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Unit 5: Crisis and Change

Lesson C: The Revolution and Civil War in Russia

Lesson Overview

Meeting of Russian Soldiers Meeting of Russian Soldiers

Meeting of Russian Soldiers, 1917 [1]

The Russian Revolution was a series of events that took place in Russia in 1917. The revolutionary events of 1917 ended the over 300 year rule of the Romanov czarist Dynasty. The Russian Civil War that immediately followed the Russian Revolution was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the provisional government collapsed to the Bolshevik party. This emerging Soviet government created the world's first communist state, changed the name of the country to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.), and remained in power until 1989.

Key Questions

  1. What were the causes of the Russian Revolution?
  2. How did the Romanov Dynasty lose power, and what were the consequences of the Russian Revolution?
  3. How did the Bolsheviks adapt the ideas of Karl Marx in forging a new government for Russia?
  4. What was the impact of the Russian Revolution on World War I, and what was the impact of World War I on the Russian Revolution?

Student Outcomes

  1. Explain the events that led to the victory of the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution, including the abdication of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, the formation of a provisional government, the outbreak of civil war, and the leadership of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin.
  2. Explain the Leninists' political and economic ideology and how the Bolsheviks adapted Marxist ideas to conditions peculiar to Russia, including the creation of the New Economic Policy.
  3. Analyze the challenge that revolutionary Russia posed to Western governments and explain the impact of the Bolshevik victory on world labor movements.
  4. Support interpretations with historical evidence. (Historical Thinking Skill)

Key Terms

Student Resources

Chart of Activities:

Activities to Complete Estimated Time
10 minutes
Key Terms
5 minutes
Activator: The World 1914-1945
10 minutes
Opening: Causes of Revolution
20 minutes
Activity 1: Causes of the Russian Revolution
35 minutes
Activity 2: Timeline of the Russian Revolution and Civil War
15 minutes
Activity 3: Events of the Russian Revolution and Civil War
10 minutes
Activity 4: Russian Revolution - Victory of the Bolsheviks
10 minutes
Activity 5: Factors in the Russian Revolution
10 minutes
Activity 6: Russia and the Effects of World War I
20 minutes
Activity 7: Ideas and Leaders of the Russian Civil War
20 minutes
Activity 8: Marxist Philosophy and a Global Economy
20 minutes
Activity 9: Economic Systems Check for Understanding
10 minutes
Activity 10: Propaganda in the USSR
30 minutes
15 minutes
15 minutes
Lesson Summary
5 minutes

Lesson Completion Time

Time for lesson: 260 minutes.


Page Notes:

[1] Source: This image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kustodiev_The_Bolshevik.jpg is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.