GCSE Russia


A section on Russia from John D. Clare.

Excellent site for Russia. Detailed but in bullet points.

The Russian Revolution

Generally the questions on the Russian Revolution centre upon the Bolshevik takeover of power. However one should also focus upon the 1905 and February 1917 revolutions. Obviously the paper which asks questions about Russia includes sources so it is advisable to practise answering questions which includes primary or secondary sources.

The 3 clips below are a useful resource to understand the Russian Revolution of 1917.

The clip below explains the causes again but in a slightly different way!

The Fall of the Romanovs. Discovery Channel.

To what extent was Rasputin a cause of the Russian Revolution?

Grigori Rasputin was one of the causes of the Russian Revolution. Obviously the clips below portray his actions and behaviour as very important but to what extent was Rasputin one of the main causes?

What impact did Rasputin have on the Russian Revolution? The clip above, (suggested by schoolhistory), may give you an idea. Great song!

A short article on the causes. They are divided into economic, social and political.

The causes of the Russian Revolution from BBC Bitesize.

The Bolsheviks may have taken power in the October Revolution but the hard part is hanging on to it. They negotiated the unfair Treaty of Brest-Litovsk to end Russia’s involvement in the First World War. Opposition party leaders were arrested and the Cheka was set up. If a question asking how Bolsheviks established their power comes up, it is important that you know all of this. The following links may help.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk from Spartacus.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk from the History Learning Site.

Very useful information about the period 1918 to 1921.

Obviously the Bolsheviks could not arrest everybody. There would always be opposition from supporters of the Tsar, Mensheviks, Kadets etc. At the end of a prolonged war there is generally a power vacuum. Groups and organisations fight each other for control and power. The recent war in Iraq is an example. The Russian Civil War was where control was eventually established. Lenin intended to fight this war all along. There would be huge casualties but as long as the Bolsheviks won, the cost would be acceptable.

Russian Civil War from Spartacus.

Russian Civil War from John D. Clare.


Alexei Stakhanov was used as a model for all workers across the Soviet Union. The clip below is a news reel from the time period. It is obviously propaganda and the article below gives weight to this.

A Time magazine article about Stakhanovites

Show Trials

Stalin wanted complete control over the Soviet Union. Each of the clips below explain how he gained, and then maintained, his control over the empire. Questions on this topic are either knowledge based, (describe the purges for example), or form part of an essay on which was the more effective method of control?

A modern news broadcast on the Purges.

A student probably made this but it is easy to revise from.

A very useful clip to understand the control of Stalin.

The Cult of Personality.

The Cult of Personality from the History Guide.


A useful clip above from a UK school. It gives a summary of Khrushchev which can help questions on both the USSR and the Cold War.

A revision page from School History.


  1. Ena says:


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