Russia Revision part 4

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  • Oct/Nov 1917 revolution
    • Causes
      • deteriorating economy-inflation due to the war
      • Defeats in WW1
      • Role of Lenin-strong leadership
        • persistent in ideas and encouraged the Central Committee
        • Decree of peace enabled the Bolsheviks to put forward their ideas to the congress to reorganise the government which was largely needed
      • weaknesses of the PG
    • The course of the revolution
      • 24th- Bolsheviks Red Guards began to take over key government buildings and positions in Petrograd
      • 25th- Red Guards surrounded the winter palace- they the attacked at 9:40pm
      • 26th-To end this, the second session of congress opened and Lenin's Decree on peace, to end the war, was adopted unanimously
      • 27th- At 2:00 am Lenin's Decree on Land, acknowledging the peasants seizure was agreed and the Bolsheviks faction put forward their proposal for the re organisation of the government
        • This proposal was opposed by the Mensheviks and left-wing Social Revolutionaries- however congress still adopted the proposals by an overwhelming majority- a new 'All-Russian Central executive Committee' was elected
        • The 'Soviet of People's Commissars' was created to run the government - which included Bolsheviks- Lenin was elected as chairman
    • Leadership and the establishment of Bolshevik authority under Sovnarkom
      • Reaction of Bolsheviks Insurrection
        • The All-Russian congress of soviets were not untied in it's approval of the insurrection
        • Mensheviks predicted that Bolsheviks power would only last three weeks
        • The lefty-wig congratulated Lenin, whilst the right accused him of using violence to seize power
      • How did the Bolsheviks take control of the Soviet?
        • Majority of seats for the new executive committee to carry this out went out Bolsheviks
          • The 'Moderates' then walked out of the congress, leaving the Bolsheviks and left-wing social Revolutionary coalition in control. - this made it a lot easier for the Bolsheviks to take control since both parties had similar aims
      • SOVNARKoM
        • Comprised exclusively Bolsheviks - Lenin a Chairman and Trotsky as Commissar for Foreign Affairs
        • Lenin had no intention of sharing this power with other socialists
        • It caused Soviets to lose power as they met less frequently and stopped in the 1930s
        • The local soviets retained their importance, but they were brought into a new Bolshevik- dominated power structure
      • How did the Bolsheviks establish control
        • it took time to establish control since Kerensky had a rallied army comprising 18 Cossack regiments
        • Bolsheviks had no direct contact at the front so their army was much smaller- making their position appear weak
        • October 31st- They took control in Baku and 17 provincial capitals
      • why Lenin didn't want shared power
        • He feared that other socialist leaders might challenge him and dilute his own vision for the future
    • Lenin's Decrees and actions in December
      • Political
        • OCT-Press Decree- banned Opposition press- would appeal to Lenin and the Bolsheviks as other parties are not getting any media influence- their power is then not challenged
        • OCT-Decree on land- abolished private ownership of land- reduced peasants supported for the SRs
        • NOV- Judicial Decrees - new legal system of elected people's courts- benefited the government and the public as it gave the elections more organisation
      • Economic
        • OCT- Decree on peace- promised to end to war-benefited almost everyone- not so much Lenin as he saw the war as a strong point to rally up revolutions
        • DEC- nationalised banks and ended the private flow of capital
        • DEC- Decrees on church- nationalised church land, removed marriage and divorce from church control and gave women the right to initiate divorce
        • NOV-Nationality Decree- Promised self- determination to the people of the former Russian Empire
      • Social
        • OCT-Workers Decree- established a maximum 8 hr a day
        • OCT-Social insurance decree- provided old age, health and unemployment benefits
        • NOV-Rights of the people of Russia Decree-abolished titles and class ranks- Marxism
        • NOV-Decree on workers control of Factories- gave workers the right to supervise management
        • NOV-Decree to outlaw sex discrimination- gave women equality with men and the right to own property
      • Military
        • DEC-DEcree to establish the 'All-Russian commission for the suppression of counter-revolution- created the secret police force, Cheka
        • DEC-Military Decree- removed class ranks, placed army under control of soldiers
      • The amount of decrees tel us that Lenin needed to fulfill his promises of change and win supports, but more than this, Lenin seem to have been genuinely convinced of the capacity of the masses to instigate a new social order
      • December stuff
        • Veshenka was established to supervise and control economic development, but Lenin remained cautious in the face of the demands of some in his party that he should set about the complete nationalisation of industry
        • Lenin's combats to opposition
          • A propaganda campaign mounted against political and 'class' enemies - bourgeois
          • Anti-Bolshevik newspapers were closed down
          • There was a purge of the civil service
          • The Cheka was established as a secret police body in December
          • Leading Kadets, right-wing revolutionaries and Mensheviks were rounded up and imprisoned in December


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