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.
The main reason that Stalin was able to rise to power was his ingenious defeats of both the left and right wings of the Party. The key figure Stalin had to take down from the left wing was Leon Trotsky. Trotsky was important because in effect, it was his leadership of the Red Army during the Civil War that had won the war for the Reds. If it hadn’t been for Trotsky, the Bolsheviks may not have been in the position they were by 1924. The first step Stalin took towards removing the threat of Trotsky was to lie to him about the date of Lenin’s funeral.
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.
However, whether it was the most significant event must be evaluated against others, for example the 1905 Revolution, the February Revolution of 1917, and Lenin’s death. The October 1917 Revolution was a very significant event in changing the course of Russian history from 1855 to 1964 but I would not argue it as being the most significant event. The revolution was quite important due to the fact that it brought the Tsarist rule to an end and therefore led to the Provisional Government losing control and power to the Bolsheviks. Due to the Bolsheviks coming to power, they were able to attempt to solve their three main policies of peace; Russian people wanted to end the war, bread; there were many food shortages throughout Russia, and Land; they wanted to offer peasants land. The October revolution of 1917 in effect, led to the Russian Civil war which was the exact opposite of what the Bolsheviks wanted and this predominantly moved on to Lenin’s death and the power struggle.
“We want a peace which will be just, but not vindictive. We want a stern peace because the occasion demands it, but severity must be designed, not for vengeance but for justice. Above all we want to protect the future against a repetition of the horrors of this war”. Woodrow Wilson’s aims were seen as building a better and more peaceful world from the ruins of the Great War. Wilson believed the treaty of Versailles should punish Germany but not so harshly that it would someday recover and seek revenge.
Nicholas II had tried his best to regain people’s support and stop the revolution tide through the reforms after the 1905 Revolution. After the 1905 Revolution, the Tsar still had to face the above problems. In order to prolong his rule, he was forced to reform Russia. At first, he agreed to set up parliament, Duma. It made Russia became a constitution country like Britain.
There can be no ignoring the effect that World War I had on Russia, with the crippling affects of a major war and the resulting breakdown of infrastructure within the Russian Empire. From 1903 when the Bolsheviks were formed a rising threat had emerged to Tsardom, The Marxist intellectual Vladimir Lenin was emerging as an influential light in the revolutionary movement. His earlier pamphlet entitled ‘What is to be done?’ outlined his need for more organisation, discipline, and leadership within the socialist parties. His idea of having a tight-knit exclusive organisation of professional revolutionaries showed he had the coherent theories to be a real threat to Tsarism. According to Alan Wood, Lenin described the 1905 revolution as a ‘dress rehearsal’.
Many historians have said Alexander II was considering the formation of a parliament in Russia. Furthermore, the assassination caused Alexander III to rule in reactionary nature in which many counter-reforms were created to limit the impact of the Great Reforms done by his father. This supports the view that the People’s Will were highly unsuccessful, even in the taking out of Alexander II. It can be said that the only example in this period of effective political opposition was the October 1917 revolution, where, unquestionably, the Bolsheviks took power and let their political vision be known. They were extremely successful in both the short term and the long term.
These views are expressed in his two key works, A Concise History of the Russian Revolution (published in 1995) and Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime 1919-1924 (published in 1994). Pipe’s believes that Lenin was primarily responsible for the success of the uprising, even though Pipe’s recognizes Lenin’s role as the most important, he still hypocritically called Lenin’s April Theses “totally out of touch with reality, if not positively mad” despite the fact that this theses played a huge role in the Lenin and Bolshevik uprising. Pipe’s also believes that Trotsky just carried out Lenin’s commands. However the role or Trotsky and his actions before the October revolution were very evidently done on his own accord, with Lenin accompanying Trotsky in his decisions. In early October, 1917, Trotsky was elected
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.