While looking at the background information on the Russian revolution and the change to a Communist state in Russia, we have already touched on many of the curriculum's remaining questions, but we will now examine them in more detail.
Socialism: An ideology according to which the state must provide basic social services like health and education to the population. The means of production must not be controlled by private individuals (as it is with capitalism) or by the proletariat (as it is with communism), but by the state itself. Class structures should be abolished. A main difference between socialism and communism is that a socialist society should not be gained through revolution, but through democratic processes and without violence and revolution.
The socialist and communist ideas of the Bolsheviks and other Russian parties were based on the theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. These theories were published in books called The Communist Manifesto (1848) by both Marx and Engels and in Das Kapital (1867) by Marx, and these theories were therefore known as Marxism.
According to these theories, the struggle between different economic classes is the most determining aspect of society. Capitalism causes inequalities and is responsible for the division of society between different classes, and would eventually be replaced by socialism and then communism.
Communism would ensure that the means of production would be in the hands of the proletariat (the workers or masses), and not of the elitist minority that only exploited the workers to make more money for themselves. Society would become free of class structures and nobody would be richer than anybody else.
Lenin took these theories and adapted them for application to Russian circumstances. The form of communism that was implemented in Russia and the Soviet Union after the 1917 Revolution is therefore known as Marxism-Leninism, as it was a combination of their theories and applications.
Russia was the first country in the world to come under the control of communists. It was soon followed by those states that were taken over by the Soviet Union, and put under its control. These include Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria, and others who became independent communist states like China, Cuba, Yugoslavia and North Korea.