What were the successes and failures of Bolshevik policies by Lenin's death?

  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 15-05-19 11:00
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  • What were the successes and failures of Bolshevik policies by Lenin's death?
    • Economic
      • Success
        • GOELRO in 1920 which organised the production and distribution of electricity throughout Russia - one of Bolsheviks most significant achievement
        • Nationalised heavy industry but small-scale industry was in private hands due to NEP. Transport and banks under control of the State.
        • Whilst the "scissor crisis" initially posed a threat, reacted to events by capping industrial prices and replacing peasant quotas with money taxes in 1923 (had to sell grain).
          • By 1926 production levels of 1913 been reached again.
        • NEP saw revival of trade as peasants quick to make profits.
          • Nepmen responsible for 75% of trade in 1925
            • However: a sign of capitalism, gained great wealth, not socialist.
      • Failure
        • Veshenka and Gosplan often conflicted over economic policy
        • Failed to enforce collective farming
    • Social
      • Success
        • Decree on Land (October 1917)
          • BUT: actually just acknowledged what was happening already
      • Failure
        • Decree on Worker's Control of Factories (1917) sacrificed during war communism, bourgeoise 'specialists' to replace worker's soviets
    • Political
      • Success
        • Ban on Factions 1921 meant that Bolsheviks had one-party control
          • Encouraged through threats of expulsion and promotion through the nomenklatura
      • Failure
        • In 1924 Lenin failed to select a successor, power struggle. Collective leadership?But not achieved.
        • Whilst NEP had recovered economy, there were Party members who felt Lenin had betrayed the principles of the revolution - NEP at best temporary
          • NEP: "New exploitation of the Proletariat"
        • Society had not progressed as far down route to socialism as had hoped, whilst state had a growing bureaucracy + worrying dependency on leadership
    • Foreign policy
      • Success
        • Made peace with Germany, opening diplomatic relations
          • The Treaty of Rapallo (April 1922): waive compensation claims, reopen diplomatic relations, mutual goodwill in commercial and economic relations + secret addition, July 1922, stating German army could carry out training and military exercises within the USSR.
        • Peace with Poland was made in The Treaty of Riga,, March 1921
        • Although had accepted the fact that Permanent Revolution was not a reality, capitalist powers had recognised Russia as a state
          • In 1920 after withdrawing troops, England opened trade negotiations
      • Failure
        • Even though Bolsheviks outwardly claimed they valued the Comintern, it became increasinglysidelined.
          • "Socialism in One Country" rather than Permanent Revolution
        • Isolation from capitalist Allies
          • Zinoviev letter soured relations with Britain and strengthened Russia's isolation at a time when Chicherin wanted to look outwards.
        • Did not succeed in spreading revolution to Germany, Spartacist Uprising brutally crushed in January 1923

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