The Similarities of Tsarist and Communist Rule in Russia
Both forms of government did depend on high degree of central
control. However, some Tsars and Stalin exerted more central controls
than others. Stalin’s stronger use of central control created
differences between the two forms of government.
The Tsars used different levels of central control. Alexander II used
very little. He had emancipated the serfs, created the zemstva and
allowed freedom of religion. Alexander III most resembled Stalin by
using the most central controls. He also increased the power of his
Predecessors secret police, renaming them the Okrana. The Okrana were
similar to Stalin’s secret police (NKVD.) Both were violent against
minority groups and Russian’s opposing the state. They could arrest
anyone on suspicion of being an enemy of the state without any
evidence. But Stalin used the NKVD as a central control to a bigger
extent than the Tsar. During the purges (1934-38) the NKVD were
vital. They arrested twenty million people in 1937 and created fear
amongst communist workers, which became their biggest motivator.
Stalin and Alexander III also persecuted groups with different beliefs
to their own and banned opposition. The Tsar allowed black hundreds
to kill Jew’s and Stalin closed down churches and made religious
meetings outside them illegal.
Nicholas II used Stolypin to deal with riots. He hanged hundreds of
Russians, the noose becoming known as Stolypin’s necktie and strikes
decreased from 13,995 (1905) to 892 (1908.) But the Tsar had least
central control. After the 1905 Revolution the Russian people were
granted civil rights, an...
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...ressed the Tsars lost support from the nobles
and power, after 1905 revolution Nicholas II had very little central
control. But Stalin’s dictatorship increased in strength and by 1938,
the purges had made Russian’s so fearful, they were willing to accept
the totalitarian ruler instead of the democratic system which had
originally been hoped for in the February 1917 revolution. Stalin had
also used fear as a motivator for workers and managed to
industrialise. Overall the most similarities occur between Alexander
III and Stalin due to their repressive actions but although all the
Tsars and Stalin depended on central control, it cannot be said that
there were more similarities because of the power and support for
Stalin’s when his reign ended compared to the weak Tsarist system
which Russians felt was not worth saving.