Write a well-organized and developed essay in response to one question (1) listed below. Be sure to present a clear argument and support your analysis with pertinent evidence and examples from lectures and one assigned reading. Your essay should be typed and double-spaced, taking 3-4 pages.
1.Some historians argue that the Russian revolutions of 1917 could not have occurred without the impact of World War I. Others maintain that structural problems of Imperial Russia made the revolutions inevitable even without the First World War. Which interpretation do you think is more accurate and why?
2.The first two decades of Soviet history were punctuated by periods of considerable violence. Was the use of terror an integral aspect of the Bolshevik ideology and practice or did Lenin, Stalin and their associates turn to coercive and violent methods in response to unforeseen circumstances and contingencies? Whatever your argument, be sure to address the Civil War, collectivization and Great Purges in the course of the essay.
3.Discuss the evolution of the Bolshevik program of modernization of the Soviet Union. How and why did they adopt the course of rapid industrialization and collectivization in the late 1920s/early 1930s and where there any plausibly workable alternatives to those policies? How successful was this project in transforming a rural traditional Russian society into a modern industrial state?
4.Stalin always insisted that he was the most ardent student of Lenin, faithfully implementing his mentors ideas into practice during his years in power. In the course of your essay, assess the validity of Stalins claim. If Lenin had been able to observe the state and society that his successor had built by the end of the 1930s, would he have liked what he saw?