Russia and the Western Republics

By: Nayeli Pacheco (Section 1)

Historical Events

1. Russian Revolution: in which the Russian Communist Party, led by V. I. Lenin, took control of the government from the czars, ends the rule of czars

2. Cold War: the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union after WW ll, called "cold" because it never escalated into open warfare.

3. USSR: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or Soviet Union, formed in 1922 by the Communists and dissolved in 1991

Government

The government took control of the major sources of the state's wealth including land, mines, factories, banks, and transportation systems. They decided what factories would manufacture, what crops farms would grow and the prices of their goods. Collective farms (which large teams of laborers were gathered to work together) were created. People were moved to farms, while under the control of Stalin's, there were over 14 million deaths. Since the fall of the SU, leaders in Russia and the Republics have tried to reduce the state's monopoly on the economic power to return some control to individuals and businesses.

Economy

Karl Marx predicted that a Communist system would replace the capitalism. In a Communist society, he argued, citizens would own property together, and everyone would share the wealth. To move their society toward communism, Soviet leaders adapted a Command Economy: one in which the central government makes all the important economic decisions.

Culture

Russia has the greatest ethnic diversity of the region's republic. Although they make up most of the ethnic group with 80% there is still another 70% people who live there, including Finnish, Turkic, and Mongolian. The religion most of the Russians follow is Orthodox Christianity but there is also Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. Religion and art are closely related, as Russian artists combined artistic ideas from the West with their own experiences, a truly golden age of culture began. Since the collapse of the SU the region's people began to enjoy more social and cultural opportunities. They are able to keep up with new movies, music, clothing trends and also able to experience a wide variety of foods and cuisines. The variety of social and cultural opportunities have increased but they still keep up with their native trends and traditional foods.