Those of you who used the old site will know it as predominantly a vehicle to discuss Russian history. These pages are designed to support Little Heath A2 students studying for their summer examination. Our examination board is OCR, and the paper is Russia and its rulers 1855 – 1964. The paper code is Y318.
As before, we envisage that different students will use different parts of the site in different ways. Most students find the schemes of work and assessment sections above as particularly useful for reference. You should however also look at the additional materials section. This has lots in it to support and extend your studies. Look for example at the excellent quotation bank from a previous student. Below this post will be articles of news about Russian history. You will also see posts here that will be used for online discussion homeworks where we will want you to add (ideally constructive) comments.
Above all however, we want this to be your site. However you use it is fine, but please take ownership of it.
If you click here you will get to Shaun Walker’s article discussing how Russia is considering how to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution in 1917.
“1917 is problematic. On the one hand, the Soviet state that came from the revolution was the one that won the war and whose military and scientific achievements Putin thinks should be venerated. But on the other hand Putin has elevated “stability” to being one of the key tenets of his rule, and as such celebrating a revolution goes against the very grain of his political philosophy”.
Great to all of you at History Society today. We will finish off Ivan the Terrible next week. Perhaps Empress Anna Ioannovna was not so brutal, but this article suggests that she was certainly more of a party girl; as well as another true autocratic ruler.
“On March 8, a coup d’état headed by Anna’s most trusted retainers rounded up members of the Supreme Privy Council. Anna shredded the contracts before their eyes, and sentenced them all to death or exile. With the power of the Russian throne consolidated, Anna was officially crowned Empress of Russia on April 28, 1730. Empress Anna was protective of her newfound position to the point of paranoia. This led to the dreaded revival of the Secret Search Chancellery. A secret police force beholden only to Anna herself, they bore full authority to kill or torture any political opponents to the throne.”
How do all this relate to our A Level course ? Well, think about our timeline today. Perhaps repression was the only way to effectively rule this “prison of peoples”.
If you click here you will get to Richard Cavendish’s 2003 article in History Today describing the fate of the hated Georgian. I have included a paragraph below…
“At a hastily convened meeting of the Presidium, Khrushchev launched a blistering attack on Beria, accusing him of being a cynical careerist, long in the pay of British intelligence, and no true Communist believer. Beria was taken aback and said, ‘What’s going on, Nikita?’, and Khrushchev told him he would soon find out. The veteran Molotov and others chimed in against Beria and Khrushchev put a motion for his instant dismissal. Before a vote could be taken, the panicky Malenkov pressed a button on his desk as the pre-arranged signal to Marshal Zhukov and a group of armed officers in a nearby room. They immediately burst in, seized Beria and manhandled him away…”
You will soon be discussing the importance of turning points within the 109 years of your course. The fate of Alexander II is very noteworthy – click here for a 45 minute discussion from Radio 4’s In Our Time series. The programme description follows.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the assassination of Tsar Alexander II. On 1st March 1881, the Russian Tsar, Alexander II, was travelling through the snow to the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. An armed Cossack sat with the coach driver, another six Cossacks followed on horseback and behind them came a group of police officers in sledges. It was the day that the Tsar, known for his liberal reforms, had signed a document granting the first ever constitution to the Russian people.But his journey was being watched by a group of radicals called ‘Narodnaya Volya’ or ‘The People’s Will’. On a street corner near the Catherine Canal, they hurled the first of their bombs to halt the Tsar’s iron-clad coach. When Alexander ignored advice and ventured out onto the snow to comfort his dying Cossacks, he was killed by another bomber who took his own life in the blast.
Why did they kill the reforming Tsar?
What was the political climate that inspired such extreme acts?
And could this have been the moment that the Russian state started an inexorable march towards revolution?
With Orlando Figes, Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London; Dominic Lieven, Professor of Russian Government, London School of Economics; Catriona Kelly, Professor of Russian, Oxford University
Click here for a super Yahoo News article on Nikita Khrushchev. It is a good summary of his decade in charge of the USSR and the Secret Speech.
“The miner’s son, who rose to prominence while serving in the defence of Stalingrad during World War II, would later denounce his former boss as a murderous dictator. The new Communist Party boss first took a swipe at Stalin’s personality cult, which he claimed had reached ‘monstrous size’ and transformed him into a ‘godhead’.”