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Russia Under Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Lenin‘s brother was killed for attempting to kill Alexander III. Lenin hated the Czarist government Germany.

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Presentation on theme: "Russia Under Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Lenin‘s brother was killed for attempting to kill Alexander III. Lenin hated the Czarist government Germany."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Russia Under Lenin

3 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Lenin‘s brother was killed for attempting to kill Alexander III. Lenin hated the Czarist government Germany helped Lenin return to Russia Working class to rise up and overthrow government

4 Lenin Lenin adapts Marxist ideas to Russian conditions Marxists - Those who followed the orthodox theory as laid out in the Communist Manifesto; called for violent overthrow of the government, international workers' union, and a focus on the urban centers of society. Set up elite group to lead Revolution. “dictatorship of the proletariat”

5 Bolsheviks – November Revolution Overthrew provisional government New symbol of government – Red flag with entwined hammer and sickle symbolized union between peasants and workers Bolsheviks renamed communists

6 How did Lenin impose Communist control in Russia between ?

7 Factors that helped Lenin impose Communist control in Russia The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk 1918 The Civil War The execution of Tsar Nicholas II 1918 Success of the New Economic Policy The Cheka The abandonment of the Constituent Assembly The Kronstadt Revolt 1921 War Communism

8 The abandonment of the Constituent Assembly 1917 Lenin promised to hold elections for a Parliament to be known as the Constituent Assembly. Renamed the Bolshevik Party as the Communist Party in order to win wider support. They won 175 seats out of 700, not enough for a majority. Lenin shut down the Constituent Assembly after only one day! Lenin was not prepared to share power with anyone. This was the first step in setting up a Communist dictatorship.

9 The Cheka (Secret Police) Set up in December 1917 Cheka agents spied on the Russia people in factories and villages. Anyone suspected of being anti- Communist could be arrested, tortured and executed without a trial. When opponents tried to assassinate Lenin in 1918, he launched the Red Terror campaign against his enemies. It is said that 50,000 people were arrested and executed in this period.

10 The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk 1918 To successfully impose Communist control in Russia, he would have to bring Russia out of the First World War. Lenin knew he could not defeat Germany and his opponents in Russia at the same time. In March 1918 Russia signed a humiliating peace treaty with Germany. It came at a high price for Russia –Russia lost a huge amount of land in the West. This included about one-sixth of the population (60 million people) –three-quarters of its iron and coal –over a quarter of the best farmland in Russia.

11 Germany Russia. Brest-Litovsk Ukraine Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russian territory ceded to Germany The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk 1918

12 Civil War The opponents of the ‘Reds’, Lenin and the Communists, were known as the ‘Whites’. The opponents of the ‘Reds’, Lenin and the Communists, were known as the ‘Whites’. The Whites were a mixture of aristocrats, royalists, churchmen, army officers and many others. The Whites were a mixture of aristocrats, royalists, churchmen, army officers and many others. The Whites were led by Admiral Kolchak and Generals Deniken and Wrangel. The Whites were led by Admiral Kolchak and Generals Deniken and Wrangel. War lasted for 3 years

13 Civil War Some groups that made up the ‘Whites’ –Whites counterrevolutionaries loyal to Czar –Greens anarchists who favored socialism without strong central government –National groups Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania able to break free Many were supported by by Britain, France, Japan and the USA, countries that were alarmed at the possible spread of communism

14 Civil War- Why the Communist won? The Whites were divided, while the Reds controlled the key cities, industrial centres and communication links. The Whites were divided, while the Reds controlled the key cities, industrial centres and communication links. Trotsky’s tough leadership of the new Red Army proved decisive in the victory over the Whites. Trotsky’s tough leadership of the new Red Army proved decisive in the victory over the Whites.

15 Allied armiesWhite Russian armiesPolish armies Japanese armiesFinns Communist Russia besieged during the Civil War Moscow Petrograd Czechs (ex-prisoners of war)

16 The Russian Civil War, What is the cartoonist trying to say about the Russian Civil War? "The dogs of the Entente: Denikin, Kolchak, Yudenich"

17 The execution of Tsar Nicholas II July 1918 After his abdication in March 1917, Tsar Nicholas II and his family were arrested and sent to Siberia. In July 1918, the Romanovs were in Ekaterinburg, with a White army closing in on the town. Local communists were worried that the Tsar might be a rallying point for the Whites. As a result, Tsar Nicholas, his wife, their five children and four attendants were shot and bayoneted.

18 Every scoundrel who incites anyone to retreat or to desert will be shot! Every soldier who throws away his rifle will be shot! Leon Trotsky – founder and commander of the Red Army Every scoundrel who incites anyone to retreat or to desert will be shot! Every soldier who throws away his rifle will be shot!

19 War Communism – Why? To win the Civil War To win the Civil War Lenin needed a strong Red Army supplied with weapons and food. Lenin needed a strong Red Army supplied with weapons and food.

20 War Communism Pure form of communism –Grain Requisitioning Cheka seized all surplus grain from the peasants. The peasants hid food or preferred to grow less rather than give it away free to feed the towns. –Banning of Private Trade –Nationalisation The state took control of the factories and appointed managers to run them. Work was hard and long, food was rationed to only those who worked and trade unions were banned. –Labour Discipline –Passports to prevent movement of workers –Rationing –Red Terror used to impose changes

21 War Communism - Effects Deeply alienated many – including potential supporters Inefficient – ‘disincentivised’ work Peasants particularly alienated –Discontent amongst the peasants led to violence in the cities. –Workers went on strike, in spite of the death penalty for striking. –Drought and famine hit Russia in 1921 – over 4 million people died. Kronstadt Mutiny –‘Soviets without Communists’ rallying cry

22 The Kronstadt Revolt 1921 This was most serious opposition to Lenin’s government Sailors at the Kronstadt naval base near Petrograd revolted. They accused Lenin of breaking his promise to help the workers. Lenin ordered the Red Army to put down the revolt. This caused 20,000 casualties and the leaders of the revolt were executed. The mutiny was a warning to Lenin that he might have to relax War Communism.

23 War Communism during the Russian Civil War What is the cartoonist trying to say about the Russian Civil War?

24 Civil War Ends By 1921, Communists defeated scattered foes Lenin now faced a chaotic nation of famine, millions dead and an economy in ruins

25 Moscow Leningrad Communist Control of the USSR by 1924

26 New Economic Policy (NEP) To regain popular support, Lenin relaxed War Communism with the New Economic Policy (NEP). Lenin’s pragmatic about turn Lenin hoped that NEP would give Russia ‘a breathing space’ to get back on its feet. Most of the Communist Party saw the need for NEP, but some were against it. –Trotsky hostile to deviation from communism

27 New Economic Policy (NEP) Features Grain Requisitioning abolished –Tax in kind –Could sell surpluses State maintained control of heavy industry But some small businesses allowed –To allow products for peasants to buy Private Trade allowed Rationing abandoned This was a return to capitalism and competition.

28 New Economic Policy (NEP) General revival in economy –Small businesses recovered faster than Heavy Industry –Production increased across the board Although unemployment increased in urban areas as profit motive meant that workers could be laid off –Nepmen– the big winners Speculators who bought up surpluses and sold them in towns Controlled 75% of trade by 1925 Corruption – bribes to local officials to allow goods to be obtained and sold

29 New Economic Policy (NEP) On the whole NEP was a success. But it did create some problems. –Uneven distribution of success Conspicuous displays of wealth by Nepmen speculators Peasants did not get the full profit due Urban workers jealous of peasants, Nepmen and of party workers New Exploitation of the Proletariat Some saw NEP as a betrayal of communism and return to the old system.

30 New Economic Policy What can you infer about the Soviet Union under New Economic Policy?

31 Lenin – An Assessment He had been very successful in imposing a communist dictatorship in Russia. He had defeated all of his opponents and established a strong communist government. Each area formerly belonging to the Tsar came under communist control, were turned into socialist republics. In 1923 these became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). But, Lenin failed to provide a clear successor on his death. This led to four years of bitter struggle. Lenin died in 1924

32 Who would succeed Lenin? Trotsky – Red Army Commander and Commissar of Foreign Affairs Stalin – Commissar for Nationalities OR


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