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Lenin’s foreign policy & relations 1918-1924 by Alex Rakochy
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  • 1. Lenin’s Foreign Policy & Relations 1918-1924 MR. RAKOCHY IBDP HISTORY
  • 2. Ideology of Bolsheviks under Lenin Rooted in Soviet/Bolshevik Orthodoxy -revolution should be exported to industrialized Europe -spread worldwide. Believed international worker’s support necessary to preserve revolution in Russia Believed Germany was key
  • 3. Ideology of Bolsheviks under Lenin 2 Ideology of Marxism Fear of invasion (geographic, historical, ideological) Personalities  Chicherin, Lenin and Trotsky Internal Situation  Economic Backwardness  Suspicion of foreign “help” (Whites and Civil War)
  • 4. Leon Trotsky Commissar for War (1918) and Foreign Affairs (1917- 1918) – forced to agree to Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and resigned shortly after (replaced by Chicherin)
  • 5. Foreign Commissar G.V. Chicherin (1918-1930 in post) Former Tsarist and charismatic educated diplomat (pro-German and anti-British) After death in 36 erased from records – Why do you think?
  • 6. Chicherin Believed in a policy of divide and conquer Initiated idea of peaceful coexistence with West Trotsky’s deputy at Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
  • 7. Treaty of Brest-Litovsk 1 3 March 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk signed with Germany  Soviet Russia lost  ¼ of land  Poland, Ukraine, Baltic States  1/3 of population  Prestige
  • 8. Brest-Litovsk 2Why agreed to? 1. Ideology (see upcoming slide r.e. Trotsky vs. Lenin) 2. Stability (Politically, economically, socially) 3. Militarily (Civil War, shortages, desertions)
  • 9. Brest-Litovsk 3 Ideologically opposed by Leon Trotsky  Believed Germany needed to be defeated to begin Socialist revolution in an industrialized European state  Loss of territory (including fertile breadbasket of Ukraine), population, prestige and military defeat too much to balance  After signed Trotsky quietly resigned his post in 1918
  • 10. Brest-Litovsk 4 Followed Lenin’s view that WWI was a war of International Imperialism and Capitalism  Lenin believed an immediate end to WWI should be followed by a civil class war.  Believed Germany was “seconds away” from revolution  Fight against Tsarists and Whites paramount  Largely put international revolution on hold to focus on domestic issues
  • 11. The Whites Foreign Support of Whites resulted in general mistrust of foreigners  During Civil War (War Communism) Lenin banned private trade and nationalized industry  Execution of Tsar sent message  War Communism isolated Soviets further  8 million hunger/disease related deaths
  • 12. The Cominterm Cominterm set up to spread worldwide revolution (March 1919) – becomes unofficial arm of Soviet government Existence of Cominterm allowed for dual policy  government could focus on trade agreements and diplomacy  Cominterm instigated revolutionary movements worldwide July 1920 Cominterm announces CP of USSR central to all CP’s worldwide – implications?
  • 13. Azerbaijan May 1918 Azerbaijani Democratic Republic (ADR)formed  Women have right to vote  True parliamentary system in place Importance of Baku  Major oil reserves (nearly 50% of world production)  Soviets lack of resources  Baku falls to U.S.S.R. in March 1920 after bloodless coup
  • 14. Russo-Polish War 1919-1920/21 Mainly over large portions of Ukraine Polish President (Józef Piłsudski) and Ukrainian Nationalist Leader (Symon Petlyura) overrun Kyiv Red Army easily takes back Ukraine Marches on to outskirts of Poland Western Euro countries concerned and send French General Maxime Weygand to advise Red Army embarrassed and Treaty of Riga signed in March 1921  “Red Bridge” into Western Europe had failed  Ukraine to stay Soviet Republic  Portions of Ukraine/Belarus ceded to Poland
  • 15. Lenin’s dual foreign policy post Civil-War1. Whatever benefits the U.S.S.R. is okay  NEP – lifted ban on private and foreign trade (temporary departure with ideological beliefs)  1921 secret trade negotiations with Germany (natural allies?)  1921 Anglo-Soviet trade agreement with Britain  1922 Treaty of Rapallo  Trade agreement and secret military alliance with Germany  After NEP, foreigners allowed into U.S.S.R. to help facilitate economic growth and prosperity (Americans, British, Germans, French)  1924 second trade agreement with Britain and recognition of Soviet State
  • 16. Lenin’s dual foreign policy post Civil-War 2 All other times instigate communist revolution through Cominterm agitation Support of Revolutionary movements in Germany (1921 USSR spent 62 million Marks, 1922 spent 47 million) despite economic and (secret) military alliances Revolutionary failures in Berlin, Munich and Soviet Hungary (Bela Kun’s 4 month failure) leads to stricter Bolshevik oversight
  • 17. Second Cominterm 21 conditions Moscow must centrally control and discipline communist parties  Leninist policy must be followed  preparation for Civil War in all countries must be made  propaganda must be spread amongst proletariat, peasantry and militaries  cells to be set up in trade unions  all programs must be approved by Cominterm and offenders could be kicked out or lose support from Moscow
  • 18. Response Cominterm Conditions reduced appeal to Soviet Union separate CP’s formed English and Spanish Communist parties specifically reacted negatively chances of European consolidated revolutionary effort diminished and eventually disappeared
  • 19. Cominterm Programs Continued in funded propaganda centers  Geneva, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Stockholm, Prague, Vienna 1924 Lenin dies