Following, Marx ideas of socialism, the Social Democratic Party was set up in 1898. However, four years later in 1903 they spilt into 2 groups- the Bolsheviks (lead by Lenin) and the Mensheviks (lead by Martov). Lenin proposed that the party should be limited only to dedicated revolutionaries but Martov argued that membership should be open to anyone who accepted the party programme and was willing to follow the instructions of the party leaders. Lenin won the debate and his group was later called the Bolsheviks whilst Martov’s group was called the Mensheviks. This disagreement arose because of a profound difference in their beliefs of the role of the party.
According to Alan Wood, Lenin described the 1905 revolution as a ‘dress rehearsal’. Although he was not involved, Lenin saw the weaknesses of Tsardom and developed the Bolshevik party with a future plan to overthrow Nicholas II. Even though Lenin and most of the hierarchy of the Bolshevik party were exiled a majority of the time, they still had influence in Russia. As described by Anthony Wood, ever since 1905 Lenin had been talking and writing about the establishment of a ‘revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and poor peasantry’ There are a number of historians who believe Lenin was not a threat as he was exiled for too long and was out of touch with the revolutionaries back
In January 1905, there was a revolutionary tide in Russia. This was mainly caused by the defeat of the Russo-Japanese War in September and the Bloody Sunday Incident in January. In the country, workers, peasants and merchants were holding demonstrations in order to express their discontent to the Tsarist government. Although Nicholas II issued the October Manifesto to pacify the discontent of people temporarily, he still had to face some problems after the 1905 Revolution. To regain the support from people, he needed to carry out the reforms in the October Manifesto.
It it over-simplistic to state that opposition was successful or unsuccessful in Russia from 1855 and 1964. The effectiveness of opposition in Russia had to be evaluated according to the regime in power. For example, the opposition to Tsarism under Alexander II was unsuccessful as his assassination led to reactionary Tsarist rule for thirty six more years. However, the opposition under Nicholas II’s rule was highly successful, helping to lead to a communist government. All Russian governments in this period faced strong opposition to their regime with the period as a whole punctuated by riots, disturbances and revolutions.
This speech was important because it allowed Stalin to appear as one of the leading mourners, and also suggesting continuity between himself and Lenin. At the same time, Stalin also took on the other members of the left wing part of the Party – Zinoviev and Kamenev. These men were important for Stalin to remove as he saw them as threats to his leadership. Throughout 1925 and 1926, Kamenev and Zinoviev form the United Opposition, which called for an end to NEP and for enforced industrialisation. This
How far was Lenin responsible for the Bolsheviks’ growing hold on power in the years 1917-1924? To a fairly large extent, Lenin was responsible for the Bolsheviks’ growing hold on power from 1917-24. Lenin had, of course, led the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution, the reason the Bolsheviks had any power in the first place, and it was Lenin who dissolved the Constituent Assembly. He also managed to hold on to power by introducing War Communism during the Civil War. On the other hand, it can be argued that Trotsky’s leadership of the Red Army during the Civil War was just as, or even more important in the Bolsheviks’ seizure of power, as was the image of the Bolsheviks as being patriotic heroes fighting against Tsarist leaders and foreign invaders.
How far do you agree that Trotsky’s leadership of the red army was responsible for the survival of the Bolshevik government? In October 1917 the Bolshevik’s took control of Russia after staging a revolution. However they faced many dangers/threats while in power from the years 1917-1924 such as a civil war and the economic crisis it caused. The leadership of the red army by Trotsky is a very important reason that the Bolsheviks got into power as his red army implanted the revolution but also to the survival of the Bolsheviks as the red army overcame the Bolsheviks biggest threat of the civil war. However there are other reason which just as or more important than Trotsky’s leadership such as the ideas and sacrifices made by Lenin during the year’s 1917-1924 such as signing the harsh treaty of Brest-Litovsk and enforcing the New Economic Policy or NEP, to create economic sacrifices rather than political ones which allowed the Bolsheviks to remain in power.
Stalin did this on his own; he lied to the people and accused the government of being enemies of the people. In February 1917 after the people of Russia already had lost faith in their leadership and the Imperial government was forced to resign. A provisional government was formed and worked with the Petrograd Soviet for control of the revolution. In March the Petrograd Soviet forced the Russian soldiers obey the orders that did not conflict with the directives of the Soviet. This led to Czar Nicholas to step down from his throne.
A change in society occurred in June of 1918 with the introduction of War Communism. War Communism meant that all industry was nationalised, private sales were forbidden as personal profits became illegal, strict working rules were put in place, and a class based rationing system was introduced. War Communism brought about major changes to Russian society but in order to assess how successful it was in its changes, each aspect of its original goals must be looked at. As described by David Christian, one of the two pressures that lead to War communism was ‘the need to fight the civil war’. In this aspect the changes brought about by this policy were successful as it resulted in a Bolshevik victory in the war as it ‘...did the job of supplying towns and armies with just enough food and supplies to keep providing war material and to keep fighting.
The increasing pressures of World War 1 combined with years of injustice, lead to the fall of Russian Romanov Tsar Nicholas 2 in March 1917. Forced to step down from power, Nicholas was replaced by a Provisional government committed to continuing the war. However there was increasing losses and fear of German advance on Moscow showed what little support remained for the war and, undermined the provisional government’s authority. Hoping to aggravate the uproar, the Germans were said to have secretly transported, an exile Vladimir Lenin from Switzerland to Russia. In November Lenin led a group of Bolsheviks from the Russia's Social Democrat Party, in a successful attempt to gain power in St. Petersburg.