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Rise of the Soviets: A Turning Point in World History

Process Papers

Holly Chen, Alison Ma, Neethu Meloottu Senior Division Group Website

Holly Chen (480 words) First, my group and I got together and discussed the different topics we could conduct research on. We debated as a group what a turning point was and what types of events in world history falls under that category. We concluded that revolutions fell under this category, and were reminded that we researched on the revolution, reaction and reforms of Communist China the previous year. When conducting our research last year we became more interesting in communism in general. Therefore, for this years project we decided to conduct research on the turning of Russia into a socialist nation run by a communist government. I began my portion of the research by first visiting the library and taking out a few books regarding Russia. I borrowed two books about the full history of Russia and read parts of the history close to the Revolution in 1917 to get an understanding of the conditions in Russia before communism was implemented. After I had a brief understanding of the conditions, I began focusing on what the communism in Russia was like. I began reading more in depth in the book and taking notes as I read. From the library I also borrowed a book on how life was like during this time period. This book also briefly explained how Russia rapidly changed from an autocratic nation to a provisional government then finally to a communist government. Besides the books as secondary sources, I also went online and found primary source documents that were written during the time of communist Russia as well as secondary sources that summarized Stalins rule and his Five-Year Plans. The primary source documents allowed me to further understand how the changes by the state affected the people. All in all the research for this project was not that difficult because unlike communist China, the Soviet Union was not as secretive as China was. Our group decided to use a website to present our research due to many factors. We decided not to do a performance because we do not like acting. Although making an exhibit is also allowed for a group, we felt that the five hundred word limit would not allow us enough to fully explain our research. Therefore, we decided to use a website as our way of presenting our project. The changing of Russia into a communistic government is a very prominent turning point in world history. Due to the large population under the Soviets rule, many lives were drastically changed. One main reason is that it is the first government to put Marxism into play and show the rest of the world communism can exist. Another reason that this event in history is a turning point is that by implementing a communist government, the Soviet Union turned into a nation where the gap between poverty and wealth drastically increased. The economy drastically declined as well.

Alison Ma (382 words) Why we chose this topic: We chose to do the topic of Communism in Russia because it marks not only an important time period in Russia, but also in the world. The idea of communism has always interested me, how it appeals to the poor, yet ideally is impossible. We also chose this topic because last year our topic was on the Chinese Revolution, which in part has to do with communism, and we wanted to know how communism affected Russia differently from China. We chose to do a website over the other forms because we had done it the previous year, and we found that creating a website was the easiest way to express information that you wanted others to see. Specifically, we didnt do the documentary because of our personalities, and we found that the exhibit was too difficult because the three of us had difficulties expressing everything wed like to succinctly. How we conducted our research: For researching and creating the website itself, we started by individually researching different areas of the topic. My section was before communism. I read articles and took notes, keeping in mind to cite all my work for the bibliography. We also looked for related pictures, videos and documents that could be useful in expressing our topic on our website. How we created the website: Later, the three of us met up, and we started creating the website. We started by taking our notes and putting them into general paragraphs in separate tabs; after, we refined our paragraphs and began adding pictures, documents, videos, and quotes. Lastly, a timeline was created for the home page. Unfortunately, after all this work was done we realized that we had gone over the word limit, so we were forced to take out a tab, and cut down in a few areas. How our project relates to the theme: With the theme in mind, we though the start of Communism in Russia would be perfect because it greatly changed the lives of people. Not only were people affected socially, and economically, but it also greatly effected countries included in the USSR. It caused such a drastic change in Russias politics and its economy that it affected other countries in the world, such as the United States and Cuba.

Neethu Meloottu (505 words) My group and I chose this topic because previously, last year, we had researched communism in China. Seeing how communism worked in China, we were curious as to how communism was affecting other areas. There were many other areas to look at like Cuba and North Korea but we chose an area that was closer by, being Russia. We wanted to see how even though they were in the same continent how communism affected them differently and what similarities there were to get a broader aspect of communism. It was very interesting to see the similarities and it made picking Russia to study a little bit easier to understand. Conducting research took a lot of time and effort but was worth it in the end. I first conducted my research thoroughly looking through different articles about communism to refresh myself on exactly what it was and how it seemed to work generally based on communist countries. My group and I then split the sections on what we were supposed to work on, in the end I was doing basically the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and communism in Russia. I looked up the political, economic, religious, social, and intellectual effects of communism on the people and the country as a whole. I did not find too many specific details for each topic, but I did get a general overview on how communism affected Russia. It allowed me to see the differences and similarities between communism in Russia as well as China. It also allowed me to see how communism could affect such a large population of people. Since my partners and I made a website in the previous year, it gave us some background knowledge on how to conduct our project this year. We decided to do a website again since it wasnt terribly challenging to create and we felt it was easier to organize online. We first set up a website using weebly.com and created a username and password for it. We then conducted all of our research separately and chose one day to come in and piece it all together. We used the information we had to create tabs and subsections for each topic that was divided. This allowed us to organize our information and make our website look neat as well as presentable. We then each helped each other to put the information and organize it properly onto our website. We used bullet form as well as paragraphs for each section. We also added pictures as we went along in this process to make the website look nicer and to let any viewer to have an image of Russia during this time. This project relates to the NHD theme because the turning point shows how Russia changed completely. It showed how the people reacted in terms of all the previous categories mentioned before as well as how the country was as a whole afterwards. How everything and everyone was affected showed how this project related to the NHD theme of turning points.