Section 1: Chapter 16

RUSSIA AND THE WESTERN REPUBLICS

HISTORICAL EVENTS

· 1922—Communist Party organized the different peoples absorbed during the centuries of Russia’s imperial expansion. (USSR)

· World War II—Joseph Stalin had taken over the leadership of the USSR. 1941—He led the Soviet Union in the fight against Nazi Germany. All allies began to worsen as the war dragged on.

· Late 1940s—Tensions between United States and the Soviet Union led to conflict. It was known as the Cold War because it never grew into open warfare between the two nations.

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GOVERNMENT (PAST AND PRESENT)

· Peter the Great (emperor of Russia from 1682 to 1725).

· 1922—Communist Party organized the different peoples absorbed during the centuries of Russia’s imperial expansion. (USSR)

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ECONOMY

· Communists who overthrew czarist Russia in 1917 had strong ideas about the future.

· The Communists were inspired by the work of Karl Marx, a German philosopher who had examined the history of economic systems.

· Soviet leaders adopted command economy—one in which the central government makes all important economic decisions.

· Rapid industrialization became a major goal of Soviet planning.

· The Soviet government created enormous collective farms on which large teams of laborers were gathered to work together.

· Millions of citizens starved to death in famines caused by the creation of collective farms.

· Those who survived soon realized that only a small number of individuals had benefited from the economic changes.

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CULTURE

· Russia and Western Republics faced hard times under the czars and the Communists.

· The region has a rich variety of ethnic groups because many of the people absorbed during the centuries during Russian expansion.

· Russia and Western Republics are home to a great number of religions. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region is more open to the influence of other countries—especially those in the West. At the same time, the region’s people continue to honor their traditions and work hard to preserve them.

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