Monday, September 28

Animal Farm + the Russian Revolution

In 1917, two revolutions changed the face of Russia, creating the first communist country.  February saw the removal of the Russian monarchy, the family of Tsar Nicholas II, and a provisional government installed.  In October of the same year, the Bolsheviks came to rule the country.  Animal Farm is an allegory of the Russian Revolution.  In the book, Old Major represents Karl Marx while Napoleon is a representation of Stalin...

Under socialism all will govern in turn and will soon become accustomed to no one governing. ~Vladimir Lenin 

Mother Russia (Iron Maiden)
In 1917, nearly 100,000 tired and hungry women, whose men were soldiers fighting in WWI, marched through the streets of Petrograd demanding change. They wanted to shut down the monarchy, which was not meeting their needs. Tsar Nicholas II became an ineffectual leader overnight, creating a power vacuum that was filled with an equally-ineffectual provisional government.

Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolsheviks, (who had been exiled fora while) came home and was greeted a few months later to cheers and a sea of red flags. He congratulated the people for their successful revolution. He then denounced the provisional government and began making promises to the people, including ‘Peace, Land, and Bread!’

Revol (Manic Street Preachers)
By the end of 1917, Lenin believed the Russian people were ready for another revolution. The other Bolshevik leaders, however, were not convinced, so Lenin worked to convince the others that it was time for a rebellion. In the early morning hours of October 25, 1917, the Bolsheviks staged a calculated revolt, taking control of all the municipal facilities (post office, bank, train station).

The city was relinquished to Bolshevik control without any shots fired. Petrograd was renamed Leningrad, and the city belonged to the Reds. The following day, they took over the Winter Palace, where Kerensky and the leaders of the Provisional Government had been staying. One of Lenin’s first acts as the new leader of Russia was to announce the end of the war. He also abolished all private land ownership and created the system of Communism.

Civil War (Guns & Roses)
When the Russian soldiers returned home after World War I, they were hungry and tired, and they wanted their jobs back. However, without land ownership, farmers were only growing enough food for their families...there was no incentive to grow more. Factories had no jobs without war orders to fill. Without food or jobs, the soldiers’ lives became worse.

Summer 1918, Russia broke out into a Civil War – the Reds (Bolsheviks) versus the Whites (those against the Soviets). The Reds were worried that the Whites would restore the Russian monarchy, and they couldn’t let that happen. On the evening of July 16, 1918, the Reds killed all members of Tsar Nicholas II’ family, including servants and pets. This set off the Civil War, which continued for two years, and millions of people were killed. The Reds ultimately won, leading to a vicious regime of Communist government that shaped Russia until the fall of the USSR in 1991.

Our spine novel for this unit is Animal Farm

Access the complete unit study in the World History Novel Studies Bundle!

Includes seven unit studies (plus a bonus!) covering World History. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning from Pompeii to World War 2.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.

Product samples:   The Night Witches & Women in Aviation   &   The Lookout Tree & the Great Acadian Upheaval

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!

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