INCREASING REPRESSION AND BOLSHEVIK CENTRALISATION, 1918 - 1924

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INCREASING REPRESSION AND BOLSHEVIK CENTRALISATION, 1918 - 1924

C) POLITICAL REPRESSION DURING THE NEP:

1) CENSORSHIP: 
- Spring, 1922 - many writers etc were deported to discourage criticism of the government
- Books, articles, poems etc had to be checked by the 'Main Administration for Affairs of Literature and Publishing Houses' (Glavlit) before they were published. 

2) ATTACKS ON POLITICAL RIVALS: 
- Rival Socialist parties (Socialist Revolutionists & Mensheviks) had grown in popularity during the economic crisis, and had even supported the strikes and revolts. This gave the Bolsheviks the excuse to execute 5,000 Mensheviks in 1921 and abolish both as as political organisations.
     . SHOW TRIALS: Communists rounded up SR's and held show trials, were they were accused of ridiculous crimes, such as attempting to assassinate Lenin and co-ordinating with General Denikin during the Civil War. 34 SR's were accused, and 11 of them executed. 

3) ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GPU:
- The Cheka was renamed the GPU ('Main Political Administration') in 1922.
- Arrested and harassed 'NEPMen' and middle class civilians (enforce fear!)

 4) CRUSHING PEASANT REVOLTS:
- In the Tambov region in 1922, the Red Army crushed whole villages.
- Bolshevik supporting villages were rewarded with salt (essential food preserver)

5) ATTACKS ON THE CHURCH:
- Communists saw the church as a threat to their power
- In 1921, the 'Union of the Militant Godless' was established to directly challenge the church.
- In 1922 there were violent clashes; priests had their precious items stolen to 'help famine victims', and many were imprisoned. 

D) HOW THE CENTRALISED STATE DEVELOP IN RUSSIA, 1918 - 1924:

- Main decisions were made by the a Polituburo of 7 - 9 members
- Banks, transport, industry and foreign trade (not private) were controlled by the government. 
- Establishment of the Snovarkom after the October Revolution, 1917, which was the main Bolshevik governing body (influence weakened after the Politburo). Showed there would be little consideration of other views.
- The Communists came to centralise government.
- The Bolsheviks themselves became more centralised and bureaucratic; less democratic.

E) HOW THE BOLSHEVIKS CAME TO DOMINATE GOVERNMENT BODIES:

1) THE POLITBURO: The main Bolshevik governing body created in 1919. Replaced the old Snovrkom, which met less frequently and had less influence. 

2) CONTROL OF THE SOVIETS: Ballot rigging and terror were used to force the soviets to  vote for the Bolsheviks. A chairman (often a Bolshevik) was placed at the head of the soviet and only Communist party members were allowed to be elected.

3) BOLSHEVIKS

Comments

NZLHistory

This is a very good chronological summary of the centralisation that occurred in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. Set out in clear stages.

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