THE COMMUNIST EXPERIMENT
(AND A BIT OF THE PACIFIC)
(Because this class has already studied communist China, that frees a few people to report on the Pacific regions. Report on additional topics until your group runs out of people. Don't worry about topics you don't get to.)
41. Kerensky and Lenin: The Two Russian Revolutions D
42. The Conservative Dictatorship of Stalin D
43. Beware the Bewhiskered Bolsheviks A
44. Russian Satellites Try to Break Free C
47. Vietnam--One Nation or Two? D
48. Gorbachev and Yeltsin: End of the Experiment D
54. Japan Becomes a Western Power In a Hurry D
56. How a Religion is Born A
53. Australian Aborigines: The Biggest Manhunt In History A
52. The Eight Kings of Hawaii B
A Additional information very hard to find
B A moderate amount of additional information should be available
C Plenty of stuff available--an easy job
D Too much information available--this will require a lot of sorting
Remember that Chinese people traditionally place their
family name first,
and personal name second. Northern
Vietnamese leaders tend to follow this custom, too.
The more Westernized South Vietnamese leaders did not.
The Japanese used to place the family name first; now many
Japanese people do it the other way around.
KERENSKY AND LENIN: THE TWO RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONS
Nicholas II, Czar of Russia, was a good-hearted young man,
but he lived
so sheltered in the palace that he really did not know what his
were. In 1905, some
priests marched to the palace to tell Nicholas how his officials
them. But he was
not home, and the
guards shot at the crowd. Many
labor unions went on strike against this police brutality.
Nicholas offered to let Russians elect their first
parliament, and people
went back to work. Communist
historians like to picture this 1905 incident as a great revolution
The inexperienced new parliament bungled along until the
middle of World
War I. By then,
they could not even
organize the feeding of their soldiers--let alone win any battles.
Nicholas went to take command of the war, and left
parliament to deal
with the growing strikes over food shortages.
People grew more radical.
decided that parliament should reflect the changing mood of the people,
dissolved parliament in order to have new elections.
But the congressmen refused to give up their seats.
One of the most liberal congressmen, Alexander Kerensky
took bold control. Parliament
decided that Russia needed a new Czar.
Nicholas resigned in favor of his brother, but Kerensky
brother into turning down the job.
this quiet way, Russia became a republic in March of 1917.
This was the first Russian Revolution.
But the streets were not quiet.
mobs howled and looted, parliament tried to find a way out of World War
without losing. Indecision
paralyzed the new government. The
inexperienced parliament could not run a country as large as Russia.
The experiment in democracy was obviously failing.
Germany came up with a plan to get its enemy Russia out of
The German government had captured a Russian Communist
agitator who went
by the code name "Lenin." They
locked him in a railroad car and sent him home to Russia.
By November of 1917, Lenin led a second Russian Revolution
disorganized parliament. Kerensky
fled the country and outlived all of the Communist leaders.
Like the first revolution eight months before, the second
also almost bloodless.
The Communists took over just a couple of weeks before the
elections. In those
elections, the Communists lost badly.
So when they could not control the new parliament, the
closed it down. Lenin
probably could not have ruled long without popular
support. It came
through a strange
Russia pulled out of World War I by surrendering much
On their way back home, several disgusted Russian generals
decided it was
time to put the czar back on the throne.
invaded Russia with help from England, Germany, and Japan.
The Russian people flocked behind Lenin to protect their
foreign interests. Meanwhile,
Nicholas sat quietly in prison.
As a safety precaution, the Communists shot him, his wife,
his young son,
and four daughters. After
three bloody years, the "red" Communist army
defeat the last "white" czarist army.
Russia lay in a shambles.
Karl Marx had formed his theories of Communism for Western
where the middle classes controlled the main industries.
But Russia had almost no democracy, almost no middle
class, and almost no
industry. It seemed
one of the
least likely places for Communism to succeed.
During the Russian Civil War, Lenin tried a hodgepodge of
Marx's ideas in
nationalizing industry. But
feeble Russian economy could not stand such an abrupt switch.
Food shortages developed.
Russia was, after all, a nation of poor farmers with a few rich
the revolution shortly before, farmers had grabbed
control of the land their families had worked for generations.
When the government tried to take control, these people
did not feel
eager to give up their newly-won land.
Lenin backed off from Marx's theory.
The history of successful revolutions shows two types of
first the inspirer who can rouse others up to follow him,
and second the
organizer who can turn victory into a lasting government.
Lenin was one of those rare individuals who was good at
both types of
For the next two years after the civil war, he worked
reorganizing the government and the whole economy.
He set up his New Economic Plan, or N.E.P. The plan let
the farmers keep
their land, to farm however they wished.
also encouraged shopkeepers and owners of small industries to develop
businesses. But the
control of large industry. Lenin
explained that sometimes it was necessary to take one step backward in
take two forward. With
plan, the economy began to recover--though it would take ten years to
to the level of prosperity Russia enjoyed before the Communist
Meanwhile, Lenin's health failed.
his last two years, the Communist party took over the running of the
country. He died at
the beginning of 1924, loved by the Russian people
for his simple life, honest administration, and earnest efforts.
THE CONSERVATIVE DICTATORSHIP OF STALIN
In more than a thousand years of Russian history, the
people had a small voice in their government for less than twenty
the beginning of parliament in 1905, to Lenin's death in 1924.
After that, Russia returned to absolute control by one
who nicknamed himself the "Man of Steel," or "Stalin."
In his will, Lenin warned the Communist leaders to get rid
But they ignored the warning for Stalin was, after all,
only the party
secretary; he had never been a spokesman of Communist ideals.
Stalin controlled the party machine, and he used it to
eliminate the heroes of the revolution.
glowing ideals of equality fell before Stalin's drive for personal
And the least qualified of the contenders took complete
Stalin was an ignorant, suspicious man.
He built up the secret police to spy on all government
terrorize the people into obedience.
of making friends with other governments, he sent spies to destroy
governments from within. He
foreign radio broadcasts, to keep the Russian people in contented
And in public places all over Russia, he raised up huge
In 1928, Stalin began the hard push to reshape the Russian
The first step was to collectivize the land.
Russia simply had too many farmers puttering on
inefficient little plots.
Yet these farmers had just begun to prosper a little after
ten years of
owning their hand. They
want to give up their little farms, and many killed their animals and
their crops rather than give them to the government.
Ruthlessly, Stalin reorganized the land into huge
collective farms, and
farming became a large efficient industry.
This freed millions of farmers for working in the
Stalin issued a Five-Year Plan to triple industry.
The plan fell short of its goal, but industry did double
in those five
years--an accomplishment unmatched anywhere else in the world.
Then came a second and third Five-Year Plan for further
In the first ten years, Russia became the third most
industrial nation in
By the mid-1930s, the Russian government controlled almost
economy. But here
was the catch; Marx and Lenin had dreamed of the day
when the people would control the economic forces in their lives--but
assumed that the people and the government would be the same.
Instead, the government controlled the economy and also
produced much for
government--such as rockets--but fell behind in goods for people--such
housing and appliances.
In the mid-1930s, an assassin struck down Stalin's
This frightened the dictator into getting rid of all
leaders who might be
able to replace him. The
Purge began. Army
politicians, and revolutionary heroes went on trial.
All but a couple were declared guilty and shot.
The government sent hundreds of thousands of less powerful
prison camps in Siberia. In
years, Stalin killed off practically every leader from the Russian
He stood as the undisputed master of Russia.
Yet Stalin worried about the coming World War II.
Hitler had risen to power in Germany as a violent
But the two dictators actually ran their governments about
They signed a peace treaty, and Stalin relaxed.
Suddenly, Hitler invaded Russia anyway.
In his growing conservatism, Stalin relied on the same
earth" battle plan which had saved Russia from Napoleon in 1812.
He roused his people to patriotism by constantly reminding
them of 1812.
The Germans raced across Russia until the Communists made
stand just outside Moscow. Stalin,
himself, refused to budge out of Moscow.
winter drove the Germans back, and the Russian army recaptured its lost
admitted that twenty million Russians died in the war.
Actually, the number was
When Stalin died in 1953, the power shuffle started over
Of the many contenders for power, the party secretary
again pushed all
others out. He was
a fat little
country-bumpkin named Nikita Khruschev.
bold enough to denounce Stalin as a cruel dictator.
The pictures and statues came down; Stalin's embalmed body
Loyal party members feared Khruschev's personal and
colorful style of
rule. So in 1964
they swiftly and quietly stripped him of his
titles. Russia had
had enough of
BEWARE THE BEWHISKERED BOLSHEVIKS
Karl Marx organized the First Communist International, a
social reformers from all over Europe.
met to discuss ways of improving labor conditions.
Such groups continued to meet until after the Russian
international Communists hoped to see all of Europe
pulling together. They
not to participate in World War I.
Lenin and his friends believed strongly in
They expected Russia to become one of the less significant
nations of Europe. But
the next two
Communist takeovers got crushed so swiftly that no one else tried.
Both attempts came in 1919.
large state of Bavaria broke off from Germany and set up a Communist
In less than a month, Germany recaptured the rebel state.
Meanwhile, Communists gained control in Hungary.
The Hungarians felt mistreated in the peace settlement
after World War I.
As a protest, they turned their government over to Bela Kun (BAY-la
Jewish Communist and close friend of Lenin.
He nationalized all property, allowing each man to keep 2
shirts, 2 pairs of boots, and 4 stockings, He threw all bathrooms open
public each Saturday night. And
denied the vote to priests, the insane, criminals, and shopkeepers who
months later, the
Rumanian army marched into Hungary.
fled to Austria, where his enemies clapped him in a lunatic asylum and
feed him poisoned Easter eggs. Being
Jewish, he did not eat them. Kun
lived on, but Communism outside Russia was a dead dream.
When Lenin realized that Russia would be the only
Communist nation, he
demanded that all Communists take orders from Russia.
Many refused, and broke off to form Socialist parties in
a majority of
northern Europeans have decided that Socialism is a workable compromise
the worst evils of Capitalism and the worst evils of Communism.
With unregulated Capitalism, the rich get richer and the
poor get poorer,
until they finally explode in revolution.
keep things stable, one of the important jobs of government is to
wealth (in the form of taxes) to help the poor.
The tricky part lies in getting just the right amount of
Socialism to keep the peace, but not so much that it kills individual
did not grow much in Socialistic countries--partly because Stalin kept
parties so full of Russian spies that no one could trust them.
In Russia, the leading internationalist was Leon Trotsky.
He had agitated for revolution before Lenin arrived. Then he organized the Red
army and led it to victory.
People assumed that Trotsky would take over when Lenin
But Stalin pushed Trotsky out of his way.
And a few years later, Stalin threw him out of the country.
Trotsky eventually went to live in Mexico.
When the Great Depression hit, people saw that the
system of stock investment had temporarily failed very badly.
At the same time, Russia moved confidently into its
Five-Year Plan of
economic expansion. Could
that the Communists had some of the answers after all?
Millions all over the world began to wonder.
For those who did not like Stalin's dictatorship, Trotsky
to the ideas of Marx and Lenin. International
Communism reached its peak membership,
But Stalin grew jealous of all other Communist leaders.
In the late 1930s he killed off all possible rivals in
Russia. then he
sent an assassin to shoot Trotsky.
who had joined the Communist party during the depression, dropped out
Stalin coöperated with the Western democracies
during the war, but he
stayed so suspicious of other political leaders that they could reach
they divided the conquered territories between the
sealed itself off
from further friendly doings with foreign governments.
Winston Churchill said it was as though an 'Iron
Curtain" had descended across Europe.
Two waves of anti-Communist frenzy swept across the United
in the 1920s, and again in the 1950s.
times, the anti-Communists used the same undemocratic purge methods
used. And both
times, their victims were mostly idealists who had
long since given up any connection with Communism.
In Germany, Hitler rose to power by stirring up fears
After Stalin, Communism grew in many undeveloped countries.
Communist governments even seized control for a few years
out-of-the-way places as Yemen, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan.
But the Communist revolution never came to the more
where Marx had predicted.
SOVIET SATELLITES TRY TO BREAK FREE
On the fringe between the Soviet Union and Europe lay
Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, and
These were young countries; most of them had sprung up
after World War I.
Czechoslovakia prospered as an industrial democracy.
The others remained nations of poor farmers, ruled mostly
little kings. In
World War II,
Germany easily overran these countries and forced the weak leaders to
Germany. Then the
Soviet army drove
the Germans out. But
kept control. The
people of these
small nations had only changed masters.
Six of these countries became Communist states taking
from the U.S.S.R.
Yugoslavia was different.
Yugoslavs had freed themselves from Germany, led by a factory worker
himself "Tito." Tito
a Communist, and set up a Communistic economy.
But he refused to surrender his hard-fought victory to the
he refused to take orders from them.
Soviets threw him out of the Communist party, but Tito continued to
Yugoslavia into its own type of independent Communism.
His country split apart after he died.
Italy (rather than Germany) had invaded Albania during
World War II, and
Yugoslavia (rather than the Soviet Union) drove them out and took over.
Albania was too weak to resist, but its leaders shrewdly
masters--always searching for one farther from home.
They wiggled out from Yugoslav control by declaring
themselves a Soviet satellite, and then got out of that mess by
allegiance to Communist China.
Other satellite nations began to wonder if they could win
the kind of
independence Yugoslavia enjoyed. In
1956, Hungarians began protesting for more control.
When the secret police shot them down, Hungary exploded
Premier Imre Nagy (IM-ray NAHZH) tried to lead his people
they grew bolder,
people also clamored for more personal freedoms from their local
After just ten days, the U.S.S.R. invaded Hungary with
tanks and mowed
down anyone who resisted. Homemade
bombs could not match tanks, and the revolution failed.
Nagy was executed two years later.
In 1968, a spirit of reform swept across Czechoslovakia.
Party leader Alexander Dubcek (DOOB-chek) led his people
democratic Communism. He
many personal freedoms, but tried to not anger the Soviet Union.
After seven months of this experimentation, the Soviet
anyway. Again, the
and again they lost. The
took firm control of the Government once more, and wiped out the
Dubcek had to take a job as a mechanic.
Twenty years later, when the Czechoslovakian people
finally threw off
Communist control, they elected Dubcek as head of their new parliament.
It is important to distinguish three possible motives for
from Soviet Russia.
Hungarian and Czechoslovakian revolutions contained both of the first
motives. The third
suggested. If the
won their revolutions, they probably would have become independent
nations much like Yugoslavia.
But all through the 1980s, a Polish labor union agitated
for all three
goals. Because The
Manifesto had urged workers of the world to unite and throw
chains, the Communist rulers did not know quite how to deal with a
Also, the Catholic church had chosen a pope from Poland
who spoke up for
the workers. The
puppet rulers of
Poland threw union leader Lech Walesa (lek va-LEN-sa) in prison, but
agreed to consult with the union before making major decisions.
In 1989, the Soviet Union decided to grant all of the
their independence. (See chapter 48.) Before the year ended, people in
of those countries threw out their puppet Communist officials.
In Poland, they chose the humble electrician, Lech Walesa
as their new
THE CHINESE REPUBLIC THAT FAILED
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the foreign
Manchuria still tried to hold onto their control of China.
England, Germany, France, Portugal, Russia, Japan, and the
all tried to control areas along the coast.
The Chinese people hated all of these foreigners.
Dr. Sun Yat-sen (soon yaht-sen) traveled over much of the
revolution for China. The
revolution came unexpectedly in 1911, while he agitated in England.
He hurried home to become the first president of the
Dr. Sun was no organizer, and he knew it.
So he turned the government over to the head of the army.
That was a mistake. For
military man made himself emperor.
man died a few months later. But
had given others the idea that they might be able to seize control.
For the next ten years, China swirled in confusion as
fought each other for the chance to pillage the people.
Sun Yat-sen and the original revolutionaries gained
control of one state
in southern China. There
bungled along--mainly with Russian help and organization.
Sun died in 1925. Suddenly,
people thought of him as a hero. They
began to believe in his three slogans: Nationalism, Democracy,
Chiang Kai-shek (jyahng k§-shek) took control of the nationalist army and
swept through China,
putting down all of the war-lords.
Just when it looked like China might become unified,
Chiang split his
support in two by driving out its Communist members.
Sun Yat-sen had joined the Communist party.
His widow joined the fleeing Communists now, and years
later became a
high official in the Chinese Communist government. Her
sister married Chiang Kai-shek and helped direct the army against the
civil war lasted
ten years from 1926 to 1936, when both sides took time out to fight
invading Japan in World War II. After
nine years of coöperation against Japan, the Chinese took up
their civil war
again in 1945. But
this time the
Communists marched to swift victory in four years.
Kai-shek had lost the support of the people.
He had grown more conservative and dictatorial.
He supported the interests of wealthy landlords and
Corruption flourished high in his government.
The Communists worked with
the simple farmers, and earned the
trust of the masses. Moreover,
civil war had taught the Communists how to fight guerilla-style, so
they made a
far better showing against the Japanese than Chiang Kai-shek's aging
did. People began
to feel that the
Communists served them better than their present government did.
In 1949, Chiang lost all of China, and fled to the island
There he pretended to be the real government of China.
Most of the world went along with this pretense for the
years. But by the
1970s, all of the
big powers had decided to deal with the real government--the Chinese
MAO TSE-TUNG: KEEPING THE REVOLUTION YOUNG
If a wheel makes a total revolution, the same part ends
back on top.
To turn things upside-down, a wheel must make a
The same is unfortunately true in politics.
Through history, revolution has followed revolution, but
the same types
of people usually end up on top. They
start with fresh intentions, but once they gain power the revolution
and they tend to resemble more and more those who have always held
George Orwell wrote a fairy tale on revolution, called Animal
which focuses on this problem in something similar to the Russian
Mao Tse-tung (moww tsuh-doong) of China was aware of this
When he saw his own revolution coming full-circle, he
additional half-revolution to keep the movement young.
Here is his story:
Mao Tse-tung grew up in the classical Confucian tradition.
He became a librarian and a highly-respected poet.
He helped found the
Chinese Communist party and quickly rose
to become its leader. When
government of Chiang Kai-shek tried to exterminate all Communists, Mao
people on a six-thousand-mile march to the northwest corner of China.
There he led a guerilla war against the Chinese
government, then against
the Japanese invaders during World War II.
After the war, Mao led the Communists to victory all
In 1949 he became head of the People's Republic of China.
The new government's first big problem was the Korean War.
The United States and Russia had split Korea in half, with
dictatorship in the north and a Capitalist dictatorship in the south. The Communists invaded the
south in an effort to reunify
their country. The
and some members of the United Nations drove the North Korean army all
back to the Chinese border--and showed no sign of stopping there.
China sent volunteers to help the North Koreans.
Together, they pushed the United States back to the
dividing line between
North and South Korea. Neither
gained from the war. Both
lost hundreds of thousands of young men.
the Chinese took pride that they had pushed back the most powerful
earth. It began to
look like the
new China could do anything.
In all his struggles against Chiang Kai-shek, the
Japanese, and the
Americans, Mao had received almost no help from Russia.
Now he saw no need to make China another Russian
Russian government expected him to do.
Mao criticized Russia for having grown conservative, and fallen far
Marxist-Leninist goals. Mao
appealed to underdeveloped nations as a third alternative between the
and Russian superpowers. In
southeast Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, young people took new
from the fresh revolutionary vigor of Mao Tse-tung.
Mao represented the spirit of Chinese Communism.
His well-traveled friend, Chou En-lai (jo en-l§) looked after the details of government.
But after twenty years in
power, Mao saw his officials
growing more conservative. Bureaucracy
began to strangle the revolutionary ideals.
So in 1968, Mao appealed to students to launch a new
rampaged through the countryside, frightening the bureaucrats and
people again that the purpose of the Communist state was to help the
inspiration from the "little red book" of quotations by Chairman Mao.
He had become the new Confucius.
things had been turned pretty much upside-down, Chou En-lai told the
go home. And they
For twenty years, western powers had tried to ignore China.
When they began visiting again in the 1970s they were
discover that crime had disappeared, poverty had disappeared,
disappeared, the worst diseases had disappeared, illiteracy had mostly
course all of this
came at a price: individual thought and creativity had also disappeared.
But never had the Chinese people lived so free from
For the first time in China's history, its leaders felt
close to the
formed an important
part of the educational system. Mao
Tse-tung had kept his revolution young for another generation.
VIETNAM--ONE NATION OR TWO?
In the late 1800s, France conquered the kingdoms of Laos
and the empire of Vietnam. These
three nations became the colony of French Indo-China.
In World War II, Japan drove the French out.
In Vietnam, the Emperor Bao Dai (bow die) had served as
the French puppet
ruler. Now he
became the Japanese
puppet ruler. But
the people of Vietnam rose up to free their country from
all foreign control. The
this struggle was a mild man named Ho Chi-minh (ho-chee-min), He was a
threw the emperor out of office, and declared their country an
After the war, France agreed to recognize the independence
Vietnam--only if it returned to an empire--not if it stayed a republic.
The French army tried to prop the emperor back up on his
throne, but the
Vietnamese defeated them soundly.
At the peace conference in 1954, Cambodia and Laos gained
independence without a struggle. Vietnam
was to be split in half for two years--with Ho Chi-minh ruling the
half, and Emperor Bao Dai ruling the southern half.
After two years, the Vietnamese people would vote on which
they wanted for their whole country.
United States offered to protect Bao Dai, so France pulled out.
As election time approached, it became obvious that the
would lose. So a
political strongman named Diem (dee-EM) seized control
of southern Vietnam and declared it a republic.
Diem insisted that there were now two Vietnams, and
refused to allow the
election for reunification. The
idea of two Vietnams pleased the American leaders, for it meant that
Communists only got half as much.
other military strongmen tried for power.
As the generals struggled for power at the top, the
Communists of South
Vietnam launched a new civil war against their military government.
The United States aided the government, and North Vietnam
began fighting for the government.
Vietnamese soldiers joined the Communists.
China and Russia sent money and equipment but the United
thirty-three times as much as China and Russia combined.
So far all of the fighting had happened inside South
Then the United States began bombing North Vietnam, and
Public opinion around the world and in the United States
rose up against
the war. People
realized that if
the most powerful army in the world could not defeat some rag-tag
meant that the local people were hiding and supporting the guerillas.
U.S. President Johnson won election with a campaign for
When he escalated the war instead, he did not dare to run
won election by promising peace. But
he let the war drag on four more years, and used the promise of peace
election again. Finally
the United States backed out of Vietnam after more
than thirteen years--the longest war in American history.
But there was no peace.
there was no real change. North
Vietnam remained Communist, and South Vietnam remained entangled in its
civil war. Soon the
northern army swept through the south, and all
opposition melted away. The
Vietnams had become one again. And
that one nation was Communistic.
GORBACHEV AND YELTSIN: END OF THE EXPERIMENT
Mikhail Gorbachev (MIK-hail GOR-ba-chev) ruled the Soviet
Union for less
than seven years. Yet
time, he changed the world.
He saw that the Soviet economy still was not working after
years--mainly because 70% of all manufactured goods want to the
He decided to make three big changes;
Save money by getting out of the empire business.
Bring democracy to the Soviet Union.
bring a mixture of
Capitalism and Communism to the Soviet economy,
Gorbachev pulled the Soviet army out of Afghanistan, where
gotten bogged down in a never-ending civil war.
He ended the forty-year "cold war" with the United States.
(Neither side won the "cold war."
Each side bankrupted itself on military expenses.)
Gorbachev gave the satellite nations of eastern Europe
(See chapter 44.) He
guaranteed a free press and free elections in the Soviet Union, and
gave the new
parliament real powers. He
Boris Yeltsin (YEL-tsin) to reform the economy, but Yeltsin wanted to
faster, and eventually quit the job in anger.
In the 1800s, the Russian czars had captured many small
Communists pretended that
the Soviet Union was a willing group of fifteen free and equal
everybody knew it was a dictatorship controlled by Russia.
When the satellite nations outside the Soviet Union got
many of the so-called republics inside the union also wanted their
Gorbachev let them elect their own leaders, but would not
break up the
union. The giant
elected Yeltsin, and the two men quarreled more and more.
Suddenly in 1991, some bumbling old Communists made
Gorbachev a prisoner
and tried to take over the government.
of the republics refused to obey the Communists, and declared their
on top of a tank and spoke bravely for freedom and for Gorbachev.
The Russian people rallied around Yeltsin, and the
Gorbachev returned looking like a victim, while Yeltsin
looked a like a
hero. And Gorbachev
was leader of
an empire that no longer existed.
dissolved the Soviet Union and resigned--warning Yeltsin not to go too
Instead, Yeltsin switched immediately to a Capitalistic
Many people found themselves hungry and unemployed for the
Others fell victim to crooked businessmen--something they
had never had
to deal with before. When
Russian parliament tried to slow down the changes, Yeltsin ordered them
disband, and sent the army to fire on the parliament building.
The world watched in puzzlement as Yeltsin took
dictatorial power to
A few people became rich, but most grew poorer than they
had ever been
Russia had not spent a century building up protections against the
business practices. Unregulated
Capitalism nearly destroyed a recently powerful
and he had to resign.
In 1871, France had just lost a war with Germany.
The middle-class empire of Napoleon III was being replaced
middle-class republic. The
of Paris had suffered heavily during the war.
They had lost all patience with bungling middle-class
So they revolted against the new republic and set up their
government--the Paris Commune. The
Commune leaders felt dissatisfied--but all for different reasons: some
fight another war against Germany; some wanted the emperor again; some
king; some wanted socialism; some wanted Communism.
So their program was a hodgepodge of outlawing religion,
revolutionary calendar of 1792, establishing a ten-hour work day, and
the bakers from night work. After
three months, the Paris Commune fell in bloody battle to the army of
hail the Paris
Commune as the first attempt by workers to set up a Communistic
The son of Russian Czar Nicholas II suffered from
hemophilia (failure of
the blood to clot). Several
the boy almost bled to death from a tiny scratch of bruise.
His mother tried everything--including a wild monk who
claimed to have
mystic and miraculous powers. The
monk called himself "Rasputin" (rus-POO-tyin).
Under the strange power of Rasputin, the boy's health
The grateful parents took Rasputin's advice more and more.
Soon he controlled the whole government.
Rasputin preached that salvation comes only through
forgiveness--therefore, the more a person sins, the more he can be
He conducted drunken orgies at the palace.
Besides, he made ignorant decisions on foreign policy
during World War I.
The Russian people grew angry and rumbled of revolution.
Some princes decided to save the government by
It took much poison and many bullets before the strong man
But the assassination came too late to save the royal
family; the hatreds
which Rasputin had kindled burst into flaming revolution just two
his death .
Rosa Luxemburg (LOOK-sem-boorg) agitated for socialist
reform in Poland.
She participated in the Russian protests of 1905.
She wrote for a German socialist newspaper until the
imprisoned her for advocating peace during World War I. After the
Revolution, she started a German Communist newspaper.
When the Communists planned to revolt in Germany in 1919,
she argued that
they were not strong enough. She
was right; the revolution attempt failed, But one of the first things
government did was arrest Rosa Luxemburg.
the way to jail, army officers beat her up, and she died of the wounds.
Pu-yi (poo-yi) became the last Manchurian emperor of China
at age two, A
few days before his seventh birthday, revolution turned China into a
But the young ex-emperor remained at the palace, and the
leaders of the
republic continued to bow before him.
a citizen, he took the name of Henry--after his hero, Henry VIII of
At age eleven, a new revolution placed him back on the
throne for a
couple of weeks. After
quietly tended his flower gardens until Japan captured Manchuria in
II. Then the
Japanese invited him
to ascend the throne of his ancestors as emperor of Manchuria. Pu-yi knew he was being
set up as a Japanese puppet, but he
refused to take office in a Japanese officer's uniform--only in the
robes of the
rightful emperor. After
Manchuria again became part of China, and Henry Pu-yi went to live in
He returned to China after the Communists took over.
At first they imprisoned him for coöperating with
But soon they freed him, and the former emperor became the
representative in the Chinese Communist congress.
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