

  • Social Unrest:¬†Economic hardship, political repression, and social discontent culminated in the 1905 Revolution. Sparked by the Bloody Sunday massacre, in which peaceful protesters were gunned down by the Tsar's forces, the revolution saw widespread strikes, uprisings, and demands for political reform.

  • Constitutional Demands:¬†The revolutionaries, comprising workers, peasants, intellectuals, and nationalists, called for fundamental political change, including the establishment of a constitutional monarchy, civil liberties, and a representative assembly (Duma).

  • Tsarist Response:¬†In response to the revolution, Tsar Nicholas II reluctantly conceded to some demands, including the creation of the Duma, Russia's first elected parliament. However, his concessions were limited, and he retained significant autocratic powers, leading to continued tensions and political instability.

5. The First World War and Its Impact

  • Military Disasters:¬†Russia's participation in World War I proved disastrous, with the Russian army suffering heavy casualties and defeats on the Eastern Front. Military setbacks, combined with logistical challenges and supply shortages, demoralized the population and eroded support for the Tsarist regime.

  • Economic Strain:¬†The demands of war production strained Russia's already fragile economy, exacerbating inflation, food shortages, and industrial disruptions. Labor shortages and declining living standards fueled social discontent and unrest.

  • Rise of Discontent:¬†By 1916, popular discontent with the Tsarist regime reached a boiling point, with widespread protests, strikes, and riots erupting across the empire. The stage was set for further revolutionary upheaval, which would ultimately lead to the downfall of the Tsarist autocracy in 1917.

3. The February Revolution in Petrograd

1. Background and Setting

  • Winter of 1917:¬†Petrograd faced severe food shortages and harsh weather conditions, exacerbating social tensions.

  • Social Divide:¬†Workers' quarters were situated on the right bank of the River Neva, while affluent areas and government buildings were on the left bank.

2. Outbreak of the Revolution

  • February 22:¬†Lockout at a factory triggers sympathy strikes across fifty factories.

  • February 23 (International Women's Day):¬†Women play a prominent role in leading strikes and demonstrations. Workers converge on Nevskii Prospekt, demanding better conditions.

  • Government Response:¬†Curfew imposed, but demonstrations continue.

  • February 25:¬†Government suspends the Duma, leading to widespread outrage and intensified protests.

  • February 27:¬†Police Headquarters ransacked, streets filled with protesters demanding bread, wages, and democracy.

3. Formation of the Petrograd Soviet

  • March 2:¬†Tsar Nicholas II abdicates under pressure from military commanders.

  • March 3:¬†Petrograd Soviet formed by soldiers and striking workers, alongside the Duma.

  • Provisional Government:¬†Soviet and Duma leaders collaborate to form a Provisional Government, promising elections based on universal suffrage.

4. Aftermath of the February Revolution

  • Political Landscape:¬†Provisional Government includes army officials, landowners, and industrialists, aiming for a transition to elected governance.

  • Lenin's Return:¬†Vladimir Lenin returns to Russia and advocates for a socialist agenda, emphasizing an end to the war, land redistribution, and nationalization of banks.

  • Bolshevik Rise:¬†Bolshevik influence grows as they organize factory committees, trade unions, and soldiers' committees.

  • Peasant Unrest:¬†Peasants, led by Socialist Revolutionaries, seize land in defiance of the Provisional Government's authority.

The Revolution of October 1917

1. Prelude to the October Uprising

  • Growing Conflict:¬†Tensions escalate between the Provisional Government and Bolsheviks, with Lenin fearing the rise of dictatorship.

  • Bolshevik Mobilization:¬†Lenin organizes Bolshevik supporters in the army, soviets, and factories, preparing for a socialist seizure of power.

2. The October Uprising

  • Planning and Preparation:¬†Military Revolutionary Committee appointed by the Petrograd Soviet, led by Leon Trotskii, plans uprising in secrecy.

  • Commencement:¬†Uprising begins on October 24, with Bolshevik forces seizing government offices and arresting ministers.

  • Capture of Petrograd:¬†By nightfall, Bolsheviks control the city, with the Winter Palace shelled and ministers surrendering.

  • National Approval:¬†All Russian Congress of Soviets approves Bolshevik action, leading to uprisings in other cities and eventual Bolshevik control over Moscow-Petrograd area.

4. What Changed after October?

Bolshevik Policies and Transformation

1. Nationalization and Socialization

  • November 1917:¬†Bolsheviks nationalize most industries and banks, declaring land as social property for peasants to seize.

  • Urban Reforms:¬†Large houses partitioned, aristocratic titles banned, and new uniforms introduced.

  • Party Transformation:¬†Bolshevik Party renamed Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik), conducted elections to Constituent Assembly.

2. Establishment of a One-Party State

  • Constituent Assembly Dismissal:¬†Bolsheviks fail to gain majority support, leading Lenin to dismiss the Assembly in January 1918.

  • Peace Treaty:¬†Bolsheviks make peace with Germany at Brest Litovsk in March 1918, despite opposition.

  • Single-Party Rule:¬†Bolsheviks become the sole party in the All Russian Congress of Soviets, establishing Russia as a one-party state.

3. Control and Repression

  • Party Control:¬†Trade unions and secret police (Cheka, OGPU, NKVD) kept under party control to suppress dissent.

  • Cultural Influence:¬†Bolshevik ideology attracts young writers and artists, leading to experimentation in arts and architecture.

  • Censorship and Dissatisfaction:¬†Censorship leads to disillusionment among artists and intellectuals.

The Civil War and Consolidation

1. Context and Opposition

  • Land Redistribution:¬†Bolshevik policies trigger opposition, leading to breakdown of the Russian army and desertions.

  • Anti-Bolshevik Forces:¬†Non-Bolshevik socialists, liberals, and pro-autocracy supporters condemn Bolshevik uprising and organize opposition forces.

2. Civil War Dynamics

  • Opposing Factions:¬†'Greens' (Socialist Revolutionaries) and 'Whites' (pro-Tsarists) control most of Russia, backed by foreign troops.

  • Impact of Conflict:¬†Civil war leads to widespread looting, banditry, and famine, with harsh measures by anti-Bolshevik forces losing popular support.

3. Bolshevik Victory and Consolidation

  • Cooperation and Autonomy:¬†Bolsheviks establish control through cooperation with non-Russian nationalities, granting political autonomy.

  • Creation of the Soviet Union:¬†Bolsheviks unite former Russian empire into the USSR in December 1922, though struggles persist with local governments.

  • Challenges of Centralized Planning:¬†Rapid industrialization under centralized planning leads to uneven development and poor working conditions.

Stalinism and Collectivization

1. Economic Measures and Collectivization

  • Grain Shortages:¬†Economic crisis prompts Stalin to introduce emergency measures and enforce grain collections from peasants.

  • Collectivization Drive:¬†Party-led raids on 'kulaks', confiscation of land, and establishment of collective farms lead to peasant resistance and livestock destruction.

  • Famine and Opposition:¬†Collectivization efforts result in famine and widespread opposition, with millions suffering and dissenters persecuted.

2. Repression and Purges

  • Criticism and Purges:¬†Critics of Stalin's policies face accusations of conspiracy against socialism, leading to mass arrests, imprisonments, and executions.

  • Torture and False Confessions:¬†Many innocent individuals tortured into making false confessions, highlighting the brutality of Stalinist regime.

5. The Global Influence of the Russian Revolution and the USSR

Formation of Communist Parties

  • Bolshevik Revolution inspired the formation of communist parties worldwide.

  • Communist Party of Great Britain emerged in response to Bolshevik influence.

Encouragement of Socialist Model

  • Bolsheviks encouraged colonial peoples to adopt the socialist model.

  • Participation in international forums like the Conference of the Peoples of the East and the Comintern.

Educational Initiatives

  • Establishment of educational institutions like the Communist University of the Workers of the East.

Symbol of Global Socialism

  • By World War II, the USSR became a symbol of socialism globally.

Internal Criticism

  • Acknowledgment within the USSR of governance not fully aligned with the ideals of the Russian Revolution.

  • Criticism from within and outside the USSR regarding discrepancies between the Soviet model and socialist principles.

Decline in International Reputation

  • Decline in the USSR's international reputation as a socialist state by the end of the 20th century.

  • Continued respect for socialist ideals among the populace.

Rethinking of Socialism

  • Global rethinking of socialism, with each country interpreting it uniquely.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page