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L10 the bolshevik consolidation of power


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L10 the bolshevik consolidation of power

  1. 1. The Bolshevik Consolidation of Power and the Russian Civil War 1917-1924
  3. 3. So far… So Russia 1. Russia – an introduction 2. The Crimean War 3. Alexander II – Reform 4. Opponents of Alex II and Alex III 5. Alexander III & Industrialisation 6. Russo-Japanese war 1905 7. Revolution of 1905 8. Nicholas II, Stolypin and Russia on the eve of war 9. World War 1 10. Revolutions of 1917 11. The Russian Civil War / Lenin 12. Rise of Stalin 13. Five Year Plans, Collectivisation and the Great Terror 14. World War Two 15. Last Years of Stalin Question To what extent did war provide a catalyst for change in Russia between 1853-1953?
  4. 4. Key Questions • To understand the next period you will need to know; – How Lenin consolidated Soviet power between 1917-21 – What was significant about the Tenth Party Congress – Why Lenin dissolved the Constituent Assembly – How the Bolsheviks won the Russian Civil War – Soviet economic policies such as War Communism and the New Economic Policy (NEP) – How Lenin used terror through the Cheka (secret police) • Also you will need to make assessment on the degree of change from Tsarist Russia to Soviet Russia. • Can this change be attributed to Lenin or other causal factors?
  5. 5. Establishment of Soviet Power • Lenin quickly removed the freedoms granted by the Provisional Government • He said the PG were capitalists and opposed the working classes • To consolidate power he needed to create a one-party Communist state. • Peace - as promised, Lenin made the Treaty of Brest- Litovsk with Germany - Russia lost vast amounts of its best industrial and agricultural land in Poland and the Ukraine. • Communist economy - gave the land previously owned by the nobles to the peasants, factories were handed over to workers' committees. • Communist laws - the Bolsheviks banned religion; brought in an eight-hour day for workers, as well as unemployment pay and pensions; abolished the teaching of history and Latin, while encouraging science; and allowed divorce.
  6. 6. • Communist propaganda - huge campaign to teach everyone to read. Agitpop Trains' went around the country showing communist newsreels and giving lectures to teach peasants about Communism. • Dictatorship – Lenin dismissed the Constituent Assembly, which was the parliament that the Provisional Government had arranged – declared the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' (which was really, the dictatorship of Lenin). – A secret police force called the Cheka arrested, tortured and killed anybody who tried to destroy the Communist state. Establishment of Soviet Power
  7. 7. • Watch Russian Civil War Video – Make Notes • WM2WM8
  8. 8. Between 1918 and 1921 civil war ravaged Russia. Above the pictures suggest reasons for Bolshevik success in the war and threats to their authority. Which is which? Red Army recruitment poster Assassination attempt on Lenin Trotsky aboard an Agitprop train Starving peasants forced into cannibalism Red Army puts down mutiny at Kronstadt
  9. 9. The Russian Civil War • The Bolshevik takeover was not welcomed by everyone. Tsarist loyalists and foreign powers were alarmed by the revolution so they joined together under the banner of the Whites to defeat the Bolsheviks. Summary • The takeover angered many Russians who had been prepared to accept the PG. • It alarmed the US, Britain and France because the Bolsheviks had declared that they wanted to cause revolutions all over the world. • All these Whites now united to try to destroy the Bolsheviks. • The war lasted three years. Atrocities were committed on both sides and captured soldiers were usually executed. • Lenin dismissed the Constituent Assembly and ruled by decree. • Trotsky organised and inspired the Red Army. • War Communism - organised the whole population to provide supplies for the war. • The Bolsheviks instituted a Red Terror that killed anyone who opposed them - strikers were shot, and Trotsky even arrested the families of Red generals to keep them loyal. • Meanwhile, the Whites were disunited, and could not agree on their aims or co-ordinate their attacks.
  10. 10. Why go to war again? Collapse of Russian Empire • Decree on Nationalities allowed national minorities chance to govern themselves • Many territories declared independence from USSR • Central Siberian Region Soviet rejected Treaty of Brest-Litovsk • 33 sovereign governments in Russia (June 1918) Political opposition • Growth of political opposition, e.g. Union for Defence of the Motherland & Liberty (Jan 1918) • SRs and Mensheviks excluded from Constituent Assembly & Sovnakom (Executive Committee of Soviets) joined anti-Bolshevik alliance, ‘Whites’ Allied opposition • Western allies angry with Russia’s withdrawal from WWI • Churchill sent £100m of supplies to help Whites • French govt sent 7 million francs to Kaedin, leader of Cossacks. • USA, Japan, Italy, Canada sent troops
  11. 11. Why continued.. Breakdown of law & order • Class warfare broke out – mobs and armed soldiers roamed Petrograd. • Peasants acting illegally seizing land without official sanction • Arbitrary arrest & imprisonment by Cheka Food requisitioning • Loss of Ukraine – ‘bread basket of Russia’ as part of Tr. of B-L exacerbated problem • Soaring inflation • Kulaks accused of grain hoarding
  12. 12. Strengths of Reds • Conscription – 5m soldiers in Red Army by 1920; Reds controlled key cities • Trotsky – ranks; harsh discipline; recruited Tsarist officers; commissars within army; Red cavalry; agitprop trains • Munitions – controlled factories; Whites reliant on imported weapons • Ideological commitment – proletariat didn’t want restoration of Tsarism; Communist propaganda v. effective • Red Terror – Cheka; 50,000 executions in 1918; execution of Tsar • Control of railways – Reds controlled railway hubs; same units fought against Kolchak, Denikin & Yudenich.
  13. 13. Weaknesses of Whites • Reliant on foreign assistance – foreign forces rarely involved in fighting; Whites portrayed as invading army • Divisions – some wanted return to Tsarism, others military dictatorship, others Constituent Assembly • Lack of planning – problems with communications; geographical distances; rivalry between leaders • Desertions – peasants worried about land issues
  14. 14. Foreign interventions • Foreign states interested in military consequences of Revolution (Russia’s commitment to WWI) • Germany sponsored Bolshevism • No single aim – trade protectionism (e.g. Japan & USA), territorial independence (e.g. Poland) • Interventionists portrayed by Bolsheviks as imperialist aggressors • Many countries were war-weary • Sympathy with Bolsheviks, e.g. among TUs in UK
  15. 15. War Communism • The Communists created a number of drastic economic measures during the war years. • Nationalisation, militarisation of industry to ensure priority given to war production • Food requisitioned from peasants to feed army and workers ‘War Communism was essentially a pragmatic response to an emergency situation.’ Malle, The Economic Organisation of War Communism 1918-21. WC was, of course, a forced measure resulting from the extraordinarily difficult situation in Russia at the time. Kukuskin, History of the USSR • WC created major discontent and was described as state-sponsored theft. • Industrial production was falling • Lenin decided a change in policy was required to prevent further backlash
  16. 16. New Economic Policy • Co-operation rather than coercion • Tolerance of private enterprise (independent businesses) • Granted peasants right to pay tax and keep food supplies • Difficult to say if economic recovery came from NEP, end of Civil War or the consolidation of Communist power. • Lenin – sometimes said it was the pragmatic approach to keep power. He also said it was the first step from capitalism to socialism – a half-way house. • Many communists disagreed about the pace of revolutionary change • Critical of NEP and compromise with private businesses.
  17. 17. Lenin’s Russia v Tsarist Russia Anything changed?
  18. 18. Task • Use Laver p. 84-85 • Fill in table • Highlight examples of change and continuity in your table
  19. 19. Lenin: an assessment • Lenin was as great in death as in life • As least as important as a symbol as he was a historical figure • He was significant; – As an icon for Soviet Russia and Communism – As a theorist – he adapted Marxist ideas to suit the needs of the moment. Created the concept of the one-party state. Gave generations of Communists confidence that their actions were legitimate. – As a man of action – difficult to imagine Oct 1917 and victory in Civil War without him. • Lenin either an inspiration to the exploited classes everywhere or a ruthless power driven dictator responsible for enormous suffering. • Most interpretations fall amongst these opposing views.
  20. 20. Lenin!! SYMPATHISERS • Excesses of post-revolutionary period explained by chaotic nature of Russia in the civil war • He adapted policies in 1921 and showed concern about the growth of bureaucracy. Christopher Hill, Lenin and the Russian Revolution CRITICISERS Lenin was responsible for bad situation Russia found herself in. He began the Red Terror A picture saying, "Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth"
  21. 21. What do these historians have to say on Lenin? To flourish communism needed a military threat, and both domestic and foreign enemies. Lenin had only one chance to save it; he could have preserved political pluralism after October 1917 and given scope to political aspirations. But that would not have been the Leninist way. Volkogonov, Lenin: A New Biography Lenin owes his historical prominence not to his statesmanship, which was of a very inferior order, but to his generalship… his objective was not to compel the enemy to submit but to annihilate them… judged in terms of his own aspirations, the communist regime was a monumental failure; it succeeded in only one thing, staying in power. Richard Pipes, Russia under the Bolshevik Regime. In dealing with non-Bolsheviks he either played on fear or appealed to greed. Richard Pipes, Russia under the Bolshevik Regime. • S. Fitzpatrick and R. Service – downplayed Lenin’s importance as he sometimes found it difficult to impose will on colleagues. • Some historians look at grass-roots events in factories and farms instead of focusing too much on politicians. • Hosking – takes a balanced view in History of the Soviet Union.