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The Bolsheviks were an extremist party who ultimately took over the rule of Russia in 1917.
They were led by Lenin, who was an excellent leader in many ways, and it was widely acknowledged
that he was the ultimate reason for the Bolshevik success in 1917. However, this opinion has been
revised more recently, as other factors, including the temporary nature of Provisional Government,
the desperation of the people due to the First World War and the influence of other major Bolshevik
leaders, among others.
Lenin was an excellent leader who was attractive to the mass of the people in Russia, which
gained the party support and led to the Bolshevik success in October 1917. He was incredibly
intelligent and was an excellent orator, meaning that he was able to communicate his complex ideas
to the people very simply, in terms that were relevant to them and that they could understand. He
also dressed shabbily, despite the fact that he was from a very well-off family. This meant that he
could connect to the people as they felt that he was one of them and thus completely understood
their position, making the party more accessible to the masses. They had been let down very badly
by the Bourgeois before, and so they turned to the Bolsheviks because they felt they could trust
their shabbily dressed leader. Lenin also kept the party policies very simple. `Peace, Bread and Land'
were the basic things that every member of society was dreaming of, particularly during the war
when food supplies were limited in cities. The policies had some appeal to everyone in society, and
they were therefore more likely to gain support than other political parties. Lenin was responsible
for this because he led the initiative, and was responsible for delivering the party's ideas. Lenin had
never supported the entrance of Russia into World War One, and he used the fact that his party was
the only one opposed to this to gain more support as Russians began to suffer as a direct result of
the war. This meant that, unlike all the other parties, their support was uncompromised and they
gained more support. Lenin also exploited the weaknesses of the Provisional Government. This
meant that his party looked stronger than the current political leadership and that he gained support
from the already angry citizens of Russia.
Lenin was the ultimate strategist of the October Revolution, making his party look stronger
and more organised than the other parties, meaning that they were more likely to gain support
because of how strong their party looked. However, when it came to the actual revolution, Lenin had
little idea of what was going on, and his confusion was almost detrimental to the success of
Bolsheviks in October 1917. This suggested that there was a lack of organization and communication
with the party, and presented potential supporters with a contradiction, which may cause them not
to support the party.
There are a number of other reasons to suggest that Lenin was not, in fact, the main reason
for the Bolshevik success in October 1917. He was in exile for the majority of 1917, meaning that
other party leaders, particularly Trotsky, had a major influence over the party politics. Some sources
suggest that Lenin had little control over the party at this time, because these leaders began to
adopt policies which Lenin fundamentally agreed with, suggesting that it was not actually Lenin who
was responsible for the success of the party, but Trotsky and other such leaders.
The failure of the other political parties was also a major contributing factor to the Bolshevik
success in October 1917. These parties all accepted February as a genuine revolution, meaning that
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Provisional Government. This gave the Bolsheviks a powerful propaganda
(also a major contributing factor to the Bolshevik success which Lenin did not pilot) weapon; the other
parties had abandoned the people in favor of the Bourgeoisie. The Mensheviks strongly supported
the Provisional Government, as , as committed Marxists, they believed this feudalism as a key stage
before the Proletariat revolution. They worked with other parties as they recognized that the
Proletariat were not yet ready to head this revolution.…read more