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Russian and Soviet History

Russia before the First World War

Opposition to Tsarist Rule

The impact of the First World War

1917: the fall of the Tsar

The Bolshevik Revolution

The role of Lenin

The role of Trotsky

Bolshevik rule 1918 - 1924

The Russian Civil War

The New Economic Policy

Lenin's legacy

The development of communist rule

The impact of Communism on the people

The failure of reform and the decline of the Communist state

The nature of Stalin's dictatorship

Changes in industry and agriculture under Stalin

The changing role of women in the USSR


Khruschev's reforms

The Decline of the Soviet Union

The fall of the Communist state

The role of Gorbachev



Russian and Soviet History

GCSE students studying the History of Russia study one, or two units on the history of Russia and / or the Soviet Union.

For students following the EdExcel GCSE in Modern World history these units are:

A4 - The rise and fall of the communist state: The soviet Union, 1928-91


B1 - The Russian Revolution, c1910-1924

Watch the video (to the left) to get an overview of key events in Russian / Soviet history between 1905 and 1991.











For a list of activities relating to this unit, click here. There are currently over 40 activities listed, mainly created using products from and

This site hosts a number of videos combining music, images, video clips and text relating to aspects of Rssian and Soviet history. These can be downloaded via the MultiMedia section of the site. Additional ideas about the use of music and images relating to this content can be found on the Music in History Lessons page.

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING PAGES ARE BEING DEVELOPED AT THE MOMENT, content can be found on SOME but not all pages.

A4 – The Rise and Fall of the Communist State: The Soviet Union, 1928–91

Through the content specified below, candidates should develop an overview of the following:
the development of Communist rule
• the impact of Communist rule upon the peoples of the Soviet Union
the failure of reform and the decline of the Communist state.

Specified content

The nature of Stalin’s dictatorship.
Changes in industry and agriculture and their impact: the changing role of women.
Khrushchev’s attempts at modernisation.
The decline and fall of the Communist state: the role of Gorbachev.


B1 – The Russian Revolution, c1910–24

This study will focus on: the impact of the war on Tsarist Russia; the events of 1917; the impact
of Bolshevik rule.


Russia before the First World War: politics, society and the economy.
Opposition to Tsarist rule: Liberals, Socialists and Socialist Revolutionaries.
Impact of the First World War on Russian government and society.
1917: reasons for the fall of the Tsar and the collapse of the Provisional Government.
The nature of the Bolshevik takeover; the roles of Lenin and Trotsky.
Bolshevik rule and its impact, 1918–24: the Civil War. (New Economic Policy)

Review - Lenin's legacy

Exam Section:

Opposition to the Tsar before 1914 - Practice paper




In this unit:






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Recommended Resources highly recommends these sites: - new site aiming to provide an accessible narrative for GCSE History pupils. - fantastic range of interactive games, revision materials and links. - outstanding use of ICT to engage pupils. - a brilliant range of learning activities from Ian Dawson - simply the best for Modern World GCSE students - make your lessons 'real' with artefacts and living history provided by experts - same author as this site, just put together in a slightly different way! - all new resources for teachers and pupils of the SHP Medicine course - A new site providing resources for teachers and pupils of the Crime and Punishment unit