Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution Solutions History Class 9 CBSE

Here are given solutions to the class 9 History Chapter ‘Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution’. The intext question involving different activity related questions have also been answered. The solutions to chapter exercises are given with proper headings and points.

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Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution – Chapter Intext Questions and their Solutions

Page 28

Activity 1. List two differences between the capitalist and socialist ideas of private property.

Answer The two differences are as follows:

(i) The capitalists believed that individuals owned private property whereas the socialists believed that all property belonged to the society as a whole, i.e., to the state.

(ii) The capitalists believed that the profits from the property should belong to the property’s owners, whereas the socialist believed that profits are due to the workers’ labour and so should be shared by them.

Activity 1. Imagine that a meeting has been called in your area to discuss the socialist idea of doing away with private property and introducing collective ownership. Write the speech you would make at the meeting if you are

(a) A poor labourer working in the fields
(b) A medium-level landowner
(c) A house owner


(a) A Poor Labourer Working in the Fields: 

Wishing for higher wages is natural for a poor labourer but there should be more justice by having a share in the profits resulting from our hard work done from planting seeds to the final harvest and output. Instead of getting a subsistence wage, we deserve share in profits from crop sale. Fir this to be realised the private ownership should be replace by collective ownership of land.

(b) A Medium-Level Landowner: 

Doing away with private property is no brainier solution. It can lead to fall in crop production simply because people would not find it beneficial and lose interest. An equitable distribution of land can be and should be a good option. But it should also be a reasonable distribution with lands being taken away from large owners and be distributed to landless people first and then to small tract holders. Removing private property is antagonistic and against natural human abilities and rights to a comfortable living till it is not highly and drastically or disastrously antagonistic to the lives of others

(c) A House Owner:

Everybody should have the right basic necessities of life like food, shelter and clothing, but not at the expense of other people’s property. Those who do not have land should be given the means to earn their livelihoods in whatever manner is convenient. We have earned our property through the sincere efforts of our ancestors and so we should not be deprived of the labour and wisdom of our forefathers in acquiring land. I think this is very reasonable.

Page 33

Activity 1. Why were there revolutionary disturbances in Russia in 1905? What were the demands of revolutionaries?

Answer The causes of the revolutionary disturbances in Russia in 1905 were

(i) Due to Russia’s defeat in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, prices of essential goods rose dramatically, so that real wages declined by 20 per cent.

(ii) At the Putilov Iron Works, dismissal of some workers caused a strike. During the subsequent events, a procession of workers was attacked by police in which 100 workers died. This was known as Bloody Sunday.

(iii) Subsequently, strikes took place all over the country, resulting in the creation of an elected Parliament or Duma

The revolutionaries demanded a reduction in daily working hours to eight, increase in wages and improvement in working conditions.

Page 36

Activity 1. Look again at Source A and Box 1.

Source A

Alexander Shlyapnikov, a socialist worker of the time, gives us a description of how the meetings were organised: ‘Propaganda was done in the plants and shops on individual basis. There were also discussion circles… Legal meetings took place on matters concerning [official issues], but this activity was skilfully integrated into the general struggle for the liberation of the working class. Illegal meetings were… arranged on the spur of the moment but in an organised way during lunch, in evening break in front of the exit, in the yard or, in establishments with several floors, on the stairs The most alert workers would form a “plug” in the doorway, and the whole mass piled up in the exit. An agitator would get up right there on the spot. Management would contact the police on the telephone, but the speeches would have already been made and the necessary decision taken by the time they arrived ..’ Alexander Shlyapnikov, On the Eve of 1917. Reminiscences from the Revolutionary Underground.

Women in the February Revolution

Women workers, often … inspired their male co-workers. At the Lorenz telephone factory, Marfa Vasileva almost single handedly called a successful strike. Already that morning, in celebration of Women’s Day, women workers had presented red bows to the men … Then Marfa Vasileva, a milling machine operator stopped work and declared an impromptu strike. The workers on the floor were ready to support her … The foreman informed the management and sent her a loaf of bread; she took the bread but refused to go back to work. The administrator asked her again why she refused to work and she replied, “I cannot be the only one who is satiated when others are hungry”. Women workers from another section of the factory gathered around Marfa in support and gradually all the other women ceased working. Soon the men downed their tools as well and the entire crowd rushed onto the street.

From: Choi Chatterji, Celebrating Women (2002).

(a) List five changes in the mood of the workers.

a) List fiv

Answer The changes in the mood of the workers were

(i) Earlier only meetings were being held in an organised manner. Now the workers just stopped work to press for their rights, like Marfa Vasileva did.

(ii) Earlier there is no mention of any women workers. But now a woman worker initiated the strike by stopping work.

(iii) Earlier there was no demonstration of unity between men and women workers. Now the women presented red bows to the men, showing the unity. Also, the men downed tools in support of the women who had gone on strike.

(iv) The mood of the workers was more determined now. They took action instead of just talking.

(v) Earlier work used to go on due to workers being afraid of some counter action from the management side, but now the work was stopped, showing the fearlessness of the workmen.

(b) Place yourself in the position of a woman who has seen both situations and write an account of what has changed.

Answer I have seen both situations and I feel that although earlier the workers gave vent to their problems by organising meetings only, now they are fearless, willing to sacrifice their job, rebellious and supporting each other’s action as well as cutting across gender differences.

Page 40

Activity 1. Read the two views on the revolution in the countryside. Imagine yourself to be a witness to the events. Write a short account from the standpoint of

(a) an owner of an Estate

(b) a small peasant

(c) journalist

Answer Sample accounts of the revolution are given below

(a) An Owner of an Estate:  My property was taken over by my farm labourers. They spared me and my family, but now I am totally dependent on their mercy. They are not telling me anything about whether my property will be returned to me in the future or not.

(b) A Small Peasant: I am happy that together all of us labourers on this farm have taken it over and can now earn more by sharing the profits from the sale of the grain produced by us. Earlier the profits were all taken by the landowner without him doing any work. I salute the revolution, which has made our lives better.

(c) A Journalist: The news of the uprising has been welcomed in the rural areas by the peasants overpowering the landowners and taking over the running of the farms jointly. The orchards have been divided among the peasants who worked on them earlier, so that they can enjoy the profits from them. Surely the revolution has ushered in prosperity for the common man at the expense of the landowners.

Page 41

Activity 1. Why did people in Central Asia respond to the Russian Revolution in different ways?

Answer The people in Central Asia responded enthusiastically to the February 1917, Revolution because it freed them from the oppression of the Tsar’s reign so that they were masters of their land again. They expected to regain their autonomy.

However, they responded negatively to the October Revolution, as it brought violence, pillage, extra taxes and another dictatorial power to rule over them. They feared now that their autonomy would be lost.

Page 47

Activity 1. Compare the passages written by Shaukat Usmani and Rabindranath Tagore. Read them in relation to Sources C, D and E.

Source C

Dreams and Realities of a Soviet Childhood in 1933

Dear grandfather Kalinin

My family is large, there are four children. We don’t have a father – he died, fighting for the worker’s cause, and my mother… is ailing. I want to study very much, but I cannot go to school. I had some old boots, but they are completely torn and no one can mend them. My mother is sick, we have no money and no bread, but I want to study very much… there stands before us the task of studying, studying and studying. That is what Vladimir Ilich Lenin said. But I have to stop going to school. We have no relatives and there is no one to help us, so I have to go to work in a factory, to prevent the family from starving. Dear grandfather, I am 13, I study well and have no bad reports. I am in Class 5 . Letter of 1933 from a 13-year-old worker to Kalinin, Soviet President

From: V. Sokolov (ed), Obshchestvo / Vlast, v 1930-ye gody (Moscow, 1997).

Source D

Official view of the opposition to collectivisation and the government response

“From the second half of February of this year, in various regions of the Ukraine… mass insurrections of the peasantry have taken place, caused by distortions of the Party’s line by a section of the lower ranks of the Party and the Soviet apparatus in the course of the introduction of collectivisation and preparatory work for the spring harvest. Within a short time, large scale activities from the above-mentioned regions carried over into neighbouring areas… and the most aggressive insurrections have taken place near the border.

The greater part of the peasant insurrections has been linked with outright demands for the return of collectivised stocks of grain, livestock and tools … Between 1st February and 15th March, 25,000 have been arrested … 656 have been executed, 3,673 have been imprisoned in labour camps and 5,580 exiled.’

Report of KM Karlson, President of the State Police Administration of the Ukraine to the Central Committee of the Communist Party, on 19 March 1930.

From: V. Sokolov (ed), Obshchestvo I Vlast, v 1930-ye gody

Source E

This is a letter written by a peasant who did not want to join the collective farm.

To the newspaper Krestianskaia Gazeta (Peasant Newspaper) .

I am a natural working peasant born in 1879. there are 6 members in my family, my wife was born in 1881, my son is 16, two daughters 19, all three go to school, my sister is 71 From 1932, heavy taxes have been levied on me that I have found impossible. From 1935, local authorities have increased the taxes on me . and I was unable to handle them and all my property was registered: my horse, cow, calf, sheep with lambs, all my implements, furniture and my reserve of wood for repair of buildings and they sold the lot for the taxes. In 1936, they sold two of my buildings. the kolkhoz bought them. In 1937, of two huts I had, one was sold and one was confiscated…

Afanasi Dedorovich Frebenev, an independent cultivator.

From : V. Sokolov (ed), Obshchestvo I Vlast, v 1930-ye gody

(a) What did Indians find impressive about the USSR?

Answer At the time when both wrote these passages, India was ruled with an iron hand by the British. There were vast caste and class differences and the people were ignorant and backward. They were impressed by the fact that all persons in Russia were treated equally. In spite of them not being very prosperous, they were happily going about their work. Asians and Europeans mingled freely in Russia, whereas it was unthinkable in India at that time.

(b) What did the writers fail to notice?

Answer b What the two writers failed to notice was that essentially the people were not free to do as they liked. The Bolsheviks ruled like dictators and followed repressive policies to develop the nation quickly. The hard lives and poor working conditions of the people went unnoticed by these travellers.

Page 48

Activity 1. Imagine that you are a striking worker in 1905, who is being tried in court for your act of rebellion. Draft the speech you would make in your defence. Act out your speech for your class.

Answer Your honour and respected citizens, I have not committed any crime, although I am being tried for inciting rebellion. You know how the price of bread has gone up. My wages accordingly should have been increased so that my family does not starve. Now-a-days we only eat one meal in a day, as there is no money to buy more food. So, what is wrong if I demand increase in wages?

I am forced to work 12 hours a day, which is inhuman. I have demanded an eight-hour working day, which is quite reasonable. Have I committed a crime in that?

Now I leave it in your hand to decide whether I am a criminal or not.

Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution – Textbook Exercises’ Solutions

Q.1.  What were the social economic and political conditions in Russia before 1905?


Social Condition: Before 1905 the social structure was based on division of labour, which defined their status.

  • Workers were divided social groups in which some live in villages and some permanently settled in cities. Division among workers showed in their dress and manners. They also they formed association to help members during financial crisis as well as unemployment.
  • Despite divisions, workers united themselves to strike, work when they disagreed with employers about dismissals or work conditions.
  • Like workers, peasants too were divided. They also had no respect for the nobility. Even they murdered the landlords and refused to pay rent. Russian peasants wanted the land of the nobles to be given to them.
  • They pooled their land together periodically and their commune divided it according to the needs of individual families.

Economic Condition: At the beginning of the 20th century, the vast majority of Russia’s people were agriculturists.85% Population in Russians earned by agricultural activities and it is higher as compared to other European countries (France -40%, and Germany – 50%).

  • Cultivators produced for the market as well as for their own needs and Russia was a major exporter of grain.
  • Industry was found in pockets. Prominent industrial areas were St Petersburg and Moscow.
  • Large factories existed alongside craft workshops.
  • Many factories were set up in the 1890s when Russia’s railway network was extended and foreign investment in industry increased.
  • Most industries were the private property of industrialists. The government supervised large factories to ensure minimum wages and limited hours of work

Political Condition: Russia was an autocrat. Unlike other European countries, Tsar was not subject to Parliament. Liberals in Russia campaigned to end this state of affairs. During the Monarchy under the Tsar Nicholas II, the general public including the workers and farmers had no say in the government whereas the privileged class had got special rights.

Q.2. In what ways was the working population in Russia different from other countries in Europe before 1917?


(i) The working population in European countries were a lot more united than those in Russia. The condition of Russian people, especially those of the working population like the farmers and the factory workers, was very deplorable as compared to other European countries.

(ii) The main reason for it was the autocratic government of the Tsar Nicholas II, who exploited these people day by day by his corrupt and oppressive policies.

(iii) Much of the produce of the peasant workers went into the hands of the landowners and the privileged classes. Large properties were owned by the nobility, the crown and the Orthodox Church.

(iv) In European countries, the peasants respected nobles and fought for them whereas in Russia, the peasants wanted the land of the nobles to be given to them.

(v) They often refused to pay rent and even murdered the landlords. This was because of the various oppressive policies and their built-up frustration.

(vi) The factory workers faced equally miserable situation. They could not form any trade unions and political parties to express their grievances.

(vii) The private industrialists exploited the workers and many times did not give them fixed minimum wages also. There was also no limit set for the working hours.

Q.3.  Why did the Tsarist autocracy collapse in 1917?

Answer: There were several factors that led to the collapse of Tsarist autocracy in Russia:

(i) Tsar Nicholas II was not an inefficient ruler. He still believed in the autocratic rights of the king. His policies brought deep dissatisfaction among the common mass.

(ii) Tsarina Alexandra’s German origins and poor advisers, especially Rasputin, made the autocracy very unpopular.

(iii) The bureaucracy that Tsar Nicholas II recruited was too inefficient. The recruitment of the members was done on the basis of privileges and patronage, not on merit. This was a major factor that paved the way for the downfall of Tsarist autocracy.

(iv) Russia’s participation in the First World War proved disastrous for it. The war was initially popular in Russia and people rallied around Tsar Nicholas II. As the war continued, though, the Tsar refused to consult the main parties in the Duma, support was thin. Anti-German feeling ran high.

(v) Russia’s army lost badly in Germany and Austria between 1914 and 1916. There were over 7 million casualties by 1917. As they retreated, the Russian army destroyed crops and buildings to prevent the enemy from being able to live off the land. The destruction of crops and buildings led to over 3 million refugees in Russia. The situation discredited the government and the Tsar.

(vi) The miserable condition of peasants and workers grew hatred against monarchy. . The Tsar never paid even a slight attention to their condition. All the above-mentioned factors prepared such a condition in Russia in which Tsarist autocracy was bound to collapse.

(vii) Philosophers like Karl Marx Karl Marx put forward the idea that the capitalists were responsible for the misery of the workers and that the condition of workers could only improve if the land and the industries were controlled by the society. He inspired the workers to oppose the landlords and the capitalists.

Q.4. Make two lists one with the main events and the effects of the February Revolution and the other with the main events and the effects of the October Revolution. Write a paragraph on who was involved in each. Who were the leaders and what was the impact of each on the Soviet history?


[Main Events and Effects]

February Revolution

22 February: Lockout of a factory was done on the right bank of the Neva River in Petrograd.

23 February: Sympathy strike was done by workers in 50 factories. Demonstrating workers reached the centre of the city, surrounding the government buildings. Curfew was imposed and the demonstrators dispersed.

24 and 25 February: Demonstrations done again by workers. Cavalry and police were called out to control them.

25 February: Government suspended the Duma (Russian Parliament).

26 February: Demonstrators returned in force to the streets of the left bank.

27 February: Workers ransacked the Police Headquarters. Streets were thronged with people shouting slogans demanding bread, better wages, less hours of work and democracy. Cavalry was called out once again, but they refused to fire on the demonstrators. By evening, soldiers and striking workers formed a ‘Soviet’ (council) which was called the Petrograd Soviet.

28 February: A delegation met the Tsar. Army commanders advised him to abdicate.

2 March: Tsar abdicates. Duma leaders and others form a provisional government.

[Who was Involved; the Leaders and its Impact?]

  • There were no particular leaders involved.
  • There were both men and women workers involved out of their anger against the policies of the government.
  • Ultimately the monarchy collapsed when even the military advisers advised to step down to pacify anger among people.

October Revolution

16 October: Lenin persuades the Petrograd Soviet and Bolshevik Party to agree to a socialist seizure of power. Military Revolutionary Committee to manage this operation was formed.

24 October: 

•Uprising starts, but government troops seize buildings of two Bolshevik newspapers.

•The Winter Palace and other buildings were also protected by troops.

•The Military Revolutionary Committee seized the government offices and arrested the ministers.

•The ship Aurora shelled the winter palace.

•By nightfall, the city was under the Committee’s control and the remaining ministers had surrendered.

Who was Involved, the Leaders and Its Impact? 

  • Bolsheviks were the main people involved? Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky were the main leaders.
  • The impact was that the Bolsheviks rose to power and formed the first communist government for the first time in the world.

Q.5. What were the main changes brought about by the Bolsheviks immediately after the October Revolution?

Answer: The main changes brought about by the Bolsheviks immediately after the October Revolution were

  • Most industries and banks were nationalised.
  • Land was declared social property and peasants were allowed to seize the land of the nobility.
  • In cities, Bolsheviks enforced the partition of large houses according to family requirements.
  • Use old titles of the aristocracy was banned.
  • To assert the change, new uniforms were designed for the army and officials in 1918. Budeonovka was chosen as the Soviet hat.
  • The Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik).
  • Russia became a one-party state and trade unions were kept under party control.
  • For the first time the Bolsheviks introduced a centralised planning on the basis of which Five Year Plans were made for development of Russia.

Q.6. Write a few lines to show what you know about

(a) Kulaks

(b) The Duma

(c) Women workers between 1900 and 1930

(d) The Liberals


(a) Kulaks:  The wealthy landowners were called the kulaks. Stalin was suspicious of them for hoarding. During collectivisation of farming, the kulaks were raided and their lands were seized.

(b) The Duma:

  • In 1905, Tsar allowed the creation of an elected consultative Parliament or Duma. The Tsar dismissed the first Duma within 75 days and re-elected the second Duma within three months.
  • The Tsar did not want anyone to question his authority or undermine and reduce his powers.
  • The Tsar changed the voting laws and packed the Third Duma with conservative politicians. Liberals and revolutionaries were kept out.

(c) Women Workers between 1900 and 1930

  • Women made up 31 per cent of the factory labour force by 1914, but they were paid less than men.
  • In the February Revolution in many factories the women led the way to strikes. Thus, 22 February came to be called the International Women’s Day.
  • (Marfa Vasileva stopped work and declared a strike, the women workers in the factory were ready to support her. Soon the men also joined them and all of them moved to the streets.

(d) The Liberals

  • The liberals favoured changes in the society.
  • They believed in religions toleration. At that time the European states usually discriminated in favour of one religion or another.
  • They wanted to safeguard the rights of the individuals against governments.
  • They wanted an elected form of Parliamentary government subject to laws interpreted by a well-trained Judiciary that was independent of rulers and officials.
  • They did not believe in universal adult franchise and wanted voting rights for only men who have property.

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