How did the Bolsheviks establish a one-party state between 1917-24?
The creation of the one-party state and the party congress of 1921
- The Bolsheviks were a very small party and didn't have enough support to lead a popular revolution. They faced opposition from many groups, who they needed to overcome
- Left-wing groups - Socialist revolutionaries and Mensheviks
- Right-wing groups - Tsarists and the middle class
- Nationalist groups - Ukranians, Poles, FIns etc.
How did the Bolsheviks deal with the other left-wing groups?
- Lenin had no desire to share power, and calls for a socialist coalition were rejected
- Constituent assembly - democratically elected; SRs emerged as single largest party. This posed a threat to Bolshevik rule
- Lenin quickly dissolved the assembly so there was no real forum for opposition
The destruction of other political parties
- Removal of the vote from bourgeoisie (priests, business owners), stopped them voting for right-wing parties
- Placed restrictions on Menshevik and SR newspapers
- March 1918 - Bolsheviks renamed themselves the communist party. 1921 - all other parties effectively banned
- Mensheviks and SRs arrested
The treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 1918
- A treaty that took Russia out of 1st world war at great cost. They lost the Baltic states, and was seen as a national humiliation for conservatives.
- Conservatives needed to overthrow Bolsheviks to reject the treaty
- Allies wanted Russia in war - were willing to supply arms, money, troops to the Whites, who wanted Russia in the war.
- Lenin pulled out because on the strain on resources, and the need to resolve internal conflicts first
The Russian civil war, 1918-21
- Fought between the Reds (Bolsheviks) and the Whites (opposition)
- The Whites included: Tsarists, liberals, military leaders, Mensheviks and SRs. They recieved aid from the allies
- Bolsheviks attacked at Pulkovo heights near Petrograd - the Reds won, but was just the start of the war. Bolsheviks only defeated the Whites in 1920
How did the Bolsheviks win the civil war?
- The Reds were surrounded by the Whites from their core in Moscow
- The Reds were well organised, but Whites weren't as they were made up of different groups
- Bolsheviks held major cities, industry hubs and transport links
- Leon Trotsky was an incredible military leader- organised Red Army very well
- Bolsheviks controlled the economy - could distribute resources to the Red Army from peasants through war communism.
- Large-scale nationalism of industry gave adequate supplies for the Red Army
- Active support from the workers
The key results of the civil war
- Bolshevik state became highly centralised
- Extensive use of terror against political opponents - set tone of party
- Reinforced military values
The 10th party congress, 1921
- The party had grown hugely - posed a threat to party stability
- Lenin banned factions within the party
- This came at a time of political uncertainty - Kronstadt mutiny (revolt by sailors) and Tombov uprising (major peasant uprising)
The nature of Government under Lenin
The apparatus of government
- Governing Russia demanded a clear line of authority with efficient decision making
- Trade unions and factory commitees brought…