Trotsky's Contribution to the Consolidation of Power in 1918

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Trotsky and Lenin were both massive key players in Russian history as Lenin being head of the Bolsheviks and Trotsky being his right-hand man. Now to say which of the two is better is a hard task, nonetheless looking at what was key to consolidate the Bolshevik power in the period 1918-1924 is quite simple as both did major things and the biggest of Trotsky’s, the Civil War. Although originally identifying himself with the Menshevik party, he was formally admitted to the Bolshevik party in August 1917, while still in jail (following a ‘crackdown’ on Bolshevik leadership and revolutionaries by the Provisional Government). Following the November revolution in which he had played a significant role in the organisation and commanding of the military support for the Bolsheviks, Trotsky continued to command the army when Kerensky (ex-prime minister of the Provisional Government) threatened to take back Petrograd with an entourage of loyal soldiers on November 13th. As foreign minister, Trotsky saw the importance of establishing peace, and so took steps towards this in order to fulfil the Bolshevik promise (‘Bread, Peace, Land’). However, his stance on the matter oscillated during the process, as he did not agree to the German’s harsh terms. In the end, it was Lenin who finalised the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, and Trotsky resigned as foreign minister following this. Immediately being made commissar of war, he faced the formidable task of turning the military support for the Bolsheviks into a superior ‘Red Army’, which would protect the Bolshevik government against adversaries, both foreign and home-grown, in the inevitable civil war that was becoming more of a reality as time progressed. He was ruthless and used fear as his ally, or comrade. He added men to his army as one he was respected by many for his inspirational speeches
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