bolshevik consolidation of power

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  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 16-05-11 13:52

problems facing lenin

- russia still at war with germany and austro-hungary

- germans could march into the city - virtually defenceless

- peasants siezed land across the country, industrial production slumped, unemployment rising, inflation rising

- bolsheviks didnt have mass support across country, did in st petersburg and moscow

- lenin felt too vulnerable at end of october to cancel elections to the constituent assembly - bolsheviks had support of one quarter of russian electorate

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forming a government

- none of bolsheviks had experience of governing and administration

- government officials and employees on strike - bank refused to release any funds to the new government

- decree on land - confiscated all private lands / gave it to peasants - one of bolshevik slogans - not willing to comprimise their principles to keep power

- peace decree - immediate steps to end war with germany and austro-hungary

- third decree set up organisation of new government - at top was council of peoples commissars (sovarknom) lenin as chairman - prime minister

- 4th november - newspapers critical of bolsheviks closed down

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ending the war

- key slogan of bolshevik campaign in 1917 - ending the war - (peace)

- war deeply unpopular - major contribution to failure of provisional government

- bolsheviks needed military resources for internal enemies

- armistice agreed in december 1917 - december 22 bolshevik peace delegation, began negotiations at brest-litovsk

- germans wanted latvia, lithuania, and estonia, plus poland and ukraine. - loss of one third of russia's population, one third of its agricultural land and half its industry.

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- 7th and 8th germany - lenin faced problems in persuading government to continue negotiation - issue almost split government (weakness)

- russia forced to pay high price in loss of territory and economic wealth

- lenin knew unless he ended war - bolsheviks would lose power

- once war wasover, bolshevik government annulled treaty

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constituent assembly

- socialist revolutionarys became biggest party in russia

-lenins main concern - how to stop constituent assembly from challenging newly established bolshevik rule

- constituent assembly met for 1st and last time - tauride palace - petrograd - bolsheviks demanded assembly be subservient to decrees passed by soviet and sovnarkom - rejected - bolsheviks and left socialist revolutionaries walked out and remaining people dispersed by red guards - loyal to lenin - ended hopes of democracy - began rule of communist dictatorship

- opposition divided on what to do - left SRs supported bolsheviks and joined them in a coalition government - leader of majority moderate SR's (viktor chernov) called for peaceful demonstration - dispersed by red guards

- mensheviks split between followers of fedor dan and julius martov  - lenin firmly in control.

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civil war

- all enemies wanted to remove lenin and his government

- counter revolutionary forces wanted to return to days of the  tsar or provisional government - monarchists/liberals - WHITE FORCES - formed under general kornilov - after his death came under general deniken - 19,000 - based in southern russia.

- near petrograd, general yudenich, amassed a force in order to take petrograd

- lenin moved capital to moscow in early 1918 amid fears of white or german attack

- siberia - general kolchak - white forces established own government

- to keep russia in 1st world war - allied countries sent forces to fight with the white armies - british sent forces to murmansk and archangel in north russia - french occupied odessa - japanese took over vladivostok on pacific ocean

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civil war

- revolutionary outbreaks in germany and hungary - powers saw communist russia as a threat to stability in their own countries -  helping whites to overthrow lenin

- first world war involved czech legion - group created in 1917 out of austro-hungarian prisoners of war - wanted to create own state - legion attempted to make its way from siberia across russia using trans-siberian railaw - intended to become involved with war against germany - came into conflict with red forces -

- as czech legion neared ekaterinburg - communist forces executed tsar and his family - rather than to see them fall into hands of the czechs

- finns fought for their independence - poles - ukrainians - caucus regions

- communists had many leaders of non russian origin

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opponents of the communists

allied intervention forces in 1918 - overthrow communists and get russia back into the first world war

white armies - return russia to rule by a monarchy (majority) - democratic rule

green armies - society based on local organisations of peasants

left SRs - create a more open society with major social and economic change to aid the peasants - opposition to the treaty of brest litovsk

nationalist movements - independence from russian rule

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left SRs

- treaty of brest-litovsk (unpopular and humiliating) -split in left SRs - coalition partners of the communists - june 1918- left SRs launched an attack on communist rule - assasination attempt on lenin

- left SRs assassinated german ambassador - von Mirbach - hope of forcing germans to intervene and topple communists

- left SRs - defeated by red army

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crucial year - 1919

kolchaks campaign - the east

- amiral kolchak launched an assault from the east - support from 30,000 foreign troops - offensive went well initially - april - troops advanced 200 miles and captured important cities - end of april - red army launched a counter attack - conscripting civilians into red army - persuaded kolchaks forces to change sides - july - kolchaks forces pushed back to where they started from - lost most of men.

denikens campaign - south east

agreed to help kolchaks campaign - march - changed  his mind - went to donbassregion to fight red army who had invaded that area - first had some success - many people deserted from red army as it retreated - dd not have enough troops to fight over such a large front - attack failed

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yudenich's campaign - petrograd

- attack against communist controlled petrograd october 1919 - needed more men - foreign support dried up following kolchak's retreat - finnsrefused to fight with him - refused to give them independence - good start - trotsky intervened - roused troops to lead them into battle - secured victory for communists - foreign powers disheartened - end of 1919 - foreign troops withdrawn - czech legion left russia - without foreign support - white armies failed - 1920 -  last white army - general wrangel - cornered on crimean peninsula in southern russia - destroyed

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russo-polish war - 1920 - 1921

- unsuccessful attempt to spread revolution westward

- polish forces entered western ukraine and captured kiev - 1919

- communists attacked and forced poles to retreat - lenin ordered invasion of poland - prelude to war against central europe

- hoped polish workers would join red army - stage rev against government

- saw russians as foreign aggressors - fought against them

- 1920 - red army got to gates of warsaw - defeated. - treaty of riga - april 1921 - poland given lawge part of western belorussia -

- russio-polish war constituted the biggest communist defeat in civil war - ended attempts to extend revolution past russia

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reasons for communist victory

- skill - organisation of forces - failures of opponents

- strong leadership under lenin - united and well organised - ruthless determination needed to win - anti communist forces lacked a clear strategy or central direction of their war effort - white forces fought for different reasons (re-established monarchy - provisonal government) ordinary russians did not want to return to tsarism - anti communist forces fought amongst themselves - ukranian nationalists fought red AND white armies - greens wanted to cereate political society where control lied in hands of peasants

-communists dominated heartland of russia - between petrograd and moscow - population of 60m - communists could produce more munitions than white army - white army had to rely on foreign support - communists could use railways to distribute munitions - could communicate more effectively - territory continuous

- whites geographically dispersed - white generals launched offensives at different times - red forces could defeat them one by one - war communism - maximum production of weapons - feed cities by grain requisitioning

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- lenin established cheka to remove any politcal opposition - engaged in terror tactics against ALL enemies of the communists - used against anyone who resisted communists - peasants who tried to reist grain requisitioning executed - villages thought to be hiding politcal opponents burned - civilians offered choise of joining red army or being executed

- military leadership of trotsky - 1918 - founded red army - by end of civil war in 1921, reached 5 million in number - many conscripted - dilemma - communists lacked members with high level military experience - controversial policy of recruiting officers of the tsarist army to fight for communists - to ensure their loyalty he kept their families hostage - political officers assigned to red army units to make sure they complied with trotskys orders - remained loyal to communists - toured every front in the war in an armoured train - checked on units - delivered speeches - measures ensured red army fought effectively.

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