Extra note:  In order to standardise the “Terms you need to Know” articles in the Classroom Section, all definitions are accessed from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/ .  In case of a definition accessed from a different source or website, please refer to the included endnotes.

Bolshevik:  When referring to a Bolshevik, one is referring to a member of the majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party which seized power over Russia in 1917.

Capitalism:  Economic and political system where the counties means of production are owned by private owners for private profit rather than by the state.

Collectivization of agriculture:  Where agricultural farmers were forced to give up their individual farms in order to join larger collective farms.

Communism:   An economic and political system where all property is owned by the community and each person contributes/receives according to their ability/needs.

Leninism:  Marxism and/or a form of communism as interpreted and applied by Vladimir Lenin.  This form of communism emphasises dictatorship of the proletariat.

Marxism:  The political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that was also later developed by their followers to form the basis of communism.

October Revolution:  A revolution led by Vladimir Lenin with workers and peasants to overthrow the Dumas Provisional Government

One-party totalitarian police state:  Secret police meant to protect the political power of a dictator.

Peasant:  A poor labourer with limited land-ownership with a low social status.

Prodrazvyorstka:  A Bolshevik policy and campaign of confiscation agricultural produce – particularly grain – from the peasants.[1]

Proletariat:  In the Marxist theory, it refers to the class od works who are especially industrial wage earners and who do not possess capital or property.  Most of these workers worked to simply survive.

Rapid industrialisation:  A strategy which is based on fast growth through intense industrialisation or self-development on industrial bases concentrated in means of production.

Red Army:  The army and air force of the Russian Soviet.

Revolution:  A complete overthrow of the existing dominant system by the working class for a new alternative system.

Social Classes:  A division of a society based on economic and social status.

Socialism:  A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

Stalinism:  The policies adopted by Joseph Stalin in the pursuit of communism largely based on totalitarianism and centralisation.

State Duma:  This was a Russian assembly which had representatives of the people of Russia designed to give them a voice in the government.

War Communism:  Economic policies applied by the Bolsheviks during the Russian civil war such as expropriation of private businesses and nationalization of industries.

[1] Word Finder.: “What is’prodrazvyorstka’,” Word Finder, Available at https://findwords.info/term/prodrazvyorstka (Accessed on 9 March 2021).

This content was originally produced for the SAHO classroom by
Sebastian Moronell, Ayabulela Ntwakumba, Simone van der Colff & Thandile Xesi.

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