How accurate is it to say that Lenin’s leadership was the most important reason for the Bolsheviks success in the revolution of November 1917?


Lenin’s leadership was an important factor which contributed massively to the Bolsheviks success in the revolution. This is due to the factor that Lenin used a number of different devices in order to increase the Bolsheviks popularity; for example his effectively use of propaganda. In addition to this he had great leadership skills including the important timing of his return to Russia and also his personality. However, this is not the only important factor, there were many other reasons why the Bolsheviks succeeded in the November 1917 revolution including; the problems with the Provisional Government, Trotsky’s role, the mismanagement and weaknesses of other parties and the failure to destroy the Bolsheviks after the July Days.

The membership of the Bolsheviks was low in February 1917 and the success of the Bolshevik party seemed very unlikely. Many of the Bolsheviks supported the Provisional Government at the start of 1917, for example Stalin and Kamenev urged accommodationism, however this all changed when Lenin returned from exile to Russia in April 1917 and urged that there was to be no co-operation with other parties. This demonstrates how the timing of Lenin’s Return from exile was a very important factor in the Bolsheviks success in November 1917, as was his ability to force his ideas on the party, as he was able to successfully convince the Bolshevik Central Committee to support an armed take-over and persuaded them to seize power.

In addition to this Lenin’s strong leadership and personality was a major reason as to why the Bolsheviks succeeded in the November revolution in 1917. He made many speeches in which he promised improvements to the working class and the peasantry, he issued the April These where he describes his ambition to give Russians exactly what they wanted ‘Peace, Bread and Land’. Lenin knew that this provocative slogan would appeal to all Russians and this is the main reason why his slogan became increasingly popular in Russia during 1917. The Bolsheviks gained the popularity of the workers through these campaigns, as it highlighted to them that the only way to finally address everyone’s needs was to gain ‘All Power to the Soviets’ by getting rid of the Provisional Government. This shows that Lenin’s personality alongside his effective use of propaganda was a massive factor resulting in the Bolsheviks success in November 1917. It enabled the Bolsheviks to gain mass support from the workers, the people they needed on their side in order to win the revolution, and therefore the use of these particular slogans to gain popularity was a very important factor that resulted in the Bolshevik succeeding in the revolution.

It must be taken into account, however, that the influence of following factors contributed to Bolshevik’s success.

The mistakes the Provisional Government made heightened the Bolsheviks popularity and also made Lenin’s propaganda even more effective. The promises made by Lenin may not have proven as successful if the Provisional Government had not made so many mistakes. Lenin’s promises were so positively received as…


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