The Similarities of Tsarist and Communist Rule in Russia

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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... ... middle of paper ... ...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.