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Political Systems


Lenin and Stalin  
Lenin and Stalin
[audio]The Russian Revolution

  • 3 reasons why there was a revolt in Russian in 1917:
    1. urban workers had little food.
    2. sailors and soldiers were not being paid.
    3. soldiers were poorly equipped.
  • Russian generals and Allies persuaded Kerensky to keep Russia in the war.
  • Bolsheviks wanted Russia to stop fighting, and for Russia to have a communist government and economy.
  • Germany helped the Bolsheviks because Germany thought that Lenin and a Bolshevik government would take Russia out of the war.
  • Lenin demanded that the Kerensky government take Russia out of the war.
  • In November, 1917, the Bolsheviks seized control of the Russian government.
  • Peace treaty between Russia and Germany helped Lenin focus on creating a government ruled by the Bolshevik Party.
  • Peace treaty between Russia and Germany helped Germany put most of its troops on the Western Front.


[audio]The Peace Agreement

  • Wilson's treaty objective was a peaceful resolution of problems between the countries.
  • French and British treaty objectives were to build-up their armed forces and punish Germany for starting the war.

Wilson's 14 Points

  • Wilson's most important point was his idea for an association of nations to protect political independence of all nations.
  • Reparations: payments; the loser must pay the winner.
  • Great Britain and France wanted to rebuild their economies and pay-off their loans to the U.S. because Great Britain and France wanted payment (reparations) from Germany.
  • French and British wanted control of German and Ottoman Empire colonies for their natural resources.
  • Wilson wanted colonies to become free countries.


The Treaty of Versailles

  • Germany had to:
    1.) Return Alsace and Lorraine to France.
    2.) Pay $33 billion to Britain, France, and Belgium.
    3.) Give up all of its captured land.
  • Yugoslavia is a new country formed from the Austria-Hungarian Empire.
  • Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are the new countries formed from the Russian territory that Germany had conquered.
  • Americans wanted nothing to do with Europe because Americans opposed the Treaty.
  • The U.S. Senate opposed the treaty because they thought that if the U.S. joined the League of Nations it would lose control over the American military.
  • The Senate was opposed to Wilson going on a long speaking tour to obtain support for the Treaty.
  • U.S. absence from the League of Nations reduced the League's ability to deal with problems after WWI.


[audio] The War's Effect on People's Rights

Freedom of Speech

  • The only time when freedom of speech can be limited is when the U.S. government gets permission from the courts.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court decides if the government is justified in limiting free speech.


Opposition to the war

  • Espionage Act (1917) and Sedition Act (1918) were used to silence war critics.


Pro-war propaganda

  • The mission of the Committee on Public Information was to win the support of the American people for the war.
  • The Committee on Public Information created propaganda to justify American involvement on the Allied side of the war, sponsored speakers to give speeches in American cities, released cartoons and stories against Germany.


Anti-immigrant movement

  • People feared immigrants would bring diseases and would work for lower wages, so labor unions opposed new immigrants. Government limited immigration by creating a law that required all new immigrants to be able to read and write and to be able to pay a tax.


Fear of radical revolutionaries

  • Communism is an extreme form of socialism. All industry, services, and economic planning are controlled by the Communist Party (led by a dictator). War and revolution are ways to seize control of a country.
  • Socialism is a political system in which some industries, services, and economic planning are controlled by farmers, workers, and government officials. It does not advocate violence.


The Soviet Union

  • Union of Soviet socialist Republics (USSR) is a new country created by Lenin.