Impact of the Civil War, 1918-21

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  • The Impact of the Civil War (1918-21)
    • The Russian Civil War
      • Battle between Communist Reds and reactionary Whites
      • Senior members of army wanted to re-establish Tsarist rule- others wanted military dictatorship or a democratic system
      • SR's & Mensheviks wanted more democratic type of socialist government. Anarchists wanted to abolish government altogether
      • First signs of conflict in Jan 1918- General Kornilov organised anti-Bolshevikarmy
      • SR's and liberals set up rival government & other SR's tried to revive Constituent Assembly
      • Full scale Civil War broke out in Summer 1918
      • Summer 1919 Red Army started to win the war
    • Building the Red Army
      • Lenin abolished election system in army & Tsarists generals put back in charge
        • Outrage among idealists
      • Army became a disciplined and successful fighting force
    • Red Terror
      • Dec 1917- creation of Cheka
        • Raiding anarchist organisations, closing down opposition newspapers, expelling Menshevik and SR's
        • Willing to imprison, torture, kill
    • The Emergence of a 'Party-State'
      • Based on the Communist Party
      • Lenin relied on Politburo - effectively became the government of Russia
      • Communist Party dominance emerged at a local level
      • 1921- two parallel structures: Communist Party and the soviet-state.
    • Government during the Civil War
      • Primary objective during Civil War: ensure survival of the new government
      • Government changed in two ways:
        • Government became increasingly centralised
        • Communist Party increasingly powerful
      • Centralisation of power:
        • Centralised control of economy- policy of War Communism
        • Political centralisation- nomenklatura - terror to suppress opposition
        • Red Army more authoritarian - introduced conscription, harsh punishments, Tsarists generals
        • Took power from the workers, peasants and soldiers
    • The changing nature of the Communist Party
      • 1921 - no longer government of workers, peasants and soldiers


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