字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive actions over the past few years have led to suggestions that he may be trying to reinstate the former Soviet Union. So how exactly did the Soviet Union rise to power to begin with? Well, the history of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics begins with the end of the Russian czardom. For hundreds of years, Russia was ruled by a series of monarchs, called “czars”, who wielded absolute authority. But in the early 20th century, Russia suffered a series of demoralizing military defeats, both in the Russo-Japanese War and during World War One. These failures were coupled with brutality from Czar Nicholas the Second, nicknamed Nichols the Bloody. This state of affairs eventually prompted a revolt from revolutionary groups, who rejected rule by elites, instead encouraging rule by the working class. The most notable of these were the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin. In 1917, two back-to-back revolutions first ousted the Czar, then replaced the interim-government with local groups of workers, known as soviets. The following year the Czar and his entire family were summarily executed. After a civil war between loyalists, known as The Whites, and revolutionaries, called The Reds, the Reds won and unified under the communist ideology, creating the first socialist state: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. Vladimir Lenin was instituted as the leader of the state, and the Bolsheviks were renamed “The Communist Party”. Lenin nationalized the country’s industries, particularly manufacturing and banking, and distributed land among its citizens. Those who opposed him were either executed or imprisoned in concentration camps, in a campaign known as the Red Terror. Although Lenin died just two years after the formation of the USSR, his cult of personality was used throughout its history to promote a political ideology known as Marxism-Leninism, a derivation of Communism. After Lenin’s death, another revolutionary Bolshevik, Joseph Stalin, gained power despite serious opposition from Lenin in his final years. This opposition was kept secret from the public, and Stalin effectively became a dictator in the Soviet Union. He focused on rapid industrialization and turning the country into a major world economic power. Although Stalin’s series of five-year-plans to transform the state were generally successful, they came at a severe cost. Millions were unjustly imprisoned in labor camps called Gulags. An intentional famine killed millions more, in short because workers were unable to eat their own grain, as it was considered state property under socialism. In the 1930s, Stalin implemented a campaign known as the Great Purge, to execute or exile anyone who was a potential threat to Communism, including intellectuals and politicians. As the ruler during World War Two, Stalin made a peace pact with Nazi Germany. When Germany broke the pact and attempted to invade in 1941, Stalin sent millions more citizens to their deaths to defend the country, successfully pushing back the siege. In the aftermath of World War Two, Stalin’s regime funded communist uprisings in other countries, creating conditions for the Cold War against the Western and capitalist United States. Stalin died in 1953, and at the time was revered as a nationalist hero who’d fought back the Nazis, and brought Russia into the industrial age, which is considered by some the peak of the USSR’s power. The following years brought efforts to de-Stalinize, and reverse the power of the dictatorship and purges and gulags. Still, within a decade, the country began slipping into decline, and despite efforts to revitalize it while competing with the United States, the USSR eventually fell apart. We can’t do episodes like this without our sponsors and this episode is brought to you by Domain DOT COM. If you’re an entrepreneur, innovator, or building a small business, DOMAIN DOT COM is the place to go when that next great idea hits you. Get 20% off Domain Dot Com’s already affordable domain names and web hosting when you use coupon code SEEKER at checkout. When you think domain names, think DOMAIN DOT COM. During the onset of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was an economic and political superpower, rivaled only by the United States. So what led to its eventual decline? Find out in the second part of this series: the Fall of the Soviet Union. Although different theories have been proposed, one suggests that the Soviet Union was desperate to outperform the United States in two major regions: military and space flight. This led to excessive spending, with the Soviet Union establishing a self-contained military complex. Thanks for watching Seeker Daily! Don’t Forget to Like and Subscribe for new videos every day.