Foreign Relations in Lenin’s Reign, 1917 – 1924
Foreign Intervention in the Civil War
Ø 1918 - 1920 foreign troops were stationed in widespread areas of conflict; from the Baltic Sea, to the Black Sea, to the Far East.
Ø However, it always seemed like a threat to Bolshevik Russia.
Reasons for Foreign Intervention During WWI
Ø 1918 — Main motive was too keep Russia in WWI and to prevent or delay the mass transfer of German forces from the Eastern Front to the West.
Ø Lesser motive was to protect vast dumps of armaments and war materials that had been shipped to Russia by her allies.
Ø After German Armistice (Nov 1918) main motive no longer applied but foreign intervention continued because of the wish to support anti-Bolshevik forces.
Ø Foreign intervention continued due to divisions and muddled thinking within allied government.
Ø British and French — British Navy patrolled the Baltic Seas.
Ø Far East — 11,000 USA troops were based in Vladivostok.
Ø British and French Naval Forces — based in Southern Russia, Ukraine, Black Sea.
Ø Central Siberia and sections of Siberian Railway — controlled by Czech Legion.
Problem with Foreign Intervention during the Civil War
Ø Government had little accurate or up-to-date knowledge of what was actually happening and were therefore often out of touch with the speed of events.
Ø Governments depended on a handful of individuals who sent snippets on information, but these reports were sometimes misleading. Sometimes they were reliable but not listened to.
Ø 1919 — a secret American diplomatic mission to Moscow briefly raised hopes for a possible peace compromise.
Ø This peace plan lapsed when President Wilson and Britain and France failed to back US diplomat, William C Bullitt’s attempt at a compromise with Lenin.
Impact of Foreign Intervention
Ø Did not bring down the Bolshevik regime as they were on a small scale, with little coordination.
Ø November 1920 – British government agreed to negotiate a trade agreement with Bolshevik Russia, the Anglo-Soviet Pact.
Ø Lenin and the Bolsheviks started out as an isolated regime, relations with foreign powers were hostile during the Civil War.
Ø Founding of the Third Communist International (Comintern) was established as a socialist organisation promoting Marxism and spreading ‘proletariat revolution’ from Russia to the world.
Ø The Communist Manifesto– Marx and Engels issued this manifesto to promote Marxist ideology in 1849.
Ø The First Founding Congress of the Comintern was held in Moscow (March 1919) and the chairman of the early Comintern was Grigorii Zinoviev, but the dominating influence was always Lenin.
Ø There was great optimism during the First Congress about the prospects for the spread of revolution from Russia to the wider world.
Ø The Second Comintern Congress took place in Petrograd (July – August 1920) at…