1917-24

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Benlhunt
  • Created on: 08-05-15 18:58

1917-24

Following Revolution

  • The Bolshevik position after overthrowing the provisional government (PG) was weak
  • Russia was still at war, so the Bolshevik's first act was to issue a decree on peace.
  • Lenin ordered a ceasefire, and suggested that a treaty had to be made however harsh, which met bad reception within the party.
  • They came around, and the treaty was exceedingly harsh with Russia losing    

- 1/3 of its agricultural land

- 1/2 of its heavy industry

- 90% of its coal mines

  • Social Revolutionaries were more popular than the Bolsheviks 24% - 40.4%
  • Lenin had little control over more rural areas of Russia, as his power was centralised in cities.
  • This lack of power led to Lenin's succesful attempts at consolidating it through a 'Red Terror'

Red Terror

  • Lenin + Trotsky argued that all internal struggle had to be removed in order to focus on the civil war.

- This led to the closing of the Constituent Assembly and any anti-Bolshevik party was banned. 

  • The Cheka was established to enforce this

- In the following months 800 socialists were arrested and shot without trial.

- The official figure for the amound executed in the first year was 6,300. (Priests + members of middle class)

  • This was heightened especially after the assassinations on members of the Cheka and the attempted assassination on Lenin in 1918.

Civil War

Opposition - White Armies

  • SR's and Mensheviks opposed the one party state. 
  • Some national minorities wanted self government (Green Army)
  • Some wanted to re establish PG or Tsarist rule.
  • Allies invaded and occupied parts of Russia.
  • Czech Legion formed by the Tsar wanted independent state. They were supported by the Western Powers to fight against the Bolsheviks.

- Numbered 30,000

  • In Ukraine, Nestor Makhno led an anti Bolshevik army.
  • In the South of Russia, Kornilov led a resistance

Bolsheviks

  • The Bolshevik forces (Red Army) grew from a few hundred thousand to 5 million in 2 years. 

- 83% of commanders were ex-Tsarist soldiers as Trotsky valued their experience

  • Many enlisted purely because they knew that Lenin was distributing food to the Red Army forces first.

Timeline 

November 1918 - The allies withdrew from Russia, which spelled disaster for the Whites as they provided support.

July 1918 - Czech Legion began moving + Romanov's assassinated to demoralise Tsarist supporters and ensure they didn't have a figurehead for counter-revolution. 

July 1919 - Denikin, Kolchak and Yudenich, the warlords, made significant advances but in July, Kolchak's eastern army was anhilated 

October 1919 - Denikins Southern forces destroyed and Yudenich's forces were neutralised.

Why did the Reds win?

  • The Bolsheviks only held 15% of the land and were surrounded by the whites. How did they win? 
  • Because it was a more concentrated area it was harder to penetrate.
  • The Whites failed to control the peasants because they thought that they'd revert to the system of Land Captains.
  • Leon Trotsky led the Red Army inspirationally

- Made sure that troops were well fed

- Made sure they were supplied with arms well

  • The Whites were not unified
  • Whilst the Whites had the support of the Allies in name, they did little to actively help the war effort, as they were sick of fighting. (withdrew 1918-19)

 Bolshevik Economic Policy Post-Revolution 

State Capitalism

  • October 1917 - the economy was in a poor state.
  • Confiscated all land from landowners and redistributed it to the peasants.
  • Allowed factory workers to run factories themselves. (Although later War communism let the government run some)

War Communism

  • Nationalising of land.
  • Ended private capitalism and made all industry state controlled.
  • Strikes Banned.
  • Economy geared towards army and centralised.
  • Grain requisiton from peasants (All surplus grain surrendered to state) - Increased by 750,000 tonnes in the first year

War Communism achieved some of its aims and was justafiable whilst the civil war was ongoing, as it supported the Red Army

HOWEVER 

  • The economic strength of Russia fell below the 1914 level
  • Mass migration to the countryside as people believed they could be self sufficient (33% moved from the cities)
  • Number of factory and mine workers decreased by 50%
  • There was heavy inflation
  • A flourishing black market sprung up

Reactions to Harshness of War Communism

  • Violent rebellions in Tambov and Siberia.
  • Kronstadt Sailors mutinied 
  • Fear of a worker/peasant general uprising
  • In 1921 Lenin redacted War Communism

NEP

  • Lenin - Kronstadt uprising was the 'flash which lit up reality', as he realised the general distaste of War Communism.

Policies:

  • Small scale industries returned to their former owners (Heavy industry remained state controlled)
  • Grain requisition was replaced by a small grain tax 
  • Peasants allowed to sell surplus
  • The Rouble was revalued to counter the severe inflation.
  • Private trading was permitted 

All of this was good for the Russian economy; Agricultural and industrial output soared, particularly heavy industry 

By 1923, agricultural production was at a healthy 75% of the 1913 level  Similarly light industrial production was stimulated by this increase.

1 of 1

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Russia - 19th and 20th century resources »