How the Bolsheviks kept power

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How far do you agree that the brutality of the Bolsheviks was the main reason why they remained in power in the years 1917-1924?

Take into consideration - 

  • Trotsky and the Red Army
  • Weakness of opposition
  • Terror & repression
  • Concessions
  • Lenin

Trotsky and the Red Army

  • Trotsky ordered the defeat of the left SRs in 1918 after they led an attack on Communism and attempted to assassinate Lenin. After they were defeated it meant that there was less oppostion to the Bolsheviks.
  • By 1921 the Red Army consisted of 5 million men. Trotsky had also brought in men with military experience dating from the Tsarist years of Russia and held their families hostage in order to keep them loyal. He controlled the loyalty of the Reds, meaning he knew his army wouldn't desert him.
  • The Reds could produce more munitions than the Whites, could use railways to transport munitions and men to where they needed to be and could communicate effectively.

Weakness of the opposition

  • The Whites lacked unity - they all opposed the Bolshevik party but individually they ranged from monarchists to liberals. Some wanted the return of the Tsar, some wanted the return of the…

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