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Russia – a republic, PG – made up of members of State Duma - ‘interim government’ - Warmly welcomed! Faced problems from the start Problems of legitimacy.

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Presentation on theme: "Russia – a republic, PG – made up of members of State Duma - ‘interim government’ - Warmly welcomed! Faced problems from the start Problems of legitimacy."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Russia – a republic, PG – made up of members of State Duma - ‘interim government’ - Warmly welcomed! Faced problems from the start Problems of legitimacy Rivals for political power (Soviet) – Order No. 1 – (requires all officers in army to be elected by their own troops etc, establishing power)… shared power with Soviet (Bols dominant in it by Oct 1917)

3 More problems facing the PG; The War – biggest problem, morale low, stayed in war (duty?)… conflict with Soviet over decision June Offensive – failure, fatal blow to PG…. Led to ‘July Days’ demonstrations Crisis in the countryside – PG had little control over countryside.. Taking law into own hands, taking land from landowners… PG lacks ability to impose its authority

4 1917 – Lenin’s return transforms political situation in Russia. Clear vision of what wanted to achieve No Lenin, no October Revolution in Russia Lenin’s idea; Instead of the industrial working class leading a socialist revolution, this role would be taken by a small disciplined party of professional revolutionaries, a ‘vanguard’ party at the head of the revolution

5 Lenin’s April Theses Lenin delivered a 90min speech where he condemned PG… he demanded an immediate revolution. His ideas were published in Pravda as ‘the April Theses’ He rewrote Marx’s ideas… believed a bourgeois revolution could be followed immediately by a socialist revolution. Had to win Bolsheviks in Russia to his view

6 Exploited the fact the war was unpopular Political power should be handed over the soviets Rallying cry…. ‘Peace, Land and Bread… All power to the Soviets!!’ Popular message as country was exhausted by war! Highlighted inadequacies in PG! NO SUPPORT FOR PG! Lenin’s early attempts to seize power failed… but he continued to be the thorn in PG’s side.

7 JULY DAYS Temporarily greatly damaged Bolsheviks Several arrested and Lenin fled to Finland Described as ‘Lenin’s worst blunder’ - believing PG’s authority had been critically weakened because of June Offensive…. Made a bid for power Failure of July Days – major setback for Bols… Lenin accused of treason/traitor

8 KORNILOV AFFAIR July 1917 – Kornilov becomes new Commander in Chief of Army Kornilov concerned about possible left wing radical plot against government. Ordered Russian troops into Petrograd Kerensky panicked fearing a military takeover! Armed workers (including Bolsheviks) in the capital.. Many Bolsheviks also released from Prison for same purpose.. By Sept – affair over but devastating effect on PG By Oct 1917 – PG lost all authority!!!

9 SUMMARY OF 1917 APRILLenin returns – ‘April Theses’ JUNEFailed ‘June Offensive’ JULYFailed ‘July Days’ AUGUSTKornilov Coup OCTBolshevik Revolution

10 BOLSHEVIK SEIZURE OF POWER Capture and arrest of PG at Winter Palace Bloodless take over Timing was important – 12 Nov, elections planned for Constituent Assembly planned by PG, to take place 28 Nov. Lenin suggested all political power should be handed to the All Russia Soviet (where Bolsheviks dominated) – new tactic

11 Trotsky planned the takeover 24 Oct – Red guards occupied key areas of Petrograd and arrested most of the PG Minimal resistance All Russia Soviet took over – 390 Bols in it, 80 Mensheviks, 180 SRs – so All Russia Soviet therefore endorsed the Bolshevik takeover.

12 Reasons for Bolshevik Success.. Changing circumstances Kornilov affair meant could present themselves as defenders of PG and rev Timing of the Uprising Timed cleverly, claimed acting on behalf of Soviet, bloodless, executed efficiently Weakness of the Provisional Government Little support for PG – failed to tackle pressing issues; food shortages, inflation, the land questions, continuation of the war

13 Problems facing Bolsheviks; Still at war (virtually defenceless) Peasants had seized lands across country Industrial production slumped Unemployment and inflation rising Did not have mass support across country

14 No experience of governing/admin Lenin aimed to create a gov free from control of All Russia Soviet… but used them first to pass 3 decrees; 1.Decree on Land – confiscating all private land, putting it in hands of peasants 2.Peace Decree – ending War – had to, was unpopular… forced to sign harsh treaties e.g Brest Litovsk (loss of 1/3 Russia’s pop) 3.Setting up organisation of new gov – At top, Sovnarkom with Lenin as chairman

15 Constituent Assembly Its creation had been promised by PG Elected Nov, SR majority Lenin concerned will challenge his rule Met for first and only time Jan, Bols said assembly should be subservient to decrees passed by Bols… C.A disagreed and left….. Bolsheviks were successful as opposition were divided about what to do.

16 Civil War OpponentReason Allied intervention Forces in 1918 To overthrow the Communists and get Russia back in the First World War White armiesDifferent reasons; To return Russia to monarchy (most wanted) To establish democratic rule Green armiesTo create a society based on local organisations of peasants Left SRsTo create a more open society with major soc and econ change to aid the peasants Opposition to the Treaty of Brest Litovsk Nationalist movementsTo gain independence from Russian rule

17 Reasons for RED Victory Due to their skill AND failure of their opponents Disunity of opposition Reds = strong central leadership under L Opposition lacked clear strategy or central direction, fought for different reasons, sometimes fought amongst themselves. Geographical and Organisational factors Reds dominated heartland of Russia, inc important industrial areas and railway Could produce more munitions than whites who had to rely on foreign support Could use railways to send troops/distribute/communicate Whites = geographically dispersed

18 Reasons for RED Victory The Terror To remove pol opposition, established Cheka – pol police force, engaged in terror tactics, some civilians offered choice between joining army or execution Trotsky and the Red Army Military leadership of Trotsky – important in victory 1918 – founded Red Army, by 1921 – 5 mil Held families hostage to ensure loyalty of former officers of Tsarist army Red Army, very effective

19 War Communism Lenin’s aim = complete replacement of the capitalist economic system by communism If the Bolsheviks were to wage war successfully they needed to have enough food to feed the army… needed to produce enough guns to defeat their opponents…. Lenin introduced new policy… War Communism

20 WAR COMMUNISM What was it? Nationalisation of industry Private trade banned Grain surpluses seized from peasants Use of terror – slave labour Impact? Allowed communists to win the civil war… but achieved at great human cost – over ½ of urban working pop disappeared. Decline due to death in civil war, famine or going back to their villages to find food Major famine in 1921 (war, drought, peasants not producing as much as would be siezed) Failed to stop the fall in industrial production 1921 – Lenin announced end of War Communism

21 NEP – NEW ECONOMIC POLICY Major crisis 1921 – serious econ problems (Ind production = a fraction of pre WW1 levels), famine etc For communist regime to survive, Lenin had to consider major changes in the economy. Growing opposition in Communist party, re increasing central control

22 NEP – NEW ECONOMIC POLICY Kronstadt rebellion – naval base (loyal supporter in oct 1917) – 1921, now become disillusioned with Lenin’s rule….. Open rebellion V Lenin’s regime…. Trotsky given task of putting it down. 10 th Party Congress – Announced end of War Communism - NEP – requisitioning of food abandoned, private trade allowed, growth of new class ‘nepmen’, new currency 1922

23 NEP – NEW ECONOMIC POLICY Lenin announced plan was a ‘tactical retreat’ in order to preserve communist power… doing it to give Russian economy ‘breathing space’ = radical departure… to many communists it seemed a betrayal of their ideas… = 1921 – Lenin announced a ban on factions within the Communist Party… ‘democratic centralism’ – from now on decisions made by Lenin etc were binding!

24 Intro of NEP saw a loosening of economic control but tightening of political control! Impact of NEP; Almost immediate effect Goods available, markets returned, food shortages disappeared, famine of 1921 came to an end Livestock numbers increased, Impact not all positive Sparked off ‘Scissor Crisis’ – ever widening gap between agricultural and industrial prices (as Agr production rose, cost of goods fell)…. Peasants had to pay more and more for manufactured goods when they were getting less for what they were producing

25 Lenin and creation of USSR By 1922, Lenin given up immediate prospect of worldwide communist rev. Lenin had to deal with how to build a new state, made up of different nationalities 1922 – creation of new state - USSR – Until 1921 – Lenin ruled the area called the RSFSR… Creation of USSR – Lenin’s solution of creating a multi national communist state.. In which each republic possesses its own government. At federal level, the individual republics would send reps to congress of republic.

26 Lenin’s dictatorship Political power still firmly in hands of communists 1921 onwards, no other political parties allowed in USSR Sovnarkom – most senior committee of Communist party Politburo – main policy making body of the USSR Lenin possessed complete control Lenin controlled media – only communist newspapers, terror police – Cheka established, Gulags introduced (system of labour camps)


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