Why was there a civil war in Russia?

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  • Why was there a civil war in Russia?
    • The collapse of the Russian empire
      • Russia began to split apart before the collapse of the Provisional Government
      • Lenin decreed territories were free to leave Russia Nov 1917
        • Many territories declared themselves independent of the RSFSR
        • Soviets took over large areas and often pursued own policies
          • Central Siberian Region Soviet rejected peace with Germany
          • 33 sovereign governments June 1918
    • Political opposition
      • Bolshevik actions/policies first few months made them enemies
        • Union for the Defence of the Motherland and LIberty
          • Organised 3 armed revolts July 1918 and the murder of the German ambassador
        • Fellow Mensheviks, socialists and SRs joined opponents when banned from Executive Committee of the Soveits (June 1918)
    • Allied opposition
      • 10/11/1917- Morning Post in London called for direct military action against the Bolsheviks
      • 23/11/1917 - Trotsky published the 'secret treaties' signed by the Tsar with Allies during war
        • Showed Allies planned to seize territory when Germany and her allies were defeated
          • Were not fighting for democracy as they pretended
          • Bolsheviks seized all foreign property & cancelled Tsar's debts to the Allies
      • Brest-Litovsk Treaty
    • Breakdown of law and order
      • British Ambassador: 'Russian idea of liberty is to take things easy...'
        • Russians from all background horrified by lawlessness
          • Frenchman: 'Violence or the threat if it seemed everywhere that winter...'
      • Frenchman: 'Violence or the threat if it seemed everywhere that winter...'
    • Food requisitioning
      • Ukraine 'bread basket' lost
      • Peasants had no incentive to sell produce as few products in shops for them to buy
        • Money gained soon lost its value as inflation soared
        • Lenin's solution: send requisition squads to countryside to look for grain which kulaks were hoarding
          • Urged villages to set up committees of poor peasants to seize surplus foods from their 'better-off neighbours'
            • Not very successful and made many more enemies for the Bolsheviks


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