George Plekhanov

Plekhanov was born on November 29, 1856 into a family that traditionally was of service to the military. In 1873, he entered the Konstinovskoe Military School in St. Petersburg, but dropped out after the first semester due to loyalty issues with the czar and the people. He later entered a Russian revolutionary movement at the time where some groups were trying to establish a new order based on the community of peasants. However, it failed due to rejection of peasants and police forces repressing the movement, this lead to the development of organization advocating conspiracy and centralized movement. Plekhanov, later formed the Black Redistribution, but needed to flee to Europe to avoid arrest in 1880. In Geneva, he continued his studies on Marxism and founded the first Russian Marxism revolutionary organization; he became the father of Russian Marxism. In 1890s, due to famine it caused unrest and gain him supporter from former socialist, but when Russian Revolution started up he lost his supporters to Lenin and was isolated and ill until he died in 1918.

Russia was a backward country, and to get Russia up to speed with the other industrialized Western countries Russia needed to go through a revolution to develope its economics. Russia was under the old czarist regime; on top of that it was a large land where mix of people, with variety of languages, cultures and religion inhibited: it made the revolution long and hard. Marxism started to spread in Russia, where it believes that proletariats would inevitably take over the government and come on top of success over the bourgeoisies. Czarist government started looking at Marxism as well; after the lost at Crimean War they realize how behind Russia was and how it affected their position in the world. They rushed into modern development under the control of Czar Nicholas II, but after the humiliating defeat against Japan, his power was weaken. Revolution was arising and Nicholas was panicked enough to create the Duma to please the people, but a ear later he tried to undo his reform. With WWI he lost his power and there ended the absolute monarchy power. Lenin took control and started up the idea of dictatorship of the proletariats (a temporary dictator) which applied Marxism. He wanted the country to be lead by vanguard party of professional revolutionaries to improve the development of the economy of Russia. Later, Stalin took control and also applied a Marxist idea; in the end Russia jumped from a backward country to a moderate industrialize country, the revolution even help avoid huge impact from the Great Depression compared to other countries. Marxism was the basic idea that drove the economic change of Russia.


-started applying Marxist ideas into political movements which led to the development of the Russian Social Democratic Party in 1883
-aim to industrialize the backward Russia
-he created a movement to increase democratic development for laboring people
-proposed a two stage revolution based on Marxist ideas
*bourgeoisie revolution: proletariat and bourgeoisie against czarist autocracy
*socialist revolution: proletariat vs. bourgeoisie

"Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 12. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 351-352. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 15 June 2010.
Newman, Garfield. "Legacy: The West and the World". Whitby, Ontario: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 2002.