First 503 words of the document:
He was a great revolutionary thinker. He was editor of the Communist
newspaper Iskra, and founder of the Bolsheviks (London Conference 1903, when
the Russian Communist Party split in two).
He persevered For years he led the Bolsheviks from exile in Switzerland.
He was an opportunist In 1917 he persuaded the Germans to give him money to
go back to Russia and organise a revolution.
He was a figurehead He returned to St Petersburg in 1917 (at the Finland
Station) and immediately became the Bolshevik leader. His slogan `Peace, Bread,
Land' and `All Power to the Soviets' won thousands of supporters.
He was the controller It was Trotsky who organised the Red Guards and planned
the November Revolution, but it was Lenin who put him in that position. Trotsky
never questioned Lenin's leadership (which has to say something).
He was ruthless He formed the Assembly in 1917, but when it returned a majority
of Social Revolutionaries (not Bolsheviks) he simply abolished it and declared the
`dictatorship of the Proletariat' and the oneparty state. When there was opposition,
he created the Cheka (secret police). When there was Civil War he brought in War
Communism and shot strikers.
He was visionary Think of all the things he set up in the Bolshevik State
He was flexible When the Kronstadt sailors rebelled, he had the sense to relax
War Communism and bring in the NEP.
1870 Born at Simbirsk on the Volga. His father was a local inspector of schools, his
mother the daughter of a surgeon.
1887 As a young man studied law. Became interested in the writings of Karl Marx and
Joined revolutionary groups at Kazan.
1893 Moved to St. Petersburg and began to spread the ideas of Marx. He formed a
working class freedom group in the capital.
1897 He was exiled to Siberia where he married one of his revolutionary friends from
1900 On his release from Siberia and shortly before leaving Russia he began a
newspaper called Iskra (the Spark) which spread Marxist ideas and laid the foundation
1903 At a congress in London the Russian Social Democratic Party split into two
groups: the Mensheviks, or moderate Socialists, and the Bolsheviks, a more tightly
disciplined and extreme group of which Lenin became the leader.
19057 He returned to Russia for the rising of that year and worked `underground' until
he escaped to Switzerland in 1907.
190717 He continued to direct the work and policies of the Bolsheviks from
Switzerland, Paris and Cracow. In 1912 the Mensheviks were expelled from the Social
Democratic party and the Bolsheviks emerged as a more clear cut party with Pravda as
1917 He returned to Russia from Switzerland and became the leader of the
Bolsheviks in Petrograd, working with Trotsky and Stalin. He drew support away from
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Kerensky and the Mensheviks and stressed the idea of the revolution of the proletariat,
the working classes, based on Workers' Soviets.
1917 As President of the Council of People's Commissars after the Bolshevik victory
in Petrograd, Lenin became the head of the first Soviet government. He made peace
with Germany, handed the large estates over to the peasants and replaced the Tsarist
government by Workers' Soviets.
191821 With Trotsky and Stalin he directed the Soviet government and the Bolshevik
war effort from the Politburo.…read more
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After having a World War, Revolution and a Civil War, Russia had serious
economic problems, so Lenin decided to make a New Economic Policy.
The NEP meant War Communism was abandoned and peasants only needed
to give a part of their produce to the government, the rest they could sell as
To many communists it was a betrayal of their ideas which could split the party.…read more